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The Folly of Disappearing Art and Culture

Following the harrowing recent documentary Leaving Neverland, which detailed sexual abuse allegations against Michael Jackson, executive producers of The Simpsons, James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, and Al Jean, have decided to remove an episode from the canon in which Jackson’s voice makes an appearance. It is not the content of the episode, “Stark Raving Dad,” which aired in 1991, that is now in question, but Jackson’s very participation in the episode.

It is absurd that creators who have themselves been accused of causing offense are now excising content from season 2 of their seminal 30 season series of animated Americana. But the real affront is to fans and consumers, who will no longer have access to this content, and need to decide whether they want to be protected from material that was previously available across all platforms.

Back when The Simpsons premiered, first on The Tracy Ullman Show, and then as a standalone half hour on Fox in 1989, it was one of more offensive things on television, and on the most offensive network, Fox. Homer Simpson was a beer swilling, toxically masculine lout, a neglectful father, and sorry excuse for a husband. Bart was a loudmouth, back-talking troublemaker. Lisa and Marge Simpson kept the family together. Overall, the show provided an antidote to the happy, pretty, functional families that routinely graced America’s primetime slots.

The creators and producers of The Simpsons, a show derided as much as it was praised, may have withdrawn the episode in a misplaced but good faith act of conscience. But, in our increasingly censorious times, it looks a lot like a surrender offered before it has even been demanded—a preemptive defensive manoeuvre the late Christopher Hitchens used to call “crying before you’ve been hurt.”

In 1990, the New York Times spoke to Groening about his show and the strong reactions it elicited. “We get lots of mail from people of all ages.” Groening replied. “My favorite letter was from a kid who said his father wouldn’t let him watch because there’s so much bad language and everybody hurts each other’s feelings.” Groening certainly took some satisfaction in that; and his irreverent show was a hit even so.

The Simpsons has featured many celebrity guest voices over the years, so it’s hard not to wonder if Jackson’s episode will be the only one disappeared. What about Larry King’s episode? And what was the justification for having convicted felon and R&B legend James Brown on the show? Or Mel Gibson, who pled guilty in 2011 to beating his former girlfriend? How many episodes need to be wiped if the show is to be made sufficiently wholesome for future viewers? 

In addition to The Simpsons deleting content from its own back catalogue, in 2011, it was reported that new editions of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn would have the racial slurs excised. If content is no longer something that you physically hold in your hands, but rather something in constant flux, then we risk losing the past, and derailing the story of who we are and how we came to be. If we don’t hang on to our books and print media and switch entirely to shared digital libraries instead, the history of thought, events, and literature becomes subject to revision.

This fascination with revising history is not new. The emergence of critical race and gender theory in the twentieth century encouraged new ways of understanding past events. This development challenged the notion that history must always written by the victors, and allowed us to view events from the perspective of the defeated, oppressed, and downtrodden as well. This offered a new and interesting way to consider the past and present, and the individuals involved. It provided nuance, perspective, and opened the door to a more complex understanding of history.

However, this initially valuable fresh perspective has long since ossified into grievance-mongering, and it is now as well-entrenched as a means of understanding and constructing historical narratives as the previous victor model. The correct critical lens, however, is one that values honesty and accuracy over protecting us from—or chastizing us for—the misdeeds of our collective past. If those who hold the rights to content are not willing to be the keepers of truth and accuracy, consumers must do it themselves. And the only way to do that is to maintain an ownership model, and to resist the seductive convenience of a subscription model which offers to make an entire library, art museum, or music collection available at all times and in all places. 

In E.M. Forster’s speculative 1909 novella The Machine Stops, everyone lives in subterranean apartments designed for maximum convenience and efficiency, in which all an occupant’s needs are met by the machine. Food is ordered, friendships are maintained, lectures are given, music is streamed, and so on, all from one centralized machine, accessible to all residents of Earth. Sound familiar? But then the protagonist, a woman called Vashti, pulls up a symphony only to find that it has a glitch. She complains to the authorities, but nothing is ever done to fix the glitch. Eventually, Forster writes, “time passed, and they resented the defects no longer. The defects had not been remedied, but the human tissues in that latter day had become so subservient, that they readily adapted themselves to every caprice of the Machine. The sigh at the crises of the Brisbane symphony no longer irritated Vashti; she accepted it as part of the melody.”

Is that what we will do? As our content, our history, and our memories are revised in deference to ever more exacting standards of purity? Will we simply resign ourselves to revisionism and accept the defects as part of the whole?

Michael Jackson is not the only cultural icon to have been accused of molesting children. Jerry Lee Lewis married his cousin when she was 13, Alan Ginsburg notoriously brought underage boys into his bed, Gary Glitter was convicted of child molestation, and the sordid R. Kelly story continues to unfold before an appalled nation. Should all of these individuals and their work be erased? And what does it mean to erase individuals, documents, and artworks that have had a noticeable and permanent impact on both culture and our understanding of who we are and were we came from?

Leaving gaps of understanding will not help future generations understand our time, and it will not assist students of history in getting a clean grasp of what happened or why. Divergent lenses of perception are only useful if we are aware that they are lenses. Looking through rose colored glasses at our past without being aware that we are wearing glasses at all only disfigures our understanding of our own cultural past. This is a sacrifice we cannot afford.

In the future, perhaps there will be experts, like Forster’s Vashti, who will remember the symphony as it was, and who can call it up from memory. Or maybe that original source material will remain accessible to those experts hardy enough to delve into it without being traumatized. But perhaps not. It is more likely that what we erase from digital records will be gone for good. It is hardly paranoid to worry about content retrospectively forced to comply with woke purity standards, because this is already happening.

For obvious reasons, rewriting history is expedient to totalitarians—the Taliban’s destruction of Afghanistan’s giant Buddhas, Mao’s Cultural Revolution, Stalin’s pitiless purges of intellectuals, the excision of the pharaoh Hatshepsut from Egyptian infrastructure. But now this sinister trend is appearing in free societies as content creators hurry to protect the reputations of their brands by pretending to protect the public from the legacy of damaged artists and their work. But what we are seeing is the destruction of history, irrespective of the nobility of the motive, and this should be resisted for its own sake.

In 2012, the Malian capital of Timbuktu was overtaken by Tuareg separatist rebels, who implemented violent sharia law. As they occupied the community and tormented its population, librarian Abdel Kader Haïdara knew what was coming: the destruction of the storied, historic, irreplaceable library, dating back to the sixteenth century. He did what he could to save the knowledge of human history, of Mali and its inhabitants. He saved as many of the books as he could, some 95 percent of the library’s contents. Those that were left behind were burned.

As cowed artists start to police themselves in anticipation of the mob’s demands, we too need to rescue our cultural heritage lest it be swept down the memory hole. No matter what Marie Kondo says, keep your books and media.

 

Libby Emmons has written for the Federalist, the Post Millennial, Arc Digital, and Narratively, among others. An award-winning playwright living in Brooklyn, NY, she writes on culture, feminism, tech, and big ideas.  You can follow her on Twitter @li88yinc

71 Comments

  1. Stephanie says

    One of my favorites Lana Del Ray songs is “Ride.” After the allegations against Harvey Weinstein came out, she was asked about this song, where she says: “Harvey’s in the sky with diamonds and he’s making me crazy / All he wants to do is party with his pretty baby.” She admitted she was talking about a “Harvey-like” figure.

    It seems his dalliances were general knowledge in the community and plenty of hints were dropped to the public. How many of the 80 accusers were women using sex to get ahead (as Lana gloats about doing in the song) and how many were legitimately raped? Asking that question is wrongspeak (or in our dystopian future: hate speech), so any evidence that suggests a less clearcut narrative about our sacrificial offering must be suppressed.

    When asked if she would continue to sing the song, Lana said “of course not.” Thankfully it’s still available on YouTube, but this article makes me think I should get a hard copy.

    • Lewis says

      No. Lana said things like this to get hype. She said Harvey never tried it on with her. And if the whole community knew about it (they didn’t) why was Weinstein hiring special ex-mossad agents at huge costs to check his victims (who had signed NDA’s and therefore couldn’t tell anyone) weren’t telling anyone. This by the way wasn’t long before he was exposed. There would have been some people who worked as secretaries or casting agents who probably knew. It’s possible some of the women let him have his way with them, with the hope of career advancement, but even then that doesn’t excuse his actions. Also I don’t get why people have this strange perception that everyone in these industries hang out all the time. It’s pretty well known the award season is the only time when actors hang out with other actors. Never mind agents, producers, studio executives etc. It’s not a close knit industry.

      • Stephanie says

        Of course it’s a close knit industry. There are events throughout the year: I remember an interview with someone in the industry who said people would play a game at the Cannes film festival, counting how many times they heard Harvey’s name.

        Lana’s song about Harvey obviously predates him becoming a famous predator, so she certainly wasn’t doing it for shock value. She also dodged the interviewers’ question about it in a silly way, suggesting she was thinking of a “Harvey-like” figure, instead of the Harvey she called out by name. If hype was what she was after on this, she would have done better to say that her fling with Harvey Weinstein and the way she used it for money was what she was singing about in that song. Her actual response was tailored to minimise impact.

    • E. Olson says

      Seth MacFarlane also alluded to Weinstein’s antics in announcing the 2013 Oscar nominees, so it certainly was known around the industry for many years. Winning lots of Oscars, making the industry lots of money, and espousing Leftwing viewpoints will buy you a lot of indulgences in Hollywood.

    • Northern Observer says

      People mock me when I mention that Havey Weinstein will end up being aquitted. I still think he will be exonnerated or plea deal to a much lesser charge with some financial restitution.
      The guy raped nobody. Betrayed their trust,interferred with their career, sure, rape? To make the accusation is to deminish the value of the term.

      • El Uro says

        Harvey was created by Hollywood women. Then they accused him of their own sins.

        Sad but true 🙂

    • Ruth Henriquez says

      The question you ask is valid. I have asked it, and I am someone who has been through a sexual assault, so I am not predisposed to doubting womens’ experiences. I think there can be gray areas when it comes to sexual politics and domination. Teasing it all out to make sense of it probably requires the wisdom of Solomon, as well as a tolerance for ambiguity and a sensitivity to nuance. None of these qualities are common in our public discourse. Those who attempt it are often pilloried before they even finish presenting their case.

  2. bumble bee says

    I understand the point being made here, but a glaring omission as to why can be found in the almighty dollar.

    Why did The Simpson remove the MJ episode? Well we live in strange times where companies are now part of the SJW movement either by choice or not. If the episode was not removed, everyone associated with The Simpsons would be subject to ongoing harassment by a plethora of Twitters demanding they either remove it, or demand sponsors no longer associate with the program and by extension Fox.

    This was not an art decision, this was not rewriting history, it was all about keeping the funds flowing in. Those are the times we live in now. Where gangs of SJW can flash mob a social issue through social media and demand satisfaction or prepare for their wrath. One must ask corporations, not just media, why they fold so quickly to these social media terrorists. Not only is it money, but they are also buying customers through their virtue signalling.

    The same could be said about the other examples listed in the article. Why censor Huck Finn? There is no corporate head or the author where the SJW can exact their bullying, so they go to the next level, schools, libraries, digital media and do the same to them. What is remarkable is that no one will stand up to them lest they be labeled racist. Just about everyone these days is well aware of the current interpretation of racism and it’s nth degree examples. Whether they believe something comes under that heading, no one is going to start a social uprising and therefore they just cave.

    There are some individuals, groups who deserve to be exorcised from societies memory. Jimmy Savile is one who should if not already erased in all public areas. There are others too, including MJ simply because the cult of personality he still has overshadows the truth of who he was and what he has done. I think the bigger question here is how to minimize celebrity and its deification. We can like and enjoy someone’s work, but to extend to the person god-like qualities is pathetic. Now we come full circle, because again celebrity and all its trappings is just to make money off the delusions of people. It’s all about the money.

    • david of Kirkland says

      Indeed, we live in a chilling unfree speech time, and they’re corporate money makers who now lack their youthful creativity and boldness and not giving a shit.

    • Ned Flanders says

      People are often incapable of learning from the past, but that’s no excuse for burying the evidence. If Jimmy Savile is exorcised from society’s memory, than people will be more easily fooled by the next Willy Wonka, or Peter Pan.

    • Stephen of the Shire says

      Great point. Ultimately, censorship is the result of public pressure and money is the largest concern, not sensitivity. If any episode with Apu was to be culled, the show would lose a massive chunk of it’s catalogue.

      I don’t think for one moment as a society we should give passes and glorify transgressions of people or instituions, but there has to be a line drawn where something would be considered as glorification and a part where whatever ‘monster’ is actually seperate from the art or product.

      Proud British band Oasis have to pay royalties to Gary Glitter for the song ‘Hello’. It’s still a part of the album.

      Henry Ford was alleged to have a picture of Hitler on his desk and was courted by the leader as a Captain of Industry… Nevermind all 4 of the big German car brands which are bought in the millions today.

      Roman Polanski is still revered as one of the greatest directors of all time…

      Charles Manson collaborated with The Beach Boys…

      I still catch watch Naked Gun without thinking the OJ there is different from the one which we all came to know. (Acquitted, right?)

      :. Censorship = Profit ÷ (Public Pressure² x longevity of attention)

      • ga gamba says

        When even having fuck you money isn’t enough.

        I suppose invitations to hobnob with Hollywood’s jet set junta and access to all the non monetary perks provided its members are priceless.

        • TarsTarkas says

          Funny how they consider themselves so courageous about giving the finger to normal people and bragging about it, but the nanosecond that one or their own crowd raises an eyebrow, it’s roll onto their backs and start whimpering for mercy. And like good little progressives their critics then start really stomping on you. The microcritics don’t watch these shows, they would never be so uncool to watch the Simpsons, that dinosaur of a show. What’s cool is to force others to dance to their tune and make them act so grateful to have the opportunity to do so.

    • Ghatanathoah says

      @harrync

      That still makes no sense. Child molesters have been using candy to groom children since time immemorial, at this point the “stranger with candy” is a cliche. But no one is suggesting we pull candy off the shelves, or that people who own stock in Hershey’s are doing something wrong.

      The idea that it’s wrong to profit off of bad people is applied very inconsistently and doesn’t really make a lot of sense. Apparently it’s bad to profit off an episode’s reruns if a guest star was a bad person. How far does that go? If we find out that the “best boy grip” was a serial killer should we pull all the movies and shows he worked in? What if one of the cooks for the caterer for a movie was a child molester? If you work as a prison guard are you guilty of profiting off of bad deeds, since the only reason your job exists is because people do bad stuff?

      • laslaw says

        We need to pull candy off the shelves immediately. Also, ban the Bible and the Koran, for condoning a host of sexual iniquities. Also ban adult pornography immediately, because it is well known that child molesters show adult pornography to kids, as the FBI has been saying for over 30 years. And don’t forget money. Ban money too, for obvious reasons. Would there be underage prostitution without money? No.

    • Todd W. Clark says

      That assertion is absurd. Nothing else.

  3. Itzik Basman says

    So the episode was pulled. An understandable decision even if not a great one. It certainly can be criticized. But the sky isn’t falling and totalitarian apocalypse isn’t about to descend. A less breathless critique would have been better.

    • Nakatomi Plaza says

      Everyday is a totalitarian apocalypse around here. Quillette is attacking the right of a businessperson and artist to remove his work from the market because it features a guy who liked to fuck children, and Groening is the villain. Makes sense.

      • Lincoln Dunstan says

        Plazaman….perhaps you can ban the Roman Catholic Church then?!!

      • Kim Sammy says

        Plaza, I don’t think Quillette’s attacking the right of a businessman to do this. They’re commenting on the decision. If in fact Jackson is a child molestor…which he has only been accused of at this point….. then also there’s reason to ban Alice In Wonderland, a book written by a bloke who fancied children, all Roman Polanski’s movies, and don’t play Led Zeppelin anywhere because Jimmy Page had a 14 year old girlfriend.

      • Craig WIllms says

        If you can’t see the hypocrisy among the entertainment elites there’s little hope for any of you. These people are so edgy and brave when sticking it in the eye of the everyday average, workaday person, but as soon as they cross the line with the PC police they run and hide. PCism is as totalitarian as it gets. Inch by inch it’s tearing down everything.

    • Eltoh Hofferd says

      It’s part of a pattern to erase accused people’s art and works. Jackson’s music is no longer played on some radio stations in Quebec, and elsewhere there’s controversy about playing it. Canadian author Joseph Boyden was accused of not being an aboriginal, like he claimed, and his books are very hard to find now. Author Steven Galloway’s basically a non person in the literary world, though convicted of nothing and actually awarded damages based on accusations. There’s many other examples. I mean, yes, the sky’s not falling, but it’s good to at least make people aware there is a trend.

    • Num num says

      Itzik, if this incident was the only one of its kind in recent times, ya. But it’s not. It fits with a growing trend of erasing historic points of reference due to offending contemporary ethos. Although this particular example isn’t the best, as it’s not like child molestation was accepted in recent history and due to a sudden change the episode was erased. But it’s yet another act of editing / erasure in the ‘public library’.

    • K. Dershem says

      @Itzik, I completely agree. If people are actually concerned about Big Brother, they should pay more attention to Mark Zuckerberg than Matt Groening.

  4. Joe says

    “They constantly try to escape
    From the darkness outside and within
    By dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.
    But the man that is will shadow
    The man that pretends to be.”
    –T.S.Eliot (Choruses from the Rock)

    Eventually these people and their movements either burn out or face a Robespierre end. In the meantime, a lot of damage to people and product happens.

  5. “…the human tissues in that latter day had become so subservient, that they readily adapted themselves to every caprice of the Machine.” Are we supposed to be terrified of being “adapted” and comfortable? Is human life meant to be perpetually painful and “aesthetically interesting”? Or shouldn’t we find ourselves happy and unproductive?

    • Ghatanathoah says

      @Austin Jeffrey

      I think what it means isn’t that people were comfortable. It was that they had gotten so used to being inconvenienced and annoyed when the Machine broke down that it didn’t occur to them that it was something they could fix. They were still feeling the pain of being inconvenienced and annoyed, they were just so used to it they didn’t think to fix it.

      • Craig WIllms says

        Good lord this sounds like us Minnesotans driving on pot-holed roads. No one even complains until cars start disappearing altogether.

    • jakesbrain says

      People whose lives are painless find themselves so bored that they stir up conflict for its own sake and declare themselves martyrs to a newly discovered kind of pain.

    • DrewH20 says

      Still, the reference not only wants to make me read the piece but fits the climate and context of the argument

  6. I think the question is, “how much are you willing to give up to be ‘comfortable’?”

  7. Lincoln Dunstan says

    Who gets to decide what non PC period of history we excise?….or will just not have any history at all?

  8. Lincoln Dunstan says

    …or better still, let’s ban the Roman Catholic Church. This sort of rubbish just will never end!!!

  9. E. Olson says

    An interesting aspect of the Michael Jackson Simpson’s episode it that Michael Jackson received no “guest voice” credit, and if I remember correctly it was only years later when it was verified that it was indeed Michael Jackson who had voiced the overweight, scruffy, white insane asylum inmate who befriends Homer. So in essence the creators are banning a Michael Jackson episode where the visual image or likeness of Michael Jackson never appears, and where he never received screen credit.

    • Jujucat says

      Better safe than sorry. Wouldn’t want anyone thinking things.

  10. Enid Blyton – The Magic Faraway Tree. One of the main characters is called Fanny. New editions she’s now Fran…. Her cousin Dick is now Rick. Just so prissy and depressing. Save your hard copies!

  11. Enid Blyton – The Magic Faraway Tree. Fanny has become Fran – and Dick has become Rick. So prissy and depressing. Save your hard copies!

  12. OLd NiK says

    They can’t erase Michael Jackson no matter how hard they try, it cannot be done. Are they going to burn all the CDs and records too? I have the Simpsons episode in question, it was a decent one and I’m not going to throw it away. The dim left do not have the power of Mao or Stalin nor are they likely to get it. Even controlling most of the media, and many governments (including mine) they can’t make people forget things they like, and that has meaning for them. They can ban artists like Morrissey for saying ‘incorrect’ things, but he still sells out venues. I heard a commentator on the left wing CBC network say that she could never watch the film American Beauty again with Kevin Spacey, I did, it’s an awesome movie.

  13. Stephen Harrod Buhner says

    Hi LIbby, thanks for the article, beautifully done, beautifully articulated. it helps immensely in my ongoing struggle to parse these issues with more sophistication.

    • Jujucat says

      I’d already forgotten about Apu! Omg the disappearing is working!

    • Zaru says

      And don’t forget “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson” episode. After 9/11 they talked about it becoming a “lost” episode because it has the Twin Towers, not because it offended anyone but…well, I don’t know why.

      Eventually we’ll just run out of episodes.

  14. Print News Matters says

    Fantastic article. I agree with every major point, although I’m less worried about a Simpsons episode disappearing then all printed newspapers disappearing, thus offering the true revision of historical events by ill intentioned individuals or otherwise .

  15. Juan Manuel Pérez says

    On the other hand, I’m glad privileged Hollywood creeps are finally getting their comeuppance.

  16. Sadie Slays says

    Modern day book burning. People like to debate whether we’re closer to “1984” or “Brave New World,” but we’re already in “Fahrenheit 451” territory.

  17. Constantin says

    One thing not yet mentioned by other commenters is that this type of preventive compliance with the totalitarian demands of moral preening purists gives them a dangerous amount of power. Moral values and social taboos are an ever moving target and the notion that that there will be some enduring consensus surrounding them is simply foolish. Give them the power to edit the past and you give them the power to decide the future. I agree that one episode of Simpsons will not end the land of the free, but it is the symptom of a deadly disease. The voices rising for the preservation of the Western cannon have been calling the alarm for a log time. The examples are too many to even mention. How many of you have had the chance to read Exupery’s “Citadelle” – translated in English as “The Wisdom of the Sands”? It is a work he dedicated 23 years of his life and it was published posthumously. It has not been in print for decades. Many others are under severe attack including attempts to purge or rewrite content. The erosion has been going on for a long time and it seems ironic to be at the stage where popular sitcoms are starting to feel it, but nothing at all will be spared at the end. We should not allow this to happen.

  18. Itzik Basman. says

    As I said, taking a few breaths would have made for a better piece. Pointing out discrete error, trends and consequences is of course fine. But that needn’t involve the intimation or the collapse of Western Civilization. Plus, there is another reasonable view of the issue. This piece doesn’t even allow for the possibility of that.

  19. Tersitus says

    The past is whole, and like the elephant in the hands of blind men, we grasp only pieces of it. Every history— every revisiting of the past— is partial and revisionist, and says as much about the purpose and character of the writer and her time as it does about that past or her perspicacity. However much we insist on “getting it right,” it remains for us to use piece by piece, and we do— we use and abuse, even lie and deny and omit it. Mostly we ransack it as purpose requires. Because it involves how we think about ourselves and others, our relation to it is Freudian (or, if you prefer, Nietzschean)— it’s about self and power— and like both, it is always fluid. Like Stalin, the sjw dweebs have that much right, at least. That’s not to say the past, isn’t— wasn’t— real, or that there is no truth to history — the very fact that we contest that ground shows we believe otherwise. But it will always be contested ground. And the more important questions will remain questions about self and power— what to you is worth remembering, what to you is worth the fight, and when, and why, and for how long. For each and every individual, the past is a choice. Like the present that holds us, it is an existential question. Shades of Shakespeare— time and each other are really all we have to give us meaning, and because we can hold on to so precious little of either, or ourselves, timing is everything.

    • DrewH20 says

      Thanks for commenting in such a poignant and articulate manner. I am new to Quillette and find the comments as enlightening as the articles. To think of comments as a new resource to gaining knowledge is sublime. Well done Q…

    • Todd W. Clark says

      I like this reply…not in a ‘thimbs up” way, but in a ‘I revere this’ way….so, Thanks.

  20. neoteny says

    But [the past] will always be contested ground.

    So true; but that’s why it is important that it remains contested ground at all times.

  21. Etiamsi omnes says

    As long as kids don’t get their hands on a copy of Orwell’s ‘1984’ or Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’, they’re safe enough, I say.

    By the way, did you know that some three centuries ago in France, Louis XIV decreed that the minimum age of consent to wedding was to be thereafter 12 y o for girls and 14 for boys? I suppose there had been some excess before that…

  22. DrewH20 says

    Christopher Hitchens was brilliant. To quote Mark Antony on Brutus’s life: “This was a man!”

  23. Virtue signalling. After all, Cosby is a CONVICTED predator, and we don’t see them retiring all those eps featuring Dr Hibbert. But see, THAT would cost them money as there are DOZENS of them.

  24. John Davis says

    Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.

  25. There’s one mistake in the article that needs mending. The Tuareg separatist rebels, DID NOT implemented violent sharia law. That’s was the work of militant group Ansar Dine, a jihadist group affiliate of al-Qaida, who took power AFTER the Tuareg did. They defeated the Tuareg who were not Muslim fanatics afther they defeated the government in the region.

  26. Barney Doran says

    Needless to say, Joseph Conrad will have to go.

  27. Dan Holton says

    The end justifies the means, and we see the consequences of self-righteous ethos in the ‘50s and ‘60s. It was, and is, beyond good or evil, so moralistic though hidden in its axiom, tune in and drop out. And along the path of its history, all the elitist Marxists became bank managers. Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow, folks.

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