The people of Oceania were fascinated by the dress. They spent hours each day discussing the coloring of the dress, and contentious debates often erupted. Was it gold and white? Or was it blue and black? Scientists delved into the reasons for the discrepancy, and people argued about that.
Meanwhile, war waged between Oceania and Eurasia. (There never was a war with Eastasia.) The Ministry of Love arrested those who questioned the wisdom of Oceania’s government. Many disappeared into Room 101. And the Ministry of Truth shoved important historical facts down the memory hole.
While the Thought Police worked hard to ensure unapproved opinion didn’t proliferate through Oceania, the people scarcely noticed any more.
After all, there was the dress.