So I read an article on Vox about a “new” trend in pop culture called hopepunk. I was vibing on a lot of what they were saying, never stopping the fight, caring doesn’t make you weak, and love might actually save the world, when I came across this bit by writer Alexandra Rowland, the coiner of the phrase, as it were:
Hopepunk says that genuinely and sincerely caring about something, anything, requires bravery and strength. Hopepunk isn’t ever about submission or acceptance: It’s about standing up and fighting for what you believe in. It’s about standing up for other people. It’s about DEMANDING a better, kinder world, and truly believing that we can get there if we care about each other as hard as we possibly can, with every drop of power in our little hearts.Alexandra Rowland
Now demanding better was something I know a bit about. I eagerly lapped up the rest of the Vox article and then read a bit more of Rowland’s writing.
So, after all this time of thinking I was just angry, of making up my own definition of “pie-in-the-sky realist”, and thinking I was the only one that thought this fight was worthwhile, maybe I’m wrong. I hope so. I like being wrong when the outcome is a good thing. Maybe there are enough of us where we can love our way into a happier world.
If that were to happen, I’d like to think I’d end up more like Captain Kirk, adventuring out into the lawless expanse on missions of discovery. Or Picard, on a mixed mission of discovery and protection. Sure, it’d be great if the entire universe was full of love and there wasn’t anyone to protect our society from, but that’s hard for me to imagine, as much as I want to. My brain just isn’t wired that way. I can see it, I can want it, but I can’t believe it will be able to exist without being defended.
I’ll fight and fight and fight for this fluffy, friendly, huggable world, but I couldn’t live there. No, I’d have to head somewhere else. Somewhere that wasn’t so nice, to continue the fight. To find more people that need to see the truth. Can’t be happy if just some people are living in Utopia. You all have to be. I’ll drag you there kicking and screaming if I have to, then leave to find some more people to drag.
The thing is, I don’t think I’d fit in the world I want to see. I’d end up like the Operative in the movie Serenity.
The Operative: I’m not going to live there… There’s no place for me there, any more than there is for you. Malcolm, I’m a monster. What I do is evil. I have no illusions about it, but it must be done.Serenity 2005
I have no illusions about what I do. My writing makes people angry. I purposefully piss people off with my words because its the only way I know to get them to think. To break the shackles they’ve put on their own minds and force them to see. Is it crazy to think that pissing people off could lead them to love? Yeah, probably. But it’s all I’ve got right now. If you’ve got any better ideas, the comment box is below.