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Below are the 19 most recent journal entries recorded in Eric Blair's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, January 5th, 2012
7:05 pm
I'd like to get an annotated version of 1984 for my boyfriend. Okay, I want it too. I've been searching online but I'm not certain about any of the ones I've turned up since few that I think are annotated provide pictures of the pages. I'm looking for a hardcover and it must have the notes off to the side/on roughly the same page of the text to which it relates instead of in the back of the book or under the text. Does this exist? If so I'd really appreciate a link to a copy that's for sale or an author's name and year of publication. Thanks in advance.
Saturday, August 6th, 2011
4:31 pm
Tuesday, October 30th, 2007
2:23 am
Have people here seen the film, "Orwell Rolls In His Grave" by Robert Kane Pappas? I would say it is well researched, well interviewed, and rather well presented. I would highly recommend it if you have not seen it.
Friday, October 12th, 2007
11:54 pm
N.A.F.T.A. & The "Amero"
Actually, forget N.A.F.T.A., we know what that is. Let's discuss the Amero

So. The Amero. So we now know what it is. Now what do we do about it?
Saturday, May 26th, 2007
10:49 pm
Voices from history, encore un fois
I do love it when I read something that proves that some woe which is besetting us now is pretty much exactly the same as one which was known all too well to our forefathers. Here's a quote from which I have tippexed out the year:

"Up to a point, the sense of national unity is a substitute for a 'world-view'. Just because patriotism is all but universal and not even the rich are uninfluenced by it, there can come moments when the whole nation suddenly swings together and does the same thing, like a herd of cattle facing a wolf... But does this mean that the instinct of the English will always tell them to do the right thing? Not at all; merely that it will tell them to do the same thing. In the ____ General Election, for instance, we all did the wrong thing in perfect unison. We were as single-minded as the Gadarene swine. But I honestly doubt whether we can say that we were shoved down the slope against our will."

Those words were written ten years after the general election to which they refer. But they aren't from one of today's newspapers; they're from George Orwell's England Your England, written in 1941, and the year I omitted in the quotation was 1931.

It's because one constantly stumbles over gems like these that Orwell is one of the trio of essayists I admire above all others. (The other two members of the threesome, incidentally, are Walt Willis and Patrick Califia; now there's a triumvirate to conjure with.)

In the same essay we find:

"It should be noted that there is now no intelligentsia which is not in some sense 'Left'. Perhaps the last right-wing intellectual was T. E. Lawrence. Since about 1930 everyone describable as an 'intellectual' has lived in a state of chronic discontent with the existing order. Necessarily so, because society as it was constituted had no room for him."

Bugger me if that isn't still the case as well. Quick, now, can you name me a right-wing intellectual? I diffidently seek to argue that David Irving, Richard Littlejohn and Roger Scruton are disqualified from the latter title.

Orwell concludes the essay with one final prediction, wrong in all its specifics, yet with whose broad conclusion I find it hard to argue:

"It needs some very great disaster, such as prolonged subjugation by a foreign enemy, to destroy a national culture. The Stock Exchange will be pulled down, the country houses will be turned into children's holiday camps, the Eton and Harrow match will be forgotten, but England will still be England, an everlasting animal stretching into the future and the past, and like all living things, having the power to change out of recognition and yet remain the same."

Current Mood: impressed
Friday, December 1st, 2006
12:00 pm
HELP, please!
I'm almost on the edge of crying.
I need help.
I'm trying to write an essay on this book and I can't figure anything out. I have an idea and I've started my intro and it's about Nationalism. If any of you could just help me out or give me tips, it would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, November 13th, 2006
12:19 am
Bonjour mes ami(e)s!

I decided to read from chapter 2 on in "1984" all in one shot. It did take me about 4 and a half hours but it was worth it. Very exciting!

I have just a few things to confess. I did not read the Brotherhood book. Sorry but it was just too boring and I knew it wouldn't effect the storyline all that much. My reasoning for this is that Julia falls asleep while Winston is reading it to her. Hey, if she's allowed to fall asleep and not listen then I can skip it without reading it. I also did not read the whole explanation about Newsspeak. I didn't think it was important to me because I already understood. "Spoiler alert!!!" I did like the ending. It was good and it seemed to give me a sense of closure, but still there could have been more.

Anyway, does anyone know what might have been Julia's "Room 101" if Winston's was rats? I was thinking about it and I couldn't think of anything. I read this on a website and I thought it was hilarious: What if Julia was Winston's sister? LOL! How funny would that be.

Anywho, I might come back with more arguments and such.
Leave me some comments. I love 'em.
Tuesday, April 11th, 2006
12:49 pm
Secret Histories; Finding George Orwell in a Burmese Teashop
Has anybody here read "Secret Histories; finding George Orwell in a Burmese teashop" by Emma Larkin?

After my degree in the north of England I was (fairly predictably) a bleeding heart liberal left winger. However a gap year in the Far East has left me sliding more to the right... not so unlike the former Empire builders of Britain.

I rather horrifyingly identified with some of the things against Orwell (the mention of Orwell beating orientals as they could be so annoying)
Larkin strongly counters this, an obvious admirer of Orwell, as arguably we all are. Orwell is a liberal, he is a man of the people, how could such a thing be true?
However, dare I risk saying he was "only human" and the clashes between cultures can be so infuriating....

Just wondering if anyone has read this or has had similar experiences fancy bouncing off a few ideas?

Friday, March 24th, 2006
12:27 pm

From Overheard in NYC....

Teen boy: I haven't read one page of that Animal Farm.
Teen girl: Apparently, because we're reading 1984.

--6 train

Overheard by: jazz
Thursday, March 23rd, 2006
10:28 am
Hi everyone,

I'm rather new to this user group. George Orwell in my opinion one of the best authors England has ever produced. Much better than that overrated boring turd Dickens whose word is about as interesting as Celebrity Big brother.

Just finished reading Keep the Aspidistra Flying. What an astonishing book it is. So good to see that Gordon Comstock saw sense in the end, him and his ridiculous war on money. I was so experated with his character and his stupidity.

My favourite novel has to be Coming up for air.

What's everyone else's?

Current Mood: contemplative
Thursday, March 16th, 2006
1:22 pm
British political scariness! (multiple crossposts - sorry guys...)

Taken from Oldmotherchaos on LJ

First of all, ask yourself _carefully_: Do you clearly remember the details of how Hitler got himself legally appointed as Dictator of Germany?
The Reichstag Fire?
The mass-media promotion of the Communist Threat?
The Enabling Act?

If you're in the least bit fuzzy, go have a quick look at Wikipedia right now. Please. It's worth it.

All done? OK.

Now, I'd like to introduce you to the tediously-named Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill. You can find it here on the UK Government website: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmbills/111/06111.1-4.html

You probably haven't heard of it before, unless you're a habitual political activist. You should have, though. The Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons this week, where just a handful of MPs barely got the chance to debate it. It's now winding its way through towards quietly becoming a hideous turning point.

The Bill is actually written rather simply, for a piece of law. It's not very long. Have a look for yourself.

Under the terms of the Bill, a Cabinet Minster may alter any piece of UK legislation -- or draft an entirely new piece -- by issuing an "Order". That's right. The Bill grants Ministers the power to pass or amend laws almost as they see fit.

There are some restrictions, of course. There are a few trivial content restrictions. The Minister has to be personally satisfied that the Order is in line with what party policy hopes to achieve, for example. The Minister also has to accept that an Order cannot be used to remove a freedom which members of the public could reasonably expect to retain -- with the Minister deciding what reasonable expectations are, of course. New crimes created by Orders cannot have punishments more severe than two years imprisonment without trial, although of course multiple infringements can always be given to be served one after another.

The key defence though is that an Order has to be open to ratification by existing Parliament processes. It has to be voted into effect by Parliament.
It's OK after all...

...or is it?

The structure of Parliament and existing process means that whilst in theory the Bill would allow Parliament a vote on any given Order -- NOTE _not_ a debate; _not_ a change to amend; _not_ multiple readings; _not_ all the other usual structure of the government process, just a vote -- it would also be possible for Orders to come through Select Committees: in other words, to be rubber-stamped by Minister-selected groups of MPs.

Make no mistake. This Bill takes Parliament out of Government almost entirely -- something Blair is desperate to achieve, as he is currently having a terrible time fighting his parliament. Saner and wiser heads than mine are calling this the Abolition of Parliament Act. The media have been very, very, VERY quiet about this, which is frightening. There are a few articles, buried in the back of major papers and magazines:


Oh, in case you were wondering, the Bill allows for Orders to bind the Crown, so the Monarchy is no defense.

"Best" of all, the Bill can even be used to amend itself. So the idea of, oh, say, removing the requirement for Parliament to have the option to strike an Order down could be passed through Select Committee as one recommendation in a gargantuan, bland and otherwise mildly beneficial report on something really boring -- say giving MPs another pay rise -- and an Order implementing the report could be slipped through quietly late one night when only a handful of MPs are about. Wham. Suddenly, Ministers would have the power to pass any law they saw fit without debate, notice or redress, all nice and legal and contitutional and unavoidable. (This is the "Indian Rope Trick" that a couple of the news reports mention).

When the bill was first introduced, Ministers promised it wouldn't be used for anything controversial, just for streamlining existing laws relating to business. This week, they were down to saying it wouldn't be used to do anything extremely controversial -- and even that tiny safeguard is being refused admission to the law. Already they're getting the bit between their teeth, and it isn't even passed yet.

If you don't find this terrifying, I suggest you read some of the other Constitution articles and links from the news sources above, go back to Wikipedia and read more about Hitler, or go read some current affairs sites regarding Iran, Iraq, "Terrorism", "Pedophilia", modern Surveillance, and the removal of rights to political protest in recent years.

Then ask yourself -- if someone in the modern world truly wanted to take over, and had studied 20th century history, and knew where the Bolsheviks and the Nazis had gone right AND where they'd gone wrong; someone very clever and very manipulative; someone who knew how to avoid spooking the herd; who knew how to manipulate the media; who truly believed He knew what was best for everyone -- what sort of strategy would such a person take, knowing that the hysteria that swept the Nazis through would ring alarm bells this time round? OK, I admit it, this paragraph is assuming the worst. But please, think. There is no possible justification for this power grab. Can you truly afford to risk assuming the best -- and of our politicians, no less -- on this one?

Note to UK Residents: You can get a template letter to send to your MP from some activist types here http://www.hoojum.com/LARRB/LARRB.html

Please. Make use of it right now. Please.

Note to Non-UK Residents: You know how Hollywood always casts Brits as the sly, manipulative villains who catch everyone by surprise by not being as cultured as they sounded? Now you know why. Do not assume you are safe. If our lot get away with this, your lot will follow suit faster than you can say "Bill of No Rights".

Note to everyone: This is extremely important. Please feel free to do whatever you want with any or all of this text, including link it, copy it, blog it, post it, paste it, stick it, stuff it or T-shirt it.
Wednesday, December 28th, 2005
12:59 pm
Hello everyone!
Hello everyone! This is a great community and I'm just introducing myself. I'm Danielle and I'm from Australia. I also run a community in which I post news bulletins and welcome debate. Plus post your own entires as well. It's called Politically aware: a community for leftwingers. Please join it. My favourite Orwell books are 1984 and Keep the asipistra flying. He's my favorite author.
Wednesday, August 24th, 2005
4:02 pm

Hello, I need help! Well, I have a writing assignment due on the first day of school.. which is tomorrow. The assignment asks to compare/contrast with self-deception in the book with people just in general. The assignment also asks to write about the phenomenon of double think, from what I remember it means something about holding two contradicting ideas in one's mind, right?  My problem is not understing what this assignment is asking for, it's how to start off writing about this and keep having more to write about. So if anyone would like to help me with this, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Oh and I know this community is discussing about Orwell-related things, and I'm not exactly doing that here..so if it bothers anyone, you can just delete this. Any recommendations for an active community on help with writing would help A LOT. Thanks!

Friday, July 8th, 2005
11:08 am

From mtwib on another Lj site, cross referenced by queenvish :

Global History: Kids, we're going to study the art of propaganda/diversion; today I'd like to write a quick essay outline comparing fictional works of literature and Western History.

Geez, I hope my essay isn't too much of a repeated cliche...
p1. Islam... err I mean Al-qaeda = the "Brotherhood"
p2. Osama B. = Goldstein/snowball
p3. Media outlets = Squealer? hmmm... I need to think about this one
p4. Idiots who get all sentimental |by propaganda, not for humanity| and start wailing "omg omg those fucking [insert public enemy of the day]" *two minutes hate* then go back watching... bay watch = same thing (except they tend to be more useful afterwards)

Maybe it'd be more effective to make the essay more blunt, this is just a rough draft mind you...

Thursday, February 17th, 2005
8:19 pm
Bin Laden - Goldstein
How much, would you say, can Osama Bin Laden be compared with Emmanuel Goldstein? I know that Goldstein is a much more obvious parallel to Stalin's Trotsky but is there anything you feel is similar with Bin Laden today? I am not referring to Osama himself but to the fear built up around him and the terrorist frenzy that was built up on purpose in America. The goverment put the country into a paranoid state whilst failing to deal with the problem itself. It wouldn't surprise me if something like a Two Minute Hate took place for a while.

Current Mood: bored
Sunday, January 2nd, 2005
3:05 pm
'We' and '1984'
Anyone see the similarities between Yevgeny Zamyatin's (1884-1937) 'We' and '1984'? . I thought it was quite similar in parts and was written in 1924, quite a while before 1984.

Read more...Collapse )
Monday, December 6th, 2004
1:38 pm
In my community, del_libro we are reading 1984 by George Orwell this month so if you are interested in joining in on discussion you are more than welcome to do so, since the members of this community are obviously fans of Orwell. Also, offering up the parrallels from the book to present-day-America or other countries is a welcomed topic, just so long as they are connected to the book itself. Thanks!
Sunday, September 26th, 2004
6:16 pm
Not exactly Orwell, but...
I was at the library not too long ago, when I came across a book by Anthony Burgess called 1985. I found myself flipping through it and it seemed to be mostly a detailed explanation of Nineteen eighty-four and its themes. I (regretfully) did not check it out as I already had plenty of reading to do. Does anyone here know anything else about this book?

Saturday, August 28th, 2004
11:51 pm
"you hit the road and left me an ocean..."
Hello, I've only read a couple of Orwell's works but I loved 1984 so much that it compelled me to join this community. I'm actually surprised that they had us read Orwell books at my old high school, with all of the political censorship that goes on in the country and all. But I'm glad they did, otherwise it would have taken me much longer to discover Orwell. I suppose that's it. Any suggestions on good books to read are welcome. thanks.

Current Mood: tired
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