Hopeless But Not Broken: From George Carlin to Protest Music

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From CounterPunch: Although people are often pathologized and shamed for feeling hopeless, hopelessness is sometimes a natural reaction to an oppressive political climate. George Carlin and other artists show how embracing hopelessness can serve as motivation to create social change.

“Carlin was a far better therapist for critical thinkers than are the vast majority of my mental health professional colleagues. Shaming hopelessness as some kind of character flaw or, worse, psychopathologizing it as a symptom of mental illness only adds insult to injury. Hope missionaries ignore the reality that pathologizing hopelessness does not make critical thinkers more hopeful, only more annoyed.

I know many mental health professionals who espouse hope but who are broken and compliant with any and all authorities. In contrast, I know anti-authoritarians who, like Carlin, express hopelessness but who are unbroken and resist illegitimate authorities. Carlin modeled a self-confident rebellion against authoritarianism and bullshit, and he provided the kind of humor that energizes resistance.”

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