George Orwell‘s genre-defining dystopian novel ‘1984‘ gave us many good things: the words ‘newspeak’ and ‘doublethink’, a terrifying glimpse at what totalitarianism looks like, inspiration for the comic (and later iconic film) ‘V For Vendetta‘.
It’s also the reason the TV show ‘Big Brother‘ exists, so look. It wasn’t without flaws.
The 1949 novel about Winston Smith navigating his way through a totalitarian London has been a staple of curriculums and book clubs since it was published, but it’s now enjoying a resurgence as Trump‘s administration attempts to pull the fucking curtain over our eyes.
Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway‘s introduction of the phrase “alternative facts“ (as an explanation for Press Secretary Sean Spicer‘s blatant lies about inauguration numbers) have sent sent sales of ‘1984’ skyrocketing. As of Tuesday, the book was the sixth best-selling book on Amazon. As of a few hours ago, it was number one.
Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty was the first one to make the connection, pointing out on CNN‘s Reliable Sources that “alternative facts is a George Orwell phrase”.
(Literally speaking, it’s not, but it’s definitely vibes. ‘Newspeak’ is a fictional language designed to eliminate personal thought, and ‘doublethink’ means to hold “two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them”, i.e. “war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength”.)
The comparisons kind of escalated from there.
.@seanspicer yo is it Eastasia or Eurasia we are/always have been at war with
— Mara Wilson (@MaraWilson) January 23, 2017
Conway says #alternativefacts
Somewhere in Heaven, the angels hi-five Orwell
Somewhere in Hell, Goebells says “I refuse to room with her.”
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) January 22, 2017
“The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes…”
–Orwell, 1984 / Spicer, 2017 pic.twitter.com/l6pU5eIeBa
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) January 22, 2017
George Orwell died on this day in 1950. He foresaw exactly how dictators would try and make us disbelieve our eyes. pic.twitter.com/Oou3ujmEtf
— Anshel Pfeffer (@AnshelPfeffer) January 21, 2017
HOWEVER: Any references made on Twitter in the past eight hours to Orwell or ‘1984’ are pure shitposting. #Fact.
Photo: Penguin Books / NBC.