Steve Bannon has told the media to stop writing about Trump, even stop writing, already. Trump’s own press secretary has been caught telling outright lies but only because he was obeying orders. Kellyanne Conway has coined the phrase ‘alternative facts.’ So it’s hardly surprising sales of George Orwell‘s dystopian classic, 1984, are spiking.
The President of the United States is a liar. But that shouldn’t surprise anyone. Politicians have been lying forever. It’s part of their stock in trade.
The difference, unfortunately, is he, his team and his followers believe it. Now they want everyone to believe them. Soon, they’ll insist.
It will happen incrementally. First, they’ll set up a People’s News Agency. Then they’ll begin to isolate news services, media groups and newspapers that don’t and won’t tow their line. Individual journalists will be singled out. If they don’t accept the ‘truth’, as promulgated by the People’s News Agency, then their actions will be deemed unpatriotic and in this brave new world, that’s a silicon sliver short of treason.
Of course, there’ll be some hand wringing but ultimately the message will say, we brought it on ourselves by letting the world go to hell in a handcart. Now we’re just trying to make it all work again, they’ll say before adding that after all, it was what you asked for.
As a schoolboy in the ’60s, I read Animal Farm, Brave New World and 1984. Orwell’s classic is always described as dystopian, relating to or denoting an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one but why use that phrase anymore?
Is the world sliding into a quagmire of anarchy, environmental decay and totalitarian oppression?
It didn’t help that The Purge and The Purge : Anarchy have been shown on tv for the past two nights, as though the tv programmer has tapped into the prevailing zeitgeist of paranoia. I’m going for a drink, even if I have to crawl around to the bar because I want to be in the company of other human beings. Because I believe in them.