Who’s Utopia is This?

I keep thinking about something Margaret Atwood said when I interviewed her in 2017: Every dystopia is someone’s utopia. So whose utopia is this?

Ann Friedman, Whose Utopia is This?

The congee I had for lunch today was served with sauteed cabbage and mushrooms and fresh ginger and a fried egg. It was delicious. Aside from the egg, it looked a lot like this one.

My friends on the far side of town who have not hosted a concert in their barn since the pandemic swept through 18 months ago have announced one for the end of this month, featuring these folks. Am I excited? Why yes, yes I am.

The nights have cooled off and the cicadas are still singing. My long weekend is blissfully unscheduled.

My new-ish practice: not wanting what I haven’t got.

This post is for all who are furious about the Texas abortion law and do not need another angry screed to tell them whose utopia this is.

Also, to echo (punctuate! underline!) Ann (and Andrea), stop it with the coathangers, already.

2 thoughts on “Who’s Utopia is This?

  1. Left this comment a while ago but it never showed up. Some problem with authentication, apparently.

    Margaret is a brilliant writer, but sometimes she says/writes things that sound very smart but are actually just wrong. IMO, this is no one’s utopia. This is just one more outcome of 7.8B people desperately doing what they think is the best thing they can do under the immediate circumstances of each moment. No one is in control. This is not a game between two clearly articulated sides working within well-established rules. This is collapse, and chaos, playing itself out. This is the end of the myth of progress — that things will inevitably get better for most, with occasional setbacks. This is fear of loss and of lack of control frantically and foolishly inducing more fear in other groups, destabilizing everything. This is terrified, angry people nostalgic for a past that never was, trying, impossibly, to wish a time of stability, familiarity, authority, security and changelessness into existence. This is happening all over the world. This is what happens in end times. First there is the scapegoating, the burning of witches and heretics, in an atmosphere of disbelief and denial. Then there is the scramble for what is left, the glorious and ghastly migration (physical and psychological) in search of enough to keep going on. Finally, for those unable to adapt, there is the eating of the young. And then it will be over, and something utterly new, unpredictable, unimaginable will emerge. Whatever that is, it’s got to be better than this. No animal is meant to live the way we have lived for the last ten thousand years.

    Thanks to you, and Andrea, for reminding us, dispassionately, that we can and must find workarounds for the most outrageous and atrocious dysfunctions of our crumbling systems, instead of trying to fix things within those systems. We’re going to need to keep finding workarounds for the next few centuries, or millennia, if we hope to get through this.

    1. Sorry for the comment troubles, Dave. I just checked the spam file and there it was.

      I think Ms. Atwood likes to be provocative, and you know I agree that what we’re headed for is no one’s utopia. Should the proponents of laws like the Texas abortion bill gain everything they purport to want, would they then have their “utopia”? They would not. It’s always just one more piece of legislation, one more act of insurrection, away.

      It’s interesting that, as you point out, this madness is happening all over the world. A collective crash. We don’t hear much about that, we’re pretty inward-looking here in the States, focused on our own demise, knee-deep in catastrophe and denial, looking for someone to blame. Cheers!

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