A synchronous account of the war in Ukraine, then, would begin on February 24, 2022, with the invasion, and in 2014, with Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its intervention in eastern Ukraine. It would take in Ukraine’s tumultuous post-Soviet transition, the Maidan protests, and the 2008 NATO summit in Romania, when George W. Bush pressed for NATO expansion in Ukraine and Georgia — and also NATO’s earlier absorption of the Visegrád Group and intervention in Yugoslavia.
The Intellectual Situation
Now, two years on, the transition was ailing. The economy was in free fall, partly due to austerity measures imposed at the IMF’s behest. Street protests were calling for the resignation of Abdalla Hamdok, the soft-spoken former UN economist who was serving as the prime minister in the transitional government, and a number of political parties had withdrawn from the FFC.
Taken together, the protests happening within and against the courts today seem connected as strategic flash points, part of a rising struggle over the value of legal process and legal equality for ordinary people—or even a rejection of the rule of law within this bourgeois democracy.
Neon-vested workers appear through the trees, drilling into the ground—taking soil samples? Suddenly there’s shouting at the front, a line of masked people surrounding the workers, and then, from nowhere, cops surrounding the march, a warning on a megaphone—a kettle in the trees!
When Joseph was two months old, we packed up our Maine apartment to drive back to Maryland, to a house we had barely lived in. Joseph’s age became a proxy for how long my mother had been dead.
Fiction and Drama
At every meeting I raise the amount, first one hundred and fifty, then two hundred, then two hundred and fifty—to erase his apathy, to wrest from him a jolt of interest or at least greed; but after just a few days he gets comfortable with the new state of affairs (which is destroying me economically, and much more quickly than I had foreseen), he mentally registers that he’ll make more from me and he takes it for granted from that moment on.
We’d known about one another for years but had never met. Only a handful of people like us in this world, we matched on Tinder. One of our mutual friends told me that his ex-wife had a restraining order against him. I said, “Sounds passionate.”
I was still shaking. “I never felt so angry,” I said. “Never ever. I want to club him to death like a baby seal. Just take a lead pipe or a baseball bat and smash him all over.”
Through the blinds, the sun began to soften. Santi did not know how the room could be so still now, so quiet, when the scorpion had just been here, lashing like a flame. He held Ma’s hand in the dimming light, eyes on the cracks above the tile, keeping watch.
Glass instantiates a perpetual newness and eternal currency. Unlike seemingly more solid materials like steel-reinforced concrete, which unmaintained will rust away to ruin in five hundred years, glass is stable, unless it’s shattered. Perhaps because glass shows no patina, no material evidence of its past, it is the closest thing we have to a material from the future.
The artists of the Eighties acted fast. They had to: there would be no future otherwise. But in battling the retrograde Reaganite look of the System, they knew they were its bastards nonetheless.
Capitalism is blasting a fire hose of visual sewage at the world while the best visual thinkers are busy trying to impress the painfully shrunken circle of cognoscenti, carefully avoiding or underplaying questions of beauty, craft, and design in their work, lest they be labeled insufficiently intellectual.