Irony is not only dead, it was beaten to death in a back alley by a woke mob.
The Left is not only trying to usher in the very Ministry of Information that George Orwell was satirizing in 1984 in order to fight “disinformation”, it’s actually slapping a trigger warning on 1984.
Staff at the University of Northampton have issued a trigger warning for George Orwell’s novel on the grounds that it contains ‘explicit material’ which some students may find ‘offensive and upsetting’.
No doubt. That’s probably the point.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: ‘There’s a certain irony that students are now being issued trigger warnings before reading Nineteen Eighty-Four. Our university campuses are fast becoming dystopian Big Brother zones where Newspeak is practised to diminish the range of intellectual thought and cancel speakers who don’t conform to it.”
What would Orwell have made of this?
After 1984 became so influential, everyone tried to appropriate Orwell. And 1984 regularly featured in the lists of celebrated ‘Banned Books’ though, invariably, these were books that were rarely actually banned. Unlike Animal Farm, whose specific historical analogies to the Soviet Union and the betrayal of the revolution were explosive at the time, 1984’s dystopia appears more generic and open to political appropriation even though it is once again a restatement of the betrayal of leftists who embraced Soviet totalitarianism with doublethink.
But the metaphorical power of 1984 has always been greater than its grounding in the struggle between liberals and Communists during the dawn of the Cold War.
Now, 1984 is getting its own trigger warnings because it’s “offensive and upsetting”. The new variant of leftism is more ideologically concerned with emotion and the hunt for heresy than with anything else. It doesn’t find tyranny problematic, but it hates having its feelings hurt.