Hope in the Dark Horizons


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Dark Horizons: Science Fiction and the Dystopian Imagination

I've lost my footing I'm hanging on by the brink I'm stranded in a sea of hope With not a drop to drink. So I stand alone when I think Because conformity can't be the solution Because some scars never heal And now my dreams lay in silent ruins.

There's blood on the horizon There's blood on the horizon There's blood on the horizon, yeah And still not a word is spoken. I've lost my footing I'm hanging on from a very thin thread Now the shadow falls as the reaper calls And the dark comes rolling in overhead. Something wicked, this way it comes Something wicked, this way it comes Something wicked, this way it comes Something wicked And still not a fucking word is spoken.

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I'm not living up to their expectations I'm not living up to their dreams of success They say I'm not living up to a simple standard They say I'm not living up to the skill I possess. I think I was born without a soul, pray for me I think I was born without a voice, cry for me I think I was born without a pulse, love for me God why was I born without the choice, die for me. This is the ultimate "feel-good" book for exhausted campaigners and activists who, while remaining convinced of the importance of their work, can't help occasionally asking themselves whether they really are making a difference.


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Author and activist Rebecca Solnit's answer is a triumphant "yes". She celebrates a history of political engagement over the past five decades and finds strong grounds for optimism, albeit sometimes in rather unexpected places the invention of Viagra, she points out, has taken some of the heat off endangered species prized for their supposed aphrodisiac qualities.

Review: Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit | Books | The Guardian

Charting recent breakthroughs - from the fall of the Berlin wall and the Zapatista uprising in Mexico, to the anti-globalisation demonstrations in Seattle and the worldwide marches against war in Iraq - Solnit explores the progression of social change and makes an inspiring, well-argued case for hope. Not hope "like a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky", but hope that means "another world might be possible, not promised, not guaranteed.


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  • Hope calls for action; action is impossible without hope. But reflecting on the often underrated achievements of activists around the world, Solnit warns against the dangers of assuming that for every action, there is an equal, opposite and punctual reaction, and of regarding the lack of one as a failure: "Cause and effect assumes history marches forward, but history is not an army.

    Johnson Out Of Revived “Not Without Hope”

    It is a crab scuttling sideways. This is a timely reminder.

    During many of the public meetings at which I've spoken since the invasion of Iraq in , it has been suggested by a number of new but disillusioned activists that "activism doesn't work", that the anti-war marches had "failed" because the invasion went ahead. Challenging the expectation that change happens automatically and punctually is essential if we are to keep new campaigners motivated, politically engaged, and convinced of their ability to make a difference.

    Some of Solnit's writing is beautifully observed, like the wryly accurate portrait of activists who are so busy complaining about the problem that they fail to see the solution: "Sometimes radicals settle for excoriating the wall for being so large, so solid, so blank, so without hinges, knobs, keyholes, rather than seeking a door, or they trudge through a door looking for a new wall". But the book often seems to suffer from the same disorganisation she recognises as inherent in activism itself.

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