This blog takes it's name from the setting for O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh -- a lousy gin-mill; a smoked-out, greasy dive where the habitues have all landed, it seems, permanently. Their lives, in each case, are paralyzed by fear and laziness. Their relationships to one another are defined in modern parlance by terms such as "dysfunction" and "codependence." Each is just barely able to stave off a kind of final desperation by rather dim and tenuous dreams of redemption through some personally significant act: getting off the juice; making a re-entry into politics; joining a revolution; in one case, admitting defeat and committing suicide. When these dreams are threatened with exposure (as mere dodges, through the agency of the "Iceman," the temperance-preaching, pipe-dream-smashing Theodore Hickman) the gang turns viciously one against the other, fighting to hold onto life - however bleak - at the expense of anyone else.
I think I'm suggesting that Hope's Saloon waits to harbor any of us. I would guess that to one degree or another every person is defensive, psychologically. Everybody tends to undermine others with some assortment of slings and arrows from behind the veil - to whatever degree, I think, that dreams have gone unfulfilled, potential untapped, promise unredeemed. Proportionate, I further think, to the level of dread one suffers from.