Welcome to Airstrip One

This is so brilliant that I felt like I needed to reproduce it in its entirety on my own weblog, but let me give credit where it is due- It is lifted verbatim from my favorite weblog, Scary Duck, winner of the Best British Weblog 2001, as decided by the readers of the Machester Guardian. Read this, then go read more.

“Welcome to Airstrip One”

George Orwell was surprisingly on the button. OK, so he was the best part of twenty years out, but his nightmare vision for society of 1984 is just about upon us. Government, if they really wanted to, can follow your every move through TV cameras, logging credit card purchases, tapping your mobile phone and filtering your e-mail.

Life is reduced to a uniform mediocrity of work, drive, TV with a compliant media to feed you what they want you to hear. In America in particular, where the major TV networks and newspaper owners give money to both the major parties, no-one dares ask questions. There is no new Bernstein and Woodward to question the motives and actions of those in power because if Watergate happened now, the story would be ruthlessly spiked. It took foreign media to expose Jeb Bush’s election-winning vote-rigging in Florida, and by then nobody cared, and if the story made the papers, it was on page 32, just next to the funnies.

But where Orwell really got it right was on Big Brother’s need for war. In 1984, The Party knew that Oceania had to be at war permanently, with either Eurasia or Eastasia to keep the proles’ minds off what is going on around them. Bush knows this, so does the Prime Minister of Airstrip One. The war on drugs, the war on terrorism, the war to finish what Daddy started, it’s been non-stop, while at home governments have been passing laws to restrict civil liberties under the banner of “If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear.” How long until we get the compulsory Two Minutes Hate and the “Big Brother is Watching You” posters? Are we all the victims of the most outrageous con-trick of all time? Funny how the bad guys always seem to get away…”

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