In the uber great masterpiece foretelling our time, the protagonist, Winston Smith, works at the Ministry of Truth. His job is to destroy all references to predictions by Big Brother that did not turn out right, statistics that are inconvenient, and mentions of persons that Big Brother has — through the Ministry of Love — murdered. He simply drops the reference in the one newspaper copy that exists into the Memory Hole and it’s burnt up instantly.
It’s part of the plan of IngSoc, English Socialism, to destroy anything inconvenient in the past that might even slightly upset its totalitarian rule. Their mottos: Who controls the past, controls the present. Who controls the present controls the future.
This comes to mind tonight as I rummaged through the Internet looking for Confederate flag memorabilia on Amazon, earth’s biggest store. It was there en masse a week ago. Dozens of different kinds of blankets and quilts. Now, it’s all gone. Poof. Down the Memory Hole because the psycho killer, Dylann Roof, waved the flag before his horrifying murders of nine innocent black men and women in a Charleston black church.
There is no evidence at all that the flag killed anyone. Roof was clearly mentally ill, criminally mentally ill, a thorough criminal, a horrible guy, when he picked up the flag. The flag did not make him ill. He picked up the flag and waved it before a mass murder because he was a mentally ill criminal.
There are thousands of rebel flags at cemeteries throughout the south. They are put there and refreshed constantly. Are all of the people who put down those flags on the graves of the Confederate dead criminals? Did touching the flag make them crazy? I don’t think so.
Should the flags come down from public buildings? Fine and dandy. They are an affront to black men and women whose ancestors were slaves. Yes, take them down and put them in a museum.
But to take them out of stores where they were being sold just a few days ago? To keep Civil War buffs from having them in their homes? That is pure Orwellian mind control. Who is so wise and all-seeing that he knows what symbols to take down and which to allow?
There is law — real, black letter law — that says the government cannot keep a driver from having a Confederate flag license plate holder. Where did Amazon get the idea that it could stop selling anything for the home with a rebel theme? It isn’t the government but it sells a lot more blankets and posters than the government. What Amazon is doing is not illegal. It is just stupid and offensive.
And if your answer is that Amazon just does not want to sell anything offensive, get this: It sells dozens of posters of Mao Tse-tung, who killed over eighty million innocent Chinese, of Stalin, who murdered forty or fifty million of his own USSR people, of Che Guevara, a cold-blooded killer. It sells posters of Adolf Hitler looking soulful. Yes, Adolf Hitler. “Art Prints.”
Amazon, what are you doing? Posters of Stalin and Mao? Posters of Che? Posters of Hitler? But no blankets or quilts of the flag under which many Americans’ ancestors fought?
Who is running this Ministry of Truth and when do the Memory Holes open for anything having to with slaveholders Jefferson or Monroe or Madison or Washington? Where does it end?
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