brown teddy bear on brown wooden bench outside

When Ivan Meets GI Joe

Like the late great Hunter S Thompson was fond of saying res ipsa loquitur – it speaks for itself. When Ivan meets GI Joe all bets are off. No decent person wants that hard rain to fall. Now I hate to be flippant and disrespectful, no I do really. People are dying out there, and they are worth more than a few quips from a long gone British pop punk outfit. That said, this is all a joke isn’t it? It is ridiculous that some small meerkat looking bastard who rides bears in his spare time (while posing for a portrait), clearly a joker of the first degree, a man well versed in being Lord of The Edge, is now threatening the west with ‘…consequences greater than any you have faced in history.’ 

Sadly apparently real as well as surreal.

… He tried his tricks that Ruskie bear
The United Nations said it’s all fair
He did the radiation he did the chemical plague
But he could not win with a cossack spin

The Clash knew where it was at, there we are, all dancing and having fun, carefree and happy, and then, bam, radiation and ‘chemical plague’. They didn’t quite get it right, after all there has been no dancing for a couple of years, since we have all been softened up by some bioplague from hell, our morale already low. Of course it is easy to dismiss such ramblings as ‘insane’, but to be frank I have come to the conclusion that ‘sane’ categorization is strongly influenced by the amount of money and therefore power that a person has, whilst the poor and marginalized are by virtue of their standing, automatically ‘crazy’ and wrong. I might add to Hunter’s ‘it speaks for itself’, a proviso to ‘sequi pecuniam’, or follow the fucking money, people.

There is a lot of advice that rock and roll as to offer the megalomaniac. From James Taylor, “The plans they made put an end to you..” a little nugget of sad wistfulness for those lost due to the visions and plans of others. He also asks God to help him ‘make a stand’, but what use is that? God is in his bunker and all the fallen Angels are getting outta Dodge. Bowie urges us to not ‘let the sun blast your shadow,’ but to be frank what choice do any of us have in the matter? We don’t get to choose who is taken down by Roger Waters’ ‘two suns in the sunset’. These are the end of the days of Van Morrison’s ‘endless summer’ , and the start of a long cold hard nuclear winter.

I had hoped my son would never live with the threat of nuclear war hanging over him, as it hung over his ancestors in Japan, before a vengeful America made it into cruel, wrong and hellish reality. I asked him what he thought, after falling into a mad panic, in which even I momentarily considered whether I would be behind nuking Putin first to save ourselves. He looked at me, and with tears in his eyes reminded me of our humanity. We are not the kind of people to stoop to even considering it. He is right.

Look at the photograph below. I haven’t shrunk it, really look at it. What do you see? Danger? The enemy? People who should have been considered combatants? Or do you see the eyes of your own child as they scream from wounds that will never heal? To allegedly save a few American soldiers fighting Japanese soldiers by conventional means (no the Japanese did not have nuclear weapons), America was willing to nuke this child, this woman, and many others like them, and damn future generations to radiation related birth defects. I love this country, but damn the people who did this to hell. Never again. Look in his pained eyes, and ask yourself. Do you really have the stomach for this? If you do, please stay far away from me. I have had enough psychopaths in my life. I need to be able to smell humanity on someone to want them anywhere near me. The danger is too real, too intense, too present in this moment of history.

This is not just a fork in the road, this is the whole damn flatware collection in some Walmart in Hell. I can barely handle the seasons. Vlad the Bad is not just ex KGB, he is a flat out Stalinist dictator who has been biding his time for his entire career, waiting for this moment to shine, to show us who he really is, and how Russia never really ditched their previous ideological cancer. I have a soft spot for the old marxists and their devotion to equality, but dictatorship of the proletariat is never temporary. No man will give up almost absolute power once he gains it.

If this is going to be our last day before brinksmanship tips over the edge into flat out hard rain nuclear fallout, then I know how I want to spend it. I want to walk in the sunshine. I want to wander with the person I love most in this world, and drink tea together. I want to look at the flowers, and watch the boats come in on the Bay. I want to stand on the pier and smile as the painted ponies go round and round like the seasons as they turn. The only season ahead of us, I suspect, is a cold hard winter that lasts longer than any winter should. Bob Dylan sang that ‘if another war comes’ he would not be going ‘underground.’ Good for Bob. Me, I have a desperate imperative towards survival, Ill be digging my fox hole as the blast flashes over the Bay and bleaches everything white. There really isn’t any need for any of it is there?

It is just the wars of men, the machinations of the power crazed, the inhumanity of those driven by greed and power, and one small bear riding meerkat with a hard on for war and destruction and suffering.

I am going out. The sun is shining, the day is not yet destroyed and perhaps there is a few more drops of happiness to be wrung out of life. I hope so. After all, in any of this, it is the mothers going to be mourning the life and future stolen from our children, trouble is when we start seeing other people’s children as expendable, when we ‘other’ and justify the unthinkable, then we are all going to lose.

Good luck. Amun…ra…something like that….we are all gonna need to believe in something…I suppose it would be too optimistic to hope the Russian bear is a teddy bear pretending to be tough? I don’t think I would have the guts to see if ole Bruin there blinks first. Anyone got any bear spray…..?


  1. striderlee

    When I use to have to walk two and a half miles down an old country road from my house to the bus stop every morning in order to get to my job in the city, I used to wear a cannister of bear spray on my hip. And I actually came pretty close to encountering a bear once or twice, but thankfully never needed to use the spray. Once I was safely on the bus I’d put it in my backpack, in order to not be questioned by police once I got to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. I wasn’t sure if walking around with bear spray in the city was legal, and never bothered to find out.

    Well, one morning I stopped in Whole Foods to get a few things which I then put into my backpack, and suddenly I heard a loud hissing sound and a burning sensation spread across my hand. I had accidently set off the bear spray in my bag. It got all over everything in it. I spent most of the rest of the morning in the bathroom at work, trying to wash the caustic stuff off my groceries, the inside of my bag, and me. Somehow I got it on my lips. It was like I’d used a raw chili pepper as chapstick. Soon it spread to my tongue… like I’d licked the chili pepper. Thankfully I somehow managed not to get it in my eyes, but eventually my nostrils were burning as well, inflamed and turning red like I had a severe cold.

    Throughout the day as I tried to work, despite every attempt to wash the bear spray off of my belongings I continued to inadvertently expose myself to the stuff every time I handled one of the items that had been doused with it. I can laugh about it now but at the time it was pretty nightmarish. My own personal Chernobyl. But just as I’d still want to have bear spray on me whilst walking through bear country, I wouldn’t want us to be without nuclear weapons as long as our enemies have them, because mutually assured destruction is the only thing that might prevent them from nuking us. Yet at the same time, for obvious reasons I pray that we’ll never set them off, either intentionally, or (as in the case of my bear spray) accidentally.

    1. The Paltry Sum: Detroit Richards

      I am only laughing a little bit….! That must have been so painful! I can’t believe you let off bear spray in Whole Foods! I am with you on the nukes – we have seen what happened when Ukraine gave them up. It would be better if everyone disarmed together, but that is just not going to happen.
      Thank you for making me laugh! Have a good evening!

      1. striderlee

        Thanks, and you’re welcome! Yeah, I can’t believe it either. I don’t think the cashier understood what was going on. She might’ve heard the loud hiss, but it could’ve been anything. I’m just grateful my bag contained the stream, because normally it has a reach of something like up to 30 feet, and that would’ve been bad. Also, if it had been pointed up toward the opening of my backpack it would’ve gone right into my face!

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