Six Stages Toward Hope


Sam Wilkinson

According to a faithful reader, I'm Ordinary Times's "least thoughtful writer." So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

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17 Responses

  1. Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

    Very nice, Sam. “I found happiness in simply not focusing upon that which had so enraged me.” Your takeaway, then?

    Me, I like affirmative arguments. And I loved the Andy Dufresne reference, din’t even have to click on yr link.

    He intoned that, “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and good things never die.”

    Andy doesn’t give into his rage. This is what that saves him from sinking. And more than a brave, stoical acceptance of his fate, he digs his way to freedom inch by inch with the tiniest of pickaxes, whilst outsmarting the evil and corrupt prison warden out of his ill-gotten gains.

    Wifely & me have watched it mebbe 20 times together. I put her down for another 20 or so when I wasn’t around. [And me?— another 10 when she wasn’t looking.]

    “Honey, come quick, there is an odd species here in front of me that apparently believes in the system as it is taught to fifth graders and not the system as it actually, plainly exists!”.

    Ooops, that might be me, so I better get out of here while I can get to get out. But thx for the post, Sam. Nice stuff.Report

    • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

      How does anybody watch that movie any fewer than the number of times it is run into when it is televised? I can’t turn the damn thing off if I stumble across it, especially if you get in after Brooks offs himself.

      As for the negativity there, that’s much of what I want to rid myself of, which I can only achieve by simply ignoring the whole thing.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

        Ah, some of us get tired of watching Morgan Freeman playing Morgan Freeman (conscientous and thoughtful black guy (thinly disguised house negro) , and Tim Robbins playing Tim Robbins (over-intellectualized nebbish), yet again. Perhaps not their fault, as Stephen King’s original story made them wholly two-dimensional figures, without any depth or growth. But I see lots of talent being wasted. Same reason I don’t watch Jack Nicholson movies.

        Or maybe I’m just a cynic who doesn’t like movies about hope.Report

        • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to James Hanley says:

          Who said anything about like? It’s a frustrating obligation I feel at this point. I hate stumbling on the movie, because what happens is that even though I’m not necessarily excited to watch it, it’s also probably better than the experience I’ll have flipping channels looking endlessly for something better.

          Needless to say: I don’t mind your cynicism.

          (Much more important question: how do you have a brain slug avatar? How do I get that?)Report

        • Avatar Bad-ass Motherfisher in reply to James Hanley says:

          Or maybe I’m just a cynic who doesn’t like movies about hope.

          Hope is for pussies.Report

  2. Avatar Glyph says:

    I identify with this more than is probably healthy.

    Sam, here’s to many future engagements regarding cast iron cookware, or interminable digressions into obscure electronic music.

    ‘Cos I gotta tell you, most of the threads around *this* place, are gonna make you downright apoplectic. 😉Report

  3. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    How wrong Emily Dickinson was! Hope is not “the thing with feathers”. The thing with feathers has turned out to be my nephew. I must take him to a specialist in Zurich.Report

  4. Avatar scott says:

    On the academic and zoologic front, I was exposed to the Beard essay in my senior year of high school, and it was really refreshing. It was the first time I was given a view of American history and politics that didn’t exalt it as a Stirring Pageant of Our Eternal Verities but asked a simple question – who gets what? – to try and understand past events. While reading it, I had the feeling that Beard was treating me like an adult and taking me on a search for what actually happened instead of subjecting me to a pep talk. Thanks for the post, it really takes me back, and like you I’ve found the realist view of our politics and history continually useful and rewarding.Report

  5. Avatar Citizen says:

    Sam I see hope in your frustration Sam.
    So many are frustrated in these times. So many afraid to split the kids when all it may be needed is a good spanking all around. I find hope in that our first two defined rights are for the defense of speech and the right to bear arms.

    We have been preached to so long about the dangers of weoponizing Marx and the fear of it continues repeatedly to weoponize facism. There were those who knew what was to come, they just didn’t for see the sheeple that would exist in these times.

    The dissassembly of the basics of freedom continue for the most part uncontested. The simplest concepts of all for one and one for all become unrecognizable in the proliferation of law and federalism.

    Democracy isn’t what we have. What we call capitalism doesn’t really cut it either. How to get there from here is another play into the zoo. Sortition or a calm sober anarchy? What would be your pick?Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I think that one of the most important things to watch will be the DEA.

    It seems that there are two routes that the Feds (whether both parties are involved or merely mostly Republicans) can take:

    1) Ignore it (but don’t send the DEA and/or Feds to the state to bust up the dispensaries)

    2) Ignore it but send the DEA and/or Feds and bust them up and split the proceeds with local law enforcement thus paying off the people who matter

    3) Ignore it but also ignore local law enforcement and create a crisis on the national stage

    1 seems safest, 2 seems smartest, but 3 seems like the thing that both parties (but especially the Republicans) are most likely to do.

    We’ll see whether both parties are elected to the Executive Branch this autumn or if mostly the Republicans are.Report

  7. Avatar MikeSchilling says:

    I don’t see how it’s states’ rights issue. Which dark-skinned people is Washington trying to screw?Report

  8. Sam, I think you need to step away from the computer and enjoy a nice plate of oxen testicals.Report