light yourself on fire – liamm

Seize the day, Never Surrender

Posted in University by lightyourselfonfire on January 12, 2009

Well its been a while since my last post, all in good reason bearing in mind with the amount of work I have, however i felt i just needed to get a few words down to day to fulfill my inner blogger!

Today was my dissertation proposal hand in, I feel it went well as opposed to my previous essays and I actually finished a good day or 2 before the hand in as opposed to the times last year I was finalizing work with 8 hours to go, I suppose this year Ive learnt the true values of time management.

Now, in relation to my o2 YCN brief, this weekend I spent an hour walking around Warrington market with a laptop in my bag running proximity marketing software known as bluevertise. I wanted to use a research method I developed in my second year which was the “fly on the wall” method where Id assess people behavious, What i was looking for was wether people instantly grabbed their phones once I had passed them, Altough this method isnt completely accurate as by coincidence people may be texting or making a call, I feel it does bear some impact on my results; Of wihch i shall post at a later date.

Anyway i’ve had my little fullfillment for today, despite it being all over the palce and really random, and I shall leave you with this! This is the video keeping me plodding on through the thick and thin of my uni work and i feel it will help all you other students too!


1984 Proposal Re-Vamp

Posted in University by lightyourselfonfire on January 11, 2009

For my essay proposal I plan on discussing the relationships between 1984 and modern day surveillance.

George Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984, was written in 1948 and was fantasized as a conceivable future where totalitarianism encompasses all. In 1984, the world is made up of 3 super-states; Oceania (Which includes the UK), Eurasia and Eastasia, all of which share equal power. All 3 super states are totalitarian led, controlled by Big Brother. Big Brother observes and amends its citizen’s behaviour, even distorting their thoughts. The story follows the downfall of individuality through constant surveillance. Winston Smith is the main character of the story and resides in London (or known in the book as airstrip 1) which is part of the super state Oceania. Winston Smith, the protagonist is perceived as a frail, middle aged, mal nourished character.

Oceania, the state discussed in 1984, is governed by “The Party”; The Party have taken authoritarianism to new depths; each and every citizen of Oceania is subjugate to round the clock observation and having their minds controlled and warped to ensure loyalty and adherence to the “cabalistic” law structure in place. Atop of the structure is the ever present Big Brother.

Winston, as being depicted in the story as being a frail, middle aged, mal nourished character; has hatred for his tyrannized life and furtively wishes to join the mythical Brotherhood, a suppositional gang of citizens bound on overthrowing big brother and the government.

Nineteen eighty four follows Winston throughout the book where his occupation at MINITRUTH (the ministry of truth) is to alter the past incidentally by re-writing old newspaper articles to coincide with new stories/truths as conjured up by the Party, Thus a means of controlling and altering thought of the population.

He who controls the past, controls the future” is the slogan adopted by The Party, It entrusts Winston with his occupation, yet he is blind to understand and adopt the slogan as a lifestyle. Further on in the book Winston gathers confidence in his own thoughts and is single mindedly determined to broadcast the government Party for all that it is. As the story goes on he is later coupled with Julia. Julia is perceived to be a radiant, youthful female, a physical contradiction of protagonist Winston, yet just as disgusted by the authoritarianism afflicted on by The Party.

There are many points to take away and discuss from 1984 which are ever apparent in today’s modern society. It’s possible to see the usage of “doublethink and the constant shift in war (reasons?)” used today in each party’s talking points. A key example of this in modern society is the invasion of Iraq, firstly it was made apparent we needed war to disarm Iraq from weapons of mass destruction (Which we then found they had none); the party, in this case labour then stated we needed to “Plant Democracy” before bringing our troops home and then finally we were led to believe Saddam was a man of evil and needed to be rid off. All of these issues are apparent in 1984; Saddam represents Emanuel Goldstein too which all of our hate is directed, the reasoning and ever shifting ideologies behind the war in Iraq are those similar to that of the shift between allies and enemies in Eastasia and Eurasia and the fact the vast majority of the general public put their beliefs into the party to sort out the situation in the middle east.

Despite the disregard of individual freedom and lacklustre quality of life, a key point noted from the book was how the party/government succeeded in staying head of state. The party managed to do this using total control. If for example a party enforced complete power over its citizens similar to that of the party in Oceania did, it’s not possible to see the party collapsing on its own. North Korea is a prime example in which we can liken this situation too. A piece in which I came across online is that of Nicolas Kristof’s article which commentates about the propaganda radio broadcasts which start early in the morning, he also talks about images of Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Song which occupy a wall in every house.

Another relevant point taken from 1984 is how the children are brought up as civil spies for the party, “it was my little daughter, she listened at the keyhole. Heard what I was saying, and nipped off to the patrols the very next dat. Pretty smart for a nipper of Seven, eh? I don’t bear her any grudge for it” quotes Parsons in regards to being questioned why he had been captured by the Thought Police, the reason being his daughter heard him quoting “down with big brother” in his sleep (pg 245). This relates to the advertisement campaigns which are being implemented at this very moment by the Labour Party in which they ask any persons too report suspicious behaviour which may denounce somebody as a terrorist, this situation may have played a role in the killing of innocent man, Jean Charles de Menezes. Example

Another startling oxymoron which we can relate 1984 to modern day society is the fact government legislation tells us that we must give up some of our own individual freedom and earnings to the state. The point up for discussion is we must enhance our authoritarian state, raise taxes, raise oil prices, and the most relevant of all, keep the Eurasians and Eastasian refugees out; in our case illegal immigrants, Freedom is Slavery.

In 1984, MINILUV (The Ministry of Love) enforces the citizens of Oceania to show loyalty and love towards Big Brother, they enforce this upon its citizens through fear, torture, and rehabilitation or brainwashing. The MINILUV has no windows and is protected by barbed wire entwining and guards of the party armed with “jointed truncheons“. Internally, the bright lights are never turned off. In 1984 its significance is played down by the Party, but its function, unbeknown to the citizens of Oceania; make it the main ministry in the super state, by controlling the will of the population.

“There were no windows in it at all. Winston had never been inside the Ministry of Love, nor within half a kilometre of it. It was a place impossible to enter except on official business, and then only by penetrating through a maze of barbed-wire entanglements, steel doors, and hidden machine-gun nests. Even the streets leading up to its outer barriers were roamed by gorilla-faced guards in black uniforms, armed with jointed truncheons.”

This characterization of MINILUV is equal in many ways to the security measures that have been implemented to the Houses of Parliament, that being concrete defence blocks have been placed all around the buildings, x – ray and metal detecting devices are inside, plenty of armed police within the buildings perimeters including sniper like hideouts and a mythical wonder as to what goes on within its doors.

It’s also apparent here the fact that, the United Kingdom’s “Ministry of Defence” is engaged in a foreign invasion upon the middle east which is a complete and total opposite of the meaning behind defence, this then gives the phrase “Doublethink” a more true to life meaning rather than associating it with fiction.

Unconscious Creativity

Posted in Uncategorized by lightyourselfonfire on January 3, 2009

Have you ever spent forever and a day brainstorming for that killer idea/concept which you hope blows away your client? I know I wreck my head going over my research looking for solutions to their problem, only today “unconsciously” I had one of those “Aha!” moments; I jsut wanted to get this off my chest thats all x