light yourself on fire – liamm

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.

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1984 / Modern Day Surveillance

Posted in University by lightyourselfonfire on December 29, 2008

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. The story follows the downfall of individuality through the constant surveillance by “Big Brother”. 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. In 1984 the world consists of 3 countries that make up the entire planet: Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. All 3 of the super states are totalitarian societies led by Big Brother, which observes and amends its citizens behavior, even distorting their thoughts. Smith 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. In the story Smith meets Julia who is at first thought a proletariat to which he falls in love with and they have an affair, which under Big Brothers eye is considered a crime. In the book, Smith engages with the character O’Brian, an inner party member who gives Smith his address. Smith had eye contact with O’Brian earlier int he book and had dreamt about receiving the impression that O’Brian was a member of the Brotherhood. As Julia hated the Big Brother as much as Smith did, they ventured to O’Brian’s house togethor where they were introduced to the fabled Brotherhood. O’Brian however is actually a loyal comrade of the inner party and sets a trap for Smith, a trap that he had been putting in place for several years. Smith and Julia are condemned to MINILOVE (the Ministry of Love) which is a rehabilitation center for criminals accused of thoughtcrime. It is there, Smith was separated from Julia, and tortured until his beliefs coincided with those of the Party. Winston disregards everything he had previously believed in, even his love for Julia. After his rehabilitation he is released back into the public where he wastes his days at the local public house drinking victory gin until his punishment of death.

There are many points to take away and discuss from 1984 which are ever apparent in todays modern society. Its 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 Emanual Goldstein too which all of our hate is directed, the reasoning and ever shifting idealogies behind the war in Iraq are those similiar 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 lackluster 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 similiar to that of the party in Oceania did, its 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 accross 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 dont 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 behavior 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 tell 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 entwinings 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 superstate, 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.

Its also apparent here the fact that, the United Kingdoms “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 assosciating it with fiction.

Self Promotional CD

Posted in University by lightyourselfonfire on December 17, 2008

Today, a lot like yesterday I spent the majority of every hour working on my self promotional cd package. I decided the best way to go about this was execute my CV in the form of the mini booklet inside my album which would also work as a pullout poster (A technique we had drilled into us during our early university years!). My poster shown a sample of select work in an aesthetically pleasing way, heres 2 mockups of which I’m quite happy with so far.

Front Cover/CV Sample Poster
I’m hoping to finalize my idea by tomorrow evening in then thursday I should be able to get my work printed.
Once I have my final product, (im looking at getting 15 printed) Im going to send them out to every reputable design agency in the north west. Next wednesday I will then visit each of these agencies and literally walk in with my portfolio and request a meeting with the managing director; I plan on asking what they thought of my idea and whether they would look at taking me on a placement as an option.

In other news now im nearly coming to the end of 1984, a book of which im reading in terms of research for my university dissertation. My dissertation will discuss whether or not Idependance is being stamped out in modern day culture as it was in 1984, I will then go on to discuss similarities from the book and modern day culture and hopefully put forward a valid argument as too why this is happening.

more posts soon!x