Skip to main content

Unrelenting Optimism and Crushing Cynicism

Image result for zootopia

Last night my family and I went to Zootopia, a film about a young bunny named Judy Hopps who aspires from a very early age to become the first cop in the city of Zootopia.  Her family desires nothing for her but to continue the family trade, carrot farming.  With an unstoppable zeal and an unrelenting optimism that she could become the first cop in her family, Judy sets out on this journey and succeeds in her quest to become part of the blue team.  Upon entering the bustling city of Zootopia one day on her first role as a ticket writer for the police, Judy stumbles upon Nick Wilde, a wily fox who turns out to be scamming people for money in order to turn a quick profit.  Eventually, they work together to solve a case of missing animals in the area, but not without some bumps in the road.  Nick has adopted a crushing cynicism that points to the hard life that comes through many failed expectations and real life examples of the not so fair kind.  Judy, in contrast, believes that if you want something bad enough, you can attain it through hard work and dedication.  And yet, along the way Judy finds out that people are not so hard wired as her for success, honesty, and hard work.

The backstory for Nick Wilde includes a childhood where he wanted nothing less than to be a cop, yet his experience with a young group of animals proved nothing less than abuse and abandonment.  He was kicked out of the club and from that point on failed to adorn rose colored classes, but opted for the black ones instead.  Sometimes in life there are experiences that shape the rest of our lives, and for Nick, this experience of being shunned and outed was paramount for the rest of his journey.

In the end, we see Judy looking at the screen and telling her audience that life is messy, that things don't always work out as expected, but that's not a pill for giving up, but for continuing on in the race. Nick is at her side patrolling the streets of Zootopia, looking for any wayward citizens and proving to the audience that foxes aren't always wily and deceptive.  And Judy, for all of her exuberant enthusiasm comes to realization that life in Zootopia will deliver its disappointments and celebrations, and on certain occasions both.


Popular posts from this blog

the great spiritual migration

The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian D McLaren

Brian McLaren and his own pithy way brings to the foreground and emphasis on a new kind of Christianity. The kind of faith that Brian envisions is a kind of migration not been set in the bedrock of beliefs that is unmoving but rather shifting with both culture and with faith. His new book the great spiritual migration is exactly that, a pointed work that encapsulates a vision towards the future where Christianity is changing and its peoples lives are changed as well.

Brian states in the introduction, "but we also know that for a lot of people Christianity is malfunctioning, seriously so, and it's not pretty. This kind of frustration with conventional Christianity is what McLaren gets gets to at the heart of this message is concerned with a number of different clusters unbelief. One, namely that Christianity has been stuck in a set of propositions or beliefs that has controlled churches in the faith, rather then a spirit of love t…

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
Misperceptions, misconnections, and missed observations are just some of the issues that Timothy Snyder raises in his book, Black Earth, concerning the Holocaust.  Snyder, no stranger to the frontlines of scholarship on the Holocaust, with his previous book Bloodlands, that concerns the land from Hitler to Stalin, takes a look at the Holocaust from new sources and new avenues of thought.  How did some nation-states survive relatively unscathed from Nazi persecution while others, notably Jewish populations, succumb to a wave of killings?  Also, what was the role of the Soviet Union in the war and how did Stalin effect changes in the Final Solution?  These questions are only two of the many that Snyder answers in his detailed account of the Holocaust.
One of the best chapters was entitled The Auschwitz Paradox.  Generally when the public thinks about the Holocaust, we think of Auschwitz first or at the top of our mental m…

The Paraclete Poetry Anthology, Edited by Mark S. Burrows

Bringing words to life on a page is hard work, and no work is harder than poetry.  Poets take the visceral, the mundane, and the disjointed and frayed things of life and put them on their head.  This new anthology of poetry put out by Paraclete Press and edited by Mark S. Burrows, takes the best poetry of today and brings together old and new poems from these gifted creators.  You find poems from Scott Cairs, SAID, Phyllis Tickle, and others.  The collection stems the span of 2005-2016 and includes both religious poems and themes, as well as themes covering a broad swath of topics.

One of the beauties of this collection is the array of poems that the anthology includes in its pages.  One poem in particular stuck with me as read through the collection.  Anna Kamienska is a wonderful Polish poet who interacts with the wider lens of faith while looking carefully at the world we live in.  She says in her poem named Gratitude, (44)

A tempest threw a rainbow in my face
so that I wanted to…