Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Importances of Yesterday and Tomorrow

"This was an exceptional case. It wasn't just a question of somebody being killed. Do you realizes that the past, starting from yesterday, has been actually abolished? If it survives anywhere, it's in a few solid objects with no words attached to them, like that lump of glass there. Already we know almost literally nothing about the Revolution and the years before the Revolution. Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right. I know, of course, that the past is falsified, but it would never be possible for me to prove it, even when I did the falsification myself. After the thing is done, no evidence ever remains. The only evidence is inside my own mind, and I don't know with any certainty  that any other human being shares my memories. Just in the one instance, in my whole life, I did possess actual concrete evidence after the event - years after it." (pg 137)

This passage made me stop reading for a moment and then reread it to fully take in the message. Time can be lost, but not by forgetting it is really Monday instead of Sunday or by loosing a night due to drinking and partying hard. Using one key on a keyboard, whole dates could erased, vital records could be deleted, and no proof would exist to to prove that what was deleted existed in the first place. By doing that, we could erase an election, erase events in our history that we are ashamed of.

As a history major, this passage really gave me a shake. We live in a day and age where information can be forged using Photoshop or any other computer program. We tend to trust information too readily instead of doing our own additional research to make sure the facts match up.Think about every research topic you have done at a college level, and I am willing to bet that Wikipedia was used for some information. Wikipedia being, to me, an example of the technology used in 1984. Just an example to giggle at, George Washington could go from being our first president to having been a member of Jethro Tull.

I think it is a matter of time before History is no longer relevant. We will alter it, and suddenly no one will remember that, during World War II the US government locked up citizens to the US simply because they had family born in the waring nations. Or that the American Revolution could be considered a Civil War when you really look at the roles of the people involved. If we were to wipe clean the slate with all this information, then we would have nothing to learn from. We would not see the mistakes of the past, and make some attempt to not repeat them.

 "Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious." (pg 62)

This got me too. I think, in our modern world, we are all somewhat dead, or unconscious, when thinking about the real world around us. If it is apathy, I cannot say that I would blame those afflicted. To be blunt, we live in a shitty world. A world where nuclear war is possible, where jobs seem not to exist, where money is all electronic, and where our politicians do not listen to us but their own wallets. There is plenty of reason to switch off, to shut down the need to be upset and angry and demand a say. I think the larger population is unconscious, and needs to rebel against all that stands in its way in order to wake up.

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