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December 22, 2005


Good god. What a nightmare. I hate to invoke the cliche of Orwell, but he truly must be spinning. I just hope Americans still have enough backbone left to resist such a proposal here.

Why is Orwell a cliche?
He's a prophet.

Hi Beth. Wanted to stop by and say hello to you and J. And wish you both a warm and cheery holiday season, with lots of lights and good food.

Also wanted to let you know that I'm very seriously considering Canada now (probably Vancouver) for my move. If I can get in I'll most likely be going.

About the car monitoring... all the more reason to switch to bicycles! Unless they start requiring licenses for them, too...

How much simpler life was 10,000 years ago.

Thanks Miguel! It's great to hear from you - happy holidays to you, too, and best of luck with Canadian immigration. Good point about the bicycles. I am really missing mine, as I slog through the deep snow - but I'm still too chicken to buy studded bike tires and ride on the ice, like the most intrepid Montrealers do. This is a problem you won't have in Vancouver!

Fear not!
We will thwart them
Plans are afoot to:
1. Drive backwards
2. Assemble all red mini's in Dover on the third Sunday of each month
3. Have all people from a street cram into one car (even numbers in the front, odd in the back)
4. Walk everywhere
5. Assume car-disguises, I favout zebra stripes and a number-plate blackout for mine
6. Join the exodus to France

I am pretty confident this idea will never come to fruition, I believe it's just another example of our PM's continuing slide into insanity

Has anyone else noticed his wide-staring eyes????

That sounds pretty Orwellian, as does this in the UK: http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/transport/article334686.ece

Wishing you and J a happy, peaceful, restful and warm Christmastime!

Miguel, how great to see you here, and that you may be coming to Vancouver - good luck!!

Cycling in Vancouver is usually OK, but we do get some icy conditions some cold winter nights. My husband rides to and from work all year round, but when it's icy I give him a ride part way where the roads are usually de-iced already. Then there's the occasional snow...

"Why is Orwell a cliche?"

Um, because he's automatically invoked every single time there's any reference to anything that might conceivably be linked to the ideas in 1984 and/or Animal Farm?

[Damn the lack of HTML! I want italics!]

Orwell as cliche:

Maybe the references to the old guy are overused. My guess is that he's referred to a lot more than he's read. The thing is, it makes my hair stand on end to see dystopias invented by Orwell and various '60s science-fiction writers coming to pass in the daily news, and the really appalling thing about what I read now is that my own damn generation is leading the United States these days -- but even the nerds of the time don't seem to remember anything of what off-mainstream writers predicted. (Granted, the dystopias were usually built up so the heroes could change the world and not the center of the plot, but an idea is an idea.)

From the Romenesko media column at Poynter.org:

Oakland Tribune seeks copies of "1984" to send to politicos
Oakland Tribune
The paper says it's time for Congress to heed the warning of George Orwell. "To that end, we're asking for your help: Mail us or drop off your tattered copies of '1984.' When we get 537 of them, we'll send them to every member of the House of Representatives and Senate and to President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney."
Posted at 1:59:02 PM

Joking aside...

How about the revelation that US 'agents' have been illegally entering people's homes armed with Geiger counters?

This IS a step on the civil liberties too far and one that I trust my govt will not embrace...

That stash of enriched uranium under my bed is for personal use only!

Was the link to Orwell to do with the creation of an imaginary enemy in order to subjugate the population?
I mean, with the collapse of the USSR the USA needed to find another boogeyman?
Enter Al Qaeda, and we know they're dangerous because the US armed and trained them???

Yup, more people refer to him than actually read him, but reality is becoming very dystopian indeed. (How about a little contradiciton there?). One of the "left" candidates running for the local government in Mexico City is widely promoting the use of thousands of video cameras on the city's streets to "increase security". As one of my students said in class: "they are going to get stolen!".

I once got a ticket while driving one night with a friend in the UK because we ignored a red light. We weren't stopped, so we thought we had gotten away with it. But we got the ticket the next day. Common-place if you will, but what I thought was "big brother is watching us!" For a Mexican like me, that was indeed dystopian sci-fi.

Happy Holidays to all of you.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.