Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Oh, Look. An Internet Argument.

There was a big argument on the Internet, I think it originated on Twitter, about this photo.  The original poster maintained that the man holding the puppy was Eric Blair, better known by his nom de plume of George Orwell, the author of Animal Farm and 1984, along with many other works.  It was taken during the Spanish Civil War, when Blair/Orwell fought against the fascists.

Thing is, that's not him.

The photo was once used to illustrate the paperback version of Orwell's Homage to Catalonia, which is probably what created the confusion.  That, and the puppy-holder does bear a superficial resemblance to the author.

As happens, and not just with Internet controversies, there was considerable back and forth about the photo, with clear divisions between the pro- and anti-Blair contingents.  As Blair/Orwell had been a Communist for awhile, things became rather ideological and degraded into exchanges of Hitler accusations and Stalin references.  Name calling came next, of course.  Typical of our modern age, really.

Arguments such as this narrow one's perspective and renders focus opaque.  So much so that none of those involved in the back and forth noticed the tall, hat-less, bespectacled fellow in the center of the photo.  Yep, that's Ernest Hemingway.