A Note on 1984, Bowie, and Art
Some thoughts from April as we dive into parts two and three of 1984:
Where is Bowie in this book?” What effected him, and encouraged him? As I was reading 1984 I thought, is this why Bowie was so attracted to art? Why his life was art. It seems so important as I read this cautionary tale.
There’s a part of the book that demonstrates the brain washing of the masses. During a rally people are demanding the downfall of Eurasia. Suddenly in mid rally they are told it is Eastasia, not Eurasia they are at war with. Without question the people rapidly replace their signs and direct their hate towards a nation that just seconds ago they were supporting.
Art can not be swayed, there is truth and emotion that can not be washed away. You can evoke feelings, emotion, history, love, creation,
Bowie found art. Did this book resonate with him because he had the ability to see what this world of rules and politics can bring? In this story, it seems to be a worthless fight.
Bowie put his roots in something that could grow.
“You could not create such a world as you have just described. It is a dream. It is impossible.”
“It is impossible found a civilization on fear and hatred and cruelty. It would not endure.”
“It would have no vitality. It would disintegrate. It would commit suicide.”
“Nonsense. You are under the impression that hatred is more exhausting than love. Why should it be? And if it were, what difference would that make?”
“In the end they will beat you. Sooner or later they will see you for what you are, and then they will tear you to pieces. “
“Do you see evidence that this is happening? Or any reason why it should?”
“ No. I believe it. I know that you will fail. There is something in the Universe - I don’t know, some spirit, some principle you will never overcome.”
“Do you believe in God, Winston?”
“Then what is it, this principle that will defeat us?”
“I don’t know. The spirit of Man.”
“And do you consider yourself a man?”
“If you are a man Winston, you are the last man. Your kind is extinct; we are the inheritors. Do you understand that you are alone? You are outside history, you are nonexistent. And you consider yourself morally superior to us, with our lies and our cruelty?”
“Yes, I consider myself superior."