Nineteen Eighty Four
George Orwell’s iconic novel is mostly known for its lessons about politics and oppressive governments, and you could argue few books have had a bigger impact on pop culture. If you’ve ever heard the terms Orwellian or Big Brother, or seen this famous Apple commercial you know what I am talking about. At its core, this book is not just about politics, but also ideology, how it comes to be and how it traps us, either by choice or by force.
One of the most famous quotes from the book is “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” This is a perfect description of the strategies often employed by the Absolutely Convinced.
When we admit that we are Clueless, about life, god and everything in between, we are surrendering that control. There is great liberation in doing so, like we experience when we live without any regrets.
But we also have to relinquish the desire to control those around us or tell them what to do. Not because of some nandy pandy progressive or religious ideal of “giving back” or “sacrificing for the good of others,” but because we have absolutely no fucking clue. The motivation matters. As Orwell demonstrates, the former leads to tyranny. As Melvin demonstrates, the latter leads to happy hour.