“You asked me once, what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world” – with these words come from author George Orwell in his famous dystopic novel 1984, which I highly recommend any reader who has never read it to do so, or re-read it as always find something new when I do.
Earlier today I watched Northern Ballet’s production of it on BBC 4, which was excellent. I remembered listening to Nick Hancock on BBC Radio 5 show, which has subsequently become a highly successful TV series, called Room 101. The radio show had the guest to nominate their “least favourite people, places and pop songs” in order to have them consigned to Room 101, and it was up to Nick to decide if they should or should not go in. I decided to follow this model but extend to my least favourite people, place, objects and music.
For my least favourite people it was very clear to me who I would put in – those that hurt others (particularly with no remorse or guilt) be they human, scales, fur or feather. I cannot understand or tolerate abuse be it sexual, physical, mental or emotional of another, there is enough darkness in the world, why add to it? I maybe highly empathetic, but cannot understand how someone finds joy in it.
For my least favourite place initially I was uncertain but then it came to me – Los Angeles. Now I do not mean any offence to anyone from or lives there, but to me it seems so fake and artificial based on false promises and dreams, full of lost souls, where few ever get the gold ticket without insider genetics or contacts, and contracts that would make even old Lucifer raise a smile for a decade or more.
For my least favourite object it becomes tricky as between several. My initial one was escalators, as I fell top to bottom on one as a small child when the lady in front stopped in the middle top to talk to her friend with nowhere for me to go but down! However, I also considered unnecessary chemicals used on our bodies in creams to deodorants or in our foods, particularly as additives or preservatives.
Finally, for my least favourite music. As someone who openly admits to being something of a musicnut and open minded to hearing old or new songs across all the genres I find this hard but easy. I would not single out a particular genre as there are exceptions to rules in all things in life, including music. Instead I would pick unnecessary booming beats or autotuning a piece so much it loses colour and life.
What about you dear reader, do you agree with me? What person or people, place(s), object and music should be in Room 101? As we all to often think about what we like but do not always consider the power of what we dislike and what it says about us as people. Hate is a strong emotion that we throw about without considering its powers, as along with love every other emotion seems to stem from it.
© Fi S. J. Brown
Has the world changed or have we evolved into a new type of human being? Filled with jealous fear and hate as act as judge and jury not other’s wellbeing. No longer content to be an actor playing a part in the show that is Planet Earth. Killing others till they’re gone as turned director such is our sense of self-worth. Covering and autotuning the songs of Earth to sing in the key of human nature, and painting the world in fifty shades of grey as the brave new world’s maker.
Heavily manipulated images tell us this is what a 21st century human must be, and difference to flaws magnified as though we were some super race pedigree. Communication reduced down to words and pictures upon screens in our hands, as create fantasies of our lives, crying wolf for help and worshipping celebrity brands. Trying desperately to fit in the boxes so not alone in the wilderness to be mocked, trapping individuality forever in a room where few visited or on the door knocked.
Our foods tainted with chemicals, modified to grow in a uniform way or made in a lab, medicines causing side effects worse than the disease or perhaps prevented with a jab. With almost every new television show and movie is a re-make, take off, or sequel, where has our originality and creativity gone, may be it still sat on the artist’s easel? To be human has got quite lost in this brave new world we have now created for us, is it now time we stopped and learnt to think for ourselves before the final big hush.
© Fi S. J. Brown