Connecting Ukraine's past and future selves
I am remembering the last time I ate a marshmellow, or it’s completely fictional, because I don’t eat marshmellows, or it’s in the future, because I’m imagining eating a marshmellow after Ukraine wins the war. .
It’s not a funny situation.
Ukraine’s leaders are on great terms with their future selves most of the time, but not so much with their past selves, whom we want to forget.
Which brings me to their official rhetoric, which lately has been over-the-top.
“They [Russian leaders] call themselves Christians … but they are for the devil, They are for him and with him,” the president said last week, according to Reuters.
[“They are very proud of their orthodoxy” was removed (…) from the pull quote.]
The many selves of Z distributed across time, interviews, acting roles and stand-up comedy routines and the relationship between all of these selves can actually be modeled in a kind of problematic theoretical sense, as if they all were individual agents. Some live in Ukraine’s top leaders, who have already pre-committed to dubious narratives which might intentionally tie their own hands in advance of future challenges, because they realize that some of their future selves can’t — or worse, won’t — be relied on.
Conjure up the Pork Chop from Obolon, hiding donuts at the back of the fridge, work done by Hal Hirschfield demonstrating that if you show people, for example, virtual reality age progressed versions of their own faces, then they put more money in their piggy banks.
The vivid imagination of Z’s speechwriters in the future will no doubt influence the outcomes of life-and-death decisions which will play out over future generations, at least three of them (about 50 years).
What Christianity, the devil and Russian orthodoxy have to do with anything is anyone’s guess.
Maybe Ukraine’s leaders are just trying to tell us that we’re on the right side of a life-and-death underdog situation, spiritually, and are using Old Testament stories metaphorically, like Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, who in the clip below compares the Russo-Ukraine war to a remake of the David and Goliath.
Z told us before he ran for president that he occasionally talks with a supernatural entity. God was the word he used. He said then that these conversations are too intimate to divulge publicly1.
Maybe the war has changed his mind? Perhaps he has eaten too many marshmellows?