Discover more from Scranton Time - bits and pieces from Tom Flannery
іди нахуй (go fuck yourself)
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I cannot help but juxtapose these 2 things.
US and Canadian truckers screeching like school girls over (now mostly non-existent) mask mandates and their "rights"...with the men of Ukraine, led by their young President, grimly standing shoulder to shoulder in the street and fighting for their lives. Our nation offered President Zelensky safe-haven out of the country, and the President now famously replied "I need ammunition, not a ride". Here in America, where leaders are rushed into basement bunkers at the first hint of trouble (or inconvenience....recall Ted Cruz requesting asylum in Cancun during an ice storm), this type of wild bravado is only seen in anonymous social media comment sections. So to see a brave man, in real life, with everything to lose, willing to die to for his people and his nation, was frankly startling. America is filled with so many puffed up cowards we still don't really know what to make of all this. "We are still here", Zelensky told his nation in a grainy cell phone video filmed in the streets. "I pray that will be the case tomorrow."
Up against this, the American bearded incels berating teenage cashiers over mask-mandates is not a good look.
Just today I saw an astounding video of a Ukrainian man wearing jeans, with a lit cigarette dangling from his lips, pick up an un-exploded mine from underneath a bridge with his bare fucking hands and carry it away. Earlier, a Russian tank swerved into a Ukrainian car and crushed it, a war crime on camera.....just for fun, and the elderly driver in the car pushed aside the twisted metal and walked away. These people do not fuck around. These people will not be subdued.
Still, too many still view the almost comically swaggering Putin as the real tough guy in the room. A grievance-addicted ex-KGB thug who our last President, when he wasn't writing love letters to Kim Jong Un in North Korea, practically fed grapes to. Putin is what happens when the school-yard bully doesn't get punched in the face. He's like a grown-up school shooter. When I see Putin walking into a room I can't help but think of Vince McMahon in character, strutting down to the WWE wrestling ring. Putin is a real-life troll....armed with a sort of ignorant menace, and it's pretty easy to understand why he would be appealing to someone like Trump, who cackles in a room full of tough guys and then immediately runs into the parking lot when the chairs start flying. Trump, like Putin, is the perfect strong man for entitled pussies.
But this Volodymyr Zelensky. What to make of him?
He's was an actor and a comedian first.....telling truth to power by mocking them, in a part of the world not known for their sense of humor. He literally became President after playing one on TV. Putin was so desperate for invasion rationale that he called Zelensky, who is Jewish and lost relatives in the holocaust, a "neo-nazi", and urged Ukrainians to overthrow him themselves. This they admittedly know how to do, sending their ex-President and Putin stooge Viktor Yanukovych running back to Russia like a scalded dog, but they seem pretty content with their current guy.....so if it's gonna happen it's gonna need to be done by the baffled 18 year old Russian conscripts who keep getting lost (road signs have been replaced with signs saying "go fuck yourself") and bogged down in the mud (doesn't anybody in the Kremlin own a history book?...or a weather app?) and being told to fuck off by Ukrainian grandmothers. The families of captured Russian soldiers often had no idea their loved ones were even there. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has set up a hot line for Russian families to call about captured loved ones, and it has received hundreds of calls. One wonders how much of the Russian heart is in this. Or how much of the Putin "soul" that GW Bush claimed to have peered into remains.
Putin clearly didn't anticipate this type of resistance (as one Twitter wag reminded us, “the GOP fell quicker”), and is now playing the nuclear card. After putting his nuclear forces on alert, he reportedly fired his disapproving Military Chief of Staff, which has a certain Trumpian ring to it, no? All dictators are paranoid. But let’s just say that right now, with even the usually toadyish Oligarchs bitching, Putin should probably grow eyes in the back of his head.
Let us not forget that 2 years ago Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine in a clumsy blackmail attempt to get dirt on the Biden’s. The “perfect phone call” that led to him being impeached a second time. His graceless tactic was supported (or ignored) by every boot-licking Republican that today plasters the Ukrainian flag to their social media profiles. Hypocrites all. History will remember. And she can be a bitch.
With friends like this, no wonder President Zelensky turned down that ride.
“I do not want my picture in your offices: the President is not an icon, an idol or a portrait. Hang your kids' photos instead, and look at them each time you are making a decision.”
—President Volodymyr Zelensky to his nation’s lawmakers
In a bit..