it’s the hope I can’t stand…
How is this day even real? I cannot fathom it.
When I was dorky SF-loving kid in the 80s, I so looked forward to the 21st century. It was gonna be the future! We were gonna have moon bases and bootprints on Mars and flying cars and first contact with nice aliens and it was gonna be awesome.
I wish someone had taken me aside and told me that, instead, The Future was gonna be the dystopian vision of a cheesy 80s action sci-fi junker starring a former Olympic kickboxer named Gunther who fancied himself a turn in Hollywood, that it would be all militarized police and outspoken hate and smart educated people scrambling for too-few shitty jobs and child refugees living in squalid camps and corporate rights over those of citizens and toxic food and climate disaster. And that we wouldn’t even have Gunther to fight for us.
As John Cleese said in the movie Clockwise, “It’s not the despair. I can take the despair. It’s the hope I can’t stand.”
Fuck this shit. And fuck Donald Trump. Now and forever.
And fuck me: I still have hope. One tiny good thing for me personally over past couple of months is that I am so energized creatively: anger is good fuel for me. I think I am going to write good stuff this year (not just film criticism, and you can hold me to that). But I also have this theory of history that I call the Fuck This Shit theory: Important stuff doesn’t get done until enough people say “Fuck this shit,” and then they make the big changes. The Puritans looked around Europe and were like, “Fuck this shit,” and they sailed off to the New World. The American colonists looked at how the King was treating their colonies, and they were all “Fuck this shit,” and so we got the American Revolution. (This doesn’t always work out well for everyone. I’m sure Native Americans were thinking “Fuck this shit” at how the invading Europeans were treating them, but that wasn’t enough.) If and when we ever settle on Mars, it will be because enough people on Earth are finally “Fuck this shit,” and sail off. But maybe, before we get to that point, enough people will look around at the inequality and the injustice of the world we have created and say, “Fuck this shit,” and change it in a realistic way.
There’s so much work to be done, and so much pain to be endured along the way. But it has to be done, no matter what. The hope: it’s gonna kill me.