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Preaching for mutual understanding
(CW: war, languages and nations)
LET’S START WITH THE MAIN THING
IT WILL END. PUTIN IS A DEAD MAN
The occupied territories will be returned to Ukraine.
Crimea will be returned to Ukraine.
All who owe will pay. Living and dead.
No one involved will be unaccounted for.
Here you can find out more about how to put the above into effect through a variety of actions.
This draft text was written on 30/09/2023. I know since then we got into another old war, but it doesn’t the one that is already up.
NOW HERE’S A STORY ABOUT SAYING GOODBYE TO MY ‘FUCK PUTIN’ CAR
Well, and a little more to the power of words.
The car was handed over to 1uahmatters in August this year. At the beginning of the summer, I realised that it probably wouldn’t be possible to legalise the car, and I first joked in the lawyers’ office that if the car didn’t work legally in the Czech Republic, we’d give it to Ukraine and it would be fitted with a machine gun. Everyone laughed nervously, then moved on.
But I really liked the idea and it didn’t take two months to put words into action. I have to say that I’ve never parted with a car so easily and pleasantly. Even if, in the past, I had been given money for it. Thanks to everyone involved!
As this post was originally written in Russian and is aimed directly at the audience who knew me in my previous life, some parts of the text lose meaning in translation, while others are already crystal clear to my English-speaking peeps here. However, there is an important metaphor. An important metaphor that I ask you to register in your mind. And to share your opinion if you wish.
Let’s call it a “gas cage” metaphor
Over the past year and a half, I’ve traveled Europe in a car with a terrorist state’s license plates along roughly from Tallinn to Stavanger and across, somewhere from Berlin to Athens.
There were all sorts of things.
For instance, I once talked to a “Russian” who was born in Estonia, now lives in Norway, has never been to Russia, but speaks basic Russian, and is very worried that somehow he is not very well-liked around for his Russianness. I remember thinking then, what does he have in common with Russia apart from the language?
At moments I thought I could write a book. “How I found and lost faith in humanity 42 times before I realised what was wrong with the cycle itself.” But I got over it and the book was cancelled. It wasn’t about humanity at all. And it wasn’t even about me. I thought for a while longer that it was about the language. Russian oc. And I was wrong, too.
But after a dozen meetings with Russians of varying degrees of aggression in different parts of Europe, something began to hit me.
The problem is languages per se. More precisely, many people lack the ability or experience to think in different languages. To feel the nuances of culture through them. One language locks people into bizarre cages where culture and tradition are intertwined with trauma and identity issues. I’ve written and spoken about this before.
The cage, in which these very minds have been locked up for the last hundred years, has been turned into an isolated horror bunker, slowly filled up with some moderately toxic gas. The inhabitants of this bunker/cage are convinced that you can’t turn the gas off, you can only change it to a more lethal one, so you have to put up with this one. And so they do.
WHY? NOBODY KNOWS ANYMORE. SOME TOLERATE IT OUT OF FEAR SOME OUT OF HABIT
That, by the way, was the bad news right now, and overall the saddest and most dramatic part of the post. You’re doing great if you’re still reading. I’m proud of you!
THINGS WILL GET EASIER FROM HERE ON OUT. BUT NOT FOR ALL
The good news is that I’ve met a lot more people who speak Russian by birth but also speak two or three or more other languages, who have managed to turn off the gas and get out of that cage. And I continue to meet them — almost every day.
Except that, we often don’t speak the terrorist state’s language with them. Otherwise, sometimes the gas starts unexpectedly, so we have to ventilate the room. Uncomfortable.
This language is simply punished on my end, for one thing. And sometimes it’s just impractical.
It only means there won’t be many russian texts. I still speak it, especially with some of my loved ones. Many topics are important to me, I just don’t live in the realm of the russian language. This is primarily a matter of my mental health and productivity.
THE SERMON FINALE
As to a key takeaway – there’s none. But there is a hint, nevertheless: Only love, compassion, and cooperation can bring us forward.
Today I can definitely say only one thing: every free person with pocket money right now can make a donation of one UAH. And it will definitely help people who are dying right now for the freedom of the very knowledge that you can switch off the gas.
Publisher/Editor: Gene Bogolepov