We’re further from 1984 than Orwell was when he wrote it!

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It’s now 40 years since 1984 – meaning that we’re now four years further away from that year than George Orwell was when he wrote his seminal novel.

Orwell wrote the book in 1948, and the thinking is that he chose 1984 – not because it had any particular significance – but because it 84 was 48 in reverse.

But whatever, it was both sufficiently into the future to allow for a reality that saw the world turned on its axis by war, conflict and revolution – and close enough to the actual year of publication not to see too far away to contemplate.

Similarly, when Prince encouraged us all to party like it was 1999, he was thinking far into the future because it was released in 1982.

That means it was 17 years away when he sung about it – and now its 25 years behind us.

It’s only one reason to remember what it was like to party in 1999, because we did it with bells on as the millennium came to a close and we too feared that civilization as we knew it (or our computers at least) would melt down at the stroke midnight, unable to cope with a new dawn.

As it turned out, the only fly in the ointment that New Year’s Eve – and the reason some people couldn’t party at all – was the exorbitant cost of babysitters who were charging so much for their services you’d have thought they were going to take your child and rear them until they were ready to go to college.

Prince’s 1999 was a call to party like the end of the world was coming; as he said: “two thousand zero zero; party over, oops out of time”.

But mainly it was a time in the near future when the world would be a very different place – and then we passed it out to find there was no change at all.

Ditto, 2001 A Space Odyssey – Stanley Kubrick’s science fiction classic was released in 1968, so while we’re still only halfway to 2001 being further away from then to now, time is passing in only one direction.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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