So there I was minding my own business, a lot of which is conducted from a comfy chair using a brain with a lot of holes punched in it for ventilation, and a thought occurred to me. That happens. Thoughts occur and then fly away and that’s what makes it so drafty up there. The noteworthy thing about this thought was that, beyond all reason, it cheered me up.
My thought was “Huh. Maybe Putin will start a nuclear war, and that will finally lead to that nuclear winter we used to be all worried about, and that will have a prolonged cooling effect on the climate, which we need since we’re unwilling to quit making things worse in case it means we’ll have to start using our muscles and sticking around home, and as a bonus it might take a very large portion of us out altogether, resulting in less consumption, and the survivors will scrabble around in the dirt looking for grubs to fry up, and maybe learn how to share, and gain a proper perspective about what is and isn’t important in life. And the rest of the biosphere, after suffering a jolt and a dip, will be fruitful and multiply.”
So you can see why this made me so happy.
It is a thing of wonder to me how much sheer crap is visited upon the world by men who apparently didn’t get what they needed in childhood. It’s quite the payback. Say you were the laughingstock of the Pee-Wee Hockey League because of your undescended testicles. Say you fell in with a bad crowd— the KGB, for instance. Where one day you learned that “putting the screws to someone” was not always metaphorical: and just like that, your whole life opened right up.
Still, you could just settle for posing on top of a large horse with your nipples out. Starting World War III seems so extreme.
It’s remarkable. The course of almost everything consequential in the world is determined by its most deeply insecure inhabitants. Racism, exploitation, and conquest are not the habits of people who are comfortable with themselves. And yet here we are, a bazillion chicks jammed into a tiny cage, working out the pecking order, and some of us won’t be happy until we’re standing with our little chicken feet on someone else’s head. Insecurity: how else to explain the fact that some people have billions of dollars and it’s never quite enough?
Got to give that murderer in Moscow credit for a long view, though. I would never have believed he could actually tear another country apart from a distance merely by separating its citizens along perforation lines he provided. Who would have ever thought that he could persuade so many people that the opposite of Freedom is common sense, scientific knowledge, and the very democratic institutions that used to be considered the protectors of liberty? Throw in a set of cartoon enemies (bathroom lurkers, Mexican rapists, history teachers) and mock the norms of civil discourse, and you’ve softened up your target nicely.
All of this went according to the murderer’s plan; and then, of course, he got a little lucky, drawing an ace of a stooge in Trump. That one was well on the way to handing him the keys to Europe on a golden toilet seat. And he didn’t even have to have kompromat on a man that insecure, although no doubt he does. Putin is already everything Trump admires most. He has no constraints and no morals and no regard for anyone but himself, and he can murder his rivals at will. He can even wage himself a vanity war.
Donald J. Trump couldn’t quite pull that off. But he’ll be okay. In the deepening dusk of his dotage, as he continues to invent his own wealth, and the pills quit working and his fluffers call in sick with COVID, he can always lie back and dream of Putin.
I guess we can be a little grateful that one of the brats was benched. Hopefully he stays there collecting splinters. Now if we can just keep Putin from reaching his demented goals. Hopefully we don’t get to test the effectiveness a nuclear winter will have in restoring our planet’s balance.
“Benched.” I like that. It hints at a temporary condition, which is frighteningly plausible.
I think you are being optimistic about any survivors learning from the mistakes that caused them to be the last of their species. I thoroughly agree with everything else you said, however. Maybe someone on the inside will do the right thing to the Moscow Megalomaniac and his American stooge.
I’m visualizing the survivors being in such a reduced condition that they won’t be much trouble for a few thousand years. Because you’re right–learning from history isn’t our strong suit.
“I don’t feel safe in this world no more
I don’t want to die in a nuclear war
I want to sail away to a distant shore and make like an apeman.” —Kinks
I LOVE THE KINKS! Go you Muswell Hillbillies!
At this point, I am just fucking scared. Of EVERYTHING. First there was global warming, which I have seen the results of, even here. And Delaware is in a relatively Goldilocks spot. Then the pandemic. It wasn’t so much Covid that scared me, but the results of it: the lockdown, the Great Resignation, which left many businesses (including Paul’s) VASTLY shorthanded, resulting in the people left being fucking stressed out to the max, and the supply chain issues. Hard on its heels was the insurrection, which scared the crap out of me more than the pandemic. And now, it seems we have the threat of nuclear annihilation hanging over us. Went to my dentist today and was told that I have a hairline crack in one of my teeth that will probably need a crown at some point. I just laughed. “Sweetie… my worry dance card is full. I’m gonna have to outsource this particular problem and get back to you when it actually happens.”
I would hate to have to pay for a crown and then get annihilated anyway.
Fury—check. Bitterness—yep. Horror—got it. Dread—uh huh. Helplessness—you betcha. Sorrow—so deep. You covered it, sister.
You’re still coming for dinner, right?
This all has me worried too. I have sons young enough and grandsons old enough to be called up to fight should it become necessary. I really, really, don’t want that to happen. Puny Putin must be stopped somehow. Where’s an assassin with a sniper rifle when you need one?
Would such a shot stop the movement in its tracks? Doubt it.
There’s talk the oligarchs might have some sway. They’re being hit hard.
In answer to River. There is a Russian rich man in America who has put up a million dollars for that bullet in the megalomaniac’s head. What made me sad this morning was to see the orphan baby elephants from the Sheldrake Trust let out to graze, it isn’t just us that will suffer….
Orphan baby elephants. Can’t go there today.
From the Auschwitz Museum: “As we stand at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial, it is impossible to remain silent while, once again, innocent people are being killed purely because of insane pseudo-imperial megalomania.”
Yet still people obey.
I seem to remember a psychological experiment that was carried out with college students. Arbitrarily, some were “guards” and some were “prisoners.” The professors told the guards to shock the prisoners at greater and greater increments. What the guards didn’t know was that there WAS no actual shock; actors screamed at increasingly painful levels. And yet, still, when the authority figure told them to apply more shock… they did. When they stopped screaming and were told to apply still more shock… they did.
Why am I not shocked by this?
Mimimanderly, it would still be shocking to me. I do believe it, I remember hearing about the experiment, but I know I wouldn’t have done it. I lie, I cheat, I have stolen, but I remain horrified by the intentional infliction of suffering–man or beast. I don’t know what it takes to get a guy to deliberately run over a critter in the road, either.
Susan, sounds like they’re actually pinning it to one individual. That seems so impossible, and yet it’s exactly what I am filled with wonder about. That one damaged child can do so much damage.
nodding in agreement. Wondering if we can’t spring Alexey Navalny while we at it.
It could still yet be that Putin has overplayed to his detriment and this sort of convulsion is what it takes to remake the world properly.
Insecure? I vote instead for “addicted.” Addicted to the feeling of power some get by hurting others, particularly by hurting those not in a position to fight back. (I also call that “evil.”)
So do you think it’s more of a sociopathic thing? (Not in Trump’s case–he’s way over the line insecure.)
Actually, Trump is a classic case of a sociopath. I read a riveting book a while ago called The Sociopath Next Door, by Martha Stout, PhD. Sociopaths are sometimes confused with psychopaths, but it’s a totally different thing. A sociopath has no conscience and never feels guilt. But they can fake it quite well if they have to. She says that about 10% of the population are sociopaths.
Long ago I learned that a sociopath rejects society’s morals in favor of the group’s (like a criminal gang’s), whereas a psychopath has no morals except for what’s in his/her own head. Years later I was told the exact opposite. What’s current in the DSM?
Perhaps the most telling sentence I found when looking for the psycho-/socio- path distinction is this “These two terms are not well-defined in the psychology research literature — hence the confusion about them.”
The distinction, from what I gather, is that psychopaths and sociopaths both have antisocial behavior and no conscience, but psychopaths have more violent tendencies.
I love your swirl of words, and all I can think of to say is “Amen, sister”.
Well I’ll take that, Doug!