On Consumerism, Living the Dream, and Hope

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12 Responses

  1. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    Courage can be insufficient; optimism can prove to be foolhardiness. If you don’t jump you can’t fly, but you also won’t fall, and falling hurts.

    We choose fear and hope because they never fail us. If you fear that something will go wrong, then you’ll always–eventually–be right. If you hope that tomorrow will be better, then you’ll still have that hope tomorrow, and the day after, and forever.Report

  2. I often forget to comment on good posts. Thanks for this guest post, Mr. Comstock.Report

    • My wife says (mostly) empty comment threads like this one are further evidence of my gift for silencing the room. Still, the above is the first thing of any substance I’ve had the urge to write down in a few months, and without comments like yours or Mr. Duck’s, I do wonder if I don’t have my fly down. (Metaphorically speaking. In reality I almost never run the risk of having my fly down because I so seldom wear pants.) Your kind words are appreciated!Report

      • Avatar Simon K says:

        From me too! Very interesting and thought provoking. Completely the wrong strategy if want lots of comments – try saying something both dumb and controversial, ideally about the relationship between gay marriage and budget deficit.Report

        • Hmmm. Maybe you’re right. Blue Valentine provide an excuse to go on my shopworn contrarian rant about the MPAA . Was thinking the libertarians here at LOOG might bite. If it’s still gnawing at me by next week, maybe I’ll trot it out again.Report

  3. Avatar Rufus says:

    I quite liked this, especially for the Auntie Mame quote- it’s one of my favorite films.Report

  4. Avatar DMD says:

    I loved this post. The part about not trying and risking failure so you can hold on to hope really hit me hard.Report

    • Thank you for your kind words. That part lands on me hard too. With your indulgence, a little background.

      In the Summer of 2000 I had the opportunity to travel to Zimbabwe to make a film about the rising problem of parentless, child-headed households that the HIV/AIDS crisis was/is leaving in is wake. At the time it was the “meatiest” project I had ever been offered, and I poured everything I had into it. (Were every dollar and hour I spent on the project accounted for, the budget would have been 3-4 times the invoice I submitted.)

      I was, and still am proud of the resulting film, but it also settled my own ambivalence about the story of Pandora’s box (in 5th grade our class mounted a production of the story that played in the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, with myself and a girl I was sweet on as Zeus and Hera.)

      If you’ll recall, in the competing versions, Pandora’s curiousity got the better of her, opened the box, let all the evils into the world, but sometimes hope remains in the box, and sometimes it’s the last thing out. (In our version, Hope, played by David Nickols, emerged and delivered some sort of, “Do not despair! For along with Evil, now Hope has entered the world. Not all it lost.”

      That ending never sat well with me, and troubled me for the next 25 years, until the Autumn of 2000, when the film was finished and needed a name. I choose “A Generation of Hope”, which the client was delighted with. I’m not sure they ever realized what a terrible descriptor it is:

      A Generation of Hope


  5. Avatar Shaunamadre says:

    Perhaps I am completely taking this in the opposite (ie;female) direction to make refference to ones inner feelings but male or female we all live with our our story and associations and know our own feelings of indifference,desire and fear. This dialog brings me totally home to myself. When I really question reality and connect with what is true for me sometimes the kindest action I can do for myself looks like the most terrifying action. Taking the leap or putting my feet to the fire IS what to do. The more wood the hotter the fire:
    Excerpt from “Taking a Leap”
    So we start by making friends with our experience and developing warmth for our good old selves.
    Slowly, very slowly, gently, very gently, we let the stakes get higher as we touch in on more troubling feelings. This leads to trusting that we have the strength and good-heartedness to live in this precious world, despite its land mines, with dignity and kindness. With this kind of confidence, connecting with others comes more easily, because what is there to fear when we have stayed with ourselves through thick and thin? Other people can provoke anything in us and we don’t need to defend ourselves by striking out or shutting down.
    Selfless help, helping others without an agenda, is the result of our having helped ourselves. We feel loving towards ourselves and therefore we feel loving towards others. Over time all those we used to feel separate from become more and more melted into our heart.Report