Thursday, May 18, 2017

Good night, and good luck.

I still remember waking up on November 9th. I remember cleaning up the bottle of wine and bag of popcorn left in the living room from the night before, when I'd been prepared to celebrate the election of the first woman president. I remember running down Fort Myers Beach, harder than I'd run in years, running straight into the Gulf of Mexico, and thinking, "Something. I've got to do something."

For a time, this blog was the perfect mechanism to help me and my 20 (if I'm being generous) loyal readers process the onslaught of coverage around the political upheaval caused by the new administration. Since then, I have fallen off the writing wagon, partly because the density of coverage surpassed my analytical capabilities as a full-time grad student / part-time blogger, and largely because major news outlets stepped up to develop far more consistent (read: better-resourced) tools to the same end.

Each time I wrote a paper this semester about ethno-nationalism, conflict resolution, cyberwar, and the other delightful accoutrements of our age, I'd pull myself out of it by reading a passage from Hope in the Dark, a book my mother gave me after withstanding one too many dire existentialist monologues:
"It’s important to say what hope is not: it is not the belief that everything was, is, or will be fine. The evidence is all around us of tremendous suffering and tremendous destruction. The hope I’m interested in is about broad perspectives with specific possibilities, ones that invite or demand we act. It’s also not a sunny everything-is-getting-better narrative, though it may be a counter to the everything-is-getting-worse narrative. You could call it an account of complexities and uncertainties, with openings. ‘Critical thinking without hope is cynicism, but hope without critical thinking is naivete,’ the Bulgarian writer Maria Popova recently remarked. And Patrisse Cullors, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter, early on described the movement’s mission as to ‘Provide hope and inspiration for collective action to build collective power to achieve collective transformation, rooted in grief and rage but pointed towards vision and dreams.’ It’s a statement that acknowledges that grief and hope can coexist."
Coming to you from Paris in the wee hours of the morning, all I have left to say is, "Good night, and good luck."

Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just… I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good.

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Good night, and good luck.

I still remember waking up on November 9th. I remember cleaning up the bottle of wine and bag of popcorn left in the living room from the ...