Saturday, October 18, 2008

Doublethink ungood

Once in a while you get one of those books that you finish and you close the cover and look at it and go, "Fuck. It's over." And then you have to think about everything you just took in for a really, really long time.

Yes, fine, you may have read 1984 in middle school or your boring sophomore year English class. But I have only moments ago finished the story, the appendix, and the afterword.

Dystopian novels are my favorite kind, without question, but never before has a book really scared, or depressed, me as much as 1984. I think I gained a lot more reading it now, at this point in my life, than I would have being forced to skim through chapter after chapter by a classroom reading syllabus. I appreciate it. I fucking loved it. I love Orwell, without a doubt. I recently downloaded Animal Farm onto my iPhone and I have read it over at least twice since last week. But I veer from the point. 1984 is sad and provoking.

I think there was something in the appendix, though, that mentioned a sort of... new renaissance. It was just a passing thought, maybe just a hypothetical reference, but I think we're going to have one. Another renaissance, where people look back at their heartless and shallow lives and maybe some extremists out there become philosophers and we have a breakthrough in arts and culture and poetry and philosophy and everyone comes up with great new ideas about how people are supposed to live to be able to grasp their full potential as loving, living, human beings. And maybe then the militaries worldwide will downsize and people will start to think differently. Or maybe not.

But I don't want my world to become a dystopia.
I don't want to be taken over by the eye of a church-government
I don't want to love Big Brother
I don't want to come from a test tube and take happy-drugs
No, I don't want to live in a world where people can't be people.

The one we have right now is... all right. It could be a million times better but it's going one way or another. I'm not sure which.

But as for now, in a facebook chat message I just sent to my mom, "I just read 1984 and I need to be reminded that the world is still okay."


Tracy said...

Kate, the world is okay.

Your writing gives me hope for the future!

Jennifer said...

Orwell is brilliant. And his books will haunt you forever... I mean really forever. But, that's why they are so important. Probably not a week of my life has gone by that I haven't thought about 1984 or Animal Farm. It's incredible how parables written in the 1940s, can still be so topical today, eh?

Frosty said...

God, I really really really hope that we have a new renaissance. Sometimes I think that maybe this whole "recession" thing is a blessing. Maybe if people didn't have so much money to throw away on useless crap, maybe if we were forced to focus on THINGS THAT REALLY MATTER, maybe we could start to heal the world. It genuinely frightens me, how superficial people can be. How wealth oriented we are. How bowled over we are by expensive, plastic-y things. I don't want to be like that. Ever. Sometimes I'm secretly glad that I'm broke because I think if I weren't, I would also be obsessed with obtaining plastic-y brand-name things. Actually, I know I would. I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I think I'd rather be focused on figuring out how to pay my rent, than collecting the newest, most expensive, fanciest whatever. And yet, I also don't want the world to become a dystopia. No, no. I want the world to be like a hippie commune: Over-flowing with love and happiness, laughter and dancing.

I don't know when to shut up, do I?