“What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening,” said Donald Trump to the Veterans of Foreign Wars during its national convention in Kansas City last year.
That gem set off a stampede to bookstores across the US as Americans cleared the shelves of George Orwell’s classic, “1984.”
In his review of Dorian Lynskey’s “The Ministry of Truth: The Biography of George Orwell’s 1984,” for The Atlantic, staff writer George Packer notes that the nation “staggers under the daily load of doublethink pouring from Trump,” an outpouring that is amplified by his GOP enablers, Fox News mouthpiece and fanatical supporters.
But the role of “Big Brother” is reserved for Apple, while Facebook and Google take the part of the Ministry of Truth.
Or as Lynskey wrote: “By definition, a country in which you are free to read 1984 is not the country described in 1984.”
Instead, Americans voluntarily succumbed to the lure of Big Brother by agreeing to nonstop surveillance by the mini-telescreens (e.g., iPhones) that they carry everywhere and tell everything to—without any pressure from the state.
"The state of mind the the Party enforces through terror in 1984, where truth becomes so unstable that it ceases to exist, we now induce in ourselves," wrote Packer.
The irony of the situation: Apple once perceived itself as the liberator from Big Brother conformity, which was represented by IBM as its PC clones.
Apple kicked off 1984 with its powerful Super Bowl “Big Brother” ad for The Mac, which was watched by 96M people.
A female athlete, representing The Mac, threw a sledgehammer into a giant telescreen that featured a shouting man who personified Big Brother of Orwell’s book.
To the astonishment of the audience of IBM-like gray zombies, the telescreen exploded. Apple’s message: “You’ll see why 1984, won’t be like 1984.”
Apple needs to update that marketing pitch to “You see why 2019 is like 1984.”
Big Brother is indeed watching, thanks to the iPhone and to the horror of the star of Apple’s classic Super Bowl ad.