Best weather anywhere
Dusting of snow this morning on the walk to work. One of the reasons I chose to relocate the Kyiv is 1988 was because of its exceptionally warm winters. My brother Andrew and I stopped over in the capital for a couple of days en route to Riga, Pskov and eventually St. Petersburg. Compared to Magnitogorsk, Kyiv seemed balmy (that is, “barmy” if you come from North America).
I spent most of 1991 in Kyiv watching the Soviet Union implode, shuttling back and forth to Moscow to change rubles into dollars. A decade later, after long spells in very very cold places in Russia (Syktyvkar, Chita, Magadan, Yakutsk, Chara, Minsk, etc), I relocated to Kyiv permanently.
The salad days of American eight ball and hardcore punk were the 1980s, including Poland under martial law1.
Where I live now, breathing fresh air means leaving behind a booming metropolis of 3.5 million to negotiate a lonely latticework of poorly-paved roads and dead apple orchards, all of which will take one eventually to one’s destination, though none of which actually offer any indication of same (signs are terribly polite but few and far between. Consulting Google Maps is the surest way to get lost). — The Big Sig
Early this morning I skimmed through an enormous article appearing in The Atlantic, titled “THE MOST CONSEQUENTIAL ACT OF SABOTAGE IN MODERN TIMES. The destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline curtailed Europe’s reliance on Russian gas. But who was responsible?”
The account advertised by The Washington Post caught my attention because it is so ridiculous and was the version peddled on the basis of classified intelligence shared on Discord by Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira (based on loopy CIA reports sourced from Tootsie Club in downtown Kyiv). WAPO yesterday doubled down on their loopy investigation of that screw-up. Moreover, they produced a docudrama with PBS about the sordid affair.
Finally, apropos of the clip inserted above, this:
An diesem Mittwoch hatte die Bremer Niederlassung der Deutsch-Israelischen Gesellschaft (DIG) Äußerungen von Gessen zur Lage im Gazastreifen heftig kritisiert und gefordert, die geplante Preisverleihung auszusetzen. Eine Ehrung Gessens "würde dem notwendigen entschlossenen Auftreten gegen den wachsenden Antisemitismus entgegenstehen", heißt es in einem offenen Brief der Bremer DIG.
Auslöser der DIG-Kritik und nun des Rückzugs der Böll-Stiftung ist ein Essay von Gessen im New Yorker vom 9. Dezember, in dem es unter anderem um die deutsche Israel-Politik geht. Gessen setzt sich darin kritisch mit der deutschen Erinnerungspolitik auseinander, darunter mit der umstrittenen BDS-Resolution des Bundestags, die die Israel-Boykott-Bewegung Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions als antisemitisch verurteilt. — Zeit.de
We applaud the decision to cancel Masha’s prize, for what we think should be obvious reasons2. That he/she was considered in the first place is a travesty.
These days, anyone who puts their name to anything involving Russia unless it expressly and emphatically damns Putin uphill, downhill and all the way to hell should be doomed. If the “morality” of Masha, Bobby and the Pope perpetuates Ruscism one iota, it is no more to be excused for its own sake than “immorality.”