Sunday, December 18, 2011

1984: Come & Not Gone

                                                1984: Come & Not Gone


                                                                        Jay Agan

     A few years back I was fired from my cashiering job at a midwest based wannabe Wal-Mart (Not Wal-Mart itself. I actually shop there.). I made the "mistake" of saying politically incorrect things  to a couple of  what I suspect to be "secret shoppers". You know, spies the company hires to measure employee performance. The male part of the couple enthusiastically engaged me in the conversation leading to my dismissal.

     During my time of unemployment, I finally got down to reading Eric Blair/George Orwells' 1984. A darn good read it is too. Especially the parts about how the STATE uses spies, amateur or otherwise. Through observation in various places of employment, I've come to the conclusion that there is little difference between socialism & capitalism (Not free enterprise. I make a distinction. A subject for another article in two or three weeks. Socialism is a business pretending to be a government. Capitalism is a government pretending to be a business.).

     Recently I've been availing myself of Amazons' used movie options & have saved myself some dough in aquiring flicks. A recent purchase was the 1956 version of  1984 with Edmond O'Brien as Winston Smith.

     The film itself is every bit as good as the book. Aside from a few minor changes & a different though just as creepy ending, it is quite faithful to the story.

     Winston Smith (O'Brien) is not happy with the way things are in Oceania. Though a trusted/priviledged member of the "Outer Party", he resents the rigidity of the oppressive society he's in & the constant surveillance. He buys an unused diary to record his thoughts. He finds he's being pursued by a kindred spirit, Julia (Jan Sterling) & takes up a relationship with her (Love of anyone/thing other than the STATE & "Big Brother" is forbidden.). All the while the lovers are being watched, manipulated, then railroaded into arrest, incarceration, & "reeducation". As it's a question of not if but when one cracks, the two end up "betraying" one another. The film ends with a mind altered Winston worshipping "Big Brother" with unbridled enthusiasm.

Cover art for the DVDR I bought through Amazon.

     I bought this disc under the impression I was getting a superior product. It isn't. It turns out to be a DVDR copy from a VHS tape (Tracking "marks" can be seen at the bottom of the screen in some places.).The print the film was originally taped from is evidently worn somewhat. The Amazon blurb said "digitally remastered" & no doubt it is as every scratch, burn, whistle, hiss, snap, crackle, & poop is there in crystal clarity.

     There's no menu. Pop the disc in & it plays immediately. The "old time radio show" mentioned on the case cover is nowhere to be found. The case cover itself has no company name or logo so I have no idea who puts this out.

     As I couldn't find this film under other labels & it being still quite watchable, I decided to keep it. As I paid only a few bucks for it, "resentment" is minimal.

     Oh yes. It's been 1984 a long time now.

Article copyright © 12-17-2011 Jay Agan

Go to Main Page here.

DISCLAIMER: All images used on this blog are strictly copyrights of their owners. I do not claim credit/ownership for any images used here in my blog unless stated otherwise. If I have offended anyone by posting any images on my blog, please contact me via email and I will remove specified image(s) ASAP.


  1. 1984 is a compelling book and movie, but I prefer "Brave New World" as a novel. I have never been happy with any of the movies done of BNW, tho' the BBC did a ripping good radio adaptation.

    Used DVDs on Amazon often have a caveat "may not have booklets, CDs or Jiffy Pop included with the original package" or somesuch.

    And remember about soma: A gramme is better than a damme!

  2. Eh, I think both ideal socialism and ideal capitalism would work, where people all worked for society, or where people were free of the greed that corrupts capitalism.

    But eh, those are ideals for a reason. I'm not actually sure what socialism and capitalism is, so I guess I'll stop talking now.

  3. "I'm not actually sure what socialism and capitalism is ....."

    That'll be the subject of an article here sometime in January. Based on my observations while in the workforce for 35+ years.