When hysteria-driven Leftists rediscovered George Orwell earlier this week in response to someone in the Trump Administration babbling on in a TV appearance about “alternative facts”, sales of Orwell’s book 1984 surged, as did sales of the 2015 Blu-ray release of Michael Radford’s film adaptation.
I remember a time not long ago when fellow Conservatives, and especially Libertarians, had a similar freakout over the ‘prescience’ of Ayn Rand’s 1957 book Atlas Shrugged during the first year of the Obama Administration. Hence, a resulting spike in book sales.
Said freakout led to the production of a $20 million independent film adaptation that same year. The movie, released in 2011, was a yawner. While I agreed with the general ideas put forth in Rand’s book, as a film fan, I’ve always placed more value on a compelling story and Atlas Shrugged, Part I just didn’t have one. I’ve had no desire to sit through it twice.
During the Obama Administration’s eight years in office, I recall more than a few fellow Conservatives and Libertarians discovering, or rediscovering, and trumpeting the warnings against Statism featured in Orwell’s books 1984 and Animal Farm…
NEWSFLASH: Conservatives don’t like Statism, Lefties. In philosophical terms, Statism is precisely what Orwell’s 1984 is about.
…as well as developing an appreciation for Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, his brilliant 1985 takeoff on 1984, co-written by Gilliam with Tom Stoppard and Charles McKeown. (A movie I’ve owned twice on DVD and now on Blu-ray, Brazil‘s been one of my favorites ever since I first watched it in early 1986 at a nearly-empty local multiplex theater.)
While I could appreciate their concerns, I didn’t necessarily share them. At least not to the point of going online to rant and rave about how these works of art should now be reclassified as Non-Fiction, or as Documentaries. Such declarations tend to make one look like a crackpot, regardless of what your politics are.
The commercialization of political hysteria is nothing new, nor is it exclusive to the left side of the aisle. Rest assured, no matter how bad things might get, either literally or merely perceived, somebody somewhere’s going to figure out a way to make a few bucks off of it.
And good for them, I say.
Personal disclosure: I’ve already picked up my own copy of Twilight Time’s 1984 Blu-ray. I’d considered buying the Limited Edition title when it first came out in December 2015, but the $30 price tag felt a bit steep.
I’d seen the film before and found it to be a thoroughly grim and depressing movie– how could it be otherwise, come on– but the disc’s inclusion of the Eurythmics’ score, one of my long-time favorites, was, for me, a significant selling point. But, still…thirty bucks…
Now, with all these panicked Leftists suddenly scooping it up, I decided to buy one before the title goes out of print and its resale price goes through the roof. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if, in the event that happens, Twilight Time reissues 1984 as one of their Encore Editions as, y’know, a symbol of protest.
A symbol of protest that carries a
$30 price tag $24.95 price tag, that is.