The Discipline of Hope and Also Being Very Cynical

Do you ever read an interview with an artist or otherwise known person (known enough to get interviewed, I suppose) and think, "Wow, I like how this person's mind works and also I want to be best friends with them."

This is what happened to me with an interview with writer Jia Tolentino in Interview Magazine. She has this practical cynicism that is deeply pervasive and yet doesn't seem to strip away her hope. I really identify with that.

Some quotes:

"I don’t know if a country founded on the narrative of liberty and the practice of racist exploitation can remake itself in the however many years we have left before humans are burned off the Earth."

Ooooooof and also yeah. I often find myself having to hold back my predictions of when and how humanity will be, as she says, "burned off the Earth." It's not going to be a pretty process and the Powers That Be are clearly uninterested in actually stopping it, so... here we go.

"I’ve also been really sick of my own brain for a while now."

Want to trade?

"Reading more Black writers isn’t like taking medicine. People ought to seek out the genuine pleasure of decentering themselves."

This is so true! I genuinely love watching movies or plays where there is a joke or reference that isn't for me or another language spoken without translation. There is something really wonderful about that experience.

"I don’t feel that I have the right to consider giving up hope. To do so would mean abandoning or failing to recognize the work that’s being done."

Wrapping it all up with a bow. Yes, injustice is everywhere and not stopping. Yes, disruptive climate change is, at this point, inevitable (due to human choices, not because it wasn't completely and easily preventable). But giving up hope, in the sense of giving up and just watching it all unfold around me? Not an option.

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