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Lit-urday: Burning Down George Orwell's House
Whisky? Check. Women? Check. Weather? Check. Werewolf? Uh oh.
DAILY Arts  April 4, 2015, by Wayne Alan Brenner
"...Burning Down George Orwell's House..."

Orwell Off by 20 Years
Postmarks  May 20, 2004
"... The DPS's and Federal government's Gestapo-like tactics worked the first time around with the Rave Act. That legislation is in place (it was slipped in with the Amber Alert Bill) and more or less outlawed "raves" and any other group event deemed "dangerous" by our esteemed lawmakers. George Orwell was off by 20 years...."

A Merry War
Artistic vanities, especially the cult of the romantic starving artiste, have always been sitting ducks for satiric terrorism. Among the writers who've taken their shots in this century, the most...
Film Review  October 23, 1998, by Russell Smith
"...Artistic vanities, especially the cult of the romantic starving artiste, have always been sitting ducks for satiric terrorism. Among the writers who've taken their shots in this century, the most diabolically merciless -- the veritable Carlos the Jackals of their realm -- have been such renowned British curmudgeons as Kingsley Amis, Evelyn Waugh, and George Orwell..."

The Hightower Report
Why is George Orwell’s 1984 a bestseller again?
News Column  April 27, 2017, by Jim Hightower
"...Years ago, in a futuristic novel, the author wrote about the rise of a tyrannical regime that ruled by indoctrinating the masses to accept the perverse notion of capricious truth. It was George Orwell's 1984, which depicted a dystopia he named Oceania..."

V for Vendetta
This is a thinking person’s action film – a futuristic slice of pop-culture agitprop, replete with a costumed antihero, lovingly choreographed action sequences, cunningly ornate dialogue, and a terrific, rousing score.
Film Review  March 17, 2006, by Marc Savlov
"...As it turns out, he is – the Guy Fawkes mask cloaking his face, with its postcoital Mona Lisa grin and echoes of powder-kegs past is a dead giveaway. He’s also the last virulent gasp and raised fist of rebellion amidst a cowed and broken British citizenry in the year 2020, a place we quickly discover is at once heavily, obviously redolent of the fascistic stink of George Orwell’s 1984, and, in the film’s most unnerving moments, a place with eerie parallels to the one in which the world – the real world – currently finds itself..."

Song/Book: Grapes of Wrath vs. 1984
Rob Halverson and friends wrap live music around some heavy fiction
DAILY Arts  July 18, 2017, by Wayne Alan Brenner
"...But, when you’re talking about George Orwell's novel, well, things can get real insightful really fast – and pretty fucking creepy, too. And what about – hello, climate change – what about John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath?..."

Naked City
The Statesman twists Orwell's words in a most Orwellian fashion.
News Story  October 5, 2001, by Lee Nichols
"...Novelist and socialist George Orwell would hardly have been surprised to find his own words used in an "Orwellian" fashion. Such was the case on Sept..."

Letters at 3AM: A Night in Barcelona
The collision between human truths and political truths results in no truth
Columns  June 18, 2010, by Michael Ventura
"...Eric Blair, 33. Writes under the name "George Orwell"; thus far, has had little success..."

Babe: Pig in the City
It befits the director of Mad Max and The Road Warrior that this sequel to his Academy Award-nominated Babe is a far more boisterous affair than its predecessor. Whereas audiences'...
Film Review  November 27, 1998, by Marc Savlov
"...If the first film was a gentle parable for children and adults alike, then Babe: Pig in the City -- its brash city cousin -- is a surrealistic, occasionally grim tale of valor in the face of terrifically bad odds. With occasional flashes of Orwell's Animal Farm and some set design that looks strangely cribbed from The City of Lost Children, it is easy to see why the filmmakers had difficulty securing that all-important G rating..."

TV Eye
A small-screen return to twitching noses, magic potions, and girls who hold the power; also, a review of TNT’s daring live-action Animal Farm.
Screens Column  October 8, 1999, by Belinda Acosta
"...If you missed the premiere of Animal Farm on TNT, there are several opportunities to catch this notable film produced by Hallmark Entertainment for the cable network. Based on the 1945 novel by George Orwell, the film features state-of-the art animatronic technology developed by Jim Henson's Creature Shop, hundreds of live animals, and a bucolic Irish countryside...."

Social Studies
James Hynes' satires of academia allow the author to say funny things about serious people.
Books Story  January 19, 2001, by Clay Smith
"...A novel is my way of thinking out loud," Hynes writes in "Why I Bother," an essay he contributed to a book of essays about writing, The Eleventh Draft: Craft and the Writing Life From the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Hynes explains that he read George Orwell's essay "Why I Write" when he was in his impressionable mid-twenties, and he accepted Orwell's four reasons for writing as his own (sheer egoism, aesthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse ["desire to see things as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity"], and political purpose)..."

Page Two
Libby indictment evokes more scapegoating and hypocrisy from the right
Columns  November 4, 2005, by Louis Black
"...For a while now, what was once considered beyond bizarre has come to be regarded as normal. George Orwell, who was always inspired in so many ways, now seems to have a Nostradamus-like prescience..."

Animal Farm
Screens Story  August 29, 1997
"...Fertile ground for further research, as they say, and indeed the two are ripe for some tongue-in-jowl academic scrutiny. Namely, how does Babe offer a revisionist understanding of Orwell's famous maxim: "All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others"? The animated Animal Farm is darkly drawn and cynical in tone, and is remarkably faithful to George Orwell's dystopian fable of totalitarian times..."

Payne Pleasures 2004
Latest ACoT theatre-award nominations favor two Austin musicals
Arts Story  August 20, 2004, by Robert Faires
"...The Austin Circle of Theatres' annual honors for excellence in local stage work are a deeply ingrained part of the local arts calendar, and with this, their 30th go-round (recognizing work mounted from August 2003 through July 2004), they're giving their loudest endorsement to a pair of homegrown musicals. Love Jerry, Megan Gogerty's difficult yet compassionate tale of a man who abuses his best friend's child and the repercussions of his act, and The Road to Wigan Pier, George Orwell's account of the living and working conditions of English miners reconceived by Chronicle Dance-Classical listings Editor Robi Polgar as a music hall entertainment, were both created in Austin and scored seven nominations each, including Outstanding Music Theatre Production, Original Script, and Original Score...."

Opal Divine’s 13th Annual Whisky Festival: A Review
A night of quaffs from those distant lands where the wild haggis roam
DAILY Food  December 7, 2015, by Wayne Alan Brenner
"...The Isle of Jura, which you read about in Andrew Ervin’s recent novel Burning Down George Orwell’s House, a novel where the protagonist goes to Jura for what he hopes will be some whisky-fueled rest & relaxation, desperately needed, in the same rented cottage in which Orwell wrote his 1984...."

The Hightower Report: Meet Big Brother's Corporate Cousin
England has a watchful eye (and its CCTVs) on auto insurance
News Column  March 30, 2012, by Jim Hightower
"...British author George Orwell's novel 1984 warned about the coming of an all-seeing Big Brother government. Sure enough, Britain today has a massive system of ubiquitous closed circuit television cameras in place so police can keep a constant watch on the citizenry..."

Things That Came: It Might Be Science, But It Sure Ain't Fiction
'Videodrome' and 'They Live,' then and now
Screens Story  July 25, 2008, by Marc Savlov
"...Nostradamus had nothing on George Orwell, who, presumably, is whirling in his grave even as we speak. By way of example, take this snippet from Orwell's too-close-for-comfort classic 1984:..."

The Lives of Others
This recent Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film is the story of the small redemption of one man, who happens to be a hated East German Stasi officer.
Film Review  March 2, 2007, by Josh Rosenblatt
"...In von Donnersmarck’s extraordinary new film, The Lives of Others, we’re dropped into a world that’s almost incomprehensible to those of us who’ve been lucky enough to live our lives free of government surveillance and interrogation rooms, a world where the Stasi once numbered nearly 100,000 employees and hundreds of thousands of informants, and individual thought was synonymous with criminality. Not even George Orwell could have come up with a place as horrible as communist Berlin..."

Hang the DJ
The new political theatre invites you into its messy, sexy conversation
Arts Story  January 20, 2006, by Katherine Catmull
"...In the über-privileged U.S., that lockdown takes the form of a cozy, superinsulated trance. Playwright Robi Polgar, whose 2004 The Road to Wigan Pier (on which I worked) translated George Orwell's book about unemployed British miners into a skewed musical-satirical statement on 20th-century political science, observes blackly that Americans "are so insulated, we wouldn't know good art if it walked into a bus and blew itself up."..."

Our readers talk back.
Columns  May 28, 2004
"...Orwell Off by 20 Years..."

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