Did you know that Mlle. Coco Chanel was supposedly at the infamous opening performance of Le Sacre du Printemps in 1913? At Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. Isn’t that something?
…You know, along with maps of the world I’ll be checking out the fictional account of Stravinsky and Chanel’s affair that was turned into a film. Of course I’ll read it with a grain of salt.
Tonight I looked-up maps of the old Russian Empire. …It was totally demoralizing. The media in the US really have botched it. Even if Putin’s speech was manipulative, it wasn’t necessarily as historically inaccurate as they made it out to be at all. Which, unfortunately, is what I worried about. Because I have vague memories of learning about the start of the USSR in a European history class and…his speech didn’t sound that in error. Trying to rally the support of a nationalists (nationalism was huge in the early 20th Century) in Ukraine, a region that hadn’t been able to be totally free from Russian rule for seemingly well over a 100 years, in order to secure control of the region was a likely patronizing and opportunistic choice at the time. It wasn’t a gesture of true liberation from Russian rule. They became a part of the USSR… And it was because of the collapse of the USSR that Ukraine was given actual independence. But, again, that was in light of the collapse of the Soviet Union which was dominated by Russia. So…essentially Russians were forced at one of their lowest moments in history by the US (and allies) to concede Ukrainian sovereignty.
The Budapest Memorandum of 1994 is what Putin is most in violation of by invading Ukraine. That’s the agreement that is most…illuminating to any argument one wants to make that casts Putin as an evil tyrant. At least, in my opinion. Ukraine made such a good faith gesture there. And it has been upheld to at least some degree for almost 30 years.
The horrible thing is, if you take a look at this map:
it’s clear that…Putin could easily be very tempted to invade land that was sacrificed for communist rule. Because Russia was an important world power that created a certain balance to things worldwide prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union. For hundreds of years. If it wasn’t for their help in WWII…Great Britain would have been in grave trouble. That’s not insignificant.
…I think Putin is highly suspicious of the US. Probably also of NATO. But I’d guess the US more so. Remember Edward Snowden? He escaped to Russia…
I think Putin feels morally justified destroying at least the sovereignty of any country (Ukraine) that is enabled to sovereignty primarily by a hypocritical country (the US) that would abandon a country (Afghanistan), letting babies be literally ripped apart as their mothers throw them desperately to safety. …As in, the US in Afghanistan last summer… Why should Putin worry about following a pact his forbears agreed to in weakness, defeat, despair and humiliation that was created primarily by a country that’s in such moral decline worldwide? So without meaning? Who barely takes itself seriously? What impetus does he really have these days? Remember that insurrection? You know Putin watched that happen too of course.
US power isn’t what it used to be kiddos. And it will just keep getting worse if we don’t get wise in my country. They’ll be more harkenings back to the 1800’s… Not just in terms of social class. Not just in terms of supply capabilities. Not just in terms of pandemics. Not just in terms of genuinely old wars being at least flirted with. …1800’s farming practices in the next 30 years??? *shrug* Think creatively, I guess. Steam-powered engines? Travel massively slowing down for over a hundred years? Shorter days and longer nights. Candlelit dinners by necessity? Fireplaces to keep warm? Fewer people…?
Thankfully God isn’t American, even though He loves us. Thankfully the world existed with some semblance of order before we became “important.“
We valued democracy in the US. In our hearts we still have it. That’s not insignificant as long as we can learn to stop destroying what’s good. Manifest Destiny was…foolish and vain, even if understandable. But democracy is good. Or at least, it’s the closest we have to good. Good. Good. Good! Because things matter. They matter. It all matters.
I’ll be writing more about Stravinsky…particularly The Rite of Spring. …If my memory serves me correctly I danced around my living room listening to this in high school. The irony didn’t entirely escape me in the moment which probably is why I still recall it… I wonder, if I recall it correctly, if Spring Khorovod is what moved me to dance?