July 29, 2008

George Orwell's 1984 V.S. 2008


newspeakdictionary.com

George Orwell - The Prophet?
Was Orwell a prophet?.... hopefully not. But, here are a few items from 1984 which now exist in modern life.

1984 : Newspeak
Now : Politically Correct speech



1984 : The red sash of the Junior Anti-Sex League
Now : The red ribbon of the Anti-Aids celibacy league



1984 : Telescreens in every room. The programming runs 24 hours a day, and the proles have no way of turning their screens off.
Now : Televisions in every room. The programming runs 24 hours a day, and the proles rarely turn their screens off.



1984 : Telescreens in all public and private places, so the populace could be watched to prevent thoughtcrime.
Now : Surveillance cameras in most buildings (operated by businesses), and in some public streets (operated by police) to prevent crime. Although most of these cameras are operated by private businesses instead of our intrusive government, the end result is the same.



1984 : Helicopters silently watch over the masses to keep people from committing thoughtcrime, by planting the fear of "always being watched"
Now : Helicopters silently watch over our highways to keep people from breaking traffic laws, by planting the fear of "always being watched"



1984 : Lotteries with very few (if any) winners. Held just to collect income for state, and to give hope to the masses
Now : Lotteries with very few (if any) winners. Held just to collect income for state, and to give hope to the masses.
Lotteries are basically a tax on stupidity. Anybody with any understanding of math at all knows that it is a complete waste of money. Since only 45% of the money collected from sales is sent back out as prizes, odds are that you are going to loose more than half of the money the put into it - and most people will not see any return on their investment what-so-ever.
Every time I see some minimum-wage-earning mother-of-four throwing her her hard earned five dollar bill down on the counter for a pack of cigarettes and a "chance to win millions", my cold heart melts. Lotteries and cigarette taxes are nothing more than a way to squeeze every last cent possible out of the lower and middle class, and the politicians that are responsible for these "poverty taxes" should be drug out into the street and shot.
When the state sold the idea to state run gambling to the public, they told us that the money would go to education. ("How can you be against the kids!") But, they failed to tell us that the existing funding would be pulled away to fund other projects, resulting in little if any gain for education.
And as I mentioned earlier, only 45% of lottery revenues are returned directly to the people in the form of prizes. And, if you happen to be the person that defies the odds and somehow manages to win that 45%, the federal and state taxes are going to reclaim 30%-50% of your winnings, which only leaves about 25%-30% of the original take for the the winners - the other 70%-75% being taken by the state.
And, as if that wasn't enough money to make the state happy, the "big money" prizes are usually paid off over a 20 year period. So, the prize winner's earning are diminished even further by inflation. But really, when you look at it, the government is actually keeping ALL of the money...

If a person wins $1,000,000, their yearly payments would be $50,000 a year. However, the interest on $1,000,000 at the prime rate (approx 8%) is is about $80,000 a year!... $30,000 more than is being paid off to the winner! Of course, the winner may elect to take half now ... which means state and federal governments will end up retaining 85%-90% of the original receipts!

And of course, any purchases made with your winnings will be subject to local sales tax...

No matter how you look at it, the only real winner is the state.



1984 : Ministry of Peace
Now : Department of Defense

1984 : Useless statistics, incorrect economic predictions, and slanted opinions polls are presented on the telescreen as "legitimate news", to give people the impression that "things are getting better", and that all people agree with the popular way of thinking.
Now : Useless statistics, incorrect economic predictions, and slanted opinions polls are presented on the Evening news as "legitimate news", to give people the impression that "things are getting better", and that all people agree with the popular way of thinking.



1984 : History is being rewritten, to conform with modern beliefs. All references to oldthink were being removed or rewritten.
Now : History is being rewritten, to conform with modern beliefs. The most obvious example of this - The removal of "racist", Violent, or Sexist material from popular cartoons. "Heckle & Jeckle" cartoons have been permanently shelved, since they are said to portray "negros". "Tom & Jerry" cartoons that contained the "mamma" character have also disappeared. You no longer see Daffy's head actually being blown off by Elmer. I recently saw an old superman cartoon in which the sexist line, "Isn't that too dangerous for a woman" (referring to Lois) was removed.



1984 : People are steered away from consuming rare goods such as Chocolate, Steak, Sugar, Coffee, Cigarettes, and alcohol by rationing.
Now : People are steered away from consuming rare goods such as Chocolate, Steak, Sugar, Coffee, Cigarettes, and alcohol by warnings that declare that these items are bad for your health.



1984 : There is always war. If peace is made with one country, war is claimed on another nation to keep the military machine rolling.
Now : There is always war. If peace is made with one country, war is claimed (or threatened) on another nation to keep the military machine rolling.



1984 : Songs are created by machines. This is done to make sure nobody can take credit for songs, or write songs not in line with Ingsoc.
Now : Songs are created by synthesizers. Nobody can realistically take credit for their own songs because most songs are re-mixes or a collage of dubs from other people's music.



1984 : Telescreen is full of confessions from "Thought criminals". They confessed to hatred of the government, crimes of all kinds, perversions of all kinds.
Now : Daytime talk shows are full of white trash who enjoy sharing tales of their pathetic existence with the whole world.



1984 : From Goldstein's book - "The effect (of the atomic wars) was to convince the ruling groups of all countries that a few more atomic bombs would mean the end of organized society, and hence of their own power. Thereafter, although no formal agreement was ever made or hinted at, no more bombs were dropped. All three powers merely continue to produce atomic bombs and store them up against the decisive opportunity which they all believe will come sooner or later. And meanwhile the art of war has remained almost stationary for thirty or forty years. Helicopters are more used than they were formerly, bombing planes have been largely superseded by self-propelled projectiles, and the fragile movable battleship has given way to the almost unsinkable Floating Fortress; but otherwise there has been little development. The tank, the submarine, the torpedo, the machine gun, even the rifle and the hand grenade are still in use. And in spite of the endless slaughters reported in the Press and on the telescreens, the desperate battles of earlier wars, in which hundreds of thousands or even millions of men were often killed in a few weeks, have never been repeated."
Now : The effect (of the only nuclear war in history, WWII) was to convince the ruling groups of all countries that a few more atomic bombs would mean the end of organized society, and hence of their own power. Thereafter, although the threat of atomic war remained, no more bombs were dropped. All atomic powers merely continued to produce atomic bombs and store them up against the decisive opportunity which they all believed will come sooner or later. And meanwhile the art of war has remained almost stationary for fifty or sixty years. Helicopters are more used than they were formerly, bombing planes have been largely superseded by self-propelled projectiles, and the fragile movable battleship has given way to the aircraft carrier, (which generally stays far away from any actual combat); but otherwise there has been little development. The tank, the submarine, the torpedo, the machine gun, even the rifle and the hand grenade are still in use. And in spite of the endless slaughters reported in the Press and on the television, the desperate battles of earlier wars, in which hundreds of thousands or even millions of men were often killed in a few weeks, have never been repeated.


Hmmm... maybe Orwell really could predict the future!

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