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1984

Posted by Abaco 7 months, 2 weeks ago to Movies
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In a few sessions (kids running around me and luckily I had it on my DVR) I watched 1984 last night - the version with John Hurt. I was saddened by his recent death as I was a fan of much of his work. But, this was the first time I had seen this movie. The torture at the end was tough for me to get though. I actually skipped some of it. It gave me nightmares last night. Man, it was brutal. But, what a fascinating story. I read the book for the first time a few months ago so I was interested in seeing this. Any others here see this? And, what did you think? The young lady who played Julia was great. That scene where Winston is sitting there by himself in the Ministry of Love, out of his mind, calling her name was heart wrenching.


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  • Posted by Lucky 7 months, 2 weeks ago
    George Orwell is one of the greatest writers in the English language.

    True, as ewv and dbhalling remind us, he was a socialist
    (communist/fabian - excuse my ignorance of the nomenclature).
    He had thought patterns, beliefs, different from most on this forum.
    What is undeniable, apart from superb command of language and story telling, is the honesty.

    He saw what was going on in the Soviet Union,
    it was not the same as the image presented, or what the supporters claimed,
    and likely not what he wanted to see.
    Words that he invented to describe what was happening are often used in this forum,
    correctly and maybe without contributors knowing the source.
    His books, 1984 and Animal Farm, tho' novels,
    are devastating critiques of communism in practice.
    The left hate him.

    It may be that he did not see that what happened was inevitable.
    He may have thought that communism could have a 'gentler kinder face'.
    This lack of analysis and insight are to be criticized.
    The monumental genius of his work still stands.
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    • Posted by 7 months, 2 weeks ago
      I heard a theory about Orwell (Eric Blair) recently that stuck in my craw. The theory was that he wrote the book not as a warning but in gloating. The theory was that he was thinking, "This is what we're going to do to all you sheep and there's nothing you can do to stop it." The person stating this theory said that Orwell said similar statements in public near the end of his life...almost poking fun at people. Then, I started thinking - as I did while reading the book for the first time last year. "Why would they have high school kids read this? They'd never understand it." Think about that. If you wanted to wave this in people's faces why not make it required reading for kids? To me, it kind of came together that this theory about Orwell might be correct. He was gloating.

      I read it finally because an adult friend of mine (with a degree in history, interestingly) kept prompting me to read it, saying I'd enjoy it. This is in contrast to a vast majority of adults who say, "Oh, they made me read it in high school. I don't remember it." How could one not remember it? For the same reason they wouldn't understand it. They hadn't lived long enough or seen enough to make the connection.
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    • Posted by jdg 7 months, 2 weeks ago
      The man had some great insights -- especially his descriptions of the Soviet leadership in Animal Farm. He just failed to connect the dots. You simply can't create an all-powerful bureaucracy (whether or not you call it "government") and expect it to be controlled by good guys and stay that way. Human nature says it won't. Thus you need to design in a way it can be overthrown, and I don't mean just elections.

      I wish he had lived long enough to see the economic collapse of the "democratic socialist" states, including Britain and Sweden before they began instituting market reforms.
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    • Posted by Seer 7 months, 2 weeks ago
      He self-identified as a "Socialist", but that was based on his perception of Social Injustice, as he observed it in Southeast Asia.

      I thought at one time that he couldn't see the consequences of Socialism, but on further reflection, I agree in part with you: he saw the effects as they were occurring, but separated them from the idiotology itself. He couldn't see that Socialism/Communism, what have you, would "always" produce tyranny and abuse of power. He fought for Social Justice, but couldn't see the implications of its consequences, nor could he, apparently, see there are other ways to help improve the economic lot of a people, other than to destroy their individuality.
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      • Posted by ewv 7 months, 2 weeks ago
        So-called "social justice" is collectivism. The Fabian Socialists were overt socialists, not concerned with "southeast Asia". Their anti-capitalist foreign policy opposed Britain everywhere in the world.
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        • Posted by Seer 7 months, 2 weeks ago
          I'm .going to take pity on you, like it or not.

          It doesn't matter what kind of socialist, collectivist, whatever term you want to hang on Orwell. He saw social injustice, primarily in the colonial states of Southeast Asia, and wanted to alleviate it. He resorted to a type of social "awareness", and self-identified as a Socialist, not understanding that any attempt at trying to bring about social equality---notice I did not say equality under the law, which is a different thing entirely---necessitates totalitarianism. Also, he couldn't see that there are other means to improve the economic lot of people, then by destroying their individuality.
          End of problem, as my physics professor used to say, as he was erasing the equations before I had a chance to write them down,.
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  • Posted by term2 7 months, 2 weeks ago
    Look at the violence of the liberals now that they lost "power". Its not the right that is violent, its the left. We didnt riot in the streets when Obama took over, but these liberals are the ones who cant accept the results of the election.
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    • Posted by ewv 7 months, 2 weeks ago
      The violence we see from the left isn't since they lost the election. They were using it before the election from inside the government. The left always takes to the streets when out of power. They have done that at least since the rise of the New Left at universities in the 1960s and 70s where they executed well-planned "spontaneous peaceful protests"
      employing violence and coercion, much of it deliberately trying to provoke the police into appearing to be the violence.
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  • Posted by  $  Stormi 7 months, 2 weeks ago
    I first read "1984" in hgh school in the 60s, the same year I read "Brave New World". When our daughter reached middle school, I had her read them (she has very high IQ), then when she was in high school, I got a copy of the movie of "s984" and we watched it together. We were about speechless at the violence, but not surprised.I Also before high school, I had her read "Anthem" by Rand, which she ver much understood and saw similarities all about her in school indoctrination. Back when I read it I was into all things Brit Lit and what was classified as science fiction, but had too many elements of truth to ignroe as such. I had lived nearWhite Sands, I had lived where communists were recruiting in North Dakota, openly, in the 50s. I knew the possibility of a collectivist nation, and it scared me. My father, a businessman, lived by the principals of Objectviism, without knowing much of Rand, never was sure if it was his background or instinct, but he was the closest to an Objectivist I have known, and it was natural to him. He parented according to those same principles. I fear today's high school kids would need a tutor to understand the meaning of "1984", I hate to say it, but I am sure they could not even get through AS. Sad, very sad. Wonder how Rand would have handled social media, Internet games, and teaching Objectivism?
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    • Posted by ewv 7 months, 2 weeks ago
      Some in high school do get through Atlas Shrugged, which used to be considered mostly for college and beyond. Those who need a tutor to get through 1984 would probably wind up with a socialist tutor who doesn't understand it.

      As for teaching Objectivism, Ayn Rand advocated that people who agree with her go into the professions, including teaching and writing, and apply her ideas (not endlessly squabble over what 'Objectivist' group they feel accepted in).
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      • Posted by  $  Stormi 7 months, 2 weeks ago
        Sadly, our state has really bad reading scores and pretty liberal teachers, the kind who criticize AS, but never were able to make it through it themselves. Our local well-funded school district got failing scores overall this past time. We have teachers who major in the vague topic of "education", having majored in no real subject. They have not yet determined that rights are not gifts but things you earn through responsible actions. And we are a rural community, not inner city! Altruism and collectivism are running rampant in this country. When I recently was asked to join a civic organization, based solely on altruism, they could not understand when I said I was an Objectivist and did not do altruism.
        I worked as a reporter, for a while, and you actually had to sneak any Objectivist guided thought in just before press time. It was all about collectivism and altruism if you did the job as the editor wanted. I quit after several years and went back into our accounting partnership.with my husband. I still write letters to editor, which I can get in with non-collectivist ideas. Teachers are quitting right and left, older ones, who could have taught AS, the newer ones are sadly brainwashed. I feel so lucky that when I was in college, I had the head of the philosophy dept., a great fan of Rand, include it her philosophy in his lessons, and encouraged me to read more of her work, which I could not get enough of. He opened up the avenue to Philosophy becoming my co-major. Not all colleges are as positive toward Rand, obviously.I have heard some say she is not a philosopher. Luckily, I never had to study under them. As to acceptance, an Objectivist does not not seek nor care about acceptance, That does not mean that disagreements cannot be civil for the sake of the betterment of both sides of the debate. I read Trump was a fan of AS, but he could temper his outburst and remember not everyone is to the point of having grasp AS yet.
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  • Posted by  $  Zero 7 months, 2 weeks ago
    I liked the movie and it was an Important Book.
    It was required reading a million years ago when I was in school.

    I don't really care that he was a socialist. I have found truth in far stranger places.

    How poor would l be if the only people I learned from were other Objectivists.
    I have a decent library that I am sorta proud of, but only a dozen books or so were written by Objectivists.

    But 1984 is something I've pondered before...
    https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...
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  • Posted by ewv 7 months, 2 weeks ago
    Orwell was a Fabian socialist who tried to present communism as different than his own collectivism, blaming the atrocities on only a wrong implementation, as if anything else were possible. Readers are properly appalled at the systematic abuses portrayed in his novels, but don't typically realize the premises he was promoting. I haven't seen the movies based on his books.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 7 months, 2 weeks ago
    I read the book long ago, and I recall it building up terror, the kind where the threat out of sight is scarier than an explicit description of the threat.

    It was awful that that kindly hotel operator turned on them. I remember thinking I couldn't imagine a world with a microphone in every room. Now I live in such a world.

    I saw a play version of it ten years ago at the Overture Center, and I found the torture scene extremely tiresome. The book had this looming threat of the place of no darkness and Room 101. The drawn out torture scene I saw was gratuitous.
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