I’ve read a LOT of Doctorow in 2023—including Walkaway twice, Red Team Blues twice, and relistening to Little Brother—so I can’t help but place this hopeful solarpunk novel in the context of these others. Even though The Lost Cause touches on some of the same themes as Walkaway, I like the latter book a lot better, though perhaps because it feels less “real” than a book about paramilitary Maga Clubs and impending climate catastrophe.
Over the summer, I wrote about a favorite Community of Christ hymn. Without repeating the entire post here, one of my favorite things about it is that it was never written as a hymn. Rather, it was a song written by a folk song as a call for peace that got adopted into the Community of Christ hymnbook in 2013. I thought about these details last weekend as I was listening to Ici-bas, a favorite song by French Canadian folk rock band Les cowboys fringants—I figured that this song would make for a pretty good hymn, too, even if it probably has a bit more swearing than your typical hymn.
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Pluralistic: Kickstarting the audiobook of The Lost Cause, my novel of environmental hope (02 Oct 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow'
I backed this before Kickstarter could even say “Hey, you’ve backed stuff from Doctorow in the past…” link to “Pluralistic: Kickstarting the audiobook of The Lost Cause, my novel of environmental hope (02 Oct 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow”
Wil Gafney and her *Women’s Lectionary for the Whole Church° continue to be a source of inspiration for me. For the past two weeks, her readings for the relevant Sundays of the season of Ordinary Time in the Christian liturgical year have begun with Samuel’s miraculous birth to Hannah. I’ve just now completed the reading for Proper 6 reading, in which Hannah’s pleas for a child despite her seeming infertility are answered.
Over the past five years, my belief in a literal resurrection has gone down, but (perhaps unexpectedly) my love for Easter has gone up. For my congregation’s 2022 Easter service, I was invited to say contribute during a certain part of the service. I shared with the congregation that the resurrection is something that’s hard for me to wrap my head around, but I figure that if I can try to muster the belief in the impossibility of the resurrection, I can have the belief that we can overcome racism, fix poverty, and solve other seemingly impossible tasks facing us.
I put off watching this movie for a while, despite a number of recommendations. I think it’s fitting that I finally watched it so soon after listening to the audiobook of Walkaway, a very weird Cory Doctorow novel about finding hope despite things going very badly. This movie is far, far weirder than Walkaway, and yet it also does a much, much better job of getting that same message across. I feel like it spoke to many of my current anxieties, but in a healing and helpful way.
I bounced pretty hard off of Walkaway a year or so ago, but I recently decided to give it another try. I felt like I needed a boost of hopeful thinking, and I’d seen Doctorow post about the book as being hopeful. Did it ever deliver! Walkaway is hopeful on a nearly religious level, and it was exactly what I needed. The book is not naïvely optimistic but rather tenacious in its belief that we can still make this a better workd.
As I’ve written elsewhere, I am currently giving Cory Doctorow’s Walkaway another try after bouncing off of it a while ago. Because I bounced off of it so hard the last time, I’m surprised by how much it’s resonating off of me as I give it another go. This past week, I’ve been listening to a lot of Walkaway on top of doing a lot of religious reading: assignments for the Ministry of the Disciple class I’m taking through the Community of Christ Seminary’s Center for Innovation in Ministry and Missino, Gérard Siegwalt’s Reinventing God’s name [La réinvention du nom de Dieu], and various scriptures for today’s liturgical readings.
Yesterday, two podcasts that I listened to while doing work around the house lined up in such a perfect way that I wanted to write down my memory of the moment. First, because I was recently reminded of the fantastic podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text (which applies sacred reading techniques to the Harry Potter series, treating it as serious and meaningful without letting it—or its author—off the hook for being problematic), I’ve been trying to catch up with its second runthrough of the book series, in the perhaps-vain hope that I can start listening to episodes as they come out.