Monday, April 8, 2013
8 April 2013
Taylor Kitsch b. 1981
Katee Sackhoff b. 1980
Emma Caulfield b. 1973
Mr. Kitsch was on Friday Night Lights, but his best known work in genre is in X-Men Origins:Wolverine. He was also the lead in John Carter, a project he would likely just as soon forget. Ms. Sackoff's best known work in genre is in Battlestar Galactica. As usual, I use the cute girl = picture slot rule.
Edit: I had Emma Caulfield's birthday written down wrong. It's today and she should count as a cute girl, too. Next year, I'll have a picture of Anya from Buffy instead of Starbuck from Battlestar.
Prediction: 1984 will see the publication of the 11th edition of the Newspeak Dictionary
Predictor: George Orwell in 1984, published in 1949
Reality: Orwell was fascinated with language and invests a lot of thought and ink into how language would have to change in a society like Oceania. We learn about the new language Newspeak through the character Syme, played in the 1984 version of the film by James Walker. As Syme tells us, it is not so much about creating new words as it is about destroying old ones, limiting the ways that people can think by getting rid of words that express thoughts the party rejects.
1984 is not a comic novel, but Orwell throws in a few smiles along the way with his choice of words. Winston is forced to perform a morning exercise routine with an instructress monitoring his progress and that of many others through the telescreen. The exercises are called The Physical Jerks, a phrase Elvis Costello appropriated in the song Living In Paradise. Syme explains that the rhythm of Newspeak is very important, that words tend to be two or three syllables with a clipped sound. A skilled orator in Newspeak creates a rhythm that carries the listener along, with no time to think about anything else besides what is being said. Words will no longer have shades of meaning and listeners will not have time for their minds to wander.
I've read the book several times, this time around reading it on Kindle, which makes it easier to search. Early in the book, Winston uses the word thoughtcrime, which describes the great sin of Oceania, having an idea antithetical to the principles of IngSoc (Newspeak for English Socialism). Later in the book, the word crimethink is introduced, the same as thoughtcrime in meaning but with more of the clipped rhythm Orwell decides is vital. Syme explains the Newspeak word duckspeak, which can be an insult or a compliment, the way the new language makes a fluent speaker sound like a quacking duck. It is worth noting that while Orwell says Newspeak is meant to get rid of ambiguity, he still comes up with new words that have multiple meanings. Even while trying to invent a language that limits thought, Orwell himself can't help but play with the language, one of the traits that give his writing such power.
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!
Crimethink. Try not to commit one between now and next we meet. I fully expect you to fail.
Join me then... IN THE FUTURE!