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“1984” is dated, but “2084” is here for the reading . . . (apologies to George Orwell)

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him…

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. The flat was seven flights up, and Winston, who was thirty-nine and had a varicose ulcer above his right ankle, went slowly, resting several times on the way. On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran.”

Updated Version

Winston worked in the Ministry of Truth and had been working there since he left High School in 2015, back in the days when people used to wonder where alll the jobs would come from, back in the days when people would retire and spend their final years doing such unproductive things as travelling, gardening or filling the minds of their grandchildren with stories. Thankfully now there was plenty of work. At first, it had simply been correcting the mistakes from the speeches of the Prime Minister, but that had soon grown to correcting the mistakes of the whole government, as well as eliminating from public record things they wish they’d never said. And pretty soon, there was a whole army of people scouring the Internet for mistakes other people had made and correcting them as well.

Why just this week, Winston discovered someone of his age, writing that there had been a time when Melbourne hadn’t been a tropical climate and there were people living in Queensland. Queensland, Winston seemed to remember, had never been inhabited by actual people, and was just one of those mythical places like Atlantis. It was a place that people used as a setting for absurd stories to demonstrate why democracy was such an absurd system where people like the mythical “Campbell Newman” were elected. Using his powers under the law, Winston corrected this person’s recollections, and arranged for the person to be taken to the doctor’s for help.

Last year had been a particularly busy time for the Ministry of Truth, as it marked the seventieth anniversary of Abbott’s ascencion to the role of Imperial Ruler after being chosen by the great god, Rupert. To spoil the occsasion, various people had attempted to spread the idea that back in those days that people had been allowed to vote for their leaders. These anarchists had also suggested that Abbott’s decision to cease making public appearances was because of his refusal to stop writing his own speeches and that he’d been locked in a room, while a group of his associates made all the decisions. They attempted to argue that, if Abbott was actually still Imperial Ruler, he’d be well over a hundred years old. Why that was a problem, Winston couldn’t fathom, people in “The Party” often lived to be hundreds of years old – it was only the workers who died. Mostly, by making a mistake, and usually that meant a risky operation to try and put their brains back into the right position. Apparently an easy operation for qualified surgeons, but there were so few of them, and as this required an emergency procedure, the operations were usually carried out immediately by local managers and security guards, with limited success.

Once, someone had tested Winston by telling him that a “resistance” existed, but Winston wasn’t fooled. He knew this would be someone from “The Party” testing him. When this person suggested to Winston that surely he remembered a time before all this began, but Winston just shook his head, and sipped his drink. “Even if I did,” thought Winston, “I’d be a fool to say anything because, at 86, I’m only fourteen years off my retirement age and Chairman Abbott has issued a decree promising that they won’t be raising it again, and all those who reach it will be sent to any of the twelve inhabitable places in the world with enough food to last them a year.”

Winston smiled, remembering how when his memory was questioned, he could assure the person that he remembered everything clearly. How he’d decided against university because of the cost, and how he’d been offered this job after telling the police about a plan to wear unapproved t-shirts prior to the elections of 2015.

“Elections?” the person interjected, “You remember the elections?”

“What elections,” replied Winston, “I was talking about t-shirts. Nobody said anything about elections.”

“You can trust me,” said the person.

“Of course,” said Winston, making a note to erase all records of this conversation just as soon as went to work, and just to be on the safe side, he decided to erase all records of the person to whom he was conversing…

To Be Discontinued, Owing To Unauthorised Use Of Irony.

19 comments

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  1. Grannie Fibro

    I’d like to read more, love a good political biography.

  2. Phi

    satire is alive and well – nice – thanks Rossleigh.

  3. Keitha Granville

    Stop being scary Rossleigh.
    I saw 1984 a short while ago and thought how much like present day a lot of it seemed anyway.
    I would have to shoot myself.

  4. stephentardrew

    Abbott as Futurama head in a bottle where he can swap notes with Maggie, Ronald and the most recent Popes. Mind you he accidentally broke Francis’s bottle. Little Tony lord of the flies and master of the universe. Oh how he dreams.

  5. rangermike1

    It is so strange. Two Days ago I was banned from “Facebook” for writing truths about our Abbott Govt. No reason given, just banned. It has never happened before, now I wonder why. I have never said anything about them that was not the whole truth. No swear words, No innuendo, just the truth. Has Abbott taken over Facebook ?

  6. rangermike1

    This also happened to another Labor supporter that blogs on the Guardian, They cut Him off as well, yet his posts are not derogatory.

  7. rangermike1

    They cut Him off on Facebook, not The Guardian. Sorry for that.

  8. nettythe1st

    I’ll give that ‘101’ out of a hundred.

  9. lizzieconnor

    Naughty but nice. Thanks Rossleigh.

  10. Loz

    The Facebook comment is a bit scary!

  11. diannaart

    I rather think George Orwell would approve – when he gets past being terrified for us.

  12. mars08

    QUOTE:

    “In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy.”

  13. John O

    I would read the rest of that if it were a book…..but it is getting a little close to the truth…..

  14. TechinBris

    Facebook IS an American Corporation in case you have forgotten. It is no surprise they choose to protect from any criticism, that in which they have invested time and money for the purposes of making sure those who will protect their profits, are unchallenged in the act of securing such an outcome.
    Use the Open Source equivalent, if you don’t want a Corporation censoring what you say on something they own and control.

  15. Bacchus

    Brilliant Rossleigh!

  16. Annie B

    Lots of laugher / guffaws at this one – – and recognition of those truths you ‘snuck’ in here and there.

    A good read – as always.

    p.s. when are you writing a book ? …. or have you written one already.

  17. Andreas Bimba

    The facebook banning experienced by rangermike1 should be studied very carefully by some lawyers. This sounds very Orwellian for free speech to now be seen as criminal by the Liberal Party’s Ministry of Truth. The current neo-conservatives are a disgrace to this nation and to their own parties previously held ideals if they are in any way responsible.

  18. Michael Taylor

    Rangermike, this is happening with some frequency. I’ve also heard that there have been instances where the notification from Facebook hasnt actually been from Facebook at all, but a fake Facebook, if that makes any sense. There are some people working very hard at having us silenced.

  19. Annie B

    Facebook is American through and through – but you know that. ……… It changes it’s formats as often as it changes its underdaks. And being American owned, it will always make it’s choices based on its U.S. principles ( if there IS such a thing !!! ) … protect itself and its cronies on all levels.

    Don’t know about a fake Facebook Michael, but with technology the way it is today, and the performance of hackers etc., nothing would surprise me. … Unfortunately, not much can be done about it from here in Australia ……. if we choose to continue with Facebook ( which I do – about weekly ) … then we have to accept the vagaries that it resorts to. I too have received notifications from ( allegedly ) Facebook, but with a very active ‘delete’ button finger, have never pursued these notifications – so cannot comment any further.

    Will have a closer look, next time I see something from Facebook I don’t / cannot recognise.

    Can’t see anyone, or any thing ( legal ) from Australia, challenging it, though.

    Frankly, ( even though I keep in touch with friends through it ) …… I think it’s the worst bloody thing that ever happened on the Internet. … Social media gives rise to such horrid situations – if one is not careful – and knows how to adjust their personally preferred settings. (not that it would make much difference to FB if THEY want to change whatever ) …….

    Bah bloody humbug to further americanisation of the world – through this kind of crud.

    Yes – . I am angry. !!

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