October 6th, 2022
Nobelist Annie Ernaux talks about her famous memoir…

… in this Shakespeare and Company Bookshop appearance.

The news.

“[The] world is made to be pounced on and enjoyed, and … there is absolutely no reason at all to hold back.”

Writes Ernaux. And I … naux what she means, and I pounce on what she says, and I agree etc etc. ETC.

Live out loud!

And yet … even as I delight in images of revolutionary Iranian girls and women hurling hijabs heavenward or incinerating them, and demanding freedom in a revolution they lead… I fear for them.

October 2nd, 2022
Hijab-Hatred and the Future of Women

“They[‘ve] had mass arrests in the past few days of journalists, and of people who they thought could potentially be leaders. They did that, but the protests haven’t been shut down. They couldn’t shut it down. In fact, it has become more widespread.

Nasrin Sotoudeh is a human-rights lawyer who has represented many of these women who, over the past ten years, have been sentenced to jail or summoned to court on the basis of not observing the compulsory hijab. She recently said this movement is leaderless and is only led by those women who are doing this one revolutionary act. And that revolutionary act is not carrying a weapon. They’re not armed. This is completely peaceful.

And the only thing that they’re doing is they’re harmlessly taking something off of their head and they’re walking in the streets of Iran. The figure of this revolution is the body of these women, these unveiled women who are walking in the streets without harming anyone. Without even chanting “death to the dictator” or saying anything harmful against anyone.

Their bodies have become the revolutionary figure of this movement. And this is unprecedented.”


Once you understand what the hijab – and its revolutionary repudiation – represents, the US/Euro feminist championing of the hijab as liberatory (“Hijab Means Power, Liberation, Beauty, and Resistance”) looks so perverted, mes petites.

We also see [in Iran] a change in gender-related norms and values. These are the concepts that refer to virtue and honor, and traditionally relate to the male protection of females virtues, and the female body.


And what of gender fluidity, little ones? Ain’t you a mite embarrassed, throwing your lot in with I. AM. WOMAN. SEE ME SHEATHE. ?…?

September 29th, 2022
‘Zan, Zendegi, Azadi’ in Kabul.

The chant is already all over Tehran, and you can hear it (Woman, Life, Freedom) in lots of other cities of the world these days, as the Iranian diaspora marches against theocracy.

I’ll admit I didn’t think the enslaved women of Afghanistan would have the guts to come out with it, but, inspired by the Iranian protesters, a small group of them just did. With bullets whirling about.

September 23rd, 2022
‘In one of her final interviews, published Sept. 10, [Hilary] Mantel was asked if she believed in an afterlife. She did, she told The Financial Times, although she couldn’t imagine how it might work. “However, the universe is not limited by what I can imagine,” she said.’

What a wonderful thing to say. What a wonderful way to put it.

August 18th, 2022
Via my Ukrainian Friend…

… Tetyana. A mural in Paris, by Nikita Kravtsov.

May 23rd, 2022




Never have I been so ashamed of my country as on February 24 this year…. Those who conceived this war want only one thing — to remain in power forever, to live in pompous tasteless palaces, sail on yachts comparable in tonnage and cost to the entire Russian navy, enjoying unlimited power and complete impunity.

Russia’s ex-representative to the UN in Geneva writes a Dear Vlad letter.

April 7th, 2022
“Judge Jackson, can you define…

.. first black woman on the United States Supreme Court?”


March 9th, 2022
UD’s old friend Tanja…

… a typically gallant Ukrainian, gives an interview (it’s in German). Ukraine, she points out, is a democratic shield. If that shield breaks, global democracy is under grave threat.

She lives and teaches in Germany; she and Mr UD for a number of years co-directed, in Ukraine, the European Summer Institute of Civic Studies.

March 4th, 2022
Tax season, Ukraine

Have you captured a Russian tank or armoured personnel carrier and are worried about how to declare it? Keep calm and continue to defend the motherland!” Ukraine’s National Agency for the Protection against Corruption (NAPC) said, according to the Ukraine arm of the Interfax news service.

The agency went on to explain there was “no need to declare the captured Russian tanks and other equipment, because the cost of this … does not exceed 100 living wages (UAH248,100) ($8,298).”

March 4th, 2022
A just-born lemur in the Kiev zoo has been named…


March 1st, 2022
United Nations Performs Lavrectomy

In stark contrast to the response Zelensky received from EU lawmakers, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was met with a cold shoulder at the United Nations.

Scores of diplomats walked out of two meetings at the UN in Geneva in which Lavrov was beamed in for a video statement.

Lavrov spoke by video to the Conference on Disarmament and the Human Rights Council, which he had planned to attend before the closure of airspace to Russian planes by several European countries prevented his travel to the Swiss city.

March 1st, 2022
Strong, clear, brave words from within the criminal state.

Prominent Russian theater directors have also left their posts in light of the war, including Yelena Kowalskaja, the long-standing director of Moscow’s Meyerhold Center: “The Meyerhold Center is a state theater and I will not work for the criminal Putin state,” she wrote in a statement.

February 28th, 2022
This is an email Mr UD just got, from a Ukrainian professor.

‘Dear Karol:

Many thanks for your care.

I am in central Ukraine at the moment. Getting here was very hard but it is not so bad compared to the situation in Kharkiv, where my mom is staying still.

I try to coordinate humanitarian aid supplies from Poltava to Kharkiv, where people are close to getting starved. Despite air strike alarms here I also try to provide the Western media with comments as well as instruct foreign people how they can escape. Also we try to provide assistance for those who drive from the East to the West.

If Kharkiv is occupied, I will go to Europe and will seek political asylum. At the moment I am here in my country and do my best to help people. Civilians and army are all together; every Ukrainian is my hero at the moment.

You can’t even imagine how strong civil society is.

Glory to Ukraine’

February 26th, 2022
Support Ukraine
February 26th, 2022
Support Ukraine.

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