February, 2022 archive
At The American Scholar, an American descendant of Ukrainian immigrants who is still in touch with her family in Ukraine looks eastward. A bit of what she has to say:
Since then (her first visit to Ukraine almost two decades ago–ed.), I have traveled across the country, from Mykhailo’s (her great-grandfather–ed.) native village about 10 miles from the Polish border to the slag heaps of prewar Donetsk, from salty-aired Maripol to chic Odesa. I have returned again and again to Kyiv and Lviv, my favorite Ukrainian cities. I obtained most of my political education from witnessing Ukraine’s fractious politics and its fitful attempts at democracy and reform.
In that time, I have seen the country change in ways big and small. In the past five years in particular, Ukraine seems to have blossomed—while the Russian occupation of the Donbas ground on in the east, it did so relatively quietly, and Kyiv thrummed with youth, style, and energy. The country’s filmmakers have won major prizes at Sundance; Ukrainian literature is increasingly translated into other languages. I have watched my cousins’ children grow up in a Ukraine that is resolutely independent and cosmopolitan; in a departure from previous post-Soviet cohorts, their opportunities seemed to be growing, not shrinking.
Humans can be literally poisoned by false ideas and false teachings. Many people have a just horror at the thought of putting poison into tea or coffee, but seem unable to realize that, when they teach false ideas and false doctrines, they are poisoning the time-binding capacity of their fellow men and women.
Brian Greenspun, publisher of the Las Vegas Sun, draws a lesson from history. Here’s a bit of what he has to say; follow the link for the rest.
When Great Britain’s Neville Chamberlain hailed ”peace in our time” as he returned from Munich, where Germany was allowed to swallow the Sudetenland, it was obvious that Hitler would not be satisfied with just a piece of the pie. He wanted the rest of Europe and no one wanted to stand in his way.
The irony of the 1938 Munich Agreement should not be lost today as we think about the Munich Security Conference held last weekend to figure out how to stop Putin from pursuing his megalomaniacal dream of putting the Soviet Union back together again — starting with Ukraine.
The players are a little different in 2022 but the prize is the same.
Stuart Brotman points explains how the perfect is the enemy of the good. Here’s a bit; follow the link for the evidence.
Give me your tired, your poor,.
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
A little while ago, Tucker Carlson aired his sorrow that Mars has changed the look if the green M&M in its commercials to be “less sexy.”
A former green M&M (that is, a woman who performed as a green M&M in on-street ad campaigns) explains why she favors the change. A snippet:
While wearing my foam go-go boots and shimmying in my Green shell I heard a steady stream of skeevy quips “You can melt in my hand and my mouth,” or the ever-charming “I like the green ones. They’re supposed to make you horny.”
It would not shock me if Carlson is out on 42nd Street right now pawing some former coworker of mine trying to get one last grope in before it’s too late.