So what is hopepunk?
It encompasses just about every walk of life, and they are all tied together with a silver thread of thought, a belief, a way of looking at the world. It is a way of thinking that I have personally ascribed to for most of my life, one which I refer to as "pessimisic optimism": the thought that yes, things can be pretty awful, but that will never mean they can't be improved. I've scoured the internet for others' thoughts on hopepunk and found that it is, as most things are these days, a pretty polarizing concept. Those who approve of it embrace it wholeheartedly, while others are quick to refer to it as "liberal nonsense" and "a word for something we didn't even need". (Most of those were comments in comments sections or forum posts, and were taken at face value. I have yet to find a longform. coherent article which has anything detrimental to say about hopepunk, which seems to say something in itself. Alexandra Rowland has this to say about it in her essay "One Atom of Justice, One Molecule of Mercy, and The Empire of Unsheathed Knives":
There are no heroes and no villains. There are just people. That’s hopepunk: Whether the glass is half full or half empty, what matters is that there’s water in that glass. And that’s something worth defending.
“Hopepunk is a feeling, and the feeling has been around for ages — I didn’t invent the feeling, I just put a word on it. All throughout history you can find examples of people standing up to terrifying regimes and holding the line against them, and surviving against all odds just by force of sheer, bloody-minded obstinacy.”
Until next week, friends....