We need to talk
It’s been silent here. You know, certain things… have been… happening. Like one of the best Rubyists I know having to do grocery shopping at his home town, decimated to smoldering ruins by the country I grew up in. Like my wife’s teacher having to seek refuge in Rhine-Palatinate because her city (occasionally the same Zverok lives in) has become an unliveable warzone.
Like calling my relatives and sending those messages and not getting a response – did they make it through the blockades alright?
Like asking whether the relatives of my best friend managed to escape the shelling.
Like quite a few of my friends collecting the last possible dimes from their close ones to make the escape out of Russia.
Like a student getting beaten, humiliated and molested by police officers – not “secret police” officers, because if you can torture and belittle someone in the open, especially a woman: why bother making it a secret? In the town I grew up in.
Did I tell you that the proper Russian way of expropriation is either extortion or robbery, never theft? What use it is covering your traces if you can have it all just by force (or thuggish threat) of unabashed, naked violence?
So let’s set a few things straight, and I hope this lands properly.
- Russia has now become a fascist state, bent on neo-colonial conquest of everything post-Soviet and post-Russian Empire. Russian population, in substantial numbers, supports this fascism and this neo-colonialism. Some say it is actually national-bolshevism but this smells like fascism to me.
- Although it does not matter as much now, I do know that my hunch about no longer being a Russian citizen was right and that it was the right call. I never subscribed to be part of a bloodthirsty crowd demanding imperial conquest, I never subscribed to hatred, to chauvinism, to the extreme-right Orthodox-christian Dark age that it brings, to the Russian “traditional values”. I will however stay a Russian until the day I die, whether I like it or not.
- I hope and I pray, with all my might, that Russia loses this war. With maximum amount of shame and humiliation for those who support it, for they haven’t absorbed their history lessons well. Sadly not even the ones our generation – the one growing up in the post-Soviet 90s, the years when you could speak the truth and listen to the truth without being pulverized - did get the opportunity to have.
- One of the few working medicines is exposing, shaming, denigrating exactly the tyranny that is raising its head now. Russia never had it’s reconciliation. “Your grand-granddad was a torturer for the KGB” should be public knowledge, and it should be to the youths to decide what to do with that knowledge. “Your mom used to work at a public school and she did election fraud because she was told to”. It is not for anyone to hedge. It is what shapes horrors, and everyone is exactly as guilty of that as it seems: very.
The last 6 months (and yes, Russia is conducting a fascist colonial war of conquest in Ukraine for 6 months now) have been an absolute horror thrill ride, yet I could only imagine what it has been like for Andrii, for Zverok, for others I know and love. I am sorry we didn’t do what we had to do. I’m sorry Russians who don’t want to live in a backwards religious barbaric shithole society were not in sufficient numbers to have a civil war, to remove both the dictator and his supporters from where they always were. It would have been at least a 50/50 population civil war alright, more likely even 30/70 – yet it seems that it had to take place. Or it is inevitable in the near future. I hope and pray that the situation will improve, and I hope and pray the proper unfolding of this shitshow is going to happen in 8K ultra-zoom view of all the live TV the modern technological prowess has to offer.
Fascism (and more so: the late-Soviet boomer fascism, because late-Soviet boomers are significantly worse than Western boomers - just since I know them so much better) has no place in the XXI century. Its place is in that museum where they store deposed oppressor busts, to rot and patine forever. Or – ideally – in prison. But I’ll take the Târgoviște barracks too – for the most notorious ones.
Obviously – during times like these it is a bit hard to write either about corporate opportunists, about Ruby language proposals or “how our lib … is so much better than not having our lib …”. I hope I can find candor to speak about such things soon.
I hope. Слава Україні!