“Such is time: everything passes, it alone remains; everything remains, it alone passes. And how swiftly and noiselessly it passes. Only yesterday you were sure of yourself, strong and cheerful, a son of the time. But now another time has come—and you don’t even know it.”
Who is this guy? I see him everywhere. He might be in his mid-thirties. He’s wearing baggy sweatpants, destroyed shoes, and a hoody over a baseball cap. He’s pushing a bicycle up the sidewalk and smoking the last raw nub of a cigarette. Sometimes there is a plastic bag with dubious cargo hanging on the handlebars. He’s in no particular hurry to get anywhere and I doubt he’s homeless. He lives somewhere—on a sofa in a garage, maybe. But there he is.
Don’t you love a farce? My fault, I fear I thought that you’d want what I want Sorry my dear But where are the clowns? Send in the clowns Don’t bother They’re here — Stephen Sondheim, Send In The Clowns I guess I find it reassuring that the current efforts to muzzle free speech are being conducted by clowns. The announcement of a Department […]
Been doing a little work for the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Watergate break-in, one of the most significant events in modern American political history. The aftershocks of the botched political espionage operation that ultimately brought down the Nixon presidency continue to reverberate today, as evidenced by the persistent tendency to attach the suffix “gate” to any […]
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will not cause deglobalization; it is a symptom of deglobalization. — Peter Zeihan Since we started RIR, Rullman and I have been trying to suss out the shape of the end of civilization as we know it. We’ve noted before that the “end of civilization” is not necessarily — or even likely — […]
I don’t need to read the papers To know the heart of man This world’s been shaved By a drunken barber’s hand — Slaid Cleaves/Rod Picott, Drunken Barber’s Hand Last weekend, Slaid Cleaves returned to Sisters to play The Belfry. The Austin, Texas based singer-songwriter works in a tradition of folk songwriting and storytelling that celebrates the courage and resilience of ordinary folk […]
Rullman must have thought I had over-caffeinated Friday afternoon. I took a late lunch break and went out to Zimmerman Butte for some kettle-bell-and-gunpowder therapy, and on the way out there I fired up the latest episode of Jack Carr’s Danger Close Podcast, featuring geopolitical analyst Peter Zeihan. As soon as I pulled into the Pit, I pulled out the phone and […]
A friend recently gifted me a subscription to The Economist. That was a very nice thing to do. I think. The upside is that I can learn from that publication’s always-excellent, in-depth analysis of the way the economic engines that turn the world run — or don’t. The downside is that, right now, such analysis is a good way to […]
* For years a mythology has accreted around Vladimir Putin. Both admirers and detractors in the West have seen him as a calculating genius, playing three-dimensional chess while everyone else was playing checkers. RIR never bought that analysis. We did see Putin as a cunning opportunist, parlaying strategic ambiguity and incremental bites at the periphery of the West […]
Putin is, of course, a kind of Great Khan and the oligarchs he has both made and sustained will substitute nicely for the lesser Khans. What unites them through time isn’t just wealth or extravagance or absolute power, it is a world view, and Putin’s embrace of Eurasianism should have been heeded by successive American and European administrations but wasn’t.
Perhaps most ominously in this interview, Hill was asked if we are on the brink of World War III. Her answer: “We’re already in it. We have been for some time. We keep thinking of World War I, World War II as these huge set pieces, but World War II was a consequence of World War I. And we had an interwar period between them. And in a way, we had that again after the Cold War…All of the conflicts we are seeing have roots in earlier conflicts…people shouldn’t delude themselves into thinking that we’re just on the brink of something. We’ve been well and truly in it for quite a long period of time.”
I have never been to Ukraine, though I did stumble across some Ukrainian mail-order brides in my former profession. Called to resolve domestic disputes by their awe-struck American husbands, I can assure you I was most impressed by the tenacity of the women who came over on the promise of Levis, western cigarettes, and fine weather.