Orwell was amused at those of his colleagues on the left who lived in terror of being termed bourgeois. But somewhere among his own terrors may have lurked the possibility that, like Galsworthy, he might one day lose his political anger, and end up as one more apologist for Things As They Are. His anger, let us go so far as to say, was precious to him. He had lived his way into it—in Burma and Paris and London and on the road to Wigan pier, and in Spain, being shot at, and eventually wounded, by fascists—he had invested blood, pain and hard labour to earn his anger, and was as attached to it as any capitalist to his capital. It may be an affliction peculiar to writers more than others, this fear of getting too comfortable, of being bought off. When one writes for a living, it is certainly one of the risks, though not one every writer objects to. The ability of the ruling element to co-opt dissent was ever present as a danger—actually not unlike the process by which the Party in 1984 is able perpetually to renew itself from below.
The single most offensive thing about glib contrarians like Andrew Sullivan and Christropher Hitchens -- other than the fact that anyone takes anything they write seriously -- is that neither of them ever misses an opportunity to announce that they have appointed themselves the official torchbearers of the Orwell legacy. Compare the Pynchon essay to anything penned by Sully or Hitch for a graphic illustration of the difference between a writer and a hack, between someone who actually gets Orwell versus someone who's only interested in using Eric Blair's pseudonym to prop up his own fragile delusions.