From Lin Dinh’s Broken Ukraine
A sad devastation…
The outskirts of the capital were basically more of the same dispiriting Communist urban planning, but here and there rose new high rises that were not unattractive. I was surprised, though, by how beautiful and sophisticated the center of Kiev was. With much of the country’s wealth parked here, brand name shops were everywhere, but all were bedecked quite stridently with large SALE signs of up to 90% off. Whatever that was wrong with Ukraine before the Euromaidan demonstrations, it was clearly making progress, for otherwise there wouldn’t be all these shops for all budgets. Now, thousands of sales clerks and store owners stand around all day to look pleadingly at every passerby. As I strayed into the meat and fish section of the vast Besarabsky Market, each stall owner shouted a torrent at me to buy a just-killed piece of something, so that I had to wade through a sea of incomprehensible words just to get out.
Such a gem of a city would normally be swarmed with tourists, but I saw almost none. Taking the subway several times each day for a week, I was clearly the only alien, with the lone exception a black man who didn’t look all that comfortable. I heard no foreign languages on these extended rides far underground, and the Kiev subway is bizarrely deep. I wondered why most people did not hurry up or down the endless escalators, but those long, angled tubes were indeed soothing. A man sat down on a grooved, steel step.
…Useful Property, 2016 edition…
On the bar, there were two remote control tanks, one called “POWER KING,” in front of the Ukrainian and European Union flags. On the walls were two images of Che Guevara and one of Bob Marley. It was ridiculous to see Che idolized since Ukrainian nationalism is supposed to be anti-Communist, but such is the power of Western pop culture. Agreeing with me, Potekhin added that the bar owner had studied in the US. The music on the sound system, Cab Calloway, Roy Orbison, Gogol Bordello, Van Morrison, Otis Redding, B.B. King and Carl Perkins, etc., showed his musical taste. Beneath a photo of a pensive Miles Davis were these scrawls, “NEVER be bought never be SOLD” and “PAIN IS TEMPORARY BUT PRIDE IS FOREVER.”
Hearing American music everywhere, much of it black, I can’t help but conclude how greatly Uncle Sam has benefited from driving his black population into the deepest despair or half mad, for whether they moan most pathetically (blues), blather ecstatically or even incoherently (jazz), or lash out obscenely (rap,) the United States does not lose but gain billions of admirers. Blacks, then, are a huge component of Uncle Sam’s soft power.
The Will of the Emperor
On April 19th, 2014, I gave Press TV another Ukraine commentary. Rereading the transcripts, both available online, I stand behind every word, so here’s the second, more succinct statement:
“America brings ruination to each country it interferes with. Just look at Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and now Ukraine. Just look at the continuing war in Syria. While posing as a force of good and democracy, the US brings nothing but destruction and death. My fear is that America will become even more violent as it collapses
The US has instigated this entire crisis, but it is blaming everything on Russia each step of the way.
After it staged a violent and illegal coup against the Kiev government, it accused Russia of fomenting unrest in the Eastern and Southern parts of the country, but it is only natural that ethnic Russians in these regions would want to be reabsorbed back into Russia. They don’t want to be second class citizens in a country that’s wrecked by American economic manipulation, and they don’t want to be a pawn in a dangerous game of provocation against Russia, maybe even war against Russia, whom they identify with. Ukraine is being used by the US to disrupt the economic integration of Russia and Europe. The US is trying to prevent both Russia and China from becoming vital economic partners of Europe, because this would leave no room for the United States.”
The most laughter I heard in Ukraine was on the bus leaving it. The Milky Way expanded as soon as we entered Poland.
I wonder if Black Americans will ever clue in to the idea that they are just things to be used, regardless of what colour or what party the puppet in the White House is.
Probably the same day Southern White Christians, that disposable cannon fodder for an empire that despises everything they are, suddenly get enlightened regarding their proper place in the Imperial Pyramid of Power.