[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to The Storyteller's Mission with Zena Dell Lowe, a podcast for artists and storytellers about changing the world for the better through story.
[00:00:11] So last week we discussed a number of things that the book 1984 have in common with today, and we're going to continue that trajectory. We're going to keep talking about this because I think these are important concepts for us to think about.
[00:00:26] They are very important things for us to realize are coming true so that perhaps we can do something about them. We can change the trajectory of our future.
[00:00:38] Today, I'm just gonna dive right in with the next concept that 1984 discusses that has a lot in common with today.
[00:00:45] I've talked quite a bit lately about some of these terms, but I'm gonna go ahead and bring 'em up here because what are some of the Newspeak terms that we could maybe equivocate to today.
[00:00:59] Well, I would argue woke, woke would be a term that is definitely Newspeak for today in reality. And what does it mean to be woke? Well, for one, woke means that we feel guilty. We feel guilty. Guilt is associated with woke. Not just feeling guilty, but being guilty and that you should be guilty. It's an accusation of guilt.
[00:01:29] If you're woke, you recognize somebody is guilty of oppression.
[00:01:35] Also, there is a search for meaning. There is a need to be loved. There is career preservation.
[00:01:42] To be woke is to recognize the guilt of the ruling class or the white class against minorities, that we have been racist at every fundamental level of society.
[00:01:59] To be woke is to come out of that, is to admit it, to embrace it, to acknowledge the truth of systemic racism, which of course is another term.
[00:02:10] Systemic racism. White privilege. These are woke terms, this is Newspeak. Even the term Christianity is taking on a new form. Today, to be a Christian is synonymous with being racist, a bigot, close-minded, oppressive, backwards thinking, hateful.
[00:02:32] Christians. It is a terrible thing to be a Christian today. It just says everything opposite of what they want you to believe and be like. It is automatically a conviction of wrongdoing.
[00:02:46] Cultural equity is another buzz term or Newspeak term that is popular today. Transgender. Even things like pronouns. I identify as he, she there, they, zim, zer. I identify as a cat for crying out loud.
[00:03:04] All of these things, even talking about pronouns. What are your pronouns? What in the heck? Why would we ever even need to ask that question? The idea of cancel culture, it's a Newspeak term. Cancel culture. You could be canceled at any minute.
[00:03:21] Virtue signaling, these are all types of things that are going on in culture today and it is powerful.
[00:03:29] There's also, in all of this, a denial of common sense. See what happens when you participate in a woke culture is that you are trying to please people. You're trying to signal your virtue that you are on the side of good, that you are not evil. There is a need there to be loved.
[00:03:50] There's also a need to preserve your career. If you are doing something that is public or even not. If you're, certainly, if you're in the media, in Hollywood, there's been this terrible thing that's happened. If you are not woke, you are blacklisted. So there's this need to protect yourself or else you won't even be able to make money.
[00:04:10] And this has happened across the board. It is so powerful. You can be canceled.
[00:04:16] So now you need to signal your virtue that you're on the side of good and you're denying common sense.
[00:04:25] God created men in his image, male and female. He created them. You often will hear people say, well, Native Americans have long held that there are more than two genders. So? Even if that statement is true, who cares? What does that prove? It doesn't prove anything. And by the way, I don't think that's true, but even if it did, it doesn't prove anything.
[00:04:50] So there's all sorts of things going on that are Newspeak in today's world.
[00:04:58] Here's another example. What's happening in women's sports? You know, women are being pushed out of sports altogether by biological boys who identify as girls, and if we don't believe that biological men have a significant advantage over biological women in sports, then why did women's sports ever need to be created in the first place?
[00:05:21] Let's stop fooling ourselves.
[00:05:24] On Prager U, there is a fabulous five minute video by former track star, Selena Sol, who had trained for years to compete in her area of focus only to come in third, beaten by two biological males who identified as females.
[00:05:42] She lost scholarship options, a chance to be seen by recruiters.
[00:05:46] The boys who won beat all the girls across the state, but their times weren't even good enough to qualify in the Boys' State Championships. But here they are, winners, dominating the girls' competition. Does this seem fair to you?
[00:06:03] Now this gal has been accused in the media of being a sore loser for bringing up the disparity, but I don't think she's a sore loser.
[00:06:11] I think she is brave because to speak out against it is to set yourself up for assault. It's to be attacked.
[00:06:19] Just look at the comments that you're going to see coming in this episode or in some of the previous episodes. I mean, my goodness. Once you stick to a side, once you speak out against the common narrative, you are free game to attack and they will just rip you apart. They will destroy you. They will show no restraint whatsoever.
[00:06:45] All right, so the point is that the reason we even have girls' sports in the first place is to give female athletes with talent and hard work, a chance to shine and be recognized. Women fought too hard for too long to let their accomplishments be erased.
[00:07:04] And yet when girls start pointing things out like this, the biological differences and strength and speed make it impossible to compete, they are immediately targeted as hate mongers, bigots, and poor losers.
[00:07:19] Did you know that it's now okay for a man to hit a woman? I mean, at least that's what a mixed martial arts league decided when it allowed Fallon Fox, a biological male, to fight as a woman simply because he identified as one.
[00:07:34] The result was that Fox sent female fighter, Tamika Brins, to the hospital with a broken skull and severe concussion.
[00:07:44] Now, when she was interviewed by the press about the match with Fox, this trained fighter of 20 years said, "I have never felt so overpowered in all my life."
[00:07:57] 20 years ago, this man would've been sent to jail. Today, he's lauded a hero and gets paid to hit women.
[00:08:07] We're being told that men and women are the same. There's no biological difference. It's what we choose to identify as that matters. Facebook now offers over 50 genders to choose from when you fill out your profile.
[00:08:22] This is insanity people. This is insanity. This is Newspeak. This is Fahrenheit 451. This is 1984. The idea that gender identification is now a personal choice might sound enlightened to you. It might sound enlightened to you, but you have to take, you have to take it to its logical conclusion. It's not enlightened. It's returning women to the dark ages, and it's also an anti-scientific view. One that is essential to the facts of life that we are now subverting. And one that we used to all understand as a matter of common sense.
[00:09:03] Men and women are different. Our brains are different. Our hormones and chromosomes are different. At the cellular level, our chemistry is different. Our bodies are different. No amount of peer reviewed papers from gender studies departments can change this. It is the way it is.
[00:09:20] The irony is that all of these people believe that they are progressive. That they are enlightened. But guess who's going to pay the price? Women. Women will pay the price because the argument inevitably means that women will be judged against a male standard.
[00:09:39] Consider what happened in the feminist movement. Women rightfully argued for equal rights because we are equal in value and worth. We are equal in dignity, all those things. The truth is we are equal. The lie is that we're the same.
[00:09:58] We see how this played out. In order to be equal, women gave up their unique feminine qualities and adopted masculine ones. Instead of celebrating the unique parts of our femininity that made us women, we even, we subjugated them, said they were worse, took on the masculine characteristics and went out into the world and tried to behave like men, which, ironically, elevated masculine characteristics and said that they were superior to the feminine ones. This is what happened.
[00:10:31] In actuality, this is why I believe the feminist movement failed because it really wasn't about femininity. It was about giving up femininity and adopting masculine traits and trying to be like men.
[00:10:46] And in so doing, we basically argued that masculine traits are indeed better, and how did we see it play out? Casual sex, fighting in wars, pursuing careers in the same way that men do defying what we know to be true. Science confirms that men and women are different, and yet we are literally told to ignore the science.
[00:11:09] We are literally told to ignore the science or that the science is wrong or that the science doesn't take into account all the nuances. It defies common sense.
[00:11:18] Toys are no longer separated into boys and girls sections. In some schools, students can no longer be called boys and girls, but only students. More and more college dorms are co-ed on the basis that there's no difference between boys and girls.
[00:11:33] Think about what this means for girls. When they're forced to change clothes in front of biological males. And what does this mean for the boys, how confusing this must be for them? What kind of impact is this going to have on the next generation when they're told that the differences between the sexes is all in their heads? What is that going to do to the next generation?
[00:12:00] By the way, when Tamika Brins was asked by the media why she lost so badly to a man who said that he was a woman, poor Tamika was in a trap. She had to tow the PC line or risk being canceled. So she said, "I can't answer whether it's because she was born a man or not, because I'm not a doctor." Poor Tamika.
[00:12:24] This defies common sense. The longer we allow the obvious to go unstated and undefended, the worse it's going to be.
[00:12:34] Let's get back to 1984. Here is another aspect of it that mirrors what's happening today. Fake news. Right? Fake news. One of the main components of 1984 are the tele screens that emit continuous government propaganda.
[00:12:52] Winston, the main character, is employed to edit news reports that reflect the propaganda that the government wants the people to believe. He even makes up imaginary people as witnesses to validate this view of reality. The government in 1984 is also engaged in trying to get the people to believe only what the party says. Not what they really know is occurring based on all the evidence. Ignore all the facts. Don't look here. This is the truth.
[00:13:28] What does this sound like? Does this not sound like everything that's happening today?
[00:13:34] Here's a couple of quotes that you might appreciate.
[00:13:38] "The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final most essential command."
[00:13:46] Is that not what's happening today? Now, here's what's ironic, in today's digital age, fake news and alternative facts have become the new norm. Right? In fact, it is so common on Facebook that Mark Zuckerberg took it upon himself to work with experts to try to "fight it", but in fighting it, all he was doing was suppressing anything that didn't fit his agenda. He was actually doing the government's work.
[00:14:15] It is crazy, crazy, crazy. Now, they say, "Oh, we're trying to fight the fake news," but really they're suppressing evidence. They're suppressing individual thought.
[00:14:27] And by the way, fake news is bad. It should be stopped on all levels. If you have fake news, don't spread it.
[00:14:34] But the only people that can do that are people that value the actual truth. And the problem is today, it isn't about what's true. It's about what the party wants you to believe.
[00:14:46] The upshot of this is that in today's day and age, most people don't trust the news anymore. I certainly don't because, first of all, the news organizations changed when it became all about sensationalism and trying to get people to watch you.
[00:15:02] And we see this even going back as far as a show like Network where we have the people that are trying to get ratings. That's what it's about.
[00:15:11] So now it's about hyper sensationalism and it's not about what's actually going on in the world. So that's where we started, right?
[00:15:19] But then today we're at a point where, first of all, we can't trust anything that's being said because the people that are sponsoring the news, are paying for it, the people that are actually paying for those things might be the people we need to be reporting against, but we can't because they're the ones that are paying for it. Do you see how this becomes a problem when we have that sort of situation?
[00:15:41] We have a system right now that is so corrupt that we can't trust anything coming out of the actual news.
[00:15:49] We have to constantly question the veracity and the validity of anything that we hear in the media. Even after hours of careful research, we may still end up with figures and statistics that are not accurate because they've been reported out of context.
[00:16:06] Or because, and we see this all the time now too, if it's confusing enough, then we can't sort through the facts. That's deliberate and intentional. Make sure it is so muddy that there's no way that anybody could actually figure out what's true. That is a strategy that is being used now to throw people off the scent of the truth.
[00:16:31] Now, in 1984, Winston is okay with the fact that he's altering reality by changing the information people are given about their world. This is because he believes in an objective truth that can stand on its own and doesn't need any additional information to validate it.
[00:16:49] We often make the same presumption, namely that the truth will out. We aren't always overly concerned with the state of the internet, which allows anyone to post anything online for all to see for whatever reason, whether truthful or not.
[00:17:05] We feel that either we'll be able to tell what is true and what is untrue, or that eventually the truth will have to be disclosed. The problem is, again, there are tactics now being employed that make it almost impossible for truth to out. Partly because of the corruption at these very high levels that are committed to suppressing that truth and always keeping it concealed.
[00:17:28] I mean, for crying out loud, why haven't we seen the flight manifest for Epstein? Right? For his pedophile island? We should have that information by now, but the systems that are at play to keep that from falling into the public are so well oiled that we may never see that full list. And that's what's crazy.
[00:17:53] So the point is, is that while George Orwell's novel 1984 was clearly a work of fiction written in the late 1940s, the reality that he predicted has come true in a number of important and scary ways.
[00:18:09] Surveillance and loss of privacy, it's common in this day and age.
[00:18:14] The war on terrorism seems to be unending with changing enemies and allies and shifting locations and no identifiable battlefields.
[00:18:23] Language shortcuts that are used to more quickly communicate are actually in fact influencing literacy and cognition and causing divides between different segments of society.
[00:18:37] Fake news and alternate facts are accepted as objectionable, yet unavoidable, even when uttered by government leaders and even when the falsehoods seem obvious.
[00:18:49] Government leaders have always attempted to manipulate the truth in their favor, of course. Yet it seems in modern times that reality is allowed to be altered based on the leader's whims without effort to even conceal this any longer.
[00:19:03] When what is true one day is said to be false the next and vice versa, this leads to a state of affairs that is unconscionable. And It's one in which ignorance is accepted as the status quo. It is no wonder why so many of us are simply not looking anymore. It is too mind boggling, and that is also a tactic to make it so confusing for you to find the truth that you stop looking.
[00:19:31] As more and more information is made available to us in real time, the chance that anyone will be able to verify the sources and evidence will continue to decrease.
[00:19:41] Without an insistence on accountability and a culture where truth is valued and logic is used for debate instead of propaganda, we could lose the ability to tell reality from falsehood. I think we already have in many cases.
[00:20:03] In 1984, Winston asks, "How do we know that two and two make four, or that the force of gravity works or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable, what then?"
[00:20:26] The answer to this question may be a world where we accept what we are told, without question, as absolute truth, even when it defies rational thought.
[00:20:36] For crying out loud. We don't even question certain things anymore, like contradictions, logical contradictions like black is white. Two plus two is five. War is peace. Freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength. All these things.
[00:20:55] It is up to us to prevent others from influencing our thoughts and beliefs with propaganda. It is up to us to insist that our leaders be held accountable, that they avoid using fake news and alternative facts as an easy way to win favor from their opposition.
[00:21:15] We need to have accountability, but leaders need to have followers to lead. If we stopped following, if we stopped doing it and demanding that these people were worthy of our support, then maybe that could change some things.
[00:21:32] By the way, there is another huge concept in Orwellian history, which is Doublethink.
[00:21:39] Doublethink is an inherently contradictory part of Newspeak and the politics of 1984. According to the novel, here's what Doublethink is: to know and not to know. To be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies. To hold simultaneously two opinions which canceled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it.
[00:22:15] Orwell's novel remains one of the most significant products of that particular era when it comes to the ideological struggle of ideas. The novel managed to embed key notions about totalitarianism, the thought police, big brother, Doublethink, permanent telescreen surveillance, and the notion that we are being watched.
[00:22:43] I read 1984 in high school and I recently added it to my reading list again, and what struck me the most in the new iteration was the exhaustive altering and erasing of facts.
[00:23:01] Because the question becomes, what if the people in power could change the facts to suit their narrative so completely that we didn't even know what had happened?
[00:23:09] You've heard the saying that history is doomed to repeat itself. If you don't know history, we'll repeat it. Right? If we don't remember what's happened, then we can't learn from the past. That's exactly what's happening. History is being erased. But we don't even know it because we can no longer know what happened.
[00:23:32] Who controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the present, controls the past.
[00:23:39] Okay, so we have spent two weeks talking about 1984 and we still haven't even gotten into one of my other favorite protest literature books, which is Fahrenheit 451, and we'll probably come back to that in a few weeks.
[00:23:52] But next week we're gonna go off on something else, and I hope you will join us. We have some real craft oriented stuff coming up, so please join us for that.
[00:24:02] If you are a screenwriter and you want to make it in Hollywood, I actually have a free training video that you can look at on our website. All you have to do is go to thestorytellersmission.com/formatting-as-an-artform, and you will be able to watch our free training video, and then you will also get a preview of our class, Formatting as an Artform, which is the best course on screenplay writing in existence. I highly encourage you to check it out. And it's currently on sale, so you don't wanna miss out on this opportunity.
[00:24:36] There should be a link in the notes section. Check it out today. You don't wanna miss it. Watch the free training. Take it from there.
[00:24:43] All right. That's all I'm gonna say today. Thank you so much for joining me on this episode of The Storyteller's Mission with Zena Dell Lowe. May you go forth inspired to change the world for the better through story.