Something Old, Something New

I spent part of the winter break rereading Orwell’s 1984, watching Netflix’s The Rain for the second time and listening to a new musical group, Reina del Cid, that I discovered on YouTube. I had no specific reason why I chose this novel/series/music but I think they were helpful in that I challenged myself to evaluate present beliefs and explore new concepts.

I have read 1984 numerous times in my life. It is interesting to compare and contrast its meaning each time I read it. During high school and college, the plot and the characters were simply fiction to me. As I grew older and read 1984 in graduate school or taught it to high school students, I began to see the novel in a new light. Reading this book at the end of 2020 provided a sense of uneasiness that I usually feel when I read non-fiction books about the state of the world. Also, there is a ABC five part limited series adaption of the novel in the works that addresses numerous issues. “As the world grapples with democracy and government in our divided age of surveillance, ‘fake news’ and truth decay, the urgency of Orwell’s masterpiece is undeniable. The small screen feels like a natural home for his portrait of a society in which people trust their screens more than the world outside their windows.”

I also must confess to a Netflix binge during the winter break. I watched three seasons of The Rain. I initially saw two seasons of this series in the pre-pandemic year, 2019. What a difference viewing it pre-pandemic and in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. While reading and/or watching dystopian material I often wondered how real people would handle every day life. The Rain impacted people more intensely but there were similarities to our present situation. The reviews have been mixed but it is interesting to watch how governments and tech companies handled the disaster.

Finally, my discovery of the musical group Reina del Cid has been enjoyable. Librarian discloser…I feel compelled to include this fun fact about the group. One of their early songs “Library Girl” was filmed in the University of Minnesota library. They do some covers but their original work is excellent. I would highly recommend the weekly program Sundays with Reina del Cid.

I think challenging our minds during these times is important to our mental health. Have a great Spring session.

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