Happy Birthday, George Orwell, ironically on the day after #Brexit…

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Happy Birthday, George Orwell. As a teen I was a bit obsessed with 1984, Keep The Aspidistra Flying, and Animal Farm. Perhaps it was because I was a teen during Reagonomics, Thatcherism, a still very active cold war and the constant threat of a nuclear apocalypse. Nightmares about a future being just like the scary visions of Mad Max seemed not too crazy. His words rang true, even decades after they were first published.

Then we had Gorbachev, glasnost and the Berlin Wall came down, to much celebration. (We’ll never forget you in your flashing jacket, ‘Hoff!). Driving Trabants became post-modern ironic, and the UK joined the EU. They kept the £ instead of embracing the €, but were proudly part of the reunited European family.

The day after the utter madness of the #Brexit decision has led me to think about George Orwell’s words of wisdom, and how as much as things change, the more they stay the same…

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Wow, love this. Another wonderful feature by the always interesting Brain Pickings.

Haunting Illustrations for Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Introduced by the Courageous Journalist Who Broke the Edward Snowden Story

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Christian Grey’s 25 douchiest thoughts in ‘Grey,’ the ‘Fifty Shades’ spinoff

Hilarious. No point dissing the book when the actual dialogue does it so perfectly… :p

Fusion

E.L. James’ smash hit trilogy of erotic novels — Fifty Shades of Grey (also a half-billion dollar movie), Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed — centers on the torrid romance between young Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, a sexy, mysterious billionaire with a dark past and a taste for S&M. On June 18, Grey’s birthday, James released Grey, a nearly 600-page retelling of Fifty Shades from Anastasia’s lover’s perspective.

We read the entire book (you’re welcome) and discovered that, when it’s not too busy regurgitating the original book’s prix fixe menu of light bondage sex scenes, Grey mostly depicts Christian checking his emails and referring to his penis in the third person.

But seeing the world from Grey’s point of view also gives us access to his innermost, unvoiced thoughts and desires. As it turns out, those innermost thoughts and desires are really, really irritating. Enjoy?

  1. Her voice is high; she’s feigning disinterest. It…

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Happy 150th birthday, W.B. Yeats

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William Butler Yeats by John Singer Sargent 1908” by John Singer Sargent – Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

– He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven | William Butler Yeats

Love this special feature on Yeats’ legacy by the BBC for his 150th birthday. Extraordinary poet, Nobel Prize winner, founder of the Abbey Theatre, modernist and so much more. His astonishing works still resonate today. (And his poems still make me swoon…)