“The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge-hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.”
—George Orwell, 1984
This week in Culture Revolution irony, The Telegraph has orchestrated a thinly-sourced Two Minutes Hate campaign against the progenitor of the Two Minutes Hate concept.
If you masochistically take the time to read the article, you will notice there is literally no single quote attributed to Orwell to prove his alleged misogyny and homophobia. The entire article is premised on the musings of the hyperfeminist biographer of Orwell’s wife who died in 1945 and whom the biographer obviously never spoke to.
Via The Telegraph (emphasis added):
George Orwell was a “sadistic, misogynistic, homophobic, sometimes violent” man who wrote women out of his story, according to a biographer of his wife.
Anna Funder said that Orwell was a brilliant writer but a complicated man whose personal life was at odds with the “decency” of his writing.
She has produced a biography of Eileen O’Shaugnessy, Orwell’s wife – highlighting the contributions O’Shaugnessy made to his work, including helping him to write Animal Farm.
According to Funder, the darkness that runs through 1984 is a reflection of Orwell’s soul..
“He desperately wants to be decent, and wanting to be decent is an honourable thing, a noble thing. But writing a book like 1984, which is violent, misogynist, sadistic, grim, paranoid: that comes out of a writer’s flaws.
“It takes someone who is those things to go deep inside themselves and pull that vision out.
“A decent, everyman underdog, the ordinary person that he might have wanted to be, would not have had those visions…
She added: “That’s a very curious thing that’s going on. He’s not ‘a man of his time’*, it’s not to be excused and thought of as ‘back in the day’.”
*I had a relevant debate along these lines with my liberal uncle once upon a time, in the context of the Founding Fathers. His argument, which at the time in 2010 was obscure but has since become mainstream by the left, is that the fact that the Founders were largely comprised of slave owners negates any value that the founding documents they penned offered to the world because it exposed them as hypocrites.
The Founders, who were just men and not gods, were, of course, hypocrites, but everyone is to some extent. No one that I know of has ever claimed Thomas Jefferson was an infallible deity. We don’t have kings or Kim Jong Uns in America. These were mortal men operating in the social context of their time, advancing what were for that period truly radical ideas, which, by the way, provided the scaffolding for the future emancipation and civil rights movement that did free the slaves.