True Detective Update

A small update for those who are following my adventures with True Detective. We watched the third season, and it was OK. Not amazing but not bad either. The father of the missing children was great. I liked all the scenes where he appeared. The white detective was the most superfluous character in history. And his oddly fitted wig was distracting.

Now we are watching the second season, and I absolutely love it. I might end up loving it more than the first. The actors, of course, are five megawatts weaker than Harrelson and McConaughey but the aesthetic is hitting me hard. I don’t even care what the story is. I’m mesmerized by the post industrial landscape and by the author’s capacity to avoid the cliches associated with California that invariably appear in every show or movie set there.

We are only two episodes in, so I beg, no spoilers.

Broken Society

In a broken society, the most basic human instincts are broken. The most important human connections mean nothing. As a result, there is no conscience, no individual responsibility, and no human dignity. There are only patient, compliant sheep.

Happy Recruits

The most important thing, though, is that grandpa didn’t have to go. He could have easily avoided the draft by going to stay with friends for a couple of days. Nobody would have found him, and soon he’d be forgotten in the mess that’s the Russian bureaucracy.

The overwhelming majority of the newly drafted are happy to go. There are thousands of videos of Russians dancing, singing and cheering at the drafting stations. These are people who never fought and are pretty much guaranteed to come home in body bags, if at all.

This is not a minor point. This is the most crucial moment of all in this. Why are these Russians so happy to go to war? Untrained, often armed with ancient, rusty weaponry and very likely doomed – why are they so eager? I know people who are more nervous to come back teaching in person than this.

Wonderful News

The pregnant POWs were starved and tortured in captivity by the Russians. Maryana was lucky in that, understanding her high value in a prisoner exchange, Russians moved her to a hospital in the occupied Donetsk in the last month of her pregnancy. The Ukrainian doctors and nurses in Donetsk saved her baby’s life.