Eric Arthur Blair (June 25, 1903 – January 21, 1950)
Today's subject of The MMOB Daily Quote is the English democratic socialist and author best known for the novels Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Both works paint an unflattering picture of the world as it is or as it could be given the choices we make every day. I recently saw a television piece centered on the time when Blair was writing Nineteen Eighty-Four when he secluded himself and his family in an ice shack on an island and fought TB. The piece paints a fairly extreme set of circumstances that culminated in one of the darkest and most significant novels of the 20th century. Check out Robert McCrum's article The masterpiece that killed George Orwell for more of the fascinating specifics.
In case you haven't seen it, here's the BBC version of 1984 as done live in 1954.
And now, some quotes from Mr. Blair/Orwell to start us off on a Thursday."
"A dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.
"A family with the wrong members in control; that, perhaps, is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase."
"A tragic situation exists precisely when virtue does not triumph but when it is still felt that man is nobler than the forces which destroy him."
"Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket."
"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
"All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome."
"All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting."
"As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me."
"As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents."
"At fifty everyone has the face he deserves."
"Big Brother is watching you."
"But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought."
"Dickens is one of those authors who are well worth stealing."
"Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them."
"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
"Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it."
"Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper."
"Enlightened people seldom or never possess a sense of responsibility."
"Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac."
"For a creative writer possession of the "truth" is less important than emotional sincerity."
Cheers! - Jason