I started reading 1984 last night. Or I should say, rereading as I have read it before but it�s been at least ten years; not since high school. I occasionally like to reread the very good books that I�ve read before, after some time has passed to see if the writing still holds up to scrutiny now that I�ve actually developed some critical thinking skills. One of these days I�ll reread The Lord of the Rings . Elvira�s reading it now, for the first time, after falling in love with Peter Jackson ‘s adaptation to film. She�s just gotten to the part they left out of the movie, where Frodo and the other hobbits meet Tom Bombadil. She�s astounded by the slowness of the pacing in the book compared to the movie.

I�ve been speaking with a number of people about the similarities to our current state of international politics. They, like myself have made references to Orwell�s book and it�s spooky sense of prophecy. But this is always said at least half jokingly, if not three quarters. But last night I was startled. It�s like �President� Bush read 1984, but didn�t get the irony. Instead he thought, �What a gosh darn good manual for running a dictatorship. Too bad Orwell�s a foreigner because he�d be great as a Secretary of the Interior. Oh well, guess I�ll have to do it myself.� Or something like that.

I could write an essay comparing and contrasting Orwell�s Oceana to Pax Americana but frankly that would be pedantic. And that�s a scary thought; that the similarities are so blaringly obvious that it�d be like pointing at the sky and explaining that it�s blue. Read it for yourself and whenever you see the name Goldstein, just replace it with Hussein and imagine that the Minister of Love is named John Ashcroft. Sleep tight!