Are we dead yet?
I wrote and deleted a thousand paragraphs the other day: love letters to impotent rage and monumental sadness. I wanted to get it down, the wet bloodlust, the surge of adrenaline and bring it on you fuckers you call that obscene. Before I stood up, phone in hand, and read this:
Kyiv at night is indeed a magic place to discover with feet, à vélo or with horse, but I’ve never heard it described this way. The Club for Aesthetic Disobedience, which for years has criticized “beautification projects” in the capital, describes our architectural jungle the best: a poorly lit dog’s breakfast.
So far in November a fascinating collection of screen captures from online news sources. The urgency and directness of cnn.com analysis has been striking: there’s such pure logic in Clarissa’s stand up. If you can keep your head while others pivot, etc…
And it’s fun to remember how clueless and dotcommified The Washington Post was just a couple of months ago. You can picture some worthless little editor, sweating bullets, asking was it really 36 days, 28 days or just 14?
I would argue that Putin made his biggest foreign blunder eight years earlier, when he annexed Crimea and invaded eastern Ukraine. Years of botched reporting and historicism obscured that monumental fuck-up, which is today biting us all in the ass.
Oh, and I forgot to mention Able Archer in my last post about the marathon conversation hosted by Lex. Fiona cites the imbroglio as an example of a situation that could have ended humanity’s existence on the planet. Actually, no. But this is a case where former high-ranking American officials — in this case Fiona — blab about something they have no first-hand knowledge about.
Another weird interview moment: Fiona mentioned Putin’s willingness to meet Masha Gessen in 2012, understanding this as a sign of his willingness to entertain opposing points of view. Fiona, as I recall, was silent during the meltdown of RFE/RL in Moscow after that pow wow.
Masha’s brother Keith – typically unable to establish any sort of authoritative voice before flinging together a few thoughts of comfort to the greedy and the stupid – has taken the lead in the New Yorker’s steeplechase of hacks making hay out of unspeakable tragedy.
On the Ukraine jacket, there’s not much to report, except Z’s decision yesterday to nationalize everything not nailed down. We’re still somewhere in Phase 3, with less electricity, experiencing an operational pause while the warring sides seek to replenish reserves and supply lines as quickly as possible.
Stefan provides tactical details about the bloody mess here.
Lex and Fiona. Shadow effect (Nov 5, 2022)
The War Scare That Wasn’t. Journal of Cold War Studies (2020) 22 (3): 86–118.