Oh Orwell, thou shouldst be living at this hour. In fact, every hour since that dark night in January 1950 when you died, alone, in a hospital. Perhaps, web paranoia speculates, your truth-telling got too dangerous for the powers that be and you were terminated with extreme prejudice. It makes a crazy kind of sense.
The recent furor about “alternative facts,” in a culture polluting its thought processes with post-truth license and fake news, suggests that George Orwell’s dire predictions about double-think and thought-crime are with us—albeit 33 years late.
Two examples have made recent headlines. In the U.S. the disputed attendance figures at the presidential inauguration. Biggest ever? Nowhere near. In the U.K. the parallel case is the submarine-launched missile that decided to turn around and make for Florida. A successful operation, the British defense minister stoutly maintained. Disney World may have thought differently.