George Orwell’s Room 101

Does any one remember the BBC television series Room 101? The programme ran from 1994 to 2007 and people could rant about the various things that pissed them off and persuade the presenter to place them into Room 101, where theoretically these things would no longer be a detriment to society.

Room 101 is based on the torture room in George Orwell’s classic novel 1984. Apparently Orwell used the term from a room where he was forced to sit through tedious meetings.

As a tribute to such a wonderful idea I have selected three things in life that I would like to resign to oblivion in Room 101.

1. What to Read

“We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness”

George Orwell, 1984

People who think they have any right to tell you what to read. This really bugs me. I read every genre, I could read a textbook one week then a children’s book the next and then contemporary fiction. It all depends on how I am feeling and what takes my interest at the time. “Oh why are you reading that book when you read such intellectual books?” I do not allow anything to restrict my reading or learning in life, and if you believe that you can only learn from books that someone else has deemed as intellectual then I feel sorry for your capacity to learn.

2. Expressions

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought”

George Orwell, 1984

People who use expressions when they don’t even understand what it means. There are a lot of expressions or sayings in the English language that developed organically a long time ago but which now makes absolutely no sense, and yet people still use them. “Oh it’s just an expression!” What! Why say anything if you don’t understand what it means?

3. Bald Spots

“I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane.”

George Orwell, 1984

I know this probably shouldn’t be something that bothers me but I just don’t understand why men get perfectly symmetrical circular bold spots on their head in old age! When faced with a bold spot I imagine little people living happily in the conveniently cleared forest on a man’s head. A clearing that naturally expands over time. Once one of these little people told me to stop staring and go make him a cup of tea. So, I made a cup of tea in a tiny china tea-cup I found in a doll’s house. I placed the tiny cup of hot tea in the middle of the man’s bald spot. Of course in alarm the man spilt the tea, a milky brown slither of which stained his neck and collar. Collar’s, now that is something that should fall to the fate of Room 101 – maybe someone could suggest why we have such an absurd thing as collars, but I digress…

What three things would you place into Room 101?


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