Johan wrote this
@ 2023-05-09

A face arguing with a thick skull forever

An article came out recently, declaring the seven Swedes still playing in the Russian KHL “a shameful part of Swedish sports history.” I am in full agreement. This has to be the easiest moral choice in the world right now: you really shouldn’t be sportswashing an aggressive dictatorship currently engaged in a war of conquest, terror, and ethnic cleansing right on the border of your home country.

This is The Future, so the atrocities are well documented. If you want, you can quickly find videos of Russia firebombing residential districts, murdering women and children, castrating and beheading prisoners ‒ the list just goes on. They’re even bragging about it on camera. Every day there’s a new child-sized coffin being lowered into the earth as distraught grandparents try to come to grips with their lost future. It’s grim as hell. The Ukrainians are out there right now, fighting and dying for all of us, and we owe them everything.

So if you willingly take a big pile of Rubles to play for teams like the Red Army’s own you are scum. You really, really, really, suck. I have no compunctions about saying this. So Adam Reideborn, Robin Press, Fredrik Claesson, Jonas Jerebko and the rest: I hope your Swedish passports are revoked and ceremonially burned, I hope you get doors slammed in your face wherever you turn for the rest of your lives, and I hope fate somehow sends you to the front lines of Bakhmut.

Don’t read the comments

So “do I take a lot of money to look the other way while civilians are murdered, or not?” really is a no-brainer. But then I was linked to some Birdsite threads, I made the mistake of clicking, and what do you know: not everyone agrees. The official article tweet is full of useful idiots doing whataboutism about Iraq 2003. The deranged sister of one of these blood-stained hockey players is tweeting about “going your own way” and “not listening to the mob.” Sure, some of it could be Kremlin troll farm shit, but here’s the sad reality: in 2023 we can’t even agree that genocide is bad. Even when the war crimes are piped to you in more or less realtime, in 4K resolution. It’s absolutely maddening.

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face ‒ for ever.

1984 had its iconic quote and we’re still slowly getting there, tweet by tweet, bullet by bullet. But the zeitgeist right now is rather that of a face arguing with a thick skull ‒ for ever. These are people whose paycheck depends on them not understanding, these are people who refuse to understand out of spite, these are people who do understand but simply align with the forces of evil. We can keep talking at them, but we’ll never get through. The hard part is not letting it get you down. I read the comments, that was stupid, it made me angry, and that can lead to despair. We’ve known that since 2007 or so. The trick is to channel that anger into something good, rather than slumping back in your chair and deciding the world is irrevocably fucked. So I counted to ten, wrote this post, and donated some money to Power Up Ukraine.

There will always be assholes. The algorithms currently reward them, and make them seem powerful and plentiful. See them for what they are instead: pitiful, wrong, and far, far fewer than the rest of us. Let their existence strengthen your own resolve, and strive to make a difference. Your determination and your voice is needed now more than ever.