Performance Anxiety

We’re in an age where performance is more important than politics and often that performance is based on pure lies. Putin is a master of this strategy. While the world lines up in opposition to his maniacal invasion of Ukraine, people inside Russia are bombarded with falsehoods. “On Rossiya 1 and Channel One – Russia’s two most popular channels, both state-controlled – Ukrainian forces are accused of war crimes in the Donbas region. The threat to civilians in Ukraine comes not from Russian forces, but from ‘Ukrainian nationalists’, says the Rossiya 1 presenter. ‘They use civilians as a human shield, deliberately positioning strike systems in residential areas and stepping up the shelling of cities in Donbas.'” From BBC: Watching the war on Russian TV – a whole different story. And a very informative piece from The New Yorker’s Masha Gessen. How Putin Wants Russians to See the War in Ukraine. “Even if his hold on power is precarious, he can still convince Russians that the whole world is conspiring against them.” In this version of the story, Russia’s looming economic collapse and international criticism can be manipulated to look like proof of Putin’s false reality.

Americans have been victims of a similar onslaught for five years. It’s what could lead Americans to breach their own Capitol in the name of patriotism. It’s what props up the big lie. It’s why Americans can hate each other more than they hate a deadly virus. It’s why millions of Americans somehow think that if Trump were still president, he’d be tougher on Putin. And like Putin’s military bombardment, this lie-bombardment has no respect for borders. At the UN today, Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya peddled Trump’s Big Lie, saying, “with the support of the United States, where the legitimately elected president of the country was overthrown.” Like I’ve been saying, It’s All Connected. (Update: This information is FALSE and was the result of a bad translation by Recount Media. They’ve issued a correction. I stand by the connections between Putin and Trump misinformation, but regret that I posted something wrong. Also, I am an investor in and a fan of Recount. We’ve all got to be much more careful.)

+ Here’s the latest from BBC and The Guardian.

Copied to Clipboard