News of who has been invited into the bunker of Vladimir "Don't Put It Past Me" Putin when he launches tactical nuclear weapons makes me realize that I haven't finished the guest list for my bunker.
As with any major event, you have to get your invitations out early so people can make their plans and you can have accurate numbers to give to your bunker caterer. Imagine if you blow off this important pre-work and suddenly discover that it's time to lob a few nukes at the enemy, the enemy's civilian population, and your own soldiers who are battling at close range using conventional weapons and raping and pillaging indiscriminately. And now you have every random person who's ever friended you on Facebook expecting to join you in the bunker and eat your freeze-dried breakfast skillet. Annoying to say the least.
My recommendation is to do formal invitations with RSVPs well in advance so there is no question who is invited and who isn't. Unless you have a giant bunker and lots of cash, you're going to need to make some tough decisions. Distant uncles who vote for the wrong political party can find a different bunker, that's for sure. High school friends you haven't seen in years are typically "on the bubble" and can be put on a waitlist pending RSVPs from A-listers.
Important: Don't forget to add the requisite postage onto the RSVP envelope. History is littered with returned bunker RSVPs because the host didn't account for the extra weight of good paper!
(I know I said I'd post about Murdock Street, but I'm running an essay by the Boston Globe first to see if they have any interest in publishing 650 words about me and the old days. Give them a few weeks, and if I don't hear back I'll expand on it here.)
If I had been cryogenically frozen in the mid-1980s and thawed just this past week, not only would I have missed the Spice Girls phenomenon, but I might have been amazed to discover that we humans hadn't yet killed each other off, along with most other life forms, via our stockpiles of intercontinental ballistic missiles and their cargo of nuclear warheads. However, I might have concluded, upon picking up a newspaper (a broadsheet so much thinner and narrower than I recall!), that The Soviet Union is alive and well: they still invent cockamamie reasons for invading a neighbor, such as to conduct a "peacekeeping mission"; facts are impossible to come by since the media are controlled by the state; and no one can leave the country.
Yes, I know, people can leave, but no one will take them in these days, except Belarus, and who wants to go there? That's the price you pay for raining shells onto your closest neighbor and creating the worst refugee crisis in Europe in 80 years. I visited a Berlin museum in the early 1980s and saw the lengths to which East Germans had gone to sneak out. They were installing secret panels in cars to hide human cargo and flying hot air balloons over the Berlin Wall while we Central New Yorkers were able to drive north and answer a few questions to get into Canada. This wasn't so long ago; lots of East Europeans alive today recall how much fun it was to live under Soviet rule, with the Kremlin calling the shots. Which is to say, no fun at all.
So, is it any wonder that Ukranian moms are taking up arms against invading Russian soldiers? The choices are either awful or much worse: fight and go through the hell of war; or submit and have a puppet beholden to Moscow installed as your new master. When war is clearly the better option, you know things are bad.
I fear dark days ahead, but my admiration for Ukraine – a country I knew precious little about until recently – is enormous. The resistance has inspired the western world to band together against Vlad, inflicting pain on his economy and people, and frankly a lot of other people as well. Putin is calling this "an economic war" against him. Call it whatever you want, but don't expect the civilized world to ignore your brutal treatment of a peaceful country.
I have a fantasy that a rogue Russian Minister will sprinkle some of that soviet-era poison dust into a bowl of Putin's borscht so that he turns green and even German doctors can't save him. But given that he puts 20 feet between himself and his closest allies and probably employs a battery of food tasters, that would be a little difficult to achieve without him noticing.
J'Biden Era Haikuage
People's Arms. That's right!
200 million shots
In 100 days
We are good people
But we still have far to go
Repair. Restore. Heal.
There's nothing new here
The Affordable Care Act
We're restoring it
Democracy is fragile
The world is watching
Strategy is based
On Science, not politics
Truth, not denial
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