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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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Something to watch this weekend

28 May 2021

This weekend is going to be cold and wet in most places around the country -- perfect weather to read a book or watch a movie.

But what book or movie should you spend your time with?

Perhaps a story running on today's newswires can give some clues.

Apparently, Microsoft's president has warned that Orwell's 1984 could happen in 2024 so what better time to enjoy a prophetic novel that seems to be playing out before our very eyes today.

If you're like me and have only a modicum of spare time to spend on reading then you may prefer to watch several adaptations of the book that are readily available on YouTube.

The BBC made a TV movie of the book back in 1954 that is worth a watch:

There are plenty of faces that will be familiar to anyone who grew up on a diet of British TV programmes and movies. Whilst perhaps not the best adaptation of the book, it's still an interesting watch, from many perspectives.

For a more US-based version there's the version from Columbia Studios version that was released to theatres in 1956:

Ironically, in light of the Microsoft story linked above, this copy of the movie was colorised using artificial intelligence algorithms.

I'm no conspiracy theorist but one really does have to concede that even if only by accident, Orwell was a visionary and this work has scary similarities with the way our society is headed today. Everyone should read the book or watch the movie adaptations to get a real appreciation of the seriousness of the way our world is increasingly falling under totalitarian control -- both at a governmental and corporate level.

Who would have believed back when this was written in 1949, that just 73 years later the entire sum of mankind's knowledge would be curated by a corporation called Google and that governments of the world would thrown out the concept of personal privacy in favour of surveillance and control.

If you want a peak at what's to come... read the novel or watch the movie. Forewarned is forearmed they say.

Another reason to watch these videos this weekend is because as of next Tuesday, YouTube will be putting ads in almost every single video on their platform at a spacing of just a few minutes per break-- making the service virtually unusable without paying a hefty monthly subscription for YouTube Premium.

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