28 July 2001 | neal-34
American rock-n-roll: The answer to totalitarianism
The ending in Animal Farm was not only a travesty to Orwell's original work, but made no logical sense. Certain animals supposedly had the sense and wherewithal to go into hiding on the farm until Napoleon's reign came crashing. Where did they hide? How did they survive? Most of all, why weren't they hunted down as traitors by Napoleon's dogs?
But the real incongruity comes after Napoleon's fall. "The walls have now fallen," (a post-Reaganistic interpretation of the Berlin Wall) and now there is hope in the future. "There are new owners. We will not allow them to make the same mistakes."
What new power and insights do the animals now have to prevent the same mistakes? And just who are these new owners, anyway? Why do the animals (who have proven themselves capable of running a farm, if they are not mismanaged) have to revert to human owners to be their masters again? And why are we to believe these new human owners are better than Jones or Pilkington? Is it because they look more "American," drive a sleeker, newer car, and play rock-n-roll?
Orwell wrote this classic tale as an allegory of modern totalitarianism in general, and Stalinism in particular. TNT's production reeks of a post-modern, imperialistic, corporate-American view of Russia and Eastern Europe today, whose troubles would be over if they would just fully embrace their new owners, American multi-national corporations, with their hip technology and rock-n-roll culture.