Is War A Hollywood Production?

“Not the Onion”

Many have observed that it’s nearly impossible to parody shit like Olena Zelensky being puffed by Vogue magazine. The flagship of Conde Nast’s pro-capitalism propaganda machine promoting NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine is not surprising, but the fact that many people consider war glamorous is pretty shocking. 

Since the U.S. dropped the military draft and now relies on the poverty draft for cannon fodder, the public in this country is mostly indifferent to the suffering inflicted by combat. Or maybe Vogue readers care about Ukrainians suffering because they are blond the mass media tells them to?

The U.S. destroyed social studies education during the bi-partisan debacle of No Child Left Behind, and it shows.

I’ve never lived in a war zone, unless you count inner cities devasted by poverty and police violence, but I grew up reading history and literature which often depicted the terrible effects of wars and genocides. I sometimes wonder if I’m the only one left who read Gone with the Wind in high school and concluded that a) war is hell and b) most people in doomed societies don’t see the writing on the wall until it’s way too late. A list of the all the anti-war books I was influenced by would now be replaced by a list of all the pro-war video games a young person has played. 

You shot the most bad guys! You win!!!!

I had to take a long weekend break from the news because the prospect of the freezer queen of insider trading provoking war with China via an ill-advised trip to Taiwan was, frankly, terrifying.

Also “Not the Onion” — Speaker Pelosi’s let-them-eat-ice cream moment during the 2020 Covid lockdown when she showcased her extravagence as little children starved in the street mere blocks from her mansion in San Francisco.

It would be hard to think of anyone less qualified to navigate sensitive diplomatic waters than Pelosi. It would also be hard to think of anyone more clueless to send on a mission signaling to China that their red line i.e. the U.S. abandoning its long standing “one-China” policy will be respected any more than Russia’s red line at the Ukraine border was respected. So she is sufficiently obtuse to be a useful pawn in this situation.

Even the Pentagon brass has said the trip is a bad idea. But they’re sending war planes to “protect” her anyway.

This is in the context of numerous provocations involving U.S. warships bullying others in the South China Sea.

The Confederacy thought they would sail to an easy victory during the first U.S. civil war. They believed the Christian God was on their side as they fought for the right to continue enslaving fellow human beings.

U.S. empire managers are making money hand over fist on the Ukraine war. Apparently all that money in the bank makes them giddy enough to believe they can beat great powers Russia and China, even with the two giants allied for their common defense.

The hubris of imperial thinking is evident at the end of every empire that exhausted its citizens through endless expansion and, often, ecocide. As the Ottoman Empire struggled to stave off its declining fortunes it unleashed the Armenian genocide, and the competition to grab its rich colonies escalated into WWI.

War is not a Hollywood production. 

War is hell, but a boomer like Pelosi has lived in blissful ignorance overseeing the policy of “fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here.”

In a shrinking, burning planet there really is no over there anymore. There are only distractions, like ice cream and fashion, both of which would go quickly in a planetary conflagration lit by nuclear weapons. For me, personally, holding babies on my lap is not only a calming distraction but also restores my motivation to speak out against the madness.

So maybe there is a parody version of First Lady Zelensky’s photo shoot after all, one where the flesh is dripping from her bones as she stands amid piles of radioactive ash.

Excerpt from English translation of Barefoot Gen by Hiroshima survivor Keiji Nakazawa.


Click here for ways to take action on reducing the risk of nuclear war.

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