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Commentary Last Updated: Apr 11th, 2008 - 00:33:52

Hope is for suckers
By Mickey Z.
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Apr 11, 2008, 00:18

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�Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man.� --Friedrich Nietzsche

We can�t give up hope, I�m often told. Keep hope alive, the saying goes. If we lose hope, nothing will ever change . . . or so they believe. Well, I�m here to say: Fuck hope.

We live on a planet brimming with hope yet that same planet is under perpetual assault . . . and the hopers are losing. The corporations raping our eco-systems don�t hope they can steal more land, exploit it, poison it, and make boatloads of cash. They make a plan and make it happen . . . damn the torpedoes. (You might even call it �direct action.�)

Monsanto doesn�t put its faith in candlelight vigils or humans standing in the shape of a peace sign. They get busy putting their people into positions of power, writing legislation, and bullying and smashing anyone opposed to their insane agenda.

General Motors doesn�t reserve its opinions for government sanctioned �free speech zones.� The television, Internet, magazines, movies, songs, radio, etc. are all inundated with GM�s taxpayer-subsidized propaganda . . . just as the planet is inundated with GM�s output.

McDonald�s doesn�t waste time hoping things will go its way when its days are chock filled with brainwashing, killing, poisoning, destroying . . . and counting its profits. Hope never enters into the equation.

�Hope is a bad thing,� sez Henry Miller. �It means that you are not what you want to be. It means that part of you is dead, if not all of you. It means that you entertain illusions. It�s a sort of spiritual clap, I should say.�

Author Derrick Jensen explains the impotency of hope as good as anyone: �I�m not, for example, going to say I hope I eat something tomorrow. I just will. I don�t hope I take another breath right now, nor that I finish writing this sentence. I just do them. On the other hand, I do hope that the next time I get on a plane, it doesn�t crash. To hope for some result means you have given up any agency concerning it. Many people say they hope the dominant culture stops destroying the world. By saying that, they�ve assumed that the destruction will continue, at least in the short term, and they�ve stepped away from their own ability to participate in stopping it.�

If Jensen makes it sound an awful lot like religion, well, for most folks, the verb �hope� is virtually synonymous with �pray,� while �hope� the noun is often interchangeable with �faith.�

Hope is for suckers.

How about some good old-fashioned anger, rage, and passion? (Che sez: "If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine.") Let�s forget hope and aim for vision, clarity, strategy, courage, and finally: some goddamned results. �Creativity comes from trust,� sez Rita Mae Brown. �Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work� (as they say in South Florida: bingo).

At its worst, hope is a dangerous cop-out. At best, it�s a frivolous idea. But even so, as Henry Miller sez: �Ideas have to be wedded to action.�

Wedded, huh? Repeat after me: �I do.�

Mickey Z. is the author of the forthcoming novel, "CPR for Dummies" (Raw Dog Screaming Press). He can be found on the Web at

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