George Orwell, in his novel 1984, described a class of people who made up roughly 85% of the population of Oceania, who had no interaction with the controlling parties. A segment of people for whom the operations of the state were directed. Despite all the work of the inner and outer party in providing distractions for these people, they hardly realized that they were somehow inferior and subjugated. Look around you today. How many members of this society regurgitate the nonsense fed them through media and pop culture? How many express no interest in the world around them? Their education? Their communities? They do seem very interested in what’s on TV though. I’m left thinking of some of the better dystopian novels out there when I bring up Orwell. Check out this cartoon series for a comparison of Orwell vs Huxley. We are the proles, but so were the people of “Brave New World.” Could it be that Bradbury was a little right as well in “Fahrenheit 451?”
Let me tell you what has brought this little rant on: I recently saw a headline for a story that details how Rob Lowe had been on a flight that was a dry run for some of the 9/11 highjackers. This story in itself seems so unimportant and frivolous that I can’t help but wonder why is has come to the fore nearly ten years after it occurred. Who gives a shit about Rob Lowe? Who cares if he was on one of these flights? Reading the story I couldn’t help but think of Winston in 1984, rewriting moments in official history to meet the current needs of the state. It certainly draws a parallel.
Now allow me this disclaimer: I am not making a claim that 9/11 did not happen nor am I stating that the current administration of the U.S. is somehow involved in bringing this story out. All I’m saying is that it is ridiculous that this story was even news, especially given the time that has elapsed. Who cares if Rob Lowe was on one of these flights?