Tuesday, August 4, 2009


From the Associated Press:

SEATTLE -- A high school student is suing Amazon.com Inc. for deleting an e-book he purchased for the Kindle reader, saying his electronic notes were bollixed, too.

Amazon CEO Jeffrey P. Bezos has apologized to Kindle customers for remotely removing copies of the George Orwell novels "1984" and "Animal Farm" from their e-reader devices. The company did so after learning the electronic editions were pirated, and it gave buyers automatic refunds. But Amazon did it without prior notice.

The lawsuit seeking class-action status was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Seattle on behalf of Justin D. Gawronski, 17, a student at Eisenhower High School in Shelby Township, Mich., as well as Antoine J. Bruguier, an adult reader in Milpitas, Calif.

I recall the trepidation with which the world faced 1984, and many people discussing this gloomy Orwell forecast. At least two dozen of them actually read the book. As we dozed through countless Literature classes, countless instructors told us of what would happen when that horrible year arrived. But no amount of preparation or pre-planning could have made that year more palatable. Looking over that year via the magic of Google, we see that Madonna became a big star, the Baltimore Colts moved to a small town in Indiana, and a former movie actor, against all odds, was re-elected president of the United States. Orwell foresaw totalitarianism, repression, government spying and intimidation, and we got "Like a Virgin," Robert Irsay, and the onetime host of Death Valley Days in the White House.

One amazing prediction is the theory advanced by some that Orwell entitled his book 1984 to salute the year 1884, which is when the Fabian society was formed. How people in 1884 knew that Fabian Forte would be born in 1943 is something not mentioned in the book.

1 comment:

Ralph said...

I just knew Amazon had laid yet another egg with this "controversy" and would be forced into an apology. Thanks for the confirmation.