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Entry 8-23-03 (originally written 5-13-03)
Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.

During my last year of high school it came time for me to take that test of loyalty, 'Americanism Versus Communism.' This was a required course for seniors. The idea that the American way of life needed to be justified with course materials was interesting, as was the way freedom and liberty was reduced to a predatory political ideology. It was a test to weed out traitors, a bit premature, really. Who has an ideology in high school beyond 'get laid' or 'fuck the jocks'?

But really 'Americanism Versus Communism' is the opposite arm of all those final exams meant to test if you've memorized what you've been bombarded with during the year. It's a test to see if you believe it. If you don't want to believe in evolution or elementary physics, they'll respect this. There is no class to make sure you're not a creationist... in fact they'll yield to it quite often by mentioning 'creation science.' But you must believe in the official version of history. You must be on the side of Right.

It's a poor test. Who is going to be the advocate of the dirty Commies in class? The foolish and the brave. You can take the opposing view for the sake of argument, if you want to be perceived as a serious thinker, but you can't really believe it. Or you're allowed to be the kind of poser Commie who wears a cap with a red star and waves Karl Marx around, as a method of teen rebellion, but who has no good argument for yourself or others. Even that is rare. Heaven help you if you subject 'Americanism Versus Communism' to real analysis.

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