After the recent successes of the Ukrainian army, Russians have started calling it “Special Operation Zадница.” This is a play on the word ass or butt. I’m glad the bastards have a sense of humor. That’s all they are going to have soon enough. 🇺🇦🇺🇦
I only found out that there was supposed to be some deep-seated conflict between the East and the West of Ukraine after emigrating to Canada. It’s all a myth. There is no “civil war” and no language conflict. Everybody is bilingual, nobody cares what language anybody speaks, ethnicity is not a concept anybody understands, and there are no “ethnic Russians.” This was all completely invented by propagandists and eagerly embraced by some Westerners who are projecting their own obsessions on regions they don’t understand.
“Ethnic Russians” is a weird calque from English that I never heard anybody in Ukraine use. We now use it as a joke that’s funny without any additional explanations. Somebody goes, “ethnic Russians,” and everybody collapses with laughter.
Also, since I’m on the subject, somebody asked me recently if Ukrainians are woke. I replied that it’s impossible because we have a sense of humor. We live to take the piss. “Earnest” is a word I use exclusively for mockery. We are not naive, wide-eyed people. We are cynical and jaded. This was true before the war. Imagine what it will be after.
Yesterday we had a really tense, really angry meeting of the department chairs and the Dean. People split into two groups:
1. Those who believe that austerity measures are being imposed in good faith and for good reasons. They believe we need to throw ourselves eagerly into implementing them because “the numbers” show that the situation is dire and “we” have “difficult choices to make.”
I really loved that “we”. As if the new austerity administrator sought our opinion instead of issuing edicts that we are supposed to obey. I’m quoting verbatim from what I said at the meeting.
Curiously, group 1 ended up being 100% male.
2. Those who have noticed 15+ years of budget cuts and no longer believe in “the numbers” or that austerity solves anything. This was a group that was both male and female. It’s also older and has no immigrants except for me.
I’m sure everybody can figure out which group is mine. I honestly can’t understand how people still take the yearly announcements of “crucial” austerity measures that are supposed to solve everything but always lead to the need for more austerity. This year, “the numbers” were so obviously cooked that people burst out laughing when we were first given them.
The only restraint I showed was not saying the word “neoliberal.” I’m saving it for later. But I went all out otherwise.