Causation Of The Dystopia

Causation Of The Dystopia

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The central pillar upon which every dystopia rests is the means by which it has fallen from grace. Of course, it is almost always people who are responsible for society’s plunge, but what is the catalyst? The central fault line into which the world crumbles into? Most commonly, it is the oppressive government brainwashing its people, but even this genre contains variance. The most distinct difference between all of the brands of dystopic rule is the origin of oppression: roots that lie somewhere between "1984" and "A Clockwork Orange."

In basic terms, their dissimilarities begin when the ambitious slide, unnoticed, into the role of the tyrant. In "1984," it’s the cyclical, power-hungry Oceania government who reigns. They attempt and succeed at creating socio-political stasis so the rich can maintain their authoritarian position through convoluted suppression and conditioning tactics. Whereas in "A Clockwork Orange," the government has only began to drift into autocracy as they experiment with brainwashing as a method to reform the psychotic, amoral thugs that roam the streets. Both novels tell two radically different stories that cover a broad range of cultural weaknesses and faults that, however, which failure defines them as dystopic?

The world of Orwell’s "1984" is driven by a avaricious upper class that uses technological advances to spy on their own citizens, produce mass propaganda, and change the past itself. The greed of the rich and powerful is so great that they’ve systematically cleansed the people of all meaningful human emotion or instinct. Children are taught to report their parents, the only conversations are about government approved topics, marriage is by appointment and sex is illegal. Logic is overruled by government, order and fact is warped to such an extreme degree as to be rendered meaningless. There is no freedom except to think as the government instructs. This complete cultural dominance is enacted in order to prevent the lower or middle class from ever attempting to overtake the ruling class.

Winston, the main character, fights against his cage by desperately clinging to any stimuli, any stash of color in his bleak world. He dreams of rape and love, murder and torture and freedom and life; any fantasy to break the homogenous routine of corruption. Civilization is stripped of emotion, resulting in a perfectly cyclical system that exists only for its own sake. The world is a grey crater, populated by soulless grey husks, a world that juxtaposes nicely with "A Clockwork Orange," which while occupying a larger space on the emotional spectrum, is nonetheless just as horrific.

"A Clockwork Orange" centers around a vicious teenage criminal named Alex and his depraved lifestyle. He does drugs, cheats, steals, murders, date rapes prepubescent girls, and has an odd taste for Beethoven. The amoral climax of his exploits comes when he enters the house of a married couple with his friends and beats the husband, gang-rapes and murders his wife in front of him, and stops only for a moment to tear his magnum opus to shreds. Eventually his violent exploits come to a rather sudden end when a rival gang member brutally beats Alex and leaves him for dead in the house of an old woman they’ve just murdered. He’s caught and sentenced to prison where he serves two years working in a prison chapel, sating his urges by reading the bible for its bloodier passages. Eventually the inevitable happens and he beats a cellmate to death. From there, he elects to undergo an experimental rehabilitation treatment in return for early release. The process leaves him conditioned to have intense fits of nausea at the slightest violent inclination.

Using this framework, the author attempts to illustrate the importance of moral choice. The evil in his, and indeed this, world is perhaps overwhelmingly prevalent in all of its sadistic directionlessness, but even here you can catch a glimpse of what beauty there could be. A loving couple, a righteous man, a brilliant symphony; tiny pieces of a magnificent painting shining through layers of caked-on grime and neglect. This is not to say that Alex’s sins were of necessity, but their possibility is. To be purely one thing is to be nothing at all and to remove choice is to burn the painting all together.

Here we have a grey, dead world and a painting wreathed in flames; two perhaps very disparate metaphors that draw the same conclusions. Of course the meaning behind the stories varies, as does the setting and, the means by which their worlds have been created. However, it is through the differences in structure that the true horror carried throughout is revealed: the totalitarian rule, the extinction of freedom in every form. Winston is forehead-deep in oppression and fights to overcome, while Alex already lives in an anarchic and free world yet is still held in a mental cage. It’s almost as if "A Clockwork Orange" is a prelude to "1984." Just as the fist of control tightens around Alex, blotting out the light, Winston attempts to fight it. Perhaps there is futility in these actions, but it serves to illustrate what truly makes dystopia, not just the oppression of physical freedoms but of the mind.

Cover Image Credit: illuminatiagenda.com

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10 Things I Threw Out AFTER Freshman Year Of College

Guess half the stuff on your packing list doesn't really matter
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I spent the entire summer before my freshman year of college so WORRIED.

I also spent most of my money that summer on miscellaneous dorm stuff. I packed the car when the time finally came to move in, and spent the drive up excited and confused about what the heck was actually going on.

Freshman year came and went, and as I get ready to go back to school in just a few short weeks (!!), I'm starting to realize there's just a whole bunch of crap I just don't need.

After freshman year, I threw out:

1. Half my wardrobe.

I don't really know what I was thinking of owning 13 sweaters and 25 T-shirts in the first place. I wear the same five T-shirts until I magically find a new one that I probably got for free, and I put on jeans maybe four times. One pair is enough.

2. Half my makeup.

Following in the theme of #1, if I put on makeup, it's the same eyeliner-mascara combination as always. Sometimes I spice it up and add lipstick or eyeshadow.

3. My vacuum.

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One, I basically never did it. Two, if I REALLY needed to vacuum, dorms rent out cleaning supplies.

4. Most of my photos from high school.

I didn't throw them ALL away, but most of them won't be making a return to college. Things change, people change, your friends change. And that's okay.

5. Excess school supplies.

Binders are heavy and I am lazy. I surprisingly didn't lose that many pens, so I don't need the fifty pack anymore. I could probably do without the crayons.

6. Cups/Plates/Bowls/Silverware.

Again, I am lazy. I cannot be bothered to wash dishes that often. I'll stick to water bottles and maybe one coffee cup. Paper plates/bowls can always be bought, and plastic silverware can always be stolen from different places on campus.

7. Books.

I love to read, but I really don't understand why I thought I'd have the time to actually do it. I think I read one book all year, and that's just a maybe.

8. A sewing kit.

I don't even know how to sew.

9. Excessive decorations.

It's nice to make your space feel a little more cozy, but not every inch of the wall needs to be covered.

10. Throw pillows.

At night, these cute little pillows just got tossed to the floor, and they'd sit there for days if I didn't make my bed.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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We're All Thinking It, I'm Saying It: Too Many People Are Running For President

I'm all for options, but man, do we really need 24? I mean, I can barely pick a flavor of ice cream at Baskin Robbins let alone a potential President.

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There are, currently, 23 Democrats running for President. On the Republican side, there's, of course, Trump, but only one other candidate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld. Democrats have a whole range of people running, from senators to congressmen, a former vice-president, and even a spiritual advisor. We can now say that there are DOZENS of people running for President in 2020.

Joe Biden has been leading the pack for quite some time now. He was even leading polls before he announced his campaign. Although he is the frontrunner, there really is no big favorite to win the nomination. Biden has been hovering around the mid-30s in most polls, with Bernie Sanders coming in second. Other minor candidates in the hunt are Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris.

After the surprising defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016, Democrats have become electrified and have a mission to take back the White House after winning back the House of Representatives in 2018. There are so many people running in 2020, it seems that it will be hard to focus on who is saying what and why someone believes in something, but in the end, there can only be one candidate. This is the most diverse group of candidates ever, several women are running, people of color, the first out gay candidate, and several more.

There could be a problem when it comes to debate time. I mean, the first debate is next month. Having around 20-plus people on stage at the same time, debating each other kinda sounds like a nightmare. How can someone get their point across in the right amount of time when someone else is going to cut them off? Debates are usually around an hour and a half. So, if you divide it up, each candidate would get just under five minutes to speak. That would be in a perfect world of course.

Democrats seriously believe that they can beat Trump in 2020. They say they have learned from the mistakes of 2016, and have the guts and the momentum to storm back into the White House. By July of next year, there will be only one candidate left. Will they be able to reconcile the divide during the primaries? We will see. It will surely be a fun election cycle, so make sure to have your popcorn ready and your ballot at hand to pick your favorite candidate, no matter what party you lean towards.

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