We must love one another or die…

I know dark times coming to Russia — really, really dark times….” — Zack the Russian 23rd September.

Zack the Russian 23rd September

“I have to get some sleep. I haven’t slept for, like, three days….”

More over the page break….

Just some of the Russian vlogs to 2.30 pm October 2nd our time

They have all been so active and I have encountered some interesting new ones, but first as a preface Vlad Vexler, Russian-born but living in London and Oxford-educated — a political philosopher offering some perspective.

Check the Konstantin Kisin Twitter thread Vlad commends. Kisin says: “I wish every single person in the West would listen to Putin’s speech. Obviously, that won’t happen so let me summarise as a professional translator for 10+ years. He states, as he has done from the outset, what his intentions and complaints are in the plainest terms possible.” You can see the whole speech in Zack’s vlog shared below.

Next thoughts on the vloggers and YouTube from Niki, who has now left Russia. I remarked: “Niki sums up why I so cherish vloggers like him, Roman, Zack and all the others I have been sharing — which I only do after careful evaluation of their various qualities and reliability. This is from the interview ‘Half Russian’ uploaded September 13.”

And speaking of laughter….

That is a long live vlog during which Zack translates and comments on Putin’s speech and the whole annexation “ceremony”. It is one of the best versions of this I have yet encountered!

A comment on YouTube: “What’s extraordinary is how Zack has maintained utter independence of thought, has lived in Russia just about all of his life and yet even before doing his semester abroad could recognize the propaganda, see through it, and maintain his mental balance. I’d like to understand better how he managed to do that.”

And my friend Rosemary on FB: “Zack’s in-depth and perceptive commentaries are so impressive. His articulate analysis of Putin and the utter devastation wreaked not only in Ukraine but on the lives of so many Russians is amazing for one so young. Even though he says towards the end of the vlog of his language that he’s f****d after listening to so much Putin bullshit, his disarming frankness, is so honest and direct. His unrestrained laughter when Putin and all his heavies clasped hands was lovely to watch.”

Roman the Russian is just brilliant and so real!

Most recent is Artyom from 1420 doing a vox pop on the streets of Moscow. I commented on FB: “Sad but not unexpected that so many believe the utter travesty of world history in the last several centuries peddled by Putin and even more sadly by some commentators in the West! It is an utterly twisted, tendentious and mendacious bastard child of legitimate postcolonial readings of the past. The explanation of why the US became involved in WW2 is absurd and totally without merit. Then there are bastardised versions of common American ultra-Riight memes and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about George Soros.

“Artyom (the interviewer as Daniil is now in Italy) surely does not believe any of it but keeps a surface neutrality to get people to talk. Brave of him to be walking around Moscow right now even asking such a question.”

On Daniil — update 8.30 am my time 3rd October

This has just appeared on his Instagram:

Concerning…. I am sure you worked out that *** = war and ***** = Putin!

Update 3rd October 2.30 pm

That post has been removed. Do keep in mind that Meta — who own Instagram and Facebook — is a proscribed “extremist organisation” in Russia.

Now Artyom’s 1420 post:

And I have not even touched the new vlogs I have seen lately, or the Ukraine ones! Later….

Two more between yesterday 2.30 pm and 7.00 am today

Nik has been vlogging from Russia for just two weeks.

20 minutes ago!

And Niki fornerly in St Petersburg but now in Istanbul was live just now telling his story.

A week ago I decided to leave Russia and start a new life somewhere else. In this video I share details behind that journey: the most expensive flight in my life so far, a new destination, and some other personal details.

Istanbul for now, Southeast Asia for a bit later – I’ll surely show you every single destination I go. Thank you for being with me…

Staying with the Wollongong Class of 1980, but monitoring those Russian and Ukrainian vloggers

Old age means I bailed out, as the previous post explains, but thanks to Facebook virtual participation is possible — even the next day. Their private group already yields many treasures with more to come I’m sure. For example from Gary P: “It’s 1:45am and the last men standing – Alex Deura, Michael Wilson, Wayne Stone. and I are bailing out. I’ve had such a lovely night – it’s been wonderful to see you all. Looking forward to the next reunion, whenever that may be.”

And some memories I share — and Rosemary my now FB friend and former colleague from those days no doubt.

Class and Market Day 1979 photos shared on FB by Paul Hope.

And Market Day 1979 — I was there!

Here is one I have shared before from 1976 — and yes I am smoking….

Reverse mufti day in the English Department

Meanwhile in Ukraine and Russia

And Wollongong-related, as it appears Smiths Hill High ex-student Misha Zelinsky is back in Kyiv:

The vloggers in Ukraine and Russia have been very very active in the last few days. I will select just a few in my next post. Here is just a taste, and as I write I see that Roman the Russian has just posted his take and already has in two hours had 96.000 views! But here are samples only:

So tonight Wollongong High School’s Class of 1980 have their 40th reunion at last!

It had been postponed twice because of Covid. Now they are turning 60 as I, who once taught them, am on the edge of 80. Two years back I planned to go, but now I have pulled out, leaving a message for them yesterday on their private Facebook group page.

40 year Reunion for those who were in Year 10 in 1978 and Year 12 in 1980. The original date was Saturday 3rd of October 2020.

This is my message, which of course is not private. 60 members have seen it as at 6.30 pm

Well, my old friends — I hope that is what we now are — old age catches up with me so I won’t be there. I will be there with you all in spirit and am sure it will be a great night. Had you stumbled into City Diggers during the day today (Friday) you would have seen this old teacher — and in fact I was talking about your reunion with a couple of people and conjuring up a few memories. One concerned Rex Cook and a rather hilarious school assembly. I will leave you all guessing about that one…

And this is the old bugger you might have found in Diggers today. I suspend myself upside down in a cupboard at night, you see….

I have posted Wollongong High related items quite a few times over the past ten years or so, attending the Class of 1983 Reunion back in 2013. The Class of 1980 are using the same venue tonight.

With Stewart Holt

And on this and the Class of 1980 see also: These reposts are prompted by renewed communication with Rosemary.

That really took me back. You see, at Wollongong High in 1975-1976 I was teaching [Year 8] Photography as well as English. You will observe the two top right copies of “The Gleam”, WHS’s magazine/yearbook. Those covers are my work I do believe. The insides too represented quite a departure from what had gone before. If I recall correctly we were gifted offset printing by Illawarra County Council, the local electricity authority at that time who had a new printery with not enough for it to do. The scope it gave us was marvellous. I do seem to recall playing a bit of a trick on the student editorial committee – the 1976 one, I think – by submitting anonymously some meaningless but trendy-sounding poems, which they published. I no longer have copies of these mags. I do now have a digital copy of 1980. Fascinating — as I indeed borrowed a couple of poems from it to publish in the very first Neos in 1981.

Now for the rest of my day yesterday.

And there was good conversation had at the Club with Adam and then Colin….

Storm season here — but much greater storms elsewhere, and Russian vloggers again

STOP PRESS 5.30 am 29th September: Niki has left Russia!

This is still being streamed live!

UPDATE: Live stream has ended. Niki is in Istanbul. “OMG apologies for super bad sound. What I left behind is my streaming-from-laptop setup. I’ll fix it. What started a story time, ended by random Q&A. I hope you found it interesting. THANK YOU for making this possible for me to leave at the most right time PS. I just texted my landlord and he said that THE SPIDER IS A SHE. She can’t be Boris. We should name her differently.” — Niki. A comment from a Vietnamese: “Good decision. My family made a big mistake not to leave VN on April 1975. We had lived through hell for 5 years and 3 months. Experienced multiple near death situations. Witnessed tons of horrific events….Glad to see you made it out early.”

But just now (7.45 am our time and 1.45 am in Tblisi) Zack. He adds to the target he must now have painted on his back by comparing Putin’s 21st September “partial mobilisation” speech with Goebbels in 1943 on total war!

My original post

That (about storms) is literally so of course what with hurricanes and typhoons… But The Gong had a persistent one for a few hours yesterday evening, though the rain in my immediate area was not outrageous and we jad no hail. Lots of thunder and lightning at times.

There are other kinds of storm of course — Iran for example, and of course Russia vs Ukraine and that brings me to the Russian vlogs again. Just two samples today, from yesterday’s posts on YouTube.

Niki — being in St Petersburg — is careful not to attract unwelcome attention, but his position in crystal clear on the subject of the “referendums”. His quotation marks!

Niki has quite a following:

So does 1420:

And two others I have often shared here:

Roman the Russian

And of course young Zack.

They and others have quite a reach, when you think about it. And they are invaluable given there is so much propaganda out there. Some of them have really reached out: Niki for example was a few months back interviewed on Irish TV, and Canadian News has featured Daniil from 1420.

They are of course also known to one another. Not long ago Niki came to Tbilisi and while there interviewed Roman. And as for Roman — the most flamboyant of them — he acknowledged Zack the Russian’s burning of his military papers beautifully.

Someone you know in that thread too….