Speak the Truth?

Apologies in advance if this gets all Orwellian right quickly. We try hard not to sound like a nut-job or Coast-to-Coast Radio conspiracy fetishist — is that redundant? — especially when examining the lengths some folks will go to control the lives of others, but this stuff is real, man.

Old George – or, Mr. Eric Blair, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing – coined the term “doublespeak” to describe a fictional phenomenon in his novel 1984. But we repeat: this stuff is real, man.

What’s in among the dictatorial set? The new Hot Trend in authoritarianism is controlling the future by not permitting dangerous thoughts about the future.

The urge to purge cuts across demographic categories. The crazy Muslims are just as wacko as the crazy Christians, and it’s not just benighted foreigners doing the oppressing, it’s benighted domestics, too.

In Morocco, a cheap North African destination for European tourists who don’t mind frolicking in a country where consuming alcohol is forbidden and sex outside of marriage is punishable by law, the orthodox clerics have spoken. Three of Morocco’s most revered Islamic religious leaders have announced their support for a proposal that journalist Mokhtar Ghzioui be put to death. Mr. Ghzioui, the editor of a daily newspaper, had the audacity to support a call from Moroccan human rights activists to decriminalize sex out of wedlock.

The thinking here: Sexual freedom is bad, worthy of lashings and such; supporting the idea of sexual freedom is worse, worthy of death.

In North Carolina, one of the sovereign States of America forming our most perfect Union, the legislature is considering a bill (House Bill 819) that would require sea level forecasts to be based on the past and outlaw projections based on climate change data. [Helpful Editorial Reminder: The previous sentence is not a Swiftian invention, this is real, man.] Coastal business and development leaders took umbrage with a report issued by state scientists predicting that North Carolina sea levels could rise 39 inches by the end of this century. Worried that soggy prognostications would dampen, if not kill, building along the coast, the Leaders got their boys in the General Assembly to put up a law invalidating the science results.

The thinking here: Um. Don’t know. Fulfill the worst stereotype of God-fearing Southerners?

And in Morocco, there was this guy who had an idea…

We like to find ourselves superior to the heathens without democracies, the enslaved masses without a constitution worth upholding. But the impulse to control knows no borders; it stretches from Oceania to Asiana to Africana. The truth is dangerous no matter where it resides.

Be careful.

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