On the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

In Kyiv you live under the sword of Damocles. Every day: what if Russia starts bombing using jets, what if they nuke, what if they invade from Belarus. It is very difficult to live under those conditions. If you don’t have milk or eggs you go out to the store to buy them. If youContinue reading “On the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”

Against Expanding Tweed

It’s the 21st century. After centuries of struggle and scientific advances in medicine — of one painful step forward followed by numerous staggering steps back — we’ve arrived at a moment in history where we know in detail the things that can hurt a person, and how, if not always why. We know the various ways thatContinue reading “Against Expanding Tweed”

Thoughts on the partisan attack on Congress, and Euromaidan

In the winter of 2014, protestors filled Independence Square in Kyiv. Upset that Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, had refused to open the country further to European trade and commerce, hundreds, then thousands, and ultimately millions of people converged on Kyiv and rose up throughout the country, battling police and military units to have their voicesContinue reading “Thoughts on the partisan attack on Congress, and Euromaidan”

Ukrainian History, or No Offense, A Bunch of Stuff You Probably Never Thought About

The second in a three-part series about Ukraine When a traveler or journalist from the West arrives in Ukraine, most of them do so at a disadvantage. Mainstream culture has likely furnished little analysis, save for reductive imperialist narratives that define Ukraine vis-à-vis war and its neighbors. When that traveler or journalist spends time there,Continue reading “Ukrainian History, or No Offense, A Bunch of Stuff You Probably Never Thought About”

Why did Saturday Night Live edit MacGruber’s Racial Sensitivity Training?

When SNL decided to change the order of MacGruber’s racial sensitivity training, it made a sketch about the absurd inability of people enjoying white privilege not to learn from their mistakes into a redemption story in which the main character experiences epiphany. In other words: they ruined it

How a protest becomes a revolution

Revolutions always start slow and local, as protests. They always involve some specific act of injustice, such as the act of self-immolation that kicked off the Arab Spring. There is anger and rage on the part of the population. Let’s say it’s justifiable anger, and comprehensible, valid rage, which is easy to identify because whatContinue reading “How a protest becomes a revolution”

It’s Skunk Time

We have a skunk in our yard, now. It lives in an area beyond our fence, overgrown with weeds, vines, and thorns, and it navigates its way in each morning to hunt for grubs, grunting and snuffling through the long green grass as is its portly habit. We don’t begrudge it its meals, nor doContinue reading “It’s Skunk Time”