A Modern Day 1984

One of my most favorite books I read while in high school was “1984” by George Orwell. I enjoyed it because even as a senior in high school, I could actually see some of the totalitarianism in progress in our “modern societies”.   Orwell described totalitarianism as a form of government/society, in which Big Brother was watching everything people did.  There was no escape from his watch or from the people who worked for big brother. Big Brother and the party not only watched people’s every move but they also controlled history, thoughts, language, and everything else that entered peoples’ minds. The setting for Orwell’s book takes place in a rundown area in London, England.

Has Big Brother returned? Recently, Chipotle came out with an ad for their new game app which is available for Apple and Android devices. In Chipotle’s ad there is a Scarecrow who works at a place called Crow Industries.  The poor Scarecrow is disgusted by what’s going on around him with the processed food. The scarecrow finally leaves this area and goes plants his own food and brings it back to sell in the city.

Now you may be wondering how Orwell’s “1984” and Chipotle’s current ad at fit together. For me, the explanation is a simple one. In 1984, it was Big Brother and the party who controlled the thoughts of the public. And there was no escaping from Big Brother. In the ad, it’s the crow see circling as scarecrow moves around.  The crow follows him. Is conventional agriculture represented by the crow in the ad?  If so, then you get the image…the crow represents Big Brother and the scarecrow has a difficult time escaping the crow.  I bring up this point in 1984, because the main character, Winston, had no choice. Fortunately we live in a modern society  where we are free to make choices on what we choose to eat.

Agriculture is nothing like what the Chipotle ad wants the viewer to believe!  Agriculture is represented by the family farmer down the road who has lived on that land for 5 generations, the locally owned dairies, it the local agriculture business (tractors, feed, trucks), it’s the big agriculture business, it’s the farms that are ran by Tyson but family operated, and it’s the farmers at the local farmers markets.

Has Chipotle turned into Big Brother? Yes in a way, they are just like Big Brother. In their current ad campaign, Chipotle is trying to control other people thoughts just like the Thought Police do in 1984, saying big ag is bad for you indicating that big ag is synonymous with processed foods which can be bad for your health. The best way according to Chipotle’s ad campaign to go is all natural, hormone free and antibiotic free because it better for you. To drive their point home, they add the song from Willy Wonka, “The Imagination Song.”

So is this modern day 1984? Yeah, that’s the way it appears to me. Did George Orwell know what he was talking about?   Yes, I believe he truly did.


Beware Big Brother could be watching you at this very moment


Keep it real Friends,

The Aggie Hipster


One thought on “A Modern Day 1984

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