George Orwell (born Eric Blair on June 25th 1903) is probably one of my favourite twentieth century writers, not just for Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four, but also his political writing, essays, and lesser known novels (Coming up for Air and Keep the Aspidistra Flying are particularly good I think).
In honour of what would have been his 114th birthday, here are some of my favourite Orwell quotes:
On suburban life…
After all, what is a road like Ellesmere Road? Just a prison with the cells all in a row. A line of semi-detached torture chambers… in every one of those little stucco boxes there’s some poor bastard who’s never free except when he’s asleep and dreaming that he’s got the boss down the bottom of a well and is bunging lumps of coal at him.
Coming up for Air 1939 Continue reading
Sometimes you can watch the TV news unfold its daily horrors and let it just wash over you; at other times the sheer awfulness leaves you breathless, heartsick, overwhelmed. Today is one of those other days. It’s been difficult to concentrate at work today, flicking back to the news websites every so often with a pounding heart. If this is how I’m feeling, a comfortable 200 miles away from Grenfell Tower, I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like for those personally affected. Continue reading
Every now and then I stumble across bits of Shakespeare which make me catch my breath with their brilliance. Here’s Mark Antony, lamenting Caesar’s murder and predicting bloody civil war and turmoil:
O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
Thou art the ruins of the noblest man Continue reading
Several years ago I remember waking up in a cold sweat after a nightmare about EastEnders. I think it was about Sonia Fowler – that sweet brainy trumpet-playing girl who fell in love with bad boy Martin after he’d accidentally killed her lovely previous boyfriend, then didn’t realise she was pregnant until she went into labour, gave the baby up for adoption but then had a breakdown and kidnapped the child back. Continue reading
Sunday morning. The Sunday Politics Show, Andrew Marr: time for the senior figures of the main parties to slog it out putting their slant on the latest news and shape the debate for the week ahead. There’s a budget coming up, a hard Brexit is on the cards and Donald Trump is raging at the world over on the other side of the pond. Meanwhile, the leader of the UK Labour Party has this to say:
So, #mermaidthighs is a thing now. In case you didn’t know, if your thighs touch this means you’ve got mermaid thighs. Unlike #thighgap thighs which have a gap in between, and are – it would seem -last year’s thighs. #mermaidthighs is apparently a glorious new internet movement enabling women of all different shapes and sizes to celebrate their individual beauty, and is therefore, by definition, a Good Thing. Continue reading
Tonight, along with about two thousand other people, I took the opportunity to see Jeremy Corbyn addressing a rally in Leeds. As it happened, the event was so popular that the hall reached capacity just as we were reaching the front of the queue. So JC came and stood on the steps of the venue and addressed the outside crowd before his speech in the auditorium. Continue reading