Something Light from Ukraine

Netflix is streaming Servant of the People; we’ve been enjoying it.  A sit com juxtaposed with the daily news of death and destruction is trivial, but few cultural artifacts are more interesting than those that reveal what a nation laughs at, what it likes.   The series satirizes corrupt government but also reflects daily life and asserts values that attracted its public.

The charismatic Zelensky we see on the news has a touch of the honorable, naive history teacher he portrayed just a few years ago;  we’ve only seen the first few episodes, but the ghost we might most want to represent our own history – Abraham Lincoln – appears to advise him as he nervously goes over his inaugural speech.

Some of you may be (quite understandably) opposed to Netflix, but I’m not sure if this is streaming somewhere else. If anyone knows  of other outlets or where the second season or the film produced between the two is showing, please comment.

37 thoughts on “Something Light from Ukraine”

  1. like cantiflas, the famous mexican comedian and satirist, with a touch of mr smith, (he played the presumably french passeportout) in his big time out, around the world in eighty days) back in 1966,

  2. the American analog is mr smith goes to washington, which was capras more wide eyed take on things, in the 30s, after the war spencer tracy’s state of the union, revealed a darker perspective,

    the notion that one man can make a difference, seems a more difficult thing, to grasp in a country of oligarchs and commissars, of holomodors and holocausts, where fighters like petlura and bandera are often warlords, and driven into exile and killed,

  3. it’s the promise of the Tea Party, whose leader was shunted into the wilderness, many of those who pretended to follow their precepts, like niki haley, disdained the common sense of the people, here locally desantis, who was nearly killed by a bernie bros, egged on by durbin’s staff, has come closest to fulfilling the promise, in the Free State

  4. that having been said, there are some disquieting elements to this tableau, like the one who owned the tv station, that broadcasts the oligarch kolomoisky, who is more a mr potter character, he owned the largest bank, privat and the energy company that employed the wastrel son of our current puppet, the negative of everything the people’s choice entails,

  5. More hilarity from Mariupol. A dry Cargo ship: tried to run the blockade to get some unspecified people from the part where there are a few holdouts left.

    The ship conducted a radio exchange, transmitting messages “I am a Maniac, I am coming to you.” to people with signal fires on the shore. ;) It was shelled set on fire, and the crew surrendered to Russians in the area. ;)

  6. ah fingal, we were worried, we ‘thought your car had been hit by a water buffalo’ or whatever the local ruminant is over there,

  7. Update:

    1. The operational pause associated with the preparation of large-scale operations in Left-Bank Ukraine is coming to an end. On both sides, there is an active transfer of troops to the Kharkov-Izyum and Zaporozhye directions.

    2. Nikolaev-Kherson. Fights of local importance. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are not yet conducting active offensive operations here. The Armed Forces of Ukraine near Nikolaev cannot attack because of losses, so they are trying to show activity south of Nikopol and Krivoy Rog.

    3. Odessa. No significant changes. There are no landings, there are no offensives from the PMR either.

    4. Zaporozhye. Vasilyevka-Orekhov-Gulyaipole. Without changes. The front does not move. To the east of Gulyaipole, there are some battles for individual villages, no serious progress is expected here before the start of the battle for Donbass.

    5. Mariupol. Cleaning up the remnants of the enemy forces in the areas adjacent to Azovstal. The port area will be cleared soon. Azovstal and Azovmash will remain.

    6. Carbon. So far, it has not been possible to break through the enemy defenses on the Novomikhailovka-Velikaya Novoselka line.

    7. Marinka. Gnawing fortifications.

    8. Avdiivka. Without changes. To the north of it, fighting near Novobakhmutovka, Novoselka-2, near Troitsky, on the outskirts of New York.

    9. LPR. Fighting on the southern outskirts of Rubizhne. Street fighting in Popasnaya (slow progress here). Severodonetsk. Fighting on the outskirts of the city.

    10. Kharkiv-Izyum. Fighting north of Kharkov. The accumulation of forces on the bridgehead on the southern bank of the Donets in the interests of the upcoming operations to liberate the Slavic-Kramatorsk agglomeration and Barvenkovo.

  8. As well there was a statement yesterday to the effect, that after the Russian forces defeat the Ukrainian forces, they will then go on to defeat the forces that NATO is assembling in the east of Ukraine.

  9. Fighting on the outskirts of New York; NATO forces assembling in the east of Ukraine!

    Right under the noses of the Russians, in the middle of a war . . .

    Is there anything NATO can’t do?

  10. “Is there anything NATO can’t do?”

    It can’t hang on to Ukraine for the US. The CIA is willing to fight to the last Ukrainian, and then pour in more forces to continue the fight. This is simply Russia saying “Make My Day” ;)

  11. Not at all. They have said they are going to defeat Ukraine, and then they will defeat anything the west can put together and feed into western Ukraine.

    They are basically saying that not only will they achieve their objective, the defeat of Ukrainian armed forces, but are also happy to attrit and defeat anything the west feeds into the conflict.

  12. Attrition is a two way street. But, with NATO “assembling forces” in both the east and west of the Ukraine, purple unicorns are rallying to attrit the Russian remnants.


  13. You can’t attritt without logistics.

    But it has to be admitted that the Russians have attritted far more apartment buildings and homes than the Ukes have.

  14. And, Cousin, don’t forget, far more hospitals, grocery stores, women, children, elderly.

    It’s not like, doncha know, they did not announce that intention. More than a few times. res ips locutor.

    Meanwhile, the law of unintended consequences strikes. Socialism at war has ended up wrecking havoc on = attritting much of their own industry.

  15. I played have many war games in my time. I love attrition, as done well it will win wars for you. Now my pieces were not real so my love of just making the board simpler by killing off most of it, would require more chutzpah than I really have. ;)

  16. Wargames, eh? I’ve helped design and develop them (and still work on rules for historical gaming–nothing modern post WWII though). Hell, there’s a Squad Leader ™ German leader counter named for me (strictly based on my German surname).

    One of my wargaming friends is a retired army colonel who spent a while in TRADOC working on games and simulations, and was asked by the Georgian government if he wanted to work with them in a similar role after he retired. He visited and declined the offer.

    That said, even the most ‘realistic and accurate’ simulation of war is as realistic and accurate as a Currier and Ives Civil War battle print.

  17. I was exploring archetypes in the political system here and there, zelensky is rare in that you have more often the warlord type in petlura and later bandera, or the muzhik (ward boss) that has dominated politics over there, he’s more like an a figure out of jules verne, rather than that
    land which has been steeped in blood,

  18. “Squad Leader ™ German leader counter named for me”

    Cool. Is that like Tobruk, rather too much detail? I played mostly Panzer Blitz and Panzer Leader and most of that was Blitz. I had a couple of good friends who were into it, and we played those games to bits.

    The best though, if you could find 5 people, was Diplomacy an absolutely brutal game, as it was so real. AKA Stab thy Ally. ;)

  19. Squad Leader is very low level tactical stuff. I was an early playtester and commenter but after the first expansion kit it got too tanky for me, and I haven’t kept up.

    My friends and brother played almost all the Avalon Hill titles, then SPI etc etc Diplomacy definitely included.

    All board and counter or miniatures stuff. Never played a computer game, though my best friends do.

    You want to know what’s chilling? A nerdy hobby like wargaming would have been considered subversive in the USSR . . . and I’m not so sure about Putinia.

  20. Its very hard to say, but I’d guess Putin would be happy with people playing war games. ;)

    I have played a lot of computer games, but I play FPS and RPG games on my computer. I was once pretty good and could stay in the game at quite high levels of PvP, Person verses Person or deathmatch if you prefer.

    It was my daughter that blew us all away though. My son and I were good enough to play near the top. She is natural and took to PvP like a duck to water. She played right at the top almost right away, and developed new ways of playing, that became very popular. In Quake 3, one of the best of these games, if you kill someone with a fist, the gaunlet, you got a huge fruity voice saying HUMILIATION! So she developed ways of reducing the health of groups of players, then running in and fisting them all to death, and the HUMILIATION just rang and rang. Whole games of very good players would just switch to her style of play when she did this to them. My Lucretzia was almost famous for a while.

    Now being old and slow, I mostly play RPGs and cheese is my main tactic. The silliest way is the best way, in an RPG. ;)

  21. The 36th Marine Brigade in Mariupol has surrendered. That’s around 1000 people and they are not in good shape. This really finishes that operation, although the mystery people are still holding out, at the end of the Steel Mill. ;)

  22. Yeah, that was a good one. I imagine American Special Forces, of which there are quite a few in that area, probably had something to do with this. Still, live an learn, rather, die and learn, its different in war.

    Russian MOD kill count: 26,300 Ukrainian forces killed. More than many will believe no doubt. ;)

  23. fingal, you would do better to state whether you are accomplishing your strategic goal, securing a land bridge from the east, the kiev offensive was dangerous vanity this is why it wasn’t attempted in 2014, the kherson breakout has been moderately more successful

  24. Its not what you meant, but there are Growlers in international airspace there, and I imagine it was a combination of Special Forces in the Odessa area and Growler EW, that took out that ship.

  25. It appears that the last of the fighters left in Mariupol, are pretty well all mercenaries. Some 400 or so British, Canadian and some others. This may explain the frenzied attempts to extract them. ;)

  26. as if we didn’t know about contraktiki, often excons, and outfits like wagner, like henry 1v said, about agincourt ‘we happy few’

  27. Yeah, everyone has mercs now. You have a point?

    They will either surrender with attendant terrible publicity, or be killed with the bodies being the terrible publicity. I doubt the Russians will risk much on these people, just flatten the place, like America does ;)

  28. Looks like “Special Military Operation” mark two is kicking off tonight.

    This could finally be it for the Marinka village slag heap.

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