I generally do these posts starting with the graphic. It is usually related to my state of mind. But, with the events coming on so rapidly, I find I am getting overloaded. Which is to say I don’t want to study war no more as the good book says. Its only interesting as an academic subject. Any kind of practical stuff, like conducting a radiological survey, that’s much too close to the impossible, fallout.
Kitty Genovese was a 28 year old barmaid murdered in Queens NY in 1964. Not too much notable or remarkable in NYC for someone to be murdered. What made Kitty’s death become emblematic was the associated reporting. It was said at the time that 38 neighbors saw her being assaulted and did nothing. In the decades since research hasn’t been able to corroborate that number, 38 witnesses. The story became apocryphal and iconic because so many believed that 38 neighbors would ignore her screams. Not wanting to get involved. Fearing some retribution. Fear. That’s the element in everything now. There is added sugar and added salt in commercial food. There is fear in political campaigns. There is fear when the defense budget is debated. Fear in making eye contact or smiling at a stranger.
Can you guess why I remembered Kitty? Fear, yes but also the missing fear. The Ukraine president asks for a no fly zone. Many in the west have taken up the call, yes! Why doesn’t NATO or the USA implement a no fly zone? So what fear is missing in this? You can call it a no fly zone if you want but until you shoot down a Russian aircraft it isn’t one. Until a Sukhoi or MIG is taken out we’re bluffing. When US and Russian pilots are in each others cross hairs we are on a very slippery slope toward Armageddon. That’s the fear and it is not irrational. Same for sending in the military on the ground. The fig leaf of deniability, having thousands of seasoned, trained civilian vets with combat experience fighting for Ukraine, is no doubt going to push things along well enough.
Who can look away? even now. Who will be able to look away when Putin is murdering thousands a day shelling and bombing cities? History will see 2020 as a boundary between epochs. That is if history or historians survive. Extinct animals don’t have histories or need them.
I can look away for brief periods. Going out and walking helps. Sitting in the quiet of the tiny house helps too. Its been two years in the making but the tiny house is nearly done. Its water tight and insulated. It has a nice view of field and woods. I sacrificed a lot insulated wall in favor of big windows. Glad I did. I sat out there a while a while ago. Instead of going over the new bad news in my head I watched a mouse hurry down a mouse path. He didn’t want to be exposed to danger any longer than he needed to be. I guess he had important business down the path. With gas heading for $5 a gallon limiting trips is a sensible policy. He doesn’t perceive his risk any greater. He doesn’t check the news very often. He checks the compost box often. The squirrels do too.