And Even More Good News

Laid-Off HBO Max Execs Reveal Warner Bros. Discovery Is Killing Off Diversity and Courting ‘Middle America’. . .

Discovery CEO David Zaslav was charged with helping Warner crawl out of a $50 billion hole. He came in like a wrecking ball, tearing up CNN’s $300 million streaming service CNN+ and vowing to pull the Warner-owned news channel away from “advocacy” journalism. It all points to the same end, they say: A rejection of left-wing or highly diverse content in favor of more homogenous, Middle America-friendly fare. There was just a massive, ‘We don’t need you [creators of woke shows]. You’re not offering the things we’re focused on.’”

Things are looking up, my friends.

The linked article is hilarious, though. The author seems to be completely stunned by the realization that woke shows attract nobody but fussy neurotics. And there are not that many of them, thank God.

Blind to Greatness

And just to think that while these feats of incredible bravery, these deeply moving moments were happening in Ukraine in February, March, April, there were people in the US who instead of being inspired by this greatness were gleefully waving around pouty articles about a date stamp on a photo of a Ukrainian girl and investigative reports on when the President of Ukraine first started wearing a khaki shirt.

They could have been looking at the skies but they chose to gaze intently at the lint in their navels. History is happening right next to them but they no longer know how to notice it. Seeing this brings to mind an image of some crusty curmudgeon during the American Revolutionary War who is convinced that nothing would come of the American struggle for sovereignty because George Washington’s boots aren’t polished the right way.

Wrong Kind of Stoicism

This is the kind of stoicism that’s plain stupid:

Hard should not be the point. Easy, joyful and enjoyable is. Also, it’s sad that a strong, young man – not an invalid recovering from a terrible illness – should congratulate himself for something so primitive. What’s next, being proud of flossing?

We Are All Here

Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba gave a long interview recently and told about what the first days of the war were like for him. He was in the White House the day before the war. Suddenly, the door opened and Biden walked in with his cabinet. That’s when Kuleba knew that things were really bad. Presidents meet with presidents. They don’t make unexpected visits to Foreign Ministers.

Kuleba says everybody at the White House treated him like he had terminal cancer. Biden showed him a photo of his dead son and said, “You have to think about your children.” Nobody expected Ukraine to survive the first 72 hours. Look at the map of Eastern Europe, and you’ll understand why. Kuleba listened to the President of the United States say farewell to him, went home, and went to work.

That’s why it was such a big deal when Zelensky filmed himself and his cabinet in the streets of Kyiv in the first days of the war saying, “I’m here, we are all here, the party leader is here, the entire cabinet is here. We haven’t left, we are staying, and we will fight.” I never thought he would leave. Even at the lowest point of my esteem for Zelensky, I would have never suspected him of leaving. My fear was that he’d be captured and murdered in some horrible, humiliating way. Seeing him stand outside with his whole cabinet and reassure everybody meant everything. I have now watched that short video maybe a hundred times. I believe that the most important lesson in life is to be able to say, “I’m here and I’ll keep fighting.”

Arestovich also said he wasn’t expecting to survive the first two weeks of the war.

Think about this. He knew he would die but he went on YouTube every day to reassure millions of people and carry us through those terrible days with nothing but the force of his personality. This is enormously beyond any stoicism. You can decide not to whine and meet death with strength. But to carry millions of people out of despair and into a certainty of a win while you are preparing to be killed, you’ve got to have something inside yourself that makes it possible. Obviously, Arestovich is a deeply religious person but there are many religious people who couldn’t do this.

Here’s Kuleba’s interview with English subtitles. The translation is not great but still understandable:

And then I see people who think it’s OK to claim they are harmed by the presence of Ben Shapiro, and. . . Yeah. Don’t be like them. Be like Kuleba, is all I can say. The future belongs to the brave, not to pathetic little snowflakes who “feel unsafe.”

Look at Kuleba, too. He’s only 41. He has young children. This is not a ripped, muscular hero. Kuleba is nothing like, for example, Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Zaluzhny who is huge and tough and looks like an armored vehicle. Kuleba is a nerdy, soft guy in eyeglasses. But his quiet, dignified bravery is stunning.

Think, also, about how it happened that the entire Ukrainian leadership consists of these young, extremely strong people who speak languages, have a vision, and have proven to be completely unbreakable. This is not an accident. There is an entire philosophy of life behind this phenomenon. The way they explain it is that they are what the West really is, not as a region but as a way of being in the world. And if what traditionally counts as the West has forgotten about it, we will keep it alive because we are here.

We are all here, we haven’t left, we are staying, and we will keep fighting.

The Good News Edition

Well, Obama only bailed out Goldman Sachs, so we are on a much better path with Biden. Maybe one day we’ll get to see a bailout for the people who actually need it.

It’s a relief, though, that all the fears that Obama would control the Biden presidency behind the curtains turned out to be unfounded. The Biden administration ended up being extremely different in every way. And that’s good.

Also, let’s give credit where credit is due: there’s no pressure against the unvaccinated, no rumblings of a lockdown, no massively woke legislation. This is a lot better than I feared. Which doesn’t mean it’s perfect but it could have been worse.

It would be great to find a similarly calm attitude on the other side and hear an occasional recognition that Trump created no disaster or calamity either.