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231 - 74 = 157
Neverending Phase 3
We’re 157 daze into Phase 3 and de-occupation is proceeding apace. Militarily, the Russian invaders are being rubbed out methodically.
Politically, The New York Times and The Washington Post are filing dozens of stories daily from/about Ukraine. Z’s doucherockets are sought-after guests on American 24/7 news channels and hilariously hagiographed in Vice, The Atlantic and The New Yorker.
Kyiv-based English-language blimps have been wallowing in all the attention, inserting themselves into their own headlines whenever possible.
This got me thinking about all the hardship people started writing about after Russia stepped up its urbicide missile campaign, but often I get distracted by the photographs accompanying the front-page articles.
Sitting here, grizzled and hoary, I could catalogue several dozens of visits to this same apartment building, but what would be the point amid the rubble and the dust. The memories wouldn’t produce much that is informative, let alone useful.
It’s too much even to tick off:
A previously unknown balance of power made suddenly both visible and wildly unstable
Poorly aimed words, meticulously misread
The menacing phone glowing silent in the corner
Drugs. Illegal ones
In my experience (I have no one else’s) the worst of the torment of a bitter end usually comes not from feelings about disaster or loss – though these pile up like hills and mountains – but rather from tragedies I read people documenting.
Let’s take a lesson from a dead Italian language theorist. Noble sinners arouse our sympathy initially, but less so as our journey continues2.
Finally, the last thing anyone wants to hear – during the days of rotting flowers and splattered walls, through the nights of wailing sirens – is bullshit involving Ian Bremmer. He’s always blatantly secondhand.