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Ukraine leader's posturing is bonkers as the Diary of a Madman
By Yoichi Shimatsu
Ukraine's major cities are now being swarmed by Russian tanks, Sukhoi bombers, organ-pipe rocket launchers, snipers and medics sipping red tea and biting into pirogi while they wait for the inevitable surrender or mete out hell on Earth against the huddled locals, cheated by their politicians, abandoned by NATO "allies" and by now depleted of food supplies.
Mimicking the ancient pagan gods, Western politicians and American media moguls view this disaster from on high as an opportunity to pontificate to us peons about "democratic" values and "freedom", as if their corporate partners in economic fruad aren't wallowing in profits as gasoline fuel prices skyrocket at the pump for consumers who have zero stake in this distant conflict. Meanwhile, on TV news programs, the "green" energy purists continue to preach the total shutdown of oil wells and gas pipelines from the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico to the shores of California, all to be replaced by charging stations for eco-friendly Teslas.
Lesson One from this unwanted war narrative is being caused by the wealthy idiots who own the politicians, while law-abiding citizens who see no cause for belligerence are treated like a public enemy. Freedom and justice start at the first shot in any war, and we all know that it will end ugly. Before I spend my last and final COVID relief check as down-payment on a new Tesla Model X, here in the fourth part of this Ukraine series, I impossibly venture into grim comedy amid an absurd tragedy.
The Comedian's War
The pathos of the human condition with its countless sins and weaknesses can lead to triumphant victory followed by grand tragedy, as depicted in the theater of the ancient Greeks and Elizabethan England. Nothing has changed in that classic cycle of glory and despair since the downfall of Oedipus and Macbeth, those rulers enthroned by a quirk of fate and deposed ingloriously. Global television audiences are now focused on that quixotic man of the plain in Ukraine, the unlikely president and lonely warrior Volodymyr Zelensky.
After starring as a reformist president in the Kvartal TV comedy series "Servant of the People", Zelensky ran as an "anti-corruption" crusader in the 2019 elections and unexpectedly won, due to public disgust at bribe-corrupted politicians. Although the comedian ran on anti-corruption platform, as "the voice of the little people", Ukraine has seen little if any progress during his tenure against endemic bribery and fraud, much less a crackdown on crime syndicates. With his social media-targeted cleverness base on Instagram posts, Mr. Zelensky has now gone from comedy to war-movie heroics Rambo-style, doffing the necktie to don a khaki T-shirt and flak jacket, moving from his office into a dark basement of undisclosed whereabouts. Or are these his role-playing antics made for television?
Despite his stunning switch in leadership role, a now poker-faced Zelensky has gone from an ironic jester to a sad-clown image, a wistful Pierrot in premature mourning for his nation, a rather sick joke foisted on gullible Ukrainians under wartime duress and his many clueless admirers in the West. Heroically tromping through the weeds with a helmet strapped to his chin at the head of uniformed troops and followed by a couple of aides in civilian suits, the zealot proved himself worthy of ridicule in enemy Moscow. Zelensky's antics are seen as zero threat to battle-hardened Russian veterans of brutal combat in Chechnya, Georgia and Syria. War hero, he's not cut out to be, just an urban schnook as pathetic as Woody Allen.
Comedian without a Schtick
His terse posturing as wartime commander in chief, a performance obviously scripted and staged for social media by his Hollywood-manipulative CIA coaches, has no resemblance to the stern stuff of a stodgy, unshaken Winston Churchill chomping on a cigar butt and whiffing a snifter of brandy. Who has ever pinned Moscow with the accuracy of that bulldog of England? "I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped inside a mystery inside an enigma." Classic, rhetoric at its zenith. The Zel instead appears to be dazed into numbness by his opponents' undecipherable strategy of territorial mass reduction, from the capture of nuclear-power plants to vast encirclement by military convoys.
Weapon of Mass Seduction
In terms of media propaganda, Zelensky's Hollywood scriptwriters failed to launch his sole weapon of mass seduction on global audiences, satirical humor. Sadly, as an Eastern European casualty of the Soros-Rothschild campaign of economic takeover and consequent impoverishment of locals, the Zel never had the opportunity to develop his schtick at Jewish resorts in the Catskills of "upstate" New York and smoke-filled basement clubs in Manhattan, where a lethal one-liner is worth a thousand bullets.
Gee, sir, Mr. President, allow me for a few moments to be your joke writer and stagecraft coach. The first one's for free, no charge for copyright fee. "Why is Putin trying to take over his next-door neighbors' land? Because his wife is suing for divorce and demanding the house and all the property."
Going for the kill is how to hit the big boss where it hurts, in the yaytsa balls. Punch below the belt, Zel! If you truly want to win the hearts and minds of a pacified post-COVID global audience, who have no idea where Kyiv is located or how to pronounce it, get them to laugh until they shed tears. How about paraphrasing the late self-hating loser Rodney Dangerfield? "Even as a green supporter of EU emissions standards, I can't no respect in Brussels for a no-fly zone."
Whenever in dire need of a punchline, just do a copyright theft, for instanc: "I was so depressed I was going to jump out a window on the 10th floor. They sent a rabbi up to talk to me. He said, 'On your mark . . .'" Add-on a punch line: "I nodded. That's why my psychiatrist confined me to the basement."
The West's Cowardly Greed
It's pathetic, Zel, that your real enemy is not Belarus or Russia, it's the cynical Western Europeans who moved their biological warfare labs into pastoral Ukraine and trained their military advisers in live-fire exercises against Russian holdouts in the Donetsk region. Ukraine was just a shooting range used for target practice and not the real deal. When push came to shove from an irate Moscow, as could be expected, those Euro cowards sold Kyiv down the Dnieper River.
After the last battles are over, the blood is mopped aside and NATO washes its hands of the untidy mess, the greedy gnomes of Zurich will demand loan repayments from penniless Ukrainians. Perhaps Kiev (forget Kyiv, which rhymes with thieves) should tell the bankers to sue Hunter Biden in a Swiss court to collect the Burisma money. Meanwhile, a new Moscow-allied regime could win hearts and minds of occupied Ukraine by imposing taxes, late penalties and prison sentence on the long list of Ukrainian tycoons, including Rinat Akhmetov, Viktor Pinchuk, Ihor Kolomoyskyi, Henadiy Boholyubov, Yuriy Kosiuk and that appropriately named pirate Petro Poroshenko, who has the nerve to dress in Kevlar flak jacket and a helmet to resist Russian aggression. Situation hopeless and incorrigible.
Winning More than a War
Now take this advice, Dear Zel, because retainer fees for a defense lawyer in Moscow are going to be astronomical, unless you follow my wise counsel. The world is brutally unfair, that's a given for everyone. The fact remains that oil-rich and mineral-wealthy Russia is a literal gold mine for Western bankers, oilmen, institutional investors, commodities dealers and even travel agencies, whereas Ukraine's main export is wheat.
If you can recall from past international history, at war's end between the Union and Confederacy, the losing-side was sold out by its British and French allies, because poor rural folks have little chance in court against an industrial juggernaut.
With Russian forces now tightening the noose on your major cities, Zel, it's getting late in the game and your promise to die for Ukraine could soon be staged by the friendly CIA, whose spymasters need to remove an obstacle to make nice-nice with the Kremlin again. There is a slim outside chance that some misguided foreign nation might put you under a witness protection program in Patagonia or Melbourne. Or the Western European bastards just might hang you out to dry to give Putin enough satisfaction to open the spigot to the Nordstream pipeline to Germany in a trade-off. The NATO crooks all stand to win big after the thorny issue of Ukraine is surgically removed and forgotten.
Let Comedy Rule!
To avert the worst possible fate for a comedian, anonymity (and nothing is more anonymous than an unmarked grave), your very last card in the spent deck is the subconscious psychology of your adversary, as you should know from reading Sun Tzu's "The Art of War", which has been your driver's manual. The ruthless judo master Vlad the Overthrower, never smiles because he happens to be ticklish. The weaker contestant must find his funny bone or you die.
So I am seriously advising you to telegraph this ultimate dare to macho Moscow: "Ukrainians and Russians are brothers, but only over a bottle of vodka. Therefore I, Volodymir, challenge you Vladimir to an all-night drinking contest to decide who is the greater Slavic hero!"
With that irresistible cheese-ball bait on the hook, Zel, cast the line into his pond. Who should act as referee in the greatest contest of stamina in this century? No! Not Don King! This match deserves a way funnier comedian. So call up Donald Trump as master of ceremonies and referee.
Pick a neutral venue, like Kinshasa for "The Rumble in the Jungle" between Ali and Foreman. So will it be Havana or Kazakhstan? Remember to charge a million bucks per media interview, because you've got legal costs in Moscow. It's guaranteed that the international media will arrive in droves to witness how you as the clear underdog in the swilling contest with super-fit Vlad the Impaler. Do not take his ploy of crossed arm-wresting while raising the shot glasses! That will break your wrist. Your secret weapon is your paunchy belly, especially when filled with boiled kasha (buckwheat) to absorb the hard blows of alcohol. Demand straight shots of Khortytsa from a sacred island nar Zaporozhe. Refuse Stoly as "peas water for Amerikanskys!"
Then at the start of Round 2, switch to Tito's because that distiller will pay the highest-ever product placement fee for TV broadcast, no doubt about it. No, it's not grain spirits named after the dead leader of former Yugoslavia! It's a yuppie brand from Texas that's kinder and gentler on your swollen liver.
Snocker of the Century
Then, to ensure that the contestant from Kiev, let's leave Kyiv to the purists, survives the snockering of century, the match must end in a surprise draw, with emphasis on surprise or the fans will riot against a fix. It ends in a photo finish as you and Putin yawn and keel over exactly at the same moment. Neither of you should vomit, or Tito will cancel the contract. After the draw, a rematch will be scheduled for super-profits for your new tag-boozer team, ensuring eternal peace and prosperity for your nations' tycoons and mafiyas.
Meanwhile, Putin flies home to sleep it off in his dacha and you return to Ukraine as a national superhero and alive, to console and cheer up whoever's not burnt to a crisp or blown apart. After a record night of vodka swilling, you and the Vlad just might become the best of frenemies, meaning it's back to business and corruption as usual for partners in crime. Death for the loser should be left behind in the Age of the Gladiators, because this is a new era of mixed martial cocktails.
As for your erstwhile allies, let the Germans mumble in their beer, the Nordics knock back schnapps, Italians sip undrinkable chianti, and the Americans guzzle their milkshakes. Slavic homelands, plural, are vodka country! Postwar reconstruction and economic recovery will be tough, so instead of selling your nation's wheat at discount for British banger buns and Danish donuts, inaugurate a slew of novel grain alcohol labels strictly for export to gullible rich hipsters, with catchy labels like Donetsk Crossfire, Antonov Crash, Odessan Black See, and Gogol's Madman.
After returning home with your winnings, the Western European and "neutral" Swiss bankers from Zurich will come knocking at your door for repayment of loans. You must learn to act as crazy as Aksenty Ivanovich and start carving a feather into a quill pen to "write a check" to be mailed to the banks as soon as Her Excellency's dog signs it in her boudoir. The script is right there in Gogol's "The Diary of a Madman", the most truthful confession ever written by a Ukrainian drunkard.
On a purely professional basis, I must say that you, brave leader of the resistance, have chosen the entirely inappropriate category from the school of Method Acting, Humorless Comedy, by taking after Rowan Atkinson as "Mr. Bean", Peter Seller's imbecile Chauncey Gardiner in "Being There", and Mort Sahl as Mort Sahl. Get back, get back to where you belong, into side-splitting laughter, in the style of a nutty John Belushi style or a madcap routine from Cheech and Chong. Light up, cheer up! Because when everything goes to hell, the world needs a comedian.
As put by the lunatic protagonist of "The Diary of Madman", Aksenty Ivanovich, "One of the administrative clerks called today, saying it was time I went to the office and that I hadn't been there for three weeks. So I went - just for a joke."