Written by matwil
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Wednesday, 16 December 2009

image for 'Two Thousand and Ten' by Eric Blair

'2010 was the year that it all happened.

The Party had never been more firmly in control of Airstrip One, thought Winston Smith, as he arrived at his office at the Ministry of Lies, and settled down at his work writing articles for The Daily Wail. Reaching for his dictionary to check how to spell 'US' and 'win a war', he gazed absently out of the window as another rocket bomb exploded near Wapping. Oh well, he thought, only more dead journalists there so no-one will mind, when all of a sudden his manageress Velcra Thunding came hurriedly into the room.

'Ah, there you, Smith', she said to him, 'stop what you're doing and write this up', and she passed him a sheet of paper, 'it will be double ungood for you if you don't get it finished by noon', and she left as quickly as she had arrived. Winston picked up the sheet and had a quick look at it.

'From: Ministry of Hate; Subject: Excuse to invade oil fields in Iraq needed; Use: much patriotic talk to make the proles believe in excuse; Help: 2 massive rocket bombs will be fired by Ministry of Peace into city centre tomorrow, air force will allow them to fly unopposed into tower blocks to frighten proles into supporting invasion of oil fields. Big Brother is Watching You'.

Winston sighed, how he remembered dreaming of writing as art and literature, with books about characters and worlds created where there was no Big Brother and no telescreens or newspapers.

But then the daily Two Minute Hate began. Led by Thunding the day's subject was the world of Islam, and soon fellow workers all around him began ranting and raving against quite harmless parts of the world, such as the United Arab Emirates and India, and after only a few seconds Winston found himself blaming Muslims for everything from his bicycle tires being let down last week to terrorists who were actually an American invention, not a Muslim one, in Afghanistan. After the Hate he wrote what he thought was rather a good article.

Although not even The Daily Wail could blame Islam for two massive rocket bombs landing in London, he decided to use the standby hate figure of Goldladen, once a personal friend of Big Brother but now apparently an expert in international terrorism, a ridiculous idea he knew, but that's what he had to write to make the proles believe in the article.

Of course, anyone with half a brain cell knew that Big Brother knowing Goldladen, then two rockets hitting London supposedly fired by Goldladen, would seem as if Big Brother had in fact told Goldladen to fire the missiles to kill his own people, but Winston dismissed such thoughts from his mind as being Unpluspatriotic.

Such thought crimes had become more and more uppermost in his mind, he knew, but he must trust Big Brother - although he knew the very article he was writing, blaming Goldladen for tomorrow's rocket attacks and hinting that the Muslim world supported such attacks - though it didn't - would be enough to get the proles to accept a military invasion of Iraq, illogical as it seemed.

For the skill in journalism was never to base articles on the truth, but to hint at what articles were really about rather than use any details, so Goldladen and 2 rocket bombs hitting London would hint that Goldladen - a Muslim - was stirring up the Islamic world against Big Brother and Airstrip One, and the first step to prevent that was to invade a Muslim country. With plenty of oil in it, of course.

At lunch Winston had his usual bowl of cabbage soup and a stale piece of bread, all washed down with a glass of Defeat gin, and wondered as always how the proles could accept such lies as he had just written. It was so obviously Big Brother's own doing in sending the 2 rockets into London - he had seen the instructions from the Ministry of Hate admitting it! -

but his article, full of jingoistic nonsense about 'the war on terror' and 'the evil Goldladen and his army of spies everywhere', plus lots of words such as 'proud', 'military', 'democracy' and 'peace', would stir them up to accept any invasion of any country, as long as it was a Muslim one with some connection with Goldladen, and had a leader that could also be turned from a friend of Big Brother's into a cartoon hate figure enemy of his.

But before the lunch break ended Winston Smith was told by a rather attractive girl that O'Brien wanted to see him at once, and he had another quick Defeat gin to nerve himself for such an interview - for O'Brien was The Party's representative here in the Ministry of Lies, and seeing him could only mean he had done something wrong. But what?

Making his way up the stairs to the top floor, he knocked on O'Brien's door and went in. 'Smith', O'Brien said, 'sit down', which he did. 'It has come to my attention that your articles are not up to standard, and have lacked that patriotic fervour we desire in all Daily Wail stories.' 'Well -' 'Please say nothing. I want you to watch this on the telescreen', and pressing a button a video film began playing on it.

'War is Peace', said a voice, 'for with war can only come safety and togetherness and ultimately peace. The continents of Eurasia and Oceania are in a dynamic power struggle for control of the world, and only total war and fear can drive the people of Airstrip One onwards towards victory. And so Big Brother decided to fire rocket bombs at his own people for their own good and safety', and Winston gasped at such treacherous talk.

'Airstrip One has no real enemies, nor has it ever been attacked by any. Tomorrow's rocket bombs will make the proles more patriotic and supportive of Big Brother and hence The Party, the proles will actually enjoy the death and suffering involved, for it will give them a purpose in life, one to defeat Goldladen and to secure final victory against him and the Muslim world. But there is no Goldladen, nor any terrorist network out to destroy Airstrip One - it has all been the work of Big Brother', and O'Brien switched off the telescreen.

'You can turn it off!', exclaimed Smith, for telescreens could not usually be switched off and in fact watched people 24 hours a day, even in their homes. 'Yes', said O'Brien, 'but what of that small programme about war?' 'Is it really true? That Big - Big Brother actually fires rocket bombs into London himself?'

'It is quite true, yes,' 'But that is terrible! Surely somebody has noticed?' 'Not the proles, just look at your article today - as long as it's full of patriotism and flags and a hate figure to blame from a foreign culture, the proles support an almost permanent war against a vague enemy that doesn't actually exist. Which keeps Big Brother in power.'

And then suddenly O'Brien produced a small cage from under his desk, and placed it on his table, and in it was a gigantic savage rodent that answered to the name of 'Sybil'. Winston paled as he saw the rat, for since childhood his one fear had been of rats, and now he was sweating and shaking a little. 'Don't like rats, do you, Smith?' and Winston found that his arms were suddenly strapped to his chair, and O'Brien brought the cage close to his face.

'Now, start believing Goldladen is evil, and the Muslim world hates Big Brother and wants to destroy Airstrip One, or this rat will tear your face off!', and soon Winston started to believe it all, anything to save him from the rat.

'And Big Brother would never send 2 rocket bombs into London, would he? And it was the Muslim Goldladen who did - I mean will do it', and Winston believed that too, even though it was he who had written the article for the Ministry of Peace under the instructions given to invent such a tale. 'And Big Brother loves us all, does he not?', and Winston actually felt the love of that wonderful leader, and soon he was outside O'Brien's room again.

Life seemed so much easier now, he thought, and he had a new purpose - to help defeat the hated Goldladen, who sent those rockets to kill the people of London. And if Big Brother told him to make up a story about him landing on the Moon, even though it is scientifically impossible for a human being to survive the atmosphere there, he would write such an article.

For War is Peace, he thought happily, Love is Hate, and Americans are Morons that Believe their own Leaders, even though those leaders are war criminals who would think nothing of allowing 2 rocket bombs to fly into their capital city centre and kill over 3,000 of their own citizens, to give them an excuse to invade an oil-rich Muslim country but blame it all on a cartoon hate figure.

Big Brother is Watching You

'

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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