Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, Our Beloved George

Born June 25, Motihari, India.

From a very early age, perhaps the age of five or six, I knew that when I grew up I should be a writer. Between the ages of about seventeen and twenty-four I tried to abandon this idea, but I did so with the consciousness that I was outraging my true nature and that sooner or later I should have to settle down and write books.

Highly recommended: Why Orwell Matters, by Christopher Hitchens.

"Like Orwell, Hitchens is a leftist who dislikes the pacifist “pinks” (Orwell's phrase) who define official leftism. He devotes one-third of his book to refuting Orwell's leftwing critics, who see conservative tendencies in his work, both in his stand on cultural issues and in his reverence for tradition."

Thanks for reminding me, Comrade Hakmao.

Lots of George here. Also here.

Meanwhile, Mugabe's overthrow is overdue:

"The battle in Zimbabwe today is a battle between democracy and dictatorship, justice and injustice, right and wrong. It is one in which the international community must become more than a moral participant. It must become mobilised."


16 Comments:

Blogger Fred . . . said...

If George were writing today it would be about the new enviro-communists, the ones who want to stifle the science debate and throw the heretics in jail.

Rest in Peace George, their time is almost over. The Warmongers have run out of time - the 30 year warming trend they hyperventilated into Gaia Boiling is over and we are now in year 10+ of the next cooling phase.

You can rest easily George.

5:46 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

On the contrary, George would be going after the scientists and intellectuals paid off by the fossil fuel industry to convey the false impression that there isn't a general scientific consensus on climate change.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

One thing I like about George is that while it is true that he disagreed with strict pacifists, that didn't keep him from developing friendships with some of them, such as George Woodcock.

6:17 PM  
Blogger double-plus-ungood said...

I would hope that if Orwell were still around, he'd tell people to quit digging him up and using him a sock puppet to support their favorite causes.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

"On the contrary, George would be going after. . ."

Sorry, Fred. Stephen wins. And extra points to him for his familiarity with Orwell's friendly disagreements with Woodcock, which were resolved by Orwell's more cautious distinction between mere numpties and the objectively pro-fascist.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

Points off DPU for misuse of term sock puppet and for evasively snide tone.

7:05 PM  
Blogger Kurt Langmann said...

"We are in a strange period of history in which a revolutionary has to be a patriot and a patriot has to be a revolutionary."

8:46 PM  
Blogger double-plus-ungood said...

Points off DPU for misuse of term sock puppet...

I was using it in the traditional sense, not the newer internet definition.

..and for evasively snide tone.

You can't possibly be serious.

Regarding the linked-to article containing the statement from Tsvangirai, it seems to be bogus:

An article that appeared in my name, published in the Guardian (Why I am not running, June 25), did not reflect my position or opinions regarding solutions to the Zimbabwean crisis. ... By way of clarification I would like to state the following: I am not advocating military intervention in Zimbabwe by the UN or any other organisation.

A year or two ago, I postulated here that the Iraq debacle would set humanitarian intervention back a decade, and you said that you disagreed. Is it time to reconsider yet?

10:00 AM  
Blogger double-plus-ungood said...

By the way, Orwell fans might appreciate this 1954 paperback cover of 1984. I know I do.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

DPU:

1. It would appear that you are inventing a meaning for the term "sock puppet," further evading an explicit articulation of your point.

2. I didn't link to the Guardian article, which indeed appears to have based on a statement Tsangvirai did not approve for release.

3. Tsangvirai's position notwithstanding, Mugabe's overthrow is nonetheless long overdue.

4. I can't recall our conversation about the impact of the Iraq debacle on the cause of humanitarian intervention, but I would agree that America's conduct in that enterprise certainly hasn't helped that necessary cause or any other that I can think of.

5, Great cover. Hilarious.

10:38 AM  
Blogger double-plus-ungood said...

1. It would appear that you are inventing a meaning for the term "sock puppet," further evading an explicit articulation of your point.

Then I'll be explicit and avoid the confusion surrounding the term puppet - people keep dragging poor old George from the grave and saying he would support their favoured political position. Both the left and right are guilty of this, and it's unpleasant.

2. I didn't link to the Guardian article, which indeed appears to have based on a statement Tsangvirai did not approve for release.

No, but the article you linked to was quoting the Guardian article, so I thought it relevant.

3. Tsangvirai's position notwithstanding, Mugabe's overthrow is nonetheless long overdue.

Absolutely. Let's hope he's not replaced by someone as bad.

4. I can't recall our conversation about the impact of the Iraq debacle on the cause of humanitarian intervention, but I would agree that America's conduct in that enterprise certainly hasn't helped that necessary cause or any other that I can think of.

I may be mistaken. I shoot my mouth of on so many blogs ...

11:18 AM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

DPU: This makes sense: ". . .people keep dragging poor old George from the grave and saying he would support their favoured political position," with this: "I may be mistaken. I shoot my mouth of on so many blogs ..." in that you must be mistaking this blog for some other, if you meant to suggest you've read anything of the sort here.

Anyone who needs to go rummaging around in graves for proper anti-totalitarian politics hasn't been gainfully occupied in the here and now, it seems to me.

12:01 PM  
Blogger double-plus-ungood said...

There are two comments in this thread that speculate as to what Orwell would be doing if he were alive today, Terry.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Through Grace Peace said...

Truth Escapes Satans Grip

I had a dream.
I saw satan swimming slowly, languorously, smiling,
wafting down a river of blood.
More and more as he spread his blood drenched arms
across each bank, people murdered themselves
and murdered their neighbors.
Their blood poured out filling the river deeper and deeper,
and satan patiently, willfully, joyfully
screeched a hideous cry of encouragement.
The unwitting souls on the riverbank, stood
with their eyes firmly fixed on the heavens
spoke the name of God,
then committed self-murder,
and satans fingers, dripping blood, dragged their souls
into his hell bound torrent.
Occasionally a bright beam of truth
would shine upon one of the souls on the riverbank
and they would simply walk away.
And satan thrashed and screamed each time
as another soul escaped his grip.

Through Grace Peace

10:52 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Thanks Terry.

To a very limited extent, I take DPU's point about assuming what Orwell would say if her were alive today. It is impossible to know precisely, but I don't see anything wrong with speculating based on his writings. I'm not sure what Orwellian scholars would say about climate change, but I think it's pretty safe to say I can stand by my comment.

People speculate about historical figures like this all the time, whether its Churchill, Gandhi, Pearson, Trudeau, FDR, MLK, etc. etc.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

Aye, Stephen, all round.

3:56 PM  

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