Orwell’s Message

George_Orwell_press_photoGeorge was right in his futuristic thinking that presently we love to loathe in.

I’m not sure about other states but in Wisconsin dump speech is used effortlessly and instantly agreed upon but the listeners.  “Beautiful day today?” says one and the other responds, “It’s supposed to rain next month.”  So much for the presently beautiful, sunny day.

“Packers are doing well this year,” is followed by “Yeah, but just wait.”  “I got a raise today” is replied with, “Well, there goes your taxes.”  In our exchanges our friends become our enemies with their dreaded retorts.  I have always considered this a safeguard for us in Wisconsin because when something bad does happen we happily (note the word!) say to ourselves, “I knew I was right.”  If “misery loves company,” just move to the Badger state.

“The Atlantic” magazine had a revealing story of Volkswagen’s tragic foibles.  Those who worked there slowly adopt and become a part of a “culture.”  Sociologist Diane Vaughan calls it “the normalization of deviance.”  By adopt I don’t mean anyone actually says “yes” but an assimilation gradually takes hold until the Packers are bound to doom (which any team does from time to time.)  In Volkswagen’s case it was the careless assessment of body parts that moves us from our homes to the the grocery store.  In our personal lives, it’s that simple water glass with half of it, well…you figure it out.

My only admonition to you and me is to beware of a “cultural” acceptance of anything.  I don’t do it with the Catholic Church and never would accept it in our U.S. society.

Mob mentality was George’s message to us.  Thinking alike and like-minded gets us through the day and comfortably to bed at night because we believe what others have said and “adopt” it for ourselves.

Yes, help me to think and reflect and discern and then to double check my discernment with others.  Please don’t do my thinking for me.  Yes, it may rain next month but it’s a sunny day today and I’m out to enjoy it whether you’re with me or not.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on Amazon.com.
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