Orwellian times

«My grandfather Olexji wrote a memoir about his life in Ukraine under Stalin. While re-reading 1984 the other day, I was struck by the similarities between Orwell’s torture scenes and those endured and described by my grandfather in his memoir. My grandfather was one of countless victims of Stalin’s purges of the late 1930s, a time when the West admired “Uncle Joe” as a great leader.  The truth would not be exposed for another decade, with the help of a fearless artist. As I read Orwell, my heart hurt from a strange paranoia—what if George Orwell had never happened? What if Eric Blair, Orwell’s real name, had been too much of a coward to write? (…) »

On February 21, five members of Pussy Riot staged a guerrilla performance on the altar of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. For less than a minute, the women danced, singing “Our Lady, Chase Putin Out!” and crossing themselves until they were apprehended by security guards. If found guilty, they face three years in prison. The closing statements.

«I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.» – Voltaire

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