No one likes a bully. And Mad Bad Vlad Putin is a bully. I fucking hate bullies. So do these heroic gentlemen. Not everyone is brave enough to go and fight the tyrant though. I certainly wasn’t. They may be 19 year old starving conscripts, but they are not short of weapons. But I had to do something. I donated and sold stuff. I went on several protests. Which was really helpful to me. To be able to shout for hours on end outside of the Russian embassy was a great release.
I imagined, because I had read every Ian Fleming novel before I was 15: the KGB listening, transcribing, and translating the audio from the protest. Our shouts, chants and songs recorded, and reported on.
Would they be scared to mention in their reports, that a middle aged man, white, pronounced belly was shouting “Baby Killer!” and “Putin is a cunt”.
While his comrades in matching dab grey khaki, sitting in a dim studio would be scrutinising the video. While computers are running their facial recognition routines.
I hacked Google Maps in Russia. Left a review of the war at different locations such as war memorials, and every Russian Ikea before the company ceased trading there. They have since been copied it would seem. I saw some evidence of some success with this Google Maps reviews hacking at first, but later it looked like it had been clamped down. Filtered. Locked down.
My dad told me that my grandad used to shout at my dad when he was naughty, “I fought through mud and bullets for you, Son!”.
Before my Nan reminded him he never left England. He was a mechanic in the army.
My other grandad, whom I never remember meeting was awarded a medal for bravery. A steward in the merchant navy. A bomb landed on the deck of his ship, but didn’t explode. So he and a mate picked it up, and threw it in the sea. Other family members were Japanese prison of war survivors, and rear gunners. But, I think bravery has skipped a generation with me.
I also sent a few hundred emails at a time to Russian email addresses, to try and explain how they are being lied to. That it is an illegal invasion of a neighbour, a sovereign state.
But I could fight PooTin with my humour.
Like the great Spike Milligan, who obviously inspired the title of this post, humour can be devastating.
The devastating power of words was demonstrated this week at the Oscars. I still say I would rather a short, sharp open-palm slap to my face, than to be ridiculed for my disability, by a comedian on stage with the powerful PA system, in front of a laughing crowd of my peers, and millions at home. I can just imaging me stewing on this for many years to come. A sting would have faded a lot quicker in my experience. But, that’s just me.
The ‘joke’ that sparked the furious response was just words. I am not defending the right to violence here. Although in Ukraine I think the Ukrainians have every right to use violence to defend themselves.
What I am trying to say is, don’t play with fire if you don’t want to get burnt. A favourite saying of my nan.
But those words triggered something in Will Smith. How can you know how your words will hurt someone? At what point do words become hateful? I think these are all relative. Because everyone is unique. We all have triggers on some levels.
I remember getting triggered by the phrase, “What does beat me up mean, Daddy?”. Did I tell you that I don’t like bullies?
Choose your words carefully. Words hurt too. And words can create stories. Stories can create conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories can start and aid wars. The basic Nazi ideology was a conspiracy theory. Do not make the mistake that only ‘stupid’ people could fall for conspiracy theories.
Russell Brand proves that this is far from the case. He is a devilishly handsome, charming, funny and has done a lot for mental health and addiction causes amongst his fine charity work. His rapid prose uses big words, and he does Kundalini Yoga, Wim Hoff, breathing, relaxation and meditations. What’s not to like about the chirpy Cockney, Guv’nor?
But at some point during the pandemic, Brand took the red pill and fell down the rabbit hole of conspiracies. Which has seen Brand’s YouTube subscriber count jump to 5.4 million. I have written before about Brand, but Conspirituality have at last featured him in their latest issue.
I have just finished re-reading Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall. The Ukrainian’s are certainly worthy of the title heroes in my opinion. And every bit as effective as the Cretans against Nazi crystal meth laced Stormtroopers. Ironically I have found it better to read about war, than watch what’s going on in this one.
I am heartened to see the Ukrainian farmers using their tractors to toe away Russian tanks and other military equipment. My dad would have loved that. Being that he was a lover of tractors, and scrap metal. He was more of a lover than a fighter too.
I am going to start listening to Spike Milligan’s 7 war books. I need a laugh. x
I watched the Extinction Rebellion documentary, ‘Rebellion’ on Netflix this morning. A reminder of the power of protest. The act of protest is at the very heart of democracy.