In discussing George Orwell's 1984 it is difficult not to find a number of references--whether explicit or implicit--to the novel's themes: industrialism, militarism, capitalism and totalitarianism, social control, imperialism, and the subjugation of the individual to the whims of the institution, namely, a government hijacked by a minority group with a vested interest in securing itself as a world superpower that, in its Machiavellian lust for empire, is devoid of a moral obligation to uphold human rights or the common good.
In every age and in every culture, such themes are relevant as history is marked by the rise and fall of various world powers who came into a position of such authority as a result of conquest, invasion, and colonization. Orwell's 1984 is a profound allegory in this sense, likening the fictional world of Oceania to imperial London. It is a time where industry and institution govern the personal lives of individuals to the point where they no longer have a sense of self-identity, nor a sense of history, for that matter. Any search for history or self-identity is immediately quashed by a police system of discipline and punish (eg., Though Police). And so the powers that be--i.e. Big Brother and his Party--because they operate on a system of fear and paranoia, keep the masses in check and submissive to their regime.
The videos listed below are just a few examples of Orwellian philosophy as portrayed in pop culture, namely, rock and hip-hop. Both musical forms provide a platform for the democratic ideal of protest against perceived injustices that favor the institution over the individual's human rights. Each of the videos below pertain both lyrically and imagistically to the themes presented in 1984.
For this assignment, I would like you to choose one video for individual analysis of themes presented in lyrics and image. I would then like you to compare the themes in the video to those presented in 1984, using textual support to back up your claims, including quotes from song lyrics as they pertain to the text of 1984.
This assignment is to follow MLA guidelines for formatting quotations. It is to be completed on the blog by Tuesday, March 26, 2009.
Big Brother Peach, FSC
Incubus' "Megalomaniac": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFnnV595byE&feature=channel
Rage Against the Machine's "Testify": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JSBhI_0at0
El-P's "Stepfather Factory": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Acgr18qpcPM
Talkdemonic's "Duality of Deathening": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCVRv6mZhkA
Aesop Rock's "None Shall Pass": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1u43KDiWD0
Mike Finnegan's "i1100": http://www.blackwingsdesign.com/folio/art_3.htm
Radiohead's "All I Need" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdrCalO5BDs