Episode 121 – Boat ownership, duck hunting and 1984

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Paranoia is part of new boat ownership, right? And it eventually goes away? Please say yes. In this episode I talk about the joys of owning a real boat and the 2 a.m. storm worries. I also talk about failed stalks during duck hunts, learning new things and release some of the darkness that comes from teaching 1984 in my Science Fiction Literature class. Not just from the surveillance perspective, but the aims of the High, Middle and Low classes, and how promised improvement via election or revolution rarely comes to fruition for all.

“The aim of the High is to remain where they are. The aim of the Middle is to change places with the High. The aim of the Low, when they have an aim — for it is an abiding characteristic of the Low that they are too much crushed by drudgery to be more than intermittently conscious of anything outside their daily lives — is to abolish all distinctions and create a society in which all men shall be equal. Thus throughout history a struggle which is the same in its main outlines recurs over and over again. For long periods the High seem to be securely in power, but sooner or later there always comes a moment when they lose either their belief in themselves or their capacity to govern efficiently, or both. They are then overthrown by the Middle, who enlist the Low on their side by pretending to them that they are fighting for liberty and justice. As soon as they have reached their objective, the Middle thrust the Low back into their old position of servitude, and themselves become the High. Presently a new Middle group splits off from one of the other groups, or from both of them, and the struggle begins over again. Of the three groups, only the Low are never even temporarily successful in achieving their aims.”

– George Orwell, 1984

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