True Grit….

I must admit I am a little obsessed with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The sheer brutality of the battle and the absurdity of the reasoning  has gotten to my soul. In an age of information overload there are still those who can censor what you hear and don’t hear. You don’t know what is happening.For all our intellectual growth we are taking inhumanity to a new and sinister level.

The Ukrainians are beyond heroic. Before the second day of the invasion was over, the U.S embassy in Kyiv was beating feet out of there and offering president Zelinsky a free ride to safety. He laughed us off as he should have and asked for help not a hitchhike. Yet all of the nations are calculating where they are in the geopolitical sphere and how far they are willing to go. 

The Ukrainians screwed us. We were waiting for the capitulation of some very brave souls. That would give us cover. We will accept their refugees and say what an evil person Putin is. Every move parsed for what it will look like to the enemy and making sure we don’t get our hands dirty. These peel have true grit. They have made this picture very complex.

I am sorry but my  mood is emotional and at times irrational. Collateral damage is not a concept I can live with when it comes to women and kids. I don’t cow tow to bullies. This slug has been playing games with us for 30 years and countless administrations. We have looked into his soul, tried to befriend him and played the game of sanctions. Maybe they will work and maybe they won’t. We have drawn red lines only to have them washed away by the tears of victims. 

But aside from all this is an incredible demonstration of defiance and belief by people in their homeland. We are talking about what was supposed to be one of the world’s great armies. Face to face the Russians have been beaten back. Their only counter is long range artillery as a scorched earth policy supposedly will bomb them back to the Stone Age. I think Putin already lives in one. 

Grit is an amazing resource. Call it guts, bravery or whatever it enables people to garner a whole new set of resources to access in order to survive. You throw caution to the wind and probably for the very first time in your life you are willing to die for a cause. I wonder what would happen to me or us?

It’s great to say I would stand up but I have watched with a curious eye our reaction to a thing called COVID. I am seeing universities trying to create “safe” spaces. Helicopter moms…and dads, want to create a bubble around their children that is sanitized and fool proof. I think the fools are inside. We all want an Eden like existence. 

I happened by the New York Times Magazine a few weeks ago and noted the cover teaser was “music to help us get through our difficult times”. Are you shitting me? On the front page were accounts of maternity hospitals and theaters being bombed, universities demolished and people without water, heat and food and these literati are teaching us to cope. Can we even relate? Reality and crises are out there but we have no idea. 

This is not said with Irish or Catholic guilt but with a desire to get my own head figured out. Volunteering will get you on a different trajectory. I have told you all of my gig at a homeless shelter in Denver. Hospice is a passion for me. Not because I dig watching people die but because it is as close to humanity and my fellow man as I can get. Not admirable or heroic in any way but to truly give back.

Let’s face it. Most of us live in Disneyworld. Too many have forgotten where they came from. Many are jaded and look upon their lifestyle as a reward for all their hard work. Did you every work in a factory or a meat packing plant? Go over and teach class five days a week and then come home and get dinner? Nursing, cops, EMT’s, a mother with three jobs?.

I am not saying we have to walk around in sackcloth and ashes. I hope I am getting this right by not necessarily being accusatory as I am trying to slap me and you both in the face and say do we have even the slightest idea how lucky we are? Yeah we can thank whatever God we worship but deep down do we feel it? Is it even possible to understand what Ukrainians, Uighurs, Syrians, and poor people of America go through?

This war has hit us right smack in our living rooms but it is quickly fading to page four of our newspaper and page ten of our minds. It’s natural. We think we have it down and since there is not quick resolution we are ready to move on and let the armies and diplomats divide up the spoils. It’s the way it has always been. 

It has been a beautiful day in Flalaland. I played golf and came home to hit the keyboard. My vitriol just started to rise and I decided to let it rip. Sorry about that. It’s what I do and this is really Ted’s Head right now. Old age is supposed to be some sort of freeway to wisdom. I must have taken the wrong exit. C’est la guerre! 

As always

Ted The Great

Factoids:

Just one. Below is a You Tube of a song we are singing for chorale. “Do You Hear the People Sing ?” From Les Miserables. Play it if you will. I wish it could be played from every radio and TV station in the free world.  It is 2 and 1/2 minutes. Let me know if you think it fits. 

8 thoughts on “True Grit….

  1. Crazy indeed. I just don’t understand how Putin is getting away with this!!! On more mundane notes, great to see St Peter’s in Big Dance. Bob Ward, Gary Compa, Jim Barry, Jim Supple and even Coach O’Keefe went to high school. And are you going to 55th Hoya Reunion in June? Neil

  2. Ted, love that song from Les Mis and totally agree with your comments and frustrations…..the Ukrainians are an incredible group of people and so brave and committed….I would like to think that Americans would react the same way if we were ever bombarded on our shores….but not convinced we would although perhaps 9-11 came close and for the first time I can remember most Americans were ready to fight…I even thought of re-upping although I doubt the Army wanted a 61 year old…..thanks for sharing

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