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The Iceman Cometh (micro-review)

“By rights you should be contented now, without a single damned hope or lying dream left to torment you!” an exasperated Theodore Hickman says to the band of washed up alcoholics Hickey calls his friends. Do our ‘pipe dreams’ actually prevent us from being happy? I don’t know. But since reading “Iceman” I can’t help but think about the big things I’ll get to tomorrow; writing that book, climbing that mountain. Would it just be easier to accept the fear and laziness for what it is? Taoists would say that pipe dreams are phantoms that take us away from the present moment. But in America our hopes and dreams define us. They are the fuel that powers our effort for a better tomorrow. I also wonder about the band of alcoholics O’Neill chose to create. I get the feeling that all of the characters have received the short-end of life’s stick, and I don’t blame them for their phantoms. These are people who have been totally abandoned by their families and the organizations that are supposed to provide support and structures. Are the educated and wealthy really any better? Wouldn’t “Iceman” have been equally as moving if set in a classy bar of lawyers and financiers? How about a prayer circle of sinners? I don’t know. But “The Iceman Cometh” is haunting and bound to stay with you for a very long time.