The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns … instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink.

– George Orwell, whose birthday is today.

A cuttlefish looks like this.

I use the quote above to shoehorn my thoughts onto blog topic, but my favorite quote from Orwell is this passage from 1984:

To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone — to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone: From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink — greetings!

I sit here tonight look at those words again, amazed at how much Truth there is in them, and wondering if we have finally come to live in that age of doublethink.

Slavery is freedom. The climate is not changing. Guns keep us safe. Rich people create jobs. War is Peace. Immigration is hurting the economy. Iraq is Obama’s fault. Ignorance is strength.

I’ve been watching World War Z. It’s interesting to see what that silly zombie fad looks like with a big budget. …It is a metaphor of American politics, right?

“Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.” So for us, a zombie apocalypse is more likely than attaining government or, by, or for the people.

not so sure about me

Yesterday, I stopped by the grocery store and picked up a squirt bottle of ketchup. Del Monte ketchup. It was only a buck, on sale. But I must say that when I got it home, I was very impressed. In fact, what I found filled me with abiding hope. Behold.

My little bottle of squirtable tomato stuff is going to be around long after the United States has passed into obscure and debatable history. If I don’t propel it onto my al dente new potatoes, it will outlive our progeny to about 40 generations. A thousand years from now – April 3008 – when the marbles of Capitol Hill and Wall street have been cannibalized for a giant Wal*Mart, the likes of which we can hardly imagine, my ketchup will live on. I’m not so sure about me.