Harsh Day

Today was one of the harshest days for Kyiv. Endless bombing. Not surprisingly, this happened immediately after Russians declared during “the peace talks” that they would withdraw from Kyiv.

It’s always the same, yet people continue getting excited about these cheap manipulative tricks.

The whole day has been very difficult. The perversity of the sexual violence that Russians have unleashed against civilians, including very small children, is horrific. Nobody who has heard the stories of the survivors will ever be the same. I struggle to fall asleep, and when I do I dream that I’m in Kharkiv and bombs are falling. Obviously, I’m not the victim here but it’s still hard.

I finally found the strength to look up the street where I lived in Kharkiv and now I don’t have any more strength.

A friend from next door went to get her elderly relatives out of Ukraine. She came back today and says it’s an unspeakable tragedy.

Sorry, no good news today.

Intercepted Phone Calls

By huge popular request, here’s one of the many intercepted phone calls from Russian soldiers bragging to their relatives about raping children and eating dogs:

I mostly avoid listening to these phone calls but since people asked. There’s also a bunch of really cute ones where wives excitedly ask their husbands to steal some nice clothes and sneakers for them. Every conversation is filled with the most extraordinary obscenity that even I didn’t know existed.

Book Notes: Lisa Jewell’s The Girls in the Garden

I took up this book as a light, entertaining read but it turned out to be a lot more warped than I was hoping to find.

The main idea is that homeschooling is bad because it turns children into freaks. Anti-social, hyperactive, unkempt, neurotic, mental wreaks.

Moreover, they are such incredible freaks that they are incapable of having sex on their thirteenth birthday. They want to because who doesn’t, right? According to this novel, everybody does and supports children in doing it.

The homeschooled girls’ extreme jealousy over the joys of 13-year-old sex turns them into murderous fiends. Seriously, there’s a graphic description of a 13-year-old girl having sex, and it’s depicted as the most wonderful, “empowering” thing imaginable.

Another part of the novel’s message is that women should never work because it’s terribly degrading and turns them into horrible mothers. Instead, they should accept absolutely any indignity from men – pedophilia, violent lunacy, infidelity – because otherwise they won’t have nice houses to live in.

So it’s half ultra-liberal, half ultra-conservative, and both halves very disturbing.

I’m so fascinated by all this that I’m now going to read another book by this author to try to understand if this novel is a fluke or part of a coherent worldview. I read a lot of this mommy lit stuff but I’ve never seen the genre go in this truly creepy direction.

Be very careful what you pick up at the airport.