Fortification 55… I can only imagine how it was in Hamburg, in the newly re-unified Germany, in 1993. It must’ve felt unreal after living under the shadow of the wall, under the spectre of the Iron Curtain. Who knew what to expect, really? Was it real? Or were things about to come crashing back down at any minute? There had to be uncertainty. The heaviness in the art and music was absolutely cultural, as evidenced by even their classical music from two hundred years prior, but it didn’t seem to get any lighter as the world opened up again.
It’s not getting any lighter now in 2022 either. At some point as I was unwinding from a long work day and getting ready for bed, Vladimir Putin and Russia made good on their promise to take Ukraine, which they have long claimed is rightfully theirs. God only knows what the ripple effects will be, if you can even describe such an impact as ripples. What is it? Will there be a geo-political tsunami? Is this it? Are we going to war? It doesn’t seem like an unreasonable doubt. Fear doesn’t seem out of order. We promised a speedy and heavy response to any aggression. Who knows what the fuck that really means but shit is pretty tense this morning. What can we really do? Threats sure as hell didn’t work. Of course the threats seem empty with the Republican Party showing open support of the invasion.
But just like that with our world in our time beginning to open up some after two years of pandemic terror, things get weird all over again. And not to be the prophet of doom, this seems relatively small compared to what could very easily happen. Order is breaking down and why shouldn’t it? There’s been nothing but hot air holding it all in place for a long, long time anyway.
It’s ironic though that it wasn’t that long ago that Republicans, some of them the same bunch in office now, were saying Democrats were too easy on Russia. They said Democrats were traitorous and on Russia’s side. Same Russia too. Not a changed Russia. Don’t look for anything even approaching sense-making in any of this. It only makes sense in the context that they are probably eager to roll back the clock to get back to the Cold War, the same way they want to reinstate Jim Crow here. These were the cornerstones of their “good ol’ days.” It doesn’t make moral sense, of course. It’s just what they’re comfortable with. Just get ready to duck and cover, okay?
I don’t even know if there is a right or wrong action in this. It doesn’t seem likely though that there won’t be any violence here in Brooklyn, where despite them having grown fat on American consumerism and oxycodone, there are an awful of both Russians and Ukrainians. What can one say? Keep it amongst yourselves, guys? These are my neighbors. But seriously, anything happening this morning has a direct impact on my neighbors. It’s going to be their family and friends dying over there.
Fuck it though, right? What can I do? I’m sitting here mixing a soundtrack to my fear and doubt. It starts with post-Cold War Germans. That seems somehow appropriate when we’re talking about a situation that was supposed to have been resolved by the early 90s. Nothing was fixed though. We just re-drew the borders and told everyone to play nicely, and then the old men sat and stewed, and passed down the anger to their children, and so on. Nothing was ever fixed. We’ve been fighting the same fights since before any of us were born. Nursing the same grudges. Etc.
Same as it ever was. Nothing new under the sun. It’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out this time. Stay tuned.