It's Eric Arthur Blair's birthday today. George Orwell to you. He would have been 109, very unlikely even if he hadn't snuffed it at the outrageously early age of 46, mere weeks before the sulfa drug that could have cured his TB was universally available. Best remembered for Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four and a superb, lucid prose style that gave us such witticisms as "As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisements for Socialism are its adherents," "At fifty, everyone has the face he deserves," and "Enlightened people seldom or never possess a sense of responsibility." Claimed by left and right alike, justifiably, because like all immortals he was both, yet neither. Somewhere in the middle, perhaps, and just above.