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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wisdom From George Orwell

Words to ponder:
If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
(from the preface to Animal Farm)


  1. Orwell matters now more than ever.

    I highly recommend any Orwell compendium. There are many out there, and his essays are not only excellent writing, they contain timeless observatations.

  2. In other words, you don't have the right to not be offended!

    Silverfiddle is right... Orwell is more relevant than ever!

  3. Happy Lizzie Borden Acquittal Day, AOW

  4. Those words of wisdom also appy to the business world and politics. The boss should always be told what he/she needs to hear and not what he/she would like to hear. That is the only way the boss can make correct decissios.

  5. not to mention telling bloggers what they should hear and not just some blog of people telling each other what they want to hear....

    ie, the rules apply in totality.

    Damien Charles

  6. Orwell is practically my middle name. I've been aware of just how incredibly apt his sadly cynical observations and nightmare visions were for more than forty-five years.

    If you had any sense at all, you could see it all coming fifty years ago. I've felt like someone tied to the railroad tracks feeling the rails vibrate under me while listening to the "horrid hooting stanza" of the train whistle not too far in the distance for a loooooooong time -- ever since I first read Animal Farm and Nineteen-Eighty-Four in fact.

    ~ FreeThinke

  7. At least two of our "contributors" prove the truth of these sardonic words found in the text of a madrigal by Orlando Gibbons:

    " ... More geese than swans now live; more fools than wise."

    YUP! And that was written four-hundred years ago.

    My how little we've changed!

    ~ FreeThinke

  8. Not so much any more AOW

    Right Truth

  9. Damien Charles,
    FYI....I don't blog about what my readers want to hear. I blog about that which I choose to blog.

  10. Duck,
    Yes. 119 years ago today. The jury didn't have the stomach to send a woman to the gallows -- particularly based on the evidence.

  11. Animal Farm is pretty much descriptive of what the Obama administration is trying to do.

  12. AOW,

    You may chose the subjects, but what you chose often, in my humble opinion of course, is often pointing fingers out of context and then wishful comments self-suporting and self-congratulatory and thus exactly what you want and wish rather than what is real.

    Having said that, I am often suprised and enjoy some areas of comments - mostly in the area of migration and what you and your friends consider to be conservative. Your blog of course but if you stuck to subjects that you know instead of steering into those that you do not, you get a much better result.

    With respect, of course.

    Damien Charles

  13. ps, just to add, I actually agree and aknowledged that on Sam's post on the immigration.


  14. Damien Charles,
    We have approached the topic of Islam from different angles, mine actually starting when, all those years ago, I fell in love with the medieval literature of Spain (in Spanish, BTW, not via translation).

    I also had a few "encounters," one with a Middle Eastern prince who threatened to kidnap me and take me back to his harem. At the time, I laughed it all off; however, some years later, my Muslim neighbor, a member of the royalty of an Islamic nation, informed me, "He could have done it, you know."

    Then, along came 9/11, followed by all sorts of research, much of which I do not share in a public forum as confidentialities are involved -- and by "confidentialites" I am not referring to my anonymity on the web.

    Anyway, my views are what they are, and your views are what THEY are. I'd be more favorable toward your views were there vociferous moderate Muslims.

  15. AOW,

    Spanish literature, as much as I obviously love it and have pride in it, was and remains captive of politics and religous bais. As I am sure you are aware, both the Church and the authorities basically witheld facts and elements of history until a landmark court case in 1983 changed everything and something more akin to truth came out. Interestingly the population supported the change almost to every single soul. Thus, again as I am sure your aware, the subject of Al Andalus was distorted to no-end with facts being the main victim. It was this element that I made me interested in learning the reality more than anything else. So though I adore Spanish poetry and my own history - I adore it more when it is accurate. The rediculous notions pushed about "Moorish barbarity versus Spanish barbarity" is gone into the ficticious viscious trash heap as it belonged. Even now it is understood and accepted that at least 40 to 55 per cent of most Spanish culture is in fact Moorish in many forms whilst what is known as "Spanish Music" (and thus also elements in Hispanic music globally) is even greater. The fact also remains that Al Andalus was in fact a more advanced, ethical and creative society than Castille (as there really was no "Spain" until later on) until the last 100 years when it fell to laziness and self-assuming superiority. Frankly speaking the Moors were sleeping in beds, clean food, water and could read whilst most Castillians were sleeping in the same building with their livestock.

    Your comments about Princes tells me that you came across a perfect example of what the recent Arab Spring was all about. Most Arabs resent and despise those hang-ons, which are the "not at the top" royals that use their status to live it up. I also think you were being had by your friend when it comes to "harems" because simply put and let us be real here - THEY DO NOT EXIST except in the mind of westerners. Sure, there are rich arabs with to much money and no fear who bring women back home, rent an apartment for them plus an allowance but that is as far as it goes. Why is that? Because simply put their society does not accept this mythical corner of a house full of women whom are not their wives.

    Actually it is September 11 that is the real reason why all these BS blogs talking and raving about Muslims exist in the first place. Face it, just like calling the "Japs" as being beasts, cannibals or the "Gooks" during the Vietnam war and even over hear with those "Huns" and so on. You need an enemy to galvanize your nationalistic tendancies and that is it. So called "reasearch" into what happened on 9/11 is a rediculous term - we all know what happened and it is simple and it should not have to be me to spell it out, especially to someone claiming to be a teacher:
    1. Al Qaeda organised and carried out the attack.
    2. They have sponsers in various countries and most are linked to Wahhabi and Salafi communties.
    3. Al Qaeda is a well organised political group that pushes all the right buttons to promote the mythical "clash of civilizations" and thus anti-colonial, anti-western, anti-American, anti-Israel is used to the maximum.
    4. Al Qaeda is just as much an enemy of most Muslim/Arab states as well as those Western and in fact more have died and more hatred exists between them.

    That is all, no more and no less.

    I can understand how you came about your views but the bottom line is what you say does not even remotely represent the reality on the ground - my point each and every time. Now you added another voice that is even worse and your defending it simply beggars belief.

    Damien Charles

  16. Damien Charles,
    Quick response here, and no time for more right now....

    I also think you were being had by your friend...

    There was no reason for my friend to do so. This conversation with my friend was well before 9/11 -- probably in 1995 or thereabouts. And his American wife (a Latina) maintained the same.

    BTW, my Muslim neighbor later had association with some later convicted of laundering money to Hamas. He left a few years before 9/11 -- perhaps in 1998.

    I'll never forget that Prince, here in a student visa, following me all the way across campus -- with his bodyguard in tow and screaming all the while after he had seen a wedding ring on my finger, "You have dishonored me!" Blah, blah, blah.

    He had a real fit in public when I walked out the door by the pick-up location for students and made a public display of affection for my future husband.

    I had enraged A. by telling him that, over the weekend, I had gotten married so as to to make him stop following me all over the campus. He was stalking me! We didn't have the word "stalking" in the common lexicon at that time, but that is EXACTLY what A. was doing.

    He claimed over a period of 2-3 months that he would "have me in his harem" because I was a red-haired, green-eyed virgin. All this took place in mid-1972.

    As I said above, I laughed the whole thing off at the time. I only brought it up to my neighbor as a kind of joke. Hard to explain now, but nobody took offense as we chatted over lemonade (Or was it iced tea?) while sitting on our front porch.

    As for Spanish literature, ALL literature is biased. The truth is usually somewhere in the middle as far as Islamic Spain goes.

    Over and out. Time to deal with giving pre-surgery eyedrops to my husband.

  17. My my my! It got awfully windy in here last night didn't it?

    Diarrhea of the mouth coupled with constipation of the mind is a terrible thing to have to deal with.

    You have a lot of patience Mrs. AOW.


  18. Deirdre,
    I am literature teacher, so patience is required.

    It took me many years to develop this level of patience!

  19. Ah Bob The Bigot is back in town with his less than pathetic knowledge of anything Islamic or close to reality.

    Al Qaeda is most definitely a political creation using religion as the catalyst to gain support - that is clear enough. Formed by Wahhabists and willing to do exactly what the established clerics could never, get those with the same political leaning to join forces. The example of that is Al Qaeda having both Taliban and Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood links. Technically speaking a Wahhabist would consider Taliban to be a total abomination of Islam and already it has been told by those interogated that Al Qaeda members considered it a living hell being with Talibanis whom mix Pushtoon tribal customs with variations of Koranic text and confuse them into a chaotic mess. Equally so, Wahhabis do not support many of the concepts of the Muslim Brotherhood's version of 'Shariah' (that is why the Wahhabi/Salafis have their own political party in Egypt). Yet somehow they got together to destory the "great Satan" - because it was based on politics, not faith.

    Bob The Bigot showed, obviously mistakenly, the other evidence that it is political as well, with his reference to getting "fatwas". From a real religous point of view, only the head of a fiqh (the Muftis of the Sunni schools of jurispudence and the Grand Ayatollah for the Shais) can issue a Fatwah. Fatwas from someone else is simply a political statement.

    Any comments about so-called justified bloodshed by Muslims, of course, is just bigoted wishful thinking from someone who obviously thinks bar room brovado is academically sound (the more so after a few more rounds, of course!).

    One of my sons is a university lecturer in Scotland at present and calls such gutter trash talk as "mental w*nking" as even the self gratification is fake - which mind you is more appropriate a comparison than you think because since 90 per cent of the BS from statements no blogs like this comes from the same group - it can be considered a mental based p*rn ring equivelant....

    Damien Charles

  20. AOW,

    as I said, even for the seventies, the fact remains that "harems" are a myth and he most certainly was trying to use his status to get a bit on the side and make a few promises to do so. His ugly sexism is sadly very Arab and cross the board. I was recently sitting in a cafe in Tanger across the straits in Morocco and I just could not believe the hassle one young lady got from guys on mopeds and cars slowing down and saying whatever the say - but I give the girl all the credit as she ignored most and one guy give "the finger" which in that country is a major insult and the guy was embarassed to no end - she stood her ground and be sure she said something like - "yeah, what next?".

    That is one element of Arab culture that makes me feel pretty sick, Turks are similar - as are Serbs and to a degree Greeks.

    Damien Charles

  21. Damien Charles,
    I was very young and naive at the time -- both disgusted and frightened. The body guard was a looming hulk!

    After the parade across campus -- the pursuing and screaming all the while -- he never returned to class. I admit that his absence was a relief.

  22. Bob,
    Where are the good Muslims?

    Too quiet!

    Surely they must know that their silence is adding to problems. How can they NOT know?

  23. I agree that in total the silence of the moderate Muslim is doing them damage.

    However, you should be heartened by the simple fact that it is only a minority that is making the noises, the claims, the abuse and thus the absence of the others reflects their moderacy.

    The difference, I think, between you and I is that I live amongst Muslims and travel to the real and actual Muslim world and thus I see normality and normal behaviour that obviously expatriat Muslims living the West do not.

    Damien Charles

  24. Indeed. These days though, they want to be shielded from things they don't like to hear. Even making it illegal.


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