WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
One of my favorite parts of George Orwell’s classic, 1984, was the three slogans of the Ministry of Truth. I went on a dystopian bender last night, listening to the audio version of the book while I pounded beers and wondered if Big Brother was watching.
This book was required reading in my English Class. After the Patriot Act, it should have been required reading of every person in this country. My goal as a writer has always been to thought provoke. To have an impact of some sort.
To be dragged away, kicking and screaming, by the Thought Police.
There is so much political banter out there. We are saturated with it. I could line up with those shouting fascist at Trump and have my voice be lost in the crowd. This is 2016.
WAR IS PEACE
We have been in a state of war for most of my natural-born life. The War on Terror started when I was in fifth grade. I remember finding out about the planes flying into the Twin Towers on the bus ride home. I watched Rudy Giuliani, George W. Bush, all these old men give fiery speeches. In the name of democracy and preserving freedom. We were gonna rain down democracy like hot lead.
Everybody seemed so surprised to find out the government had tapped their phones. We just had to understand, there were certain concessions to be made if you wanted to live in safety.
Osama Bin Laden flashed across the nightly news, reminding us the concessions we made to our privacy were for good reason. When the ‘MISSION ACCOMPLISHED’ banner flew, some wondered why we were still in the Middle East. It was a new war now. We still waged a war on terror, but now we had spilled over into Iraq, to free them from another man flashed across the nightly news.
Foreigners, who spoke strange dialects and had hard-to-pronounce names. It was too easy to justify our hatred of people so vastly different from us. They forced their women to wear shrouds. It was disgusting. As we liberated the women and children, Osama’s face ran across the evening news.
When they caught Osama Bin Laden, I thought it would be over. Then, the ISIS terror began.
After years of trying to move out of the Middle East, I watched Rudy Giuliani, now soon to be a part of the presidential branch, go on stage with old men giving fiery speeches.
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
Like I said, we had to give concessions in the name of freedom. We needed to understand the government wasn’t looking for us, just the bad guys among us. The NSA wire taps did little to bother us. The government wasn’t invading our privacy, they were insuring our safety. All insurance requires a small deductible.
We refresh our lives on Facebook. All our personal information, neatly databased with our likes and our dislikes. Our political affiliations. It is all there. Pictures of our homes and our cars. Our families. We built the database ourselves. The government didn’t even need to ask.
Before war in the Middle East, boarding a plane was easy. Too easy. There were stories of children sneaking on to planes and ending up halfway across the country.
As TSA pats me down and scrutinizes the mouthwash in my carry on, I am reminded this is for my protection. Because they flew planes into towers.
I return home after hours of being in lines and through X-rays. The bills pile up in my mailbox, reminding me I will need to work my nine to five until I die of old age if I ever want to get out of debt. Tens of thousands of dollars is what the Department of Education would like. It gave me the money so I could become educated.
Becoming educated in this country is costly. Not going to college means other options. A job where you will make under the cost of living and become indebted to society’s great welfare system or trading in tennis shoes for combat boots.
Every pair of combat boots comes with a free ticket to the world. To spread democracy and ensure the safety of our liberties at home.
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
I struggle to understand how we got here. The Database’s newsfeed is a turf war between conservatives and liberals. These are the two parties we have divided into. The right and the left. They mudsling and ignore those in the middle. Reason has become a thing of the past.
I try to understand the policies going into effect. After fifteen years of war, we are now to possibly introduce a special registry for all of them. The Muslims. The root of our problems is no longer Osama Bin Laden, it is now the religion he carried. Our Christian State will not fall to The Muslim Invasion.
Swastikas have begun to show up on public buildings. The Nazi symbol sparks shouts of the threat of fascism.
Racist terms have begun to show up too. Why someone would feel emboldened to write the word ‘nigger’ on anything is lost on me. Is this one of the policies we voted for? Shrugging off hatred?
The president-elect is busy on the evening news.
“You want me to tell them to stop it? Fine, stop it.”
His reaction to the hatred bubbling over in the country is a shoulder shrug and fifteen minutes in hair and makeup.
People say they are tired of the political correctness. That it is what is ruining our country. We should be able to say what we feel, without caring about being conscientious of those around us. Accommodating those who are different from us with our vocabulary is too difficult. We want to write the word ‘Nigger’ on things.
It reminds me of the words I struggle with. Since a young age, everything was retarded or gay. As I grew older, I embraced political correctness as I moved ever so slowly to the left. I had friends who had kids with mental disabilities. To hear them hurt over the word ‘retard’ was enough for me to work on eliminating it from my vocabulary. Same with ‘Gay’.
It wasn’t retarded, gay, political correctness to me. It was trying to be a decent human being.
I scroll through the newsfeed, input my daily reminder to the database that I am a leftist. When the left and the right aren’t hurling swear words at each other, they are erasing ties to one another. Old friends, families, devoting themselves to party instead of one another.
It’s a dangerous time to be a leftist. Rudy Giuliani, the old men, they are all far right. It is their world again. I wonder what it means to those like me.
The violent clashes between left and right are coming to a cusp. I worry about sending my kid’s into this world. Will they be accosted? Demanded to show their loyalty? Handed a spray can and told to choose their side?
I lean my head back and listen to George Orwell’s radio version of 1984. A classic. It goes down as smooth as the beer I am drinking.