Hope, Despair and the Coming Apocalypse

It has been five weeks today since I interviewed for a promotion. No news. Good grief, even Congress advances at a speedier pace than this glacial establishment. [UPDATE: Bah, humbug.]

Over at Pioneer Woman, Mark Spearman writes this excellent piece on The Shawshank Redemption, one of my favorite movies. (I mean, really, I have hundreds of favorite movies. Don’t make me pick.) Andy has so much hope, so much perseverance, is it any wonder he finally achieves his freedom?

At the end of the day, I think the central message of Shawshank is that it’s not angry defiance that defeats oppression. It is the ability to keep our dignity, and our sense of self, intact.

Then over at Gerard’s place, our favorite Heart-on-the-Mend poet worries that the swelling ocean below us is really a whale. He’s been on quite the Melville bender lately. Perhaps a visit by Bakerella is order.

Can you feel it lurking just under the surface? I can and I think you can as well. The Greeks knew it as “Nemesis.” Melville’s Ahab knew it as “thou damned whale” and he struck at it from Hell’s heart. Unperturbed it gathered him up and took him down. Then it took the boat and after that the ship. All save one followed. The whale beneath the surface of America’s life is still there and all signs point to its breaching soon. Exactly where and exactly how are still unknown, but soon.

I feel the thing beneath the boat and I think others of my fellow citizens in ever growing millions feel it as well. We do not feel good about it and what it augers for the near and far future.

In both cases, truer words have never been spoken (or written). We hope. We despair. Then we hope again. Americans are like that, you know.

Like Mr. Lundie said in Brigadoon, “…sunshine can peep through a wee hole…”

About a year from now, there will be a test. What once was a cyclical exercise in civil awareness and citizen involvement is now lining up to be The Election That Decides America’s Future.

Don’t despair. It will be a bloody battle, but America will win in the end. Like Andy Dufresne.

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