Today Is 1984

Bill Neinast

In the anals of time, 75 years is a mere blip on the screen.  So just a blip ago, George Orwell wrote his fictional prediction titled Nineteen Eighty Four.

In the book, the country (presumably England, his home) would be under the unrelenting thumb of “Big Brother.”  

Big Brother is the ostensible leader of the ruling party that wields total power for its own sake over the inhabitants.  Every citizen is under constant surveillance by the authorities, mainly by telescreens, and they are constantly reminded of this by the slogan "Big Brother is watching you.”

Orwell missed the mark by a mere 34 years.  In 2016, we are under constant surveillance by cameras.  The only difference between his 1984 and today is that most of the cameras are not in the hands of Big Brother. 

The current camera holders are just as bad, or maybe even worse, than Big Brother.  They are your family, friends, and neighbors.  Just take a peek.  Every individual from age six to sixty is wielding a cell phone with picture taking features and is using it more for a camera than a phone.

There is no need to see your picture being taken.  Just open FaceBook and find yourself everywhere doing everything for everyone here and abroad to see.

The real Big Brother is already here in another way also.  Thursday’s issue of The Banner Press had a lengthy item headlined, “Don’t leave them kids alone: State lawmakers target parents.”

According to that article, legislators in Rhode Island are considering legislation “to ban kids under 10 from being home alone at night.  Legislation could even extend to private preschools, where a bill would ban outdoor recess when the temperature drops below freezing.”

The state’s attempt to become a nanny for all of its children is nothing new.  Nineteen states already have laws against leaving children alone in cars or at home.  This is not to trivialize the tragic death of an infant suffocating in a hot car, but does Big Brother have to make 99.9% of parents helicopter parents because of a few tragedies?

This trend toward Big Brother taking care of you instead of you being responsible is not new.  It is merely accelerating.

There are already laws requiring everyone to be buckled inside vehicle, motorcycle and bicycle riders have to wear helmet, and children up to certain weights and ages have to be buckled into specially designed car seats in back seats of cars.  Worst of all, mothers can no longer leave hospitals with their newborn babies cuddled in their arms.  The infants must be strapped into specially designed prisons in the back seat that the parents must be taught to use.

Then there is the most intrusive of all of Big Brother’s ventures into private lives.  These are the proscriptions on, regardless of the circumstances, when, where, and how a female can have an abortion.

So here’s the perspective.

Big Brother is here.  Photographs of you everywhere--inside and outside the home, inside and outside the work place, on vacation, just goofing off, and anywhere else you can think of are in permanent FaceBook files around the world.

When you put your feet on the floor beside the bed every morning, Big Brother is there telling you what you must do to protect yourself and your family from yourself--not from others.

The worst part of these intrusions by Big Brother is his parents.  Those pushing him into our lives are the same ones who wail longest and loudest about Big Government.

There seems to be a break down somewhere in that logic, or the lack thereof. 


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