1984 Arrived a Little Late | Letters to the Editor | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Opinion » Letters to the Editor

1984 Arrived a Little Late

Each week The Source highlights a letter that stands out from the rest of the mailbag. We're rewarding those who put a little more effort,

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Each week The Source highlights a letter that stands out from the rest of the mailbag. We're rewarding those who put a little more effort, thought and passion into their missives with a $25 gift certificate from Dinner's Ready. This week's winner is Bob Jeremiah who points out what he sees as the disturbing similarities between George Orwell's dystopian vision and our all-too-real world. Thanks for the letter Bob. You can pick up your gift certificate at our office, 704 NW Bond, anytime this week. Bon Appetit.

It is hard to believe that the year 1984 happened 24 years ago.

George Orwell's story is a powerful and relevant metaphor for the informed (brainwashed?) world we now share. 1984 depicts a world where torture is condoned or ignored, war is peace, ignorance is strength and freedom is slavery. Officially controlled messages of terror from external threats and reports of imperialistic conquest pervade the news.


A large television screen to manipulate, monitor and control each individual occupies every home or apartment. It is never turned off. An endless parade of Enemies of the State (as determined by the State), foreign and domestic, are mercilessly put on trial and executed.

In 1984 to think for oneself is to be a thought criminal. To express individuality (even in a personal diary) is considered a threat to the State. Conformity to State propaganda is the only mindset the State and its corporate-controlled media (Big Brother) will tolerate.

Orwell's protagonist, Winston Smith, becomes a suspect as a thought criminal. He has written in his diary that freedom in part is the right to look at two plus two and conclude that it equals four. The State soon discovers and confiscates Winston's threatening diary.

Once arrested, there is a poignant scene in which Winston is shown four fingers by his State-sponsored interrogator and told he must see five. As he resists State authority, he is repeatedly subjected to electric shock treatment and is verbally browbeaten until he will repeat anything the State tells him to believe.

It is apparent from the current state of political confusion that various Americans see this oligarchic American government as holding up different numbers of fingers.

However, with this corrupt administration and its corporate media parrots, there should be little doubt. It is holding up just one, the middle one. And unless you are part of the wealthiest and most privileged class of Americans, this monstrous middle finger is being poked, like that of a goliath New York cab driver, smack dab in your face.

Bob Jeremiah, Bend

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