Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Party like its Nineteen, Eighty Four

You want to know whats a bad idea - taking a group of teenagers who are all hormonal, paranoid and given to depression already and making them read a book about an all powerful government that crushes peoples spirits, steals their souls and destroys any hope of something good occurring in the world. Otherwise known as George Orwell's 1984.

I hated this book in high school. Been waiting to re-write -- I mean update -- it, ever since.

So my first problem is how depressing this so -called classic was - my second problem is how un-realistic the whole thing is.

To begin with the Thought Police thing is too far fetched. My favorite quote from the book goes something like this: "No one ever knew what line was being monitored, it was entirely possible that all lines were being monitored all the time."

Come on. Are you kidding me - I mean who would do this? There's no one that would build entire buildings just to monitor every e-mail, phone and satellite transmission. Their is just no way any government organization would set up offshore entities that skirt the US Constitution and allow them to track every known banking transaction the world over or force other countries to divulge their banking secrets despite there own national laws requiring them not too.

So the Thought Police are out.

Next problem - whats with our hero? Winston Smith? Okay good name but he's a... he's a... he's a bureaucrat - he's a civil servant who revises history. Revising history - that's for film makers like Oliver Stone - not desk jockeys. Besides - there's no way Mel Gibson or Brad Pitt or Jason Stratham are going to play some pencil pusher. We need to make him a rogue, ex-Thought Police member who plays by his own rules. So that's it Winston is now a man of action - better than your average man - better, stronger, faster. Yeah, he may even have some latent super powers that will slowly be revealed in critical encounters, not sure but possible.

Finally what the hell kind of ending is that? He meets a babe - Julia - definitely not a bond girl as she is originally part of the Anti-Sex League. This is all wrong. I propose a twenty something, nuclear physicist and computer genius who is also hot and scantilly clad at all times!

Then, while having sex on a racing motorcycle and escaping the Thought Police who aren't actually in my version anyway, she hacks into the Big Brother main frame and crashes the entire system. Winston single handedly beats the crap out of eighty four members of the Party, culminating with a mono-y-mono laser sword fight against O'Brien - his torturer in the first, flawed version. After Winston decapitates O'Brien and Julia reprograms Big Brother Net to espouse freedom, all of world soon becomes free and sings in perfect harmony like that Coke commercial from the seventies.

As I see it my version has several advantages:

  1. Much more action and thus a higher chance of becoming a summer blockbuster staring Shia Labouf and Megan Fox when we sell the film rights.
  2. Better story arc and a "Real" ending - one that makes you stand up and cheer.
  3. No confusion with existing organizations that may consider torture, eavesdropping, re-education and propaganda as their own little bailiwick.

And most importantly:

4: You don't have to think at all, either before, during or after reading it, and it won't linger with you like a bad headache, bother you or make you feel compelled to act in any other way once you put it down.

We don't need 1984 - trust me, nothing like this could ever happen.


Bill Cameron said...

Very well played, sir!

Sophie Littlefield said...

ha ha ha ha

that was great :)

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Glad you cleared that up, Graham! To think I've been worried all these years. *whew*

Sounds like a blockbuster.

Nice job!

Graham Brown said...

Thanks guys - halfway through this blog I was thinking am I even making sense here. Then I got a call from MINTRUTH - and they approved.

Graham Brown said...

By the way Becky - congrats on the iDrac - so if I can get it from Itunes - I'm downloading today.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Graham, thanks! Turns out it's not coming out today. It's in the Apple queue and we're waiting, more or less patiently (me, less).

I'll let you know the minute I do.

Glad MINTRUTH approved.

Kelli Stanley said...

Ha!! Wonderful post, Graham!! I would have laughed louder but I'm afraid someone might hear me. ;)


Terry Stonecrop said...

Haha!!! Yeah, what a stupid story!
Could never, ever happen, um, except, like now:(

*Pulling off my scarlet sash*

Like I would ever put one on in the first place:)

Loved this one!

Mike Dennis said...

I've got it! You could call it 2014.

Graham Brown said...

Thanks Kelli. Discretion on laughter is very appropriate.

Thanks Terry. No Scarlet Sashes over here either.

Gabi said...

I trust you, Graham. Really. And I'd never turn you over to the bill of rights eradicating shadow quasi-governmental, oh heck let's give them the code name Blackwater (or Xe if you prefer) even if they did exist. Which they don't. I know because you told me and you, fiction writer that you are, would never tell a lie much less a whopper.

Prescient and creepy.