Consumerist Activism

Over the weekend, a post appeared on Facebook that appeared to be promoting Ms. Flores’s essay and her company, Luz Collective. “One small way to support Lucy Flores right now? Pick up something from her patriarchy smashing Alpha Latina merchandise on Luz Collective,” the post said.

Flores is the woman who accused Biden of feeling her up at an event.

Shame

There will be a second round of presidential elections in Ukraine. (That’s how the system works: if the leading candidate doesn’t get enough votes to cross the clear win threshold in the first round, there’s a second round).

What’s really sad and embarrassing is that today the voters gave second place in the election to a stand-up comedian. I’m not trying to insult him. This is his actual job.

The comedian is dumb as a doorknob. He and his wife make Trump and Melania look like geniuses with brilliant speaking skills, which one has to try very hard to achieve. He’s also a pawn of a Putinoid oligarch. And he’s not even that funny! His jokes are mostly of the most boring dudebro type.

There was a brief period of time when I wasn’t ashamed of my people. And now the shame is back.

P.S. God, it’s worse than I thought. The comic actually won the first round with 30% of votes. I want to stop being Ukrainian immediately. Is there an official procedure to quit? I don’t have the citizenship but I want to get rid of the ethnicity, too. After all, identity is fluid.

Question for Americans

Everybody on FB is talking about “filling the Easter baskets.” What does it mean? How many am I supposed to fill and what do I do with them?

Back in Ukraine, we fill Easter baskets with this really foul, uneatable pastry called paska and hard-boiled eggs boiled with onion peel to make them brown. And then we give them to guests. I’m assuming in the US we are supposed to do something different. The local toy store advertises a sale on these huge toys “to fill your baskets.” How large should the baskets be? And who gets them?

This is very confusing. Please help.

I Just Played

First, Klara and I played her favorite game of dollies where some of the dollies misbehave and we discipline them.

Then we made an Easter bunny and decorated her.

Then we painted sun catchers to make them look like Minnie Mouse.

Then we spray painted the deck, the driveway, and the garage door with neon splotches.

Then we played toddler basketball outside.

Then I made snacks.

Then we played trolls.

Then we played with makeup.

Then we printed labels on my label-maker.

Then we played eco-dough.

Then we practiced letters and sang songs.

Then we played on the deck.

Then I made lunch, did the laundry, and we moved my books to my new book cases.

Then we cleaned up after ourselves.

Then I served lunch and read books while Klara ate.

Then Klara wanted to play some more but I said I needed to rest for a minute.

“Why are you tired, mommy?” Klara said indignantly. “You didn’t do anything all day. You just played!”

Idiot or Cynic?

Ah, turns out there’s been a recent NYTimes article precisely on how ridiculous things in Russia are.

What interests me is, when Rachel Maddow pronounced things like “is there a Russian operative sitting in the White House?”, is she truly that unprofessional, uninformed and easily duped or was she lying because she knew it would raise rankings and bring in profits? Is she an idiot or a greedy cynic?

And it’s not just her, of course. But I used to like her show, and then she suddenly went crazy two years ago.

How I Knew

Do you know the Irish word ‘skanger’? Or its British equivalent ‘chav’? If not, look them up on Google Images.

This is exactly what Putin has been his whole life. He’s a typical skanger. Folks, the guy is totally dumb. You watch too much TV if you imagine a team of ultra-competent plotters and schemers sitting in the Kremlin. Putin is notoriously incapable of tolerating anybody with an ounce of intelligence, so he surrounds himself with cognitively challenged folks. I see them on the news a lot and, believe me, they are like cartoon characters, they are so dumb.

Look at what they’ve done. It takes a person with an intact brain 30 seconds on Google Maps to figure out that annexing the Crimea would leave it without potable water. Five years later, the Crimea is dying for lack of water. “Huh,” says Putin and still doesn’t get what the problem is.

They are in the midst of a profound recession, and they go and send troops to fucking Syria. Like, why? It’s nuts.

Putin’s greatest supporters, his largest, most reliable electoral bloc are 50+-year-olds. So what does he do? He raises the retirement age, immediately impoverishing the very group of people who gave him landslide wins. Can you guess what happened then? Yeah, his approval ratings tanked. How long did it take you to figure this out? Well, the evil genius Putin who supposedly got his spy into the White House is still puzzled by this development.

I could continue this list forever. Putin once accused somebody of being a US spy because the guy had uploaded a video “to a company that owns servers in California.” For the next two months, nobody managed to get into Putin’s thick skull how YouTube works and why you don’t have to be a spy to upload videos to it.

Putin’s Prime Minister once started tweeting “fuck you, you motherfucking sheep” at the followers. Turns out the curator of his Twitter didn’t realize everybody can see what you tweet. And then he couldn’t figure out how to delete the tweets.

People have asked me on the blog, “well, why would Putin be against Hillary if she gave him uranium?” Folks, he’s not complex enough to make such profound connections. Remember the “servers in California”? His limited cognitive apparatus somehow linked them to Hillary, and there we go.

No, for real. He did blame Hillary for the YouTube videos that hurt his feelings. And that’s how we ended up with the Mueller investigation because Americans watch too much dumb TV and confuse it with reality.

We are no longer dealing with an evil empire. We are dealing with skanger rule.

I’m sorry for the long post but I can’t make this point without giving at least a couple of examples.

The Real Russia Collusion

There is a presidential election in Ukraine today. Facebook has been banning all accounts that criticize the pro-Russian candidates. One after another. Sometimes, within minutes.

So who should be investigated for colluding with Russia? This benefits Russia in a real way, unlike any of the things Trump did that were supposedly helping Russia (supposedly, not for real).

Book Notes: Tana French’s The Witch Elm

Tana French is a great mystery / police procedural author from Ireland. But even a great author can produce a dud. And this novel is definitely it. And it’s such a shame because her previous novel was about the crisis, and it was so great. And then all of a sudden she steps away from all that and writes about some ridiculous adolescent drama of overgrown rich kids.

The novel did wonders for my sleep issues because it’s boring, unrealistic, meaningless, and the characters are ridiculous cliches without a spark of unpredictability. The gay character is a whiny, promiscuous, drug-addicted drama queen. The protagonist’s girlfriend is a supportive, cheerful, chirpy, self-sacrificing idiot who is always in a great mood and ready to help. The cop is every stereotype of a cop in existence. The protagonist himself is “toxic white masculinity” personified.

The only idea that the novel transmits – and whacks you on the head with it repetitively – is that men suck. Gay, straight, young, old, middle-aged, adolescent, healthy, disabled – they are either rabidly vicious or pathetically weak.

And God, the writing. People speak in endless monologues. The conversations are interminable, stilted, and extremely repetitive.

Do yourself a favor and don’t read it, is all I can say.

Young

It’s really weird at my age to find oneself huddled over a laptop in a cafe. But it’s raining like a motherfucker, which means Klara is at home, which means I have to leave to be able to work on my article. This makes me feel young, and I hate this feeling.

I told students the other day that I don’t miss being young at all. At first, they didn’t get it.

“Do you constantly worry about money?” I asked. “About being in debt? Not being able to pay bills? Do you have to work crappy, low-paid jobs you hate? Would you like to travel but have no money? Does dating suck? Do you worry if your life will work out? If you’ll manage to have a family? Do you worry about what others think about you? That you are not attractive enough? That people might think you are fat or stupid or boring? I used to feel all of this back when I was young. But guess what? I don’t any more. Because I’m no longer young.”

“Oh,” they said.

To my younger readers: it totally gets better. A lot better. You couldn’t pay me enough to be twenty again.