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The porosity of recombinants
Elaborately hung over from slapstick self-anaesthesia, and reveling somehow in the sheer size of my ear pain, I walked without galoshes in a pair of UAH 2,000 Salomon Evasion LTRs bought on Shafa via Rivne, squinting in the dark at poorly lit residential complexes, as my legs whisked me down the hill to the heart of democracy.
All five senses get serviced inside the wire. You tell me which is worse: the dry brittle snapping thin ice covering dirty puddles, or the fumes of diesel generators, the sight of overflowing rubbish bins, the super-concentrated unpleasant taste of op-eds published across the lake?
It’s the latter, hands down.
They do this, this is all they do, all they do is this:
Regular expression syntax: all other language lies weeping in its wake.
If you’re as bored as I am with the stream of retrograde newspeak from power-dazzled Ukraine experts – those who, despite having long abused the gravitas of instability brought about by unspeakable shortsightedness, continue to use it to justify regurgitating feel-good bullshit (it’s amusing to note that the most lurid post-Cold War fantasies of covert propaganda spread on behalf of Team Democracy by government operatives have been rendered irrelevant by a chattering horde of useful idiots now serving it up for free every day: who needs black ops when you’ve got Sub*stack) – then you won’t find a breathtaking voice of reason in David Ignatius.
Which brings me to the war jacket. The Armed Forces of Ukraine say more than 100,000 Russian invaders have been vaporized. The AFU during the last several months has de-occupied about half of the areas seized since February, not including Crimea, accounting for about 20-25% of the country.
Stefan chronicles tactical details, military trivia about the bloody mess here.
Predictions for 2023
FEBRUARY A woman will respond to an anecdote told by her boyfriend with unexpected fury, yelling that no, it’s not ‘amazing,’ it’s not even all that ‘significant,’ and that no, it’s not ‘ironic,’ it’s more like a ‘coincidence,’ because his mother is Russian.
MARCH Two office coworkers will conspicuously cease their constant flirting and suddenly avoid eye contact, leading everyone to conclude they’d had an affair and, in the words of their boss, ‘fucked it out of each other.’
JUNE In a Kyiv coffee shop on Reitarska Street, a woman with a BA in English will admit her affection for Andriy Kurkov, causing her companion, whom she will just have met after a lengthy exchange via whatsapp, to glaze over and think about Saperavi, which he will consume alone.
JULY A man, his head swimming with Ativaks ear drops, will decide that this, this right here, is the best shawarma of all time.
AUGUST Two people, heading back to their offices on Bankova following a brainstorming session with top USAID officials (in town for two days from Washington, D.C.), will shake their heads after one of them says, ‘What a bunch of jerks.’
OCTOBER A child, having his freshly skinned knees cleansed and bandaged, will respond with confused silence when his mother demands, ‘Why do you do this to me?’
DECEMBER Someone at Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation will print out an email and retype its contents into a Word document.