So The Guardian’s Shaun Walker, a founder of the Facebook group DILLWATCH, finally came out with a public statement on his personal crusade against dill. I have personally witnessed his struggle against the weed and render honor to him for his heroism.
Now for people who aren’t morons, this was obviously a lighthearted, humorous article attempting to deal with a non-political aspect of Russia. I actually miss this- there was a time when you could write articles about life in Russia and it wasn’t inherently political. Of course that time is long gone, because you’re going to get flak from Team Russia or Team…uh…West if you write about absolutely anything that happens or exists in Russia. Think I’m exaggerating? Look at the response Walker’s article got:
Of course they’d do that, Shaun. Of course they would. If you’re ever dealing with the vatniest of vatniks and wonder if anything could possibly rival them, look no further than a diaspora “Ukrainian,” more accurately known as a Canadian or American whose great grandfather was born in Ukraine(or Poland, or Russia). And when you look at Ukraine and see radical nationalists and asshole revisionists like V’yatrovych and his ilk, just remember that this whole movement owes its existence to the diaspora. They brought their poison into Ukraine. But give them credit for one thing- at least those diaspora Ukrainians actually went to Ukraine and speak Ukrainian.
One might ask if it’s fair to tar all diaspora Ukrainians with that brush. My answer is no, probably not, but the truth is that having Ukrainian heritage and being a diaspora Ukrainian isn’t necessarily the same thing. A diaspora Ukrainian is a believer in myths and fairy tales, which must be imposed on all Ukrainians lest they cease to be Ukrainian. They turn Ukrainian heritage into a political ideology or even a religion. We’re all supposed to bow down to “heroes” whose movements never garnered more than a tiny fraction of Ukrainians, while we are to ignore their atrocities against Jews, Poles, and other Ukrainians.
My Slavic heritage is either Ukrainian or Polish, or even both. I know this can never be proved 100%, so I claim both and say I’m Ukrainian by choice, something which ought to be a bit admirable. On the other hand, I’m American, which is why I was never raised in any religion native to Ukraine, and I follow no religion at all. It’s why as a young man I was able to get interested in Russian culture as opposed to automatically taking a side in a historic but unproductive rivalry. People say America has no national identity, but when you learn enough about history and see more of the world you understand why this is actually an advantage. It’s only Americans that obsess and lament over this because they don’t know how much being raised under a national identity or strict religious system sucks. In short, my heritage is mixed and varied, but I’m glad my worldview doesn’t have to be bound to any of it. This is especially true considering that I definitely have both English and Irish heritage on the other side.
Regardless of my true heritage, I would venture to say that linguistically, culturally, and practically, I’m far more Ukrainian in a concrete sense than hundreds if not thousands of diaspora “Ukrainians.” The fact that I’ve actually set foot in Ukraine (five times, soon to be six) already knocks plenty of them out of the running. That I can communicate in Ukrainian or Russian, which is commonly used by much of Ukraine and understood by nearly all its population, is another point in my favor.
I’m not gloating over those poor diaspora Ukrainians who live Ukraine vicariously. I’m pleading with them to be Canadian or American. Take a more objective view of Ukraine and a more realistic view toward your own heritage. When you seriously claim that the OUN didn’t kill Poles or have anything to do with mass killing and torture of Jews, you sound like a vatnik claiming that not a single German woman was raped during the push towards Berlin, or that everybody who was ever arrested or shot in the 30’s totally had it coming.
When you attack journalists for being balanced and criticizing the Ukrainian government or doubting some of the wilder claims of the SBU or Ukrainian press, don’t accuse them of being Kremlin agents. You don’t sound any different from a vatnik shouting “GOSDEP! FIFTH COLUMNIST!” You’re an embarrassment to Ukraine.
Also, acknowledge the fact that dill is the Hitler of herbs.