I arbitrarily decided to stop working at 4pm so I would have time to run to my post office box, then to the banks before they closed, and then to Dairy Queen – which was a mistake, because it was still too much volume of food, too little nutrition of food, and except for the excellently-crispy fries the taste just wasn’t there. Did they start using more TVP in the new StackBurgers? – before returning to the office around 5thiry [what’s with OD injecting some kind of clock popup?? …you can knock that shit off. If I want html5 markup, I’ll insert it myself when certain stylistic attributes return to the text field. Otherwise, stop pulling a Microsoft.] to continue working, theoretically.
I visited the porcelain throne then sat down to eat. Since computer work, or at least my computer work, really requires both hands I knew I wasn’t going to be productive while eating, so I pulled up my local TV app and proceeded to watch an hour of Fox – honestly, any news station would have worked, but FoxNews is the only news station on my provider’s system.
Not that I’m complaining.
I wanted to see how the war was progressing.
And this really is war. It’s not a police action or any of the other labels we often whitewash the military insertion of one nation into another nation.
And I’m not unsympathetic to a possible rationale for Putin; I heard it explained in terms of, if Russia wanted to recruit Mexico into the Russian Federation and as a consequence of their joining, put missile systems on the U.S. border… What would the U.S. be willing to do to prevent it? I mean, we’d be motivated to stop it! A more apt but less likely scenario would be British Columbia or Alberta, where we’d lose a pipeline(s) and overland routes to Alaska. Granted, our tactics would probably be off-books guerilla tactics of sabotage of the Russian systems plus a massive media campaign against it, and of course sanctions against Canada and the offending province.
But I’ve been to Bulgaria.
It was only 10 days in country, but we spent time in the capital Sofia with the gypsies and with heads of state, in rural villages with the poor, and in Kyustendil with everyday “middle class” folks. The people there are not Ukranians, and the geology, the geography is not quite the same, but both are different enough from here, from United States, from Kansas, that the images of Kyiv resonated with me.
The architecture, the morning fog, the style of clothing.
My time in Bulgaria was short, but it was intense. We were on top of each other most of the time – as an introvert, I treasured the little bits of time that I could get away, including on the train …a story for another time and probably already in my OD someplace – and so our connections were intimate in that way. I ran with orphans for half a day and risked being jailed and not able to speak the language. I taught a village of kids to say “okay” and give a thumbs-up.
…and I’m prattling for the sake of the journal and sidestepping the purpose of my writing.
This war… each war that I’ve experienced in my life has been more graphic than the first. I was born during the Vietnam conflict, and as a child remember seeing the select file footage from time to time. I remember when the Gulf War started (Desert Shield, first, I guess) we were all amazed at the rapidity that field footage was made available to the media, and the proximity of the media to the fighting due to the portability of the reporting technology – every network had satellites, and the DOD wanted the world to see how we were doing.
This war? This war is being reported on cell phones by the victims. In real time.
Also, unlike wars where the US is the, hmm, “party of action”, and the coverage we see is usually very sterile and very strategic… in this war we’re seeing very unclean imagery. Its raw, emotional. Very real.
As I’ve already said, this is the beginning of the end. This is prophesy, this is necessity.
And then I saw the video, shot from a balcony, where a tank pounces on a car and eats it so like a cat on a mouse.
I cried. I just cried.
EVE Online is a sand-box space-based MMORPG that I play, which is famous for its battles with thousands of players at once. In one of the game’s Facebook forums, the moderator reminded everyone, “No remarks about the conflict. We have players in Russia. We have players in Ukraine. We all enjoy the game. And no humor – people are dying.”
People are dying. People are being singled-out by tank drivers to be crushed in their car. Chopper pilots and the troops they transport are being scattered to pieces in the sky to fall like fiery rain.
This has been coming, and I don’t mean a month of waiting. This was going to happen; this has to happen. Still I pray that God intervene tonight in Kyiv to protect the Russian soldiers and the Ukrainian defenders both and in such a way that His majesty be revealed. A reminder that this was foretold, and that this must last a little while.
So it happens.