This month I did something – somewhat unintentionally – that I had not done for a very long time. I got lost in the narrative of a book. Not geographically that is to say…but in the literary sense. The book I read was ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ by George Orwell.
[Side note – My last post was a book review raving about the brilliant story of Oli Broom’s Ashes adventure. In todays post I am referring to a fiction book, rather than a non-fiction book, which although I enjoy reading evokes a different kind of emotional connection with a narrative than fiction does.]
With the 2015 British General Election literally tomorrow at the time I am writing this post, I have bucked the trend of the stereotyped politically uninterested youth and sought to educate myself on the parties and democracy in general. I admit I used to be ‘Ba-Humbug’ with anything that contained even a whiff of Westminster. I used to watch Question Time occasionally in an attempt to give the impression I was less politically incapable than was the truth, and to arm myself with some generic party statements and opinions so as to scrape through any low intensity political debate in general conversation. This plan worked well for me in the democratic era of indifference among me and my peers between 2010 and 2014.
However with the media and polls predicting the most unpredictable election since times off of black and white TV, I felt a duty to begin to build myself a political identity which represented my own values and interests. I began watching Question Time religiously and now regard it the undisputable best program on the watch box. I have sampled the BBC policy comparison of each of the parties. What I did come across in my research (and what is frankly impossible to ignore) is Russell Brand and his political summaries on his YouTube channel the Trews. Now I’m not going to delve into the controversial minefield of opinion that surrounds him. Lets just say a lot of what he says should be taken seriously by people who want to see positive change in society.
Anyhow my search for knowledge led me to George Orwell’s book. The main character
Winston is a low ranking member of a totalitarian political party with a quest to create a society that is conditioned to accept and never to question its rule and ideology. This is done through mass ever present surveillance and the constant altering of the past to present the party and its figurehead, Big Brother, as this God like entity which is perfect and cannot be undermined. The book creates this whole new world while being an exaggerated commentary of our present society, is not unrealistic in its capability to become real one. To some extent it shares many commonalities to the attempts of social control by the North Korean regime, and has parallels with Russia in it’s early communist days. What I loved most about the book is the style through which the author tells Winston’s story. You live with and within Winston’s mind and you share his struggles to comprehend his understanding of the present, what is to be believed and what is fabricated, held together by blurred visions of what he perceived society was like before Big Brother. It is a brilliant book that I can recommend to anyone who wants to get lost in a confusing, fascinating and eye opening narrative with a strong protagonist.
Here are the songs I have been listening to this month plus speech from John F. Kennedy that I found inspiring, and I like it because I like space…so yeah. I organised the tracks in a way that if you use crossfade in the Spotify settings the tracks merge subtly from one to the next as if the playlist were one body of music. At least that was my intention!
The Vowels Pt.2 – Why?
All Day – Kanye West
1.earth: the oldest computer (the last night) – Childish Gambino
All I Want – Kodaline
Space Exploration Speech – John F. Kennedy
Trying To Do Better – Tom Vek
London – Ofei
Fields of Ash – Bites
Stay The Same – Bonobo Andreya Triana
Lindisfarne I – James Blake
Sound Check (Gravity) – Gorillaz
Down South (feat. Motheo Moleko) – Jeremy Loops
End Of The Affair – Ben Howard