The hallway stank of boiled cabbage and old rag mats, both government-issued.
At one end of the hallway, a coloured poster, too large for indoor display, had been tacked to the wall. It depicted simply an enormous face, more than a metre wide: the face of a man about 45, with a heavy black moustache and ruggedly handsome features.
Winston made for the stairs. It was no use trying the lift. Even at the best of times, it was seldom working, and at present, the electric current was cut off during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive in preparation for Hate Week.
Shades of useful Green idiots’ demand for Energy Conservation measures that has opened the means for a computer-age government to joyfully engage in more people-control by reducing the temperature to individual households and rationing brown-out-quality power distribution to two hours a night.
Winston’s government-assigned flat was seven flights up...On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which was so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move.
“Big Brother is watching you,” the caption beneath it read.
The above paraphrased words are from Nineteen Eighty-Four, a prophecy written by George Orwell, who was born Eric Arthur Blair on June 25, 1903, in India. The title is a reversal of 1948, the year Orwell wrote the futuristic story but was at a loss as to what to call his telling masterpiece before submitting to the publisher.
Orwell, a political writer, who could read the future because he was a profound observer and knew history, grew up in England and wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four because there was a lie he wanted exposed.
His initial concern was to achieve a hearing, just as thinking journalists today want to expose Big Banks’ hidden plot to manipulate the Bilderberg Group and corrupt United Nations to establish a One-World Government that is generations old in planning and incredibly evil in intent.
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the 39-year-old protagonist Winston Smith wants to break the bonds and be free from totalitarian control held by The Party that is led by Big Brother.
It stands to reason that anybody, anywhere, caught under a tyrannical regime and has lost all freedoms of voice and movement would want to be out from under the thumb of big government.
Society was divided into two classes: Party members and proles (proletariats), who were the workers doing mindless jobs in government cubicles. They spent their spare time soused on cheap government-issued gin to escape the oppression.
They could talk in places like the cafeteria but one could never be too careful of what he said or to whom he was saying it. Party members, posing adroitly as proles, served as Big Ears and Big Eyes as a method for surreptitiously catching and arresting those who were disloyal to Big Brother.
Also forbidden under the regime was the natural instinct of intimacy. Everybody was supposed to be content loving the leader and be dedicated to the cause. Ownership of personal possessions also was banned. Big Brother thought it sufficient to provide each person with the same meagre socialistic “necessities” to sustain an existence.
Inside his flat, Winston is instructed several times by the gruff female officer on the monitor to move back into the line of vision so she can watch him. He is under remote surveillance, the same as computer cameras allow Google and the government to spy on you in the workplace, marketplace, travel stations, highways, airports, and even the so-called “privacy” of your own home today.
Anybody who has not been tortured into behaving as a loyal supporter of Big Brother is under suspicion for some imaginary wrongdoing. Winston lives in constant fear of inevitable arrest. He knows one day he will have to atone for his “sins” at the police station, where he eventually awaits his turn for interrogation and an attitude adjustment.
He was caught with a forbidden paperweight as a personal possession and for having an affair in a room over the shop where he had bought the paperweight. And, Heaven forbid, the couple was caught drinking real black-market coffee. The shop owner turned out to be a Party faithful and the police could spy on the couple through cameras installed in the wall hangings. Lesson: cover up your computer cameras!
Before the electrical shock treatments finished, Winston will be thoroughly indoctrinated into believing that 2 plus 2 really does equal 5. Repeat anything--even a lie--often enough and people will believe it. Instead of electric shocks that broke Winston into an obedient slave to Big Brother’s cause, the modern “electric shocks” are Marxist media sound bites.
Orwell warned that only a strong commitment to liberty could prevent his prophecy of totalitarianism from coming true. People must be vigilant, he urged.
He saw the first step down the road to totalitarianism as the misuse of the English language.
Big Brother makes full use of Newspeak and Doublespeak: “Ignorance is Strength, “Freedom is Slavery” and--the favourite slogan of the corrupt United Nations gang and the warmongering U.S. President Barack Obama--“War is Peace”.
Shades of a German phrase, "Arbeit macht frei", meaning "work sets you free", that was welded over the gates to Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps.
As Orwell predicted, people of the English-speaking countries have been brainwashed through politically-correctness to accept new definitions to old words. Lexicographers have eliminated perfectly-good words from dictionaries and added new words and phrases. And the public lazily joined the frolic of replacing these interesting words with meaningless, sterile acronyms and initialisms.
Computer technology and the owners of electronic gadgets have been very useful idiots indeed in “communicating” in a bastardized lingo, about as functional as Pig Latin, that is nevertheless handy for supplanting liberty with totalitarianism.
References to Orwell’s book have become commonplace as the thinking middle-class watch a warped, tunnel-visioned Marxist society, coerced by elitists, plunge headlong into this dangerous nightmare trap, which Orwell begged people to avoid at all cost.
“It depends on you,” he said, shortly after his book was published in 1949.
Yet we failed Orwell; we failed ourselves. The dangerous precipice he went to great lengths to warn us away from, we have stupidly leaped over.
Why? Obviously because society is comprised of a bunch of idiotic alarmists who keep encouraging the government onward with the rotgut “public safety” measures to protect society from non-existent bogeymen.
Here’s a glimpse of how it happened...
Ten years ago, customers waiting in Whitehorse bank line-ups amused themselves watching the Main Street foot-and-vehicular traffic on the TV screen. It was a novelty and nobody opposed the intrusion into their privacy (except me) because they were too stupid to know or care their privacy was being invaded.
“You can’t identify who the people are,” Yukoners scoffed, thoughtlessly, not knowing or caring that the cameras could zoom in and count the eyelashes on an individual’s face, if Big Brother desired.
Within 10 years, the stupid, politically-correct public had encouraged the government to “bring on more surveillance devices” outside and inside buildings. People’s brains were warped into believing that if they were not doing anything wrong, they had nothing to fear.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Yet people waited anxiously for the government to keep them in check.
Cameras and bugging devices, they thought, would reduce crime or would at least help police catch and charge more criminals, not realizing that the government’s intention is to catch and convict innocent people who can be turned into instant offenders, locked away in government-owned prisons and added to an infamous crime registry.
Maybe one reason for this naive societal attitude was no notices were posted that the street was under camera surveillance, which possibly would have given people the creeps--or at least food for thought--whether they’re doing or saying anything “wrong” or not.
But, as in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, who knows under today’s politically-correct standards what is meant by the once perfectly-good word “wrong”? It could mean arrest because the phrase Zero Tolerance has come into play and does not allow for moving outside the monitor’s line of vision like Orwell’s character Winston Smith did.
Ten years ago, Nineteen Eighty-Four was referred to in the news in places like London, England, and Tampa, Florida, where snoop software was developed by privately-owned companies who were happy to accommodate cops in their passion for high-tech toys.
The surveillance program took a picture of everyone walking by. Then the software scanned the face to see if it matched any of the faces in the database.
Did anybody ever say you look like “so-and-so”? Imagine all the injustices that will be perpetrated on innocent people--whatever the once perfectly-good word “innocent” means nowadays--regardless that software creators and police swear on their usual mantra that there was no room for abuse.
I differ greatly in opinion.
This disgusting example of a screw-up didn’t occur because of a facial scanning error. It happened because...because...why in hell did it happen? Computer error? Human error? Zero Tolerance?
No, it happened because the government is a body without a head to hold a brain; government cannot do anything right because policies are etched into bureaucrats’ brains; common sense receives a Zero Tolerance rating.
A bozo government Agent manning disembarking passengers at the London Heathrow Airport couldn’t discern the difference between a picture of James Williams, a black Nigerian male, who had opened a London bank account under that name--assumed or not--and the real life figure and passport photo of a young, attractive, white, blonde woman of Irish stock who had come in on a commercial carrier from New York.
The Agent arrested Laura Williams ON MISTAKEN IDENTITY, although she was not advised at the time what her fake sin was.
Doesn’t that go against the grain of natural, constitutional and human rights? It does if the police do the arresting but not if some other figure of authority is at the helm.
Ms. Williams was locked in a cell, rubbed down, patted down, groped, cavity searched, and otherwise humiliated, while frantically puzzling over what the authorities could have possibly pinned on her. She was stripped of her dignity but was at least able to maintain a modicum of composure, believing that the authorities would eventually realize the error and release her.
Hours later--maybe the next day--Ms. Williams was released. The “brilliant” authorities realized they had detained the WRONG person! What was their first clue? Maybe the gender was wrong? The skin colour was wrong? The first names were different in the database?
How could they have ever mistaken these two people, even if the computers were bringing up everybody with the surname “Williams” and detaining every “Williams” who might be on certain flights? Did they have to do an intrusive body search to determine that this young lady was in fact a female and not one of those black, money-swindling Nigerian SPAM artists who was wanted for Internet fraud?
This is where Zero Tolerance for idiots should come into play.
I’m not buying the garbage the government always peddles about “no room for errors”. Their programs are designed to be riddled with lies, mistakes and errors. The whole thrust of the surveillance exercise is to make criminals out of all citizens who aren’t already criminals.
And now the U.S. federally-funded “Intelligence Street Lights” program, known as “Intello-Streets”, has been developed to install in major American cities to listen to and record people’s street talk.
As usual, the average sheeple doesn’t know and, if he did, wouldn’t care. However, he is eventually going to be arrested for loitering or for using what was once a perfectly-good English word in the wrong politically-correct context.
If this spy program is in Canada, Canadians don’t know about it yet because George Radwanski is no longer the federal Privacy Commissioner, who reported directly to Parliament. He did a stellar job of watch-dogging politicians and bureaucrats and reporting abuses to the public between 2000 to 2003. He was too good at his job, evidently interfering with political and bureaucratic progress to spy on Canadians, and was drummed out of his position.
These days Canadians don’t hear much straight talk coming from the current, low-profile Privacy Commissioner about the government breaching privacy laws and conventions.
Back in 2001, the owner of Centurion Security Systems took his Big Brother eyes and ears to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, in northern Canada.
Of a classic nature were the statements garnered by Lesia Stangret, a Toronto-based information-technology lawyer who wrote a July 24, 2001, piece for the National Post in which a person named David Beckwith was quoted as saying he didn’t understand why residents were upset. “If they’re not doing anything wrong, they should have nothing to hide.”
How many times have I heard people espouse that drivel?
The-then Yellowknife mayor Gordon Van Tighem was brighter. He asked, “If they’re not doing anything wrong, what is the point of watching at all?”
Federal Privacy Commissioner Radwanski had ruled such monitoring was against the law. Yet it was happening in 2001, but was only then in its infancy.
According to Radwanski’s comments printed in the National Post, there is no place in our society for unauthorized surveillance of public places by private sector organizations for commercial reasons.
“People have a right to go about their business without feeling their actions are being systematically observed and monitored. That is the essence of the fundamental human right to privacy, which is a crucial element of our freedom,” Radwanski was quoted as saying.
Obviously, if people have to go through life being observed and monitored all the time like Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four, then Freedom is a balderdash notion.
Canada did not want to be outdone by the United States. As soon as Tampa, Florida decided to install computerized face-matching cameras in public places, Vancouver, British Columbia had started making overtures to copycat the snoop software, too.
Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas told Lynn Waddell of the Boston-based Christian Science Monitor in 2001 that the cameras are a Big Brother move. “People are trading a pound of liberty for an ounce of safety,” he was quoted as saying.
A system called FaceIt was used experimentally on U.S. public streets with marginal success in Tampa during the 2001 Super Bowl, dubbed the “snooper bowl”. It sparked a national uproar about public safety versus individual privacy.
Back then, some Americans were still paying a smidgen of attention. Jack Woehr of Fairmount, Colorado, posted “Looking Forward to 1984” with Enter Stage Right’s website.
The brutally frank explanation of the bureaucratic “inner party” was that citizens in a public place could no longer possess any reasonable expectation of privacy, Woehr emphasized.
“How telling that the political Newspeak of our day leaves us almost no vocabulary in which to formulate our indignation.
“Yes, the danger of an American police state along Orwellian lines with constant surveillance accompanied by pious enumeration of freedoms, which have in fact ceased to exist, with televised news that is not merely lies but a conscious daily rewriting of history…”
Freedom is Slavery, as Orwell said. If anything, it is closer today than it was when Orwell lived and wrote, Woehr added.
Now, 10 years later, look how far the government has gone in keeping the “public safe” at airports, sports stadiums as well as shopping malls and Tennessee highway check-stops, while ignoring such basics as hygiene.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has their TSA (Transportation Security Administration) agents groping the sports fans’ genitals and ramming unsanitary gloved fingers up rectums as a way to strip the American public of dignity by showing them unequivocally “who is boss”.
Besides these dastardly, humiliating, unnecessary measures, the TSA thieves steal non-returnable items that are deemed a “security risk”, read ‘can’t afford to buy for themselves’: valuable gold wedding bands and other jewelry; computers, cell phones and other electronic gadgetry; Swiss Army knives. The list is long.
Whatever a security agency wants, the security agency takes. Next, the government will have people, keys in hand, lined up Lenin-style to collect valuables from bank safety deposit boxes.
Meanwhile, how about putting a new twist on Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitanto’s instructions “See Something, Say Something”, which means alarmists should run to Big Brother with fabricated accusations in order to squeal on a neighbour or a stranger who can serve as fresh jailbait.
About the only thing left to the rest of us is whenever sensing Big Brother watching from a surveillance or computer camera or eavesdropping from a light pole, do or say something embarrassingly tacky so he’ll know you know he’s there and maybe will look the other way--even though he is never going to go away.
November 7, 2011