The year was 1984 and I sat, enraptured, watching the novel of the same name play across my high school’s stage. Attending the performance was a requirement for my sophomore English class. Watching 1984 that evening was my first introduction to George Orwell. A week later, I finished the novel. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. While it made sense from a literary fiction standpoint, I couldn’t get it to make sense in my mind as any sort of reality.
2 plus 2 does not equal 5, regardless of how many times you tell me it does.
Big brother isn’t watching, I mean, really? How could he?
And, doublethink? It isn’t possible.
“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the 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.” ~George Orwell, 1984
That was a fall evening in 1984.
Welcome to 2017 where the thought police roam social media, individuals find freedom in hating others, and only feelings matter.
We’ve deleted scenes from our history books, we’ve denied our past, and we’ve destroyed the evidence. And now? Now, we are accepting our own version of an alternate reality. A surrogate reality in which history makes us feel good and reveals that our own set of beliefs is right and everyone is wrong.
We’re doing this by erasing history like it’s 1984.
To what end? To a society in which the Party is always right? Who’s the party and why do we think they’re always right?
In the words of a long-time friend… who’s ‘they’ anyway?
We’ve become a society of US vs THEM. Regardless of where you land, and how many sides to the battle you see, everyone is fighting to prove another side wrong, driven by fear and hatred.
Have we noticed that the battle is getting bloodier and no one is winning?
Erasing history doesn’t erase the pain of generations past nor does it change the torment of our present battles.
“The object of terrorism is terrorism. The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?” ~ George Orwell, 1984
The history that is so quickly being deleted, denied, and destroyed by those on multiple sides is the very story that defines who we are and where we’ve been. Erasing it only denies the generations to come the freedom to learn from our past and to live better than we who are battling US vs THEM with fear and hatred are.
Seems like a great gift to leave our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
And, let’s leave the erasing of history to 1984.