No Victims

I want to share this video of the residents of Kyiv celebrating the birthday of their city:

This is between two intense air raids. And you can see that the boys aren’t there. But nobody looks like a victim.

Of course, people who think disagreement is terrorism and thoughts are harmful will see this video as evidence that there’s no war going on.

A Room with a View

We have a new apartment building in town. There’s a pizza takeout on the first floor and condos on the upper three floors.

My friend went to check out the condos because they cost insane amounts of money for the area, and everybody is dying of curiosity why it would cost 3 times more to live in an apartment over a takeout than in a large house with a backyard and a garage.

The realtor showed her the condos and explained that the ones on the second floor go for $650,000. The slightly smaller ones on the fourth floor, however, cost $750,000.

“Why such a difference in price?” the friend croaked, overwhelmed by the numbers. You can get a perfectly good 2 bedrooms / one bath house for $150,000 in the area. Or for $22,000 if you are fine with a foreclosure. “Why is it $100,000 more two floors up?”

“Because of the view!” the realtor responded stiffly.

“What view?” asked the friend who grew up on a Mediterranean coast and expects the word to mean something.

“Well, you can see some trees from there,” said the realtor irritably.

The condos aren’t selling well which gives me faith in humanity.

Happy Birthday, Kyiv!

Today the city of Kyiv turned 1,541 years old. The city became Christian 1,035 years ago.

On its birthday today, the city successfully repealed the largest attack so far by Iran-made kamikaze drones. After which the residents, who had spent 5,5 hours at night in the bomb shelters, went out to celebrate into the city parks.

There’s no doubt that some pouty Western loser who doesn’t know the meaning of courage and resilience will see the footage of the celebrations and concoct yet another conspiracy theory about how it proves there’s no war because the only acceptable way to behave in wartime is the one approved by the pouty sheltered loser.

Patriots Win

“The United States thought for a long time, discussing whether to give us Patriots or not,” Ivan Kirichevskiy, an expert at the Ukrainian military news publication Defense Express, told Ukraine’s Radio NV, according to Newsweek.

“It turns out that our air defense forces with crash course training literally squeezed out of the Patriot a capability that the Pentagon did not think was possible.”

Oh yes, I remember even on this blog people telling me it doesn’t make sense to send the Patriots to Ukraine because it takes forever to learn to operate them.

It takes the Pentagon forever to learn because there’s no motivation there to do so.

The Kinzhals that Ukrainians learned to stop with the Patriots are the vehicle that Russians would have used to deliver their tactical nuclear strikes. This development dramatically cuts down the possibilities of the Russian nuclear blackmail. And the 3 leading scientists in Russia who developed the Kinzhals have been jailed for high treason because Russians trusted the Pentagon and believed that the Kinzhals were indeed unstoppable.

I bet that the pussies who keep whining about “World War 3” haven’t mentioned any of this.

Porous Memory

I’m reading a sci-fi book that N read in the early 1990s. And he remembers the plot down to the small details!

I’ll be lucky if I remember the plot 3 months from now, let alone in 30 years. I already forgot the title 4 times.

If only I could remember the details of everything I read. That would make my life so much easier.

I’m that freakish character who rereads a whodunit for the fifth time and is shocked anew by the discovery of the murderer’s identity.

It’s even worse with people. Twice yesterday I was stopped by people who knew my name and were very glad to see me, and I could have sworn I never saw their faces before.

Did I tell that story before about meeting my ex-husband on the subway and not recognizing him? To compensate for having not the foggiest idea who he was, I pretended to be very happy to see him, which of course made him think there was a chance of us getting back together. Took me weeks to get him to understand that there was no chance. “But you looked so happy when you saw me!” he kept repeating. I didn’t have the heart to tell him the truth. How is one supposed to tell a person, “I forgot what you looked like even though we’ve been separated for less than a year”?

Ego Trip to Nowhere

The way I evaluate a thinker, a philosopher, or an idea-generating person of any sort is that if he came up with 23 volumes of absolute rubbish and 5 brilliant sentences, I’m going to concentrate on the 5 brilliant sentences and gratefully make use of them.

People often do the opposite. If a person produces 23 volumes of genius stuff and 5 garbage sentences, they’ll notice only those garbage sentences and spend the rest of their lives condemning her as a complete idiot.

They end up robbing themselves because undiluted, unblemished brilliance doesn’t exist.

To the contrary (and this is very important): a person who is capable of producing brilliant insights will produce a lot of garbage, too. That’s the default setting. The daring and the freedom that leads such people to come up with valuable new stuff also inevitably leads them to produce crap ideas. A scientist conducts dozens of failed experiments before getting a successful one done. It’s part of the process.

There was a very notorious lecture by a guy from Azerbaijan recently where half of what he said was very nuts and the other half was supremely brilliant. The lecture was discussed for months, and I noticed that nobody seemed even to have noticed the brilliant part. People got completely fixated on the cuckoo stuff. Instead of deriving value from the good stuff, they concentrated on boosting their egos by condemning the rubbish. I mean, you spent time on listening to the lecture. Why not try to get something out of it? If you stop fixating on your ego for two seconds, you could gain something.

This is the same problem I talked about earlier this week. People get fixated on their egos, trying to milk them for things that egos are incapable of producing. That leaves then frustrated and unhappy.

Color Mermaid

A neighbor kid who came over to play asked if Klara is going to see “the black mermaid” at the movies. Klara looked confused, and I changed the subject. We never discussed the last version of the movie as “the white mermaid” and I don’t see why we need to refer to this one as “the black mermaid.” A movie is either good or not. And the mermaid stinks no matter what shape, color or tint she is.

It is kind of weird that it’s considered some kind of racial justice to portray black people as white wannabes instead of filming movies based on black characters. There are tons of excellent folk tales, stories, novels, etc about African characters, for instance. Why is it necessary to redo, for the millionth time, the horrid little tale by a mentally unwell European guy and have black people pose as substitute whites?

Klara loves Anansi stories, for instance. Why not film them? We’d go watch them because they are fun. But no, let’s do a black Snow White instead because we have only heard that fascinating tale a million boring times.

‘Tis the Season!

The garlic scape season is finally here! I bought the entire (sadly small) stock at one of the farmer stalls and half the stock at another. Now I’m wondering if I bought too little.

Nobody here knows what to do with garlic scapes or how to price them. I paid $1.20 and $6 for nearly identical quantities at these different stalls.

Really Into It

N’s mother is a very educated woman, a lover of classical poetry, extremely well-traveled. She could be living in the US right now where both her children are. She chose not to. She chose to march in a military uniform at the age of 73, singing war propaganda.

This is a cultured woman of means, so that it’s completely clear. She’s not an illiterate babushka brainwashed by the propaganda she’s impotent to resist.

People choose this, is what I’m saying. They aren’t forced, duped, backed into a corner. They are simply into it.

Class System

‘They say’, said Una, ‘that if two couples go out together you can tell their social status by the way they pair off. If they’re working class the two girls walk together, if they’re middle class husband and wife walk together, and if they’re upper class each husband walks with the other one’s wife.’

Ruth Rendell, Make Death Love Me

Absolutely 100% true, and very well-observed.