Content warning: extreme violence, deaths
You are a thirty something man. You wake up in your quiet suburb to a sound of clanking metal and diesel engines.
You know that there is an invasion going, but you aren't a soldier, you’re a clerk in a local administration,
and you hope to just wait it over. A few armed men in Russian uniform knock on your door. They take you with them.
You obey, because it's probably a misunderstanding, you are just a civilian. They tape your hands behind your back.
In a few hours you are dead, shot in the back of your head. Your body is dumped behind an office building.
(Vadim Ghirda / AP / Scanpix / LETA)
You are a middle age woman. You live in Kyiv, so when you hear that the occupying army is closing in,
you grab your daughter, get into the car and start driving to your uncle's house much further west.
But it's too late, the motorway is already overrun with military vehicles. The car shakes.
You are dead, chest turned into pulp from machine gun rounds. Your young daughter bleeds to death
on the back seat. The car burns down.
You are a forty two year old guy from a small town. There's fuck all work, you just get by working random gigs,
and your wife is long past being angry at you. When you see an ad promising four times the town's average income,
you don't think twice and join the army. It's good money, and Khohols are just stupid pigs anyway regardless
of their Yankee masters. Your wife reluctantly supports you, the money is indeed good. You go through basic training
and get a few days off before going to Ukraine, meeting your mates and kissing your wife. Four months later
you're dispatched from a hospital on a wheelchair. You don't have legs anymore. You spend months trying to get
the money you were promised from the Ministry of Defence. Fucking Khohols. You’re a hero.
There will be no illustration.
I am at most two handshakes away from too many stories like that.
Don't scroll away. Don't read further. Close your eyes and put yourself in the shoes of the people above.
When you truly see the evil, not just look at it and scroll away, it transforms you.
You can't both-side anymore. There is no "but NATO enlargement", no "but Iraq", no "but MIC and revolving doors".
You can't hide behind empathy anymore. Poverty, (wilful) ignorance, and propaganda can all be there,
but are no more of an excuse than a serial killer's bad childhood.
You can't do (deep down performative) outrage anymore. You can't use the outrage for clout.
You are more likely to be silent and cry in the middle of the night.
You can't wash your hands anymore, staying clean and lamenting any and all death.
You know that the only way this can stop is through coercion and deterrence. Which means deaths, potential or real.
You can’t unsee how much the intent matters. Collateral damage is no match for systematic executions.
If you can, you haven't looked hard enough. You hid behind the lullaby of "expert opinions", "political commentary",
your pre-existing political views, and ~vibes~. Look harder. It's not even political. It's primal. Your gut knows.
And yet people just want to live their lives without getting scarred by looking into the abyss.
People want to fight for their ingroups, while keeping their emotional stakes limited. A protest
in the morning, a pub in the afternoon. People want to be outraged, not get triggered by a random remark.
People don't want to actually lose sleep over the issue they're outraged about. Forcing people to stare
is not just impractical, it's unethical. (I'm sorry, dear reader.)
And yet people vote. Opinions matter. Without public demand our governments won't act. Without action,
there will be no 155mm shells. Without shells, there will be more bodies behind office buildings.
And yet the big and the small are different. Public support is not the same as one's mates.
It's also really inappropriate to ruin someone's day by this darkness, isn't it?
And yet everything big consists of small, individual parts. Every vote matters.
I don't know.
I was doubting if I should post this for a month. I still don't know.