14 July 2013

The Ministry of Truth’s Finest



The show I watched went like this. The host played a clip of Deen issuing an emotional, raw, awkward apology that literally included begging for forgiveness. The host and the pundits talked about Deen's apology at length. Five minutes later, on the same show, with the same pundits, the conversation turned to Deen's lack of an apology, as if they had not just watched and discussed that very thing.
Let me repeat that. They played a tape of Deen's apology, discussed the apology then complained that there had been no apology. I watched carefully to see if they meant the apology was lacking a necessary element, but that didn't seem to be the case. The apology looked sincere and heartfelt to me, albeit awkward. The problem, said the pundits, was that the very thing they just watched and discussed didn't actually happen. You rarely see confirmation bias play out that vividly. Once it had been decided that Deen was a monster, it couldn't also be true that she issued a sincere apology even if you just finished watching it. The whole thing was fascinating. [Emphasis added.]

This is pretty much like watching the Ministry of Truth operate in real time.*  To look at a given action being performed and then declare that said action was not actually performed takes a ton of gumption and dishonesty.  And to believe that declaration correspondingly requires a ton of gullibility and dishonesty.

Obviously, this incident is but another incident in a string of incidents that show, once again, how the modern American culture has become.  To deny plain truth, to deny reality itself, is indicative of severe moral decay. “Woe to those who call ‘good’ ‘evil’ and ‘evil’ ‘good.’” And woe to those who deny reality as well.

On a tangentially related note, I’d like to point out that the natural complement to Orwell’s 1984 is C.S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength.  While Orwell assumes Big Brother’s inevitable triumph over the human spirit, Lewis assumes the human spirit’s triumph over Big Brother.  Time will tell which viewpoint is correct.  However, in spite of my pessimism, I have to say that I agree with Lewis.  And while I’m at it, I would also say that That Hideous Strength is easily Lewis’s best novel, and that it is his most human work.  I highly recommend it.

* For the two or three people who may have not actually read 1984, the Ministry of Truth is the organization that alters the historical records into whatever best suits Big Brother’s purposes at a given point in time.