Tag Archives | hope

Let Hunter S. Thompson guide you through the election season

51m74hame4LI love the US election season. I think it’s because I live overseas now and I don’t have to sit through commercials or look at billboards, which is a blessed relief. Also, for better or worse my guy won the last two elections, and I joyfully took sustenance from the flowing tears of the Republicans standing around in abject shock that they had lost, then lost again. Each mouth agape in bewilderment, each wail of disbelief, each and every tear filled me like wine and I immediately wrote a letter to Apple demanding that they include a picture of Nelson Muntz in the emojis package for the next iPhone OS update. 

Of course, I was also around for the George W. Bush years when the shoe was on the other foot, watching the democrats run Frankenstein in 2004 and clawing at my hair when they seemed to actually expect him to win, as if a man who couldn’t excite a crowd if his hair suddenly caught on fire had a chance against the political skullduggery of Bush, Cheney, et al.Read the rest

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Summer of Surveillance: 1984 vs. The Circle

[Editor’s note: This post contains minor spoilers.]

In 1984, George Orwell presents a dystopian future in which citizens are under constant surveillance by the government, while records of the past are continuously edited and destroyed. The past becomes an abstract notion, ever shifting and strategic, and these manipulative tactics allow the ruling elite to maintain control. This is a closed system, through which pure information only flows in one direction before being heavily altered and then filtered back to the unsuspecting masses. With slogans like “WAR IS PEACE”, “FREEDOM IS SLAVERY”, and “IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”, Orwell makes it quite clear that the rulers of this world mean business and will stop at nothing to ensure the continuation of their reign.

Three surveillance cameras on the corner of a building. By Hustvedt via Wikimedia Commons.

Three surveillance cameras on the corner of a building. By Hustvedt via Wikimedia Commons.

In The Circle, Dave Eggers presents an interesting contrast to Orwell’s dark and legendary vision.… Read the rest

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The Case Against Hope

do-you-feel-hopeless-21308086Derrick Jensen writing in the May/June 2006 issue of Orion Magazine:

We’ve all been taught that hope in some future condition—like hope in some future heaven—is and must be our refuge in current sorrow. I’m sure you remember the story of Pandora. She was given a tightly sealed box and was told never to open it. But, being curious, she did, and out flew plagues, sorrow, and mischief, probably not in that order. Too late she clamped down the lid. Only one thing remained in the box: hope. Hope, the story goes, was the only good the casket held among many evils, and it remains to this day mankind’s sole comfort in misfortune. No mention here of action being a comfort in misfortune, or of actually doing something to alleviate or eliminate one’s misfortune.

The more I understand hope, the more I realize that all along it deserved to be in the box with the plagues, sorrow, and mischief; that it serves the needs of those in power as surely as belief in a distant heaven; that hope is really nothing more than a secular way of keeping us in line.

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