Employee Jeferson Deodata da Silva climbs a ladder at the Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  We bet there are some hope punk titles in this library.

Employee Jeferson Deodata da Silva climbs a ladder at the Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We bet there are some hope punk titles in this library.

It’s not hard to find a reason to be down. News can be overwhelming and bleak. Dystopian fiction books and shows are hot commodities.

But all is not lost. A new genre, called Hope Punk, has arrived.

Polygon says the genre is a result of pop culture “largely becom[ing] brighter, kinder and more focused on empathy.”

One way this genre is making itself heard is through podcasts. Some of these shows are fictional, but others focus on making abstract topics more engaging, like fine art — as the podcast Accession does.

The genre also extends to utopian fiction, which asks the audience to envision and evaluate an imagined “perfect” society.

Professor Gerald Lucas writes about the critical history of utopian fiction, and he points out that intrinsic in every utopia is a paradox.

Our guest W. Mahlon Purdin wrote about why he asks readers to imagine these new worlds.

I want you to think about the future differently.

It’s not easy. In a country with a declining birth rate and a falling average length of life, we have
trouble seeing through the weeds of our own problems. They seem overwhelming. They are
overwhelming. We’re so deep in our weeds, we no longer notice the forest.

When way too many parents are questioning whether they really want to bring children into this
world – and even if they do, should they? – it is pretty easy to see that we have a problem with the future. People in their silos see the sun only once a day. It gets dark down here. The dystopian vision and the utopian vision could not be more different, and that difference could not be more important.

How can we have hope in times of trouble? We’re talking about the art that might make it possible.

Guests

  • Alexandra Rowland Coiner of the word "HopePunk"; author, "A Conspiracy of Truths"; _alexrowland
  • W. Mahlon Purdin Author, The Dreams of Ida Rothschild
  • Wil Williams Podcast critic; @wilw_writes
  • Eli Barraza Creator and voice of Peri, The Far Meridian podcast; @EliLizzieLizbet

Topics + Tags

Most Recent Shows

Checks And Imbalances

Thursday, May 23 2019In theory, Congress and the White House are co-equal branches of government. Is that the reality?