According to a recent survey, 82% of people in Russia believe that Ukrainians have been brain-washed into not noticing “the bloody crimes of the Kievan Junta.” Since it’s impossible to prove a negative, there is no way for Ukrainians to demonstrate that there is no Junta in Kiev. Especially since it’s so convincing for Russia to believe it exists.

I really wish more people realized what unsolicited efforts to “help” really conceal.

About these ads

Reversal of Russianization

The really funny part is that my Ukrainian side of the family was always deeply pro-Russian. It’s the Jews in the family that were life-long passionate Ukrainian nationalists.

As I told you last week, the Ukrainian side of the family is from South-East Ukraine. The fighting right now is occurring right where they were all born and grew up. This means they were all Ukrainian speakers as they were growing up. They had to Russianize their (mine, as well) last name and unlearn Ukrainian to be able to get educated and employed in white-collar jobs back in the USSR. And this is an enormous trauma. The only way to process it is to devalue what you have lost. Which is exactly what they did.

My mother would always drive me to distraction with her constant, “We are Russian people” and “Our Russian culture is the best.” Not that there is anything wrong with being Russian but I hate inaccuracy and dislike wannabeism. Even in the face of all the nasty, degrading remarks about the inferiority of Ukrainians that her numerous really Russian friends would regale her with on a regular basis, my mother persisted. All of her relatives were the same. She wouldn’t tolerate even the most innocent comment of mine she’d perceive as anti-Russian.

“Did you tell your new colleagues you are Russian?” she’d ask.

“No,” I’d say. “Because I’m not.”

“How can you say this?” she’d exclaim. “It’s all your father’s fault with this silly Ukrainian nationalism of his.”

Of course, now all of a sudden, the Ukrainians in the family are discovering that they are, indeed, not Russian. The real Russians are bombing the region where they grew up. The Russian media tell them they are subhuman and ought to be wiped out. The family’s Ukrainians are now recognizing the enormity of what they had lost and the reasons why they were deprived of their entire language and culture.

Of course, as we all remember, the official story was that Russia needed to invade Ukraine to “protect” its Russian-speakers from some mysterious threat. The result is not what the invaders hoped for.

The Next Leader

I have to say, against the background of the dawdling, impotent, fussy EU, the US is showing up for Ukraine in a way that impresses:

The U.S. State Department is putting out photographic evidence to back up U.S. claims that Russian forces have fired across the border at Ukrainian military forces, and that Russia-backed separatists have used heavy artillery provided by Russia in attacks on Ukrainian forces from inside Ukraine.

It would have been harder for Russia to keep up the invasion of Ukraine if it didn’t feel a constant tacit support of the EU. There would still be an invasion, of course, but the scope might have been smaller. Western Europe is fading away, in every sense of the world. 

France has ceded its place as the intellectual leader of the Western civilization. It has degenerated to open fascism and the worship of the pathetic little Russian neo-Nazi Limonov. Nobody in Europe is in too much of a hurry to take France’s place at the helm. Of course, I’ve been hoping that Spain would finally take back its place as the intellectual and cultural center of the West but I’m not delusional, I know that’s just my silly dream.

The UK has eviscerated its intellectuals on too many levels for them to be able to make any impact on anybody. Germany has been intellectually bankrupt since the time when all of its civilizational advances led the world to the dead-end of Hitlerism. The Scandinavian countries will, surely, awaken one day and stun the world but for now they are descending deeper and deeper into an intellectual slumber. The Netherlands and Belguim are still reeling from their bizarre experiments with “multiculturalism.” Hungary has become a place it is too shameful even to notice. Eastern Europe will need at least 100 more years to get over the legacy of the Soviet domination. And that’s only if Russia lets them do that. Italy and Greece haven’t produced anything for centuries and are now stuck dealing with their bizarre levels of corruption for God knows how long. Canada is too overawed by the US to believe in its own capacity to create anything of value.

For now, I’m not seeing any alternative to the United States becoming the West’s intellectual leader. That will be a curious development. As Russians say, a holy place is never empty. So somebody will be stepping into the void. The question now is: who will that be?

P.S. I’m talking about intellectual and cultural leadership. Intellectual and cultural. Mentioning the Marshall Plan in this context will not be an intelligent thing to do.

Poor Mississauga

Google Translate translates “located in Mississauga” as “located in Toronto.” I really have to wonder what it has against Mississauga.

Ukrainian Digest

The anti-terrorist operation in Ukraine drags on. The problem is that Ukrainian soldiers can’t approach the border with Russia without getting massively shelled from the Russian territory. They obviously can’t fire a single shot back because this will give Russia an excuse to invade openly without hiding behind the pretext of “separatists in Ukraine.” And if the Ukrainians can’t approach the border, they can’t stem the heavy tide of sophisticated weaponry and resources crossing over from Russia all day long.

In the meanwhile, the EU has issued a new round of “sanctions” that have all of Russia in a fit of uproarious laughter. What the EU has been doing in order to simulate efforts to discipline Russia was choose a list of inconsequential individuals who have never exhibited any interest in visiting the EU and prohibit such visits to them. Things would have been much better without these public displays of impotence on EU’s part.

Russia is accusing the US of bringing down flight 17, and the really intensely brainless among the Americans and Western Europeans are actually buying into the story.

The “leader of Ukrainian separatists” Strelkov-Girkin, who is neither Ukrainian nor a separatist, seems to be one of the animals who participated in the ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims in Yugoslavia.

I keep seeing articles telling me that the Kremlin is panicking, terrified of what it has done. This is nothing but wishful thinking with a soupçon of projection. There is no evidence that the mood in the Kremlin is anything but triumphant.

How to Buy the Book?

By massive popular request, the way to purchase the book is by sending an email to: 

Carmen Urioste <carmen.urioste@me.com>

The title is: Growing Up in an Inhospitable World: Female Bildungsroman in Spain. The ISBN is : 978-0-9794480-3-4. The price is: $15.

It is hard-cover, with gold lettering on the cover, and very pretty. I really wish my name were featured in bigger letters on the cover. Well, maybe next time.

The South-East of Ukraine

People living in the area around the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines flight are posting in the social networks photos of objects taken from the dead bodies: tubes of mascara and lipstick, wallets, scarves. It doesn’t even remotely occur to them that there might be anything wrong about this form of scavenging.

The South-East is miners’ country, and this is what the landscape looks like. You can see these mountains of used up and discarded land everywhere. And everything around is covered with a film of black dust.

These are people with social network profiles, which means gadgets and Internet access. This means these are not poor, desperate people. They are just indifferent.

The South-East of Ukraine is a very peculiar region. I know it well because that’s where the Ukrainian side of the family is from. Donetsk, Lugansk, Gorlovka, Kramatorsk, Torez, Lisichansk – these are not just names of places to me. It feels like I spent my entire childhood on a bus to Lisichansk. So I know better than most why the Russian terrorists are so enormously successful in that area of Ukraine in a way they never managed to succeed in Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk or Odessa.

One of my aunts came over from Donetsk two weeks ago. Her young and healthy daughters had dispatched the 60-year-old mother to Canada to work and send them money. Neither the daughters not their husbands are or have ever been interested in supporting themselves. They are now pestering the miserable mother with the endless, “But how come you still haven’t made any money?” on Skype. That the mother has no work visa and speaks no English is of no interest to them.

Ukrainian South-East is an area where the population is passive, inert and infantilized to the extreme. The refugees from the region who move to Russia are reported as throwing endless tantrums that the clothes and cell phones Russians are providing to them as humanitarian aid are not of the most expensive and fashionable bands.

Russia Loses Sexy Geckos

I was so sure that this was a metaphor referring to Russian terrorists in Ukraine that I stared at the screen for 10 minutes trying to figure it out:

Russian scientists have lost contact with an experimental satellite filled with geckos that was to be the focus of new research on animal sex in zero-gravity. . . “So, there is only one-way communication,” a spokesperson for mission control was quoted as saying by news agency ITAR-Tass, adding that engineers were looking to fix the problem in case life systems were disrupted, killing the creatures on board.

I should stop reading news before I become fully awake.

A Brilliant Insight Into Academic Life

If only more people realized this:

But it’s really important for me to learn how to love myself again, not just because it’s a basis of good psychological health; I’m planning on becoming an academic. How can I be a successful academic if I don’t like myself? Part of that career involves spending a LOT of time alone with myself researching, writing, and editing. That’s a recipe for failure if you’re disturbed by your own company and want to smother it by going out to socialize.

There are so many people literally unraveling and driving everybody around them up a wall who need to get this.

American Exceptionalism

Rush Limbaugh is vociferating on the radio (sorry, people, I’m now a driver, so there’s a lot of radio) that Liberals hate the idea of American Exceptionalism. He couldn’t be more wrong. Their Exceptionalism is powerful that it eclipses Rush’s completely. Here is an example:

The NPR is a mouthpiece for the most outdated and extreme Putinoid propaganda that Putin himself has quietly left behind. Ian Welsh is engaging in public fits of pro-Putin hysteria. The Nation is celebrating Putin. They love him to distraction in spite of his decidedly anti-Liberal agenda. Putin’s war on women, gays, ethnic and religious minorities, social assistance programs, dissidents,
the poor and the middle class is of no consequences to these ultra-Liberals. All they care about is that Putin blames the US for all of world’s ills and this feeds their delusions of grandiosity.

This is all there is to it, folks. These NPR Ian Welshes don’t care about anything as long as their diseased and obsessive love for the US is given a voice.

Limbaugh is into American Exceptionalism but at least he’s into other things, too. This breed of Liberals isn’t. They will do or say anything to achieve the short-lived high of feeling that the whole world recognizes their importance.