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Keep the Orwell flying

By chief hack Ignatius Rake

Posted November 07, 2017
Keep the Orwell flying
Orwell at the BBC in 1940: It seems they forgot to record him. Public domain

In this current political climate, 'George Orwell: A Life in Pictures' is something you really ought to watch.

I've been a fan of George Orwell since reading Keep the Aspidistra Flying as a 17-year-old.

Indeed, for many years it was my favourite book until The Initiate by Cyril Scott knocked it into second place.

The thing is, while there is plenty of audio and audio-visual footage of his contemporaries, the same cannot be said for Orwell himself.

Which is perhaps a tad surprising given that he is generally accepted as one of the most important English-language writers of the 20th century.

And the fact that for a period during the Second World War, he worked as a propaganda broadcaster with the BBC.

Clearly, in all the excitement of senseless slaughter, no one remembered to hit record1.

In 2003, however, the same said BBC went some way to filling the void by producing George Orwell: A Life in Pictures that saw Chris Langham reading from Orwell's numerous writings and acting out the appropriate scenes to camera.

I have to confess that I only recently became aware of this excellent 'docudrama' courtesy of YouTube's default autoplay setting.

To be honest, I'm not too keen on autoplay as it can lead to what some have called the 'ghettoisation of thought', whereby you only watch things of a similar ilk unless you actively choose to serve yourself rather than have some bot spoon-feed you and in so doing creating a bubble of mental sameness around you.

A kind of echo chamber, if you will, that keeps you locked inside your own personal comfort zone.

But I digress because in this particular instance, I have to say, I was rather thankful that YouTube deigned to dish me up this particular treat.

And treat it most definitely is.

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Assuming, of course, you like Orwell and, of course, you can stomach watching him played by a man who was subsequently convicted of possessing level 5 child pornography, ie stuff that, Wikipedia informs me, consists of "sadism or bestiality".

But then what can you expect from the BBC, Sir Jimmy?

Apparently, you don't have to be a pedo to work there, but it helps, as one wag once put it.

Anyway, all that said, I strongly advise giving the following vid a watch.

Orwell may not be totally to your liking and I can't say I share all his views, but whatever you say of him, he was an unwavering opponent of totalitarianism whatever flag it draped itself in.

And in this increasingly polarised political climate, it might be wise to remember that both the hard left and the hard right loathe your individuality equally.

Get in line!

See also Why you should love Marcus Keeley, posted 7/11/17.

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Ignatius Rake is a journalist, geographer, artist, lyricist and life-long fortean who blew the lid on the 2017 Eden UFO hoax. His hobbies include sitting, eating and drinking. He has so far visited more than 70 countries on six continents. You can view some of his Dada-inspired art here.

Engage with the Rake & Herald on FaceBook here and Twitter here. Better still, buy a T-shirt here.


1) The lack of recordings by the BBC is explained here. Hat tip: the Reverend Marcus Trepanning.

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