Author Archives: Christina Joy

About Christina Joy

Wife, Mother of Five and Lutheran Church Musician who, despite what the college transcripts might say, missed a thing or two in school.

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I’ve never been disappointed in a Penguin Classics edition of any of our WEM reads.  In fact, on more than one occasion I’ve been sad that I didn’t forego the other recommendations and spend the big bucks to invest in that familiar and reliable orange and black logo.

This is especially true with the copy of 1984 they released in January.  I want this cover.

Read more about it here.

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Posted by on November 9, 2013 in 1984


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Oops, I Forgot

We’ve all been there, right?  That uncomfortable conversation with a friend where it becomes painfully obvious that you’ve neglected to ask about something significant in her life.  The birthday glossed over as just another ordinary Thursday.  The date set aside to spend quality time with a loved one forgotten amid the routines of daily life.  The favor you said you’d be happy to do and then totally spaced when the time came.

I feel horrible when these oversights happen, even worse once I finally realize what occurred. I know I’ve completely bunged up, and that the one hurt by my negligence has every right to be thinking, “Man, she’s such an . . . ”

But I want to quickly butt in and say, “No, no, I’m not.  I’m just a memory hole.”

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Posted by on November 8, 2013 in 1984


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Mastering Doublethink

Classic Word of the Dayproletariat – n.  the lowest, working-class group in a society

Classical Usage:  The first time I stumbled across this word was Chapter IV of Book One.  It’s certainly possible that it appeared before this spot where we learn that the Ministry of Truth is responsible for supplying the “literature, music, drama, and entertainment” for the proletariats, and it’s even more possible that we encountered the term “proles.”  But Orwell’s term for 85% of the Oceania society didn’t click with me right away.  It’s almost as if I heard the word, and then instantly forgot it, and then forgot that I had anything to forget.

Classically Mad Usage:  There is no word to use.

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Posted by on November 7, 2013 in 1984


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Now You See It, Now You Don’t

Classic Word of the Daypalimpsest – n. writing material on which older writing has been erased and newer text written over

Classical Usage:  Gladly, Orwell handed me some pretty heavy context clues on this word from Chapter IV of Book One.  All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.  In as much as it nearly sums up all of Ingsoc, this seems to be the perfect word for 1984.

Classically Mad Usage:  Don’t we call these dry erase boards?

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Posted by on November 3, 2013 in 1984


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Doublestupid Question

Anyone else have a hard time with the concept of doublethink the first time around?doublethink doubleread

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Posted by on October 29, 2013 in 1984


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In the Face of Tragedy

Old Man in Sorrow Vincent van Gogh

I love a happy ending, but the value of tragedy is no longer lost on me.

Tragedy, he perceived, belonged to the ancient time, to a time when there were still privacy, love, and friendship, and when the members of a family stood by one another without needing to know the reason.

For Winston this realization comes with the recollection of his mother’s sacrifice for him.  Even though he cannot remember the reasons for that sacrifice, he does know that in his current condition such a selfless act could never occur.

Today there were fear, hatred, and pain, but no dignity of emotion, or deep or complex sorrows.

I’m not a fan of sorrow, even when it doesn’t manifest itself in complex and deep ways.  But I do put a pretty high value on privacy, love, friendship, and family.

So, if anyone asks how reading the WEM list has changed me, I think my answer will be colored by these passages.  For the dignity of emotion is a gift transferred from one generation to another through the arts, and exposure to their fear, hatred, and pain teaches us the value of our own safety, love, and freedom.

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Posted by on October 27, 2013 in 1984


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Rip and Shred the Insanity Asylum

Every Saturday morning the three of us here at Classic Case of Madness drag ourselves out of our respective beds, yank on varying layers of compression gear, lace up the shoes, and hit the pavement.  Our run is followed by something newly deemed “abstavaganza” by Christine.

It’s just enough for you to know that there are weights, unladylike sounds, sweat, and a fair amount of complaining that goes into the exercise.

I used to think it was all pretty horrible, but then I realized it could be worse, we could have the government critiquing our every push-up through the telescreen.

Physical Jerks?  Yes.  Physical Jerks in front of jerks?  No.  Because, at least so far, my CCOM comrades haven’t started quasi-quoting the best lines from Book One Chapter III.

Physical Jerks 1984Put a bit of life into it!

6079 Roberts C!  Yes, you! . . . You’re not trying.

Watch me again.  I’m forty-oneish and I’ve had three children.  Now look.  You see my knees aren’t bent.

You can all do it if you want to.

Anyone under forty-five is perfectly capable of touching his toes.

We don’t all have the privilege of fighting in the front line, but at least we can all keep fit.

And if they do begin to utter such encouragements, I’ll see to it that they star in their own personal fitness DVD and you, too, can reap the benefits.  Jillian Michaels, watch out.

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Posted by on October 26, 2013 in 1984


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