The Military Wins Again

To pass the time during this pandemic I found myself reading the diary of Virginia Woolf, and was struck by the panic and fear she expressed in 1940. The Nazis had begun their bombing raids in and around London, and she was panicked that her home and neighborhood could be bombed any day. Her fear ultimately contributed to her decision to commit suicide, because she could no longer tolerate the anxiety.

At the same time I am watching the news reports of the imminent invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and am shocked at the amount of money thrown at the U.S. military to prepare to assist the Ukrainian military. In the blink of an eye, hundreds of millions of dollars have been designated to be squandered on the threat of war, when American hospitals don't have enough funds to support staff and facilities in the fight against COVID-19. Our economy and security as a nation are being controlled by Vladimir Putin's whims.

The threat of this invasion of Ukraine has dominated the news cycle for weeks. I wouldn't go so far as to call myself a pacifist, but I have absolutely no interest in war. I watch male news commentators get so excited speculating on what might happen and how soon, and am bored to tears.

Then there is the news of the U.S. Navy Stealth Fighter jet crashing and ending up in the bottom of the ocean. A piece of equipment costing one hundred million dollars, lost! And now the navy is panicked that China will try to collect the wreckage and steal the technology. Are you kidding me?! One hundred million dollars for one jet??!! That money could have gone toward feeding and housing the impoverished. But no. One hundred millions dollars sitting at the bottom of the ocean, while people starve.

The weapons manufacturers are certainly not missing any meals. It is clear that our government is controlled by them and our lawmakers are owned by them.

I am an artist. I would like to see more news stories on the arts. I am also a black woman, and it is exciting to hear that I finally will be represented on the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, I'll keep changing the channel when I hear the words "Ukraine" or "Russia," and tune in to the European news channels that reliably report on the arts. Perhaps the lack of arts news in this country is contributing to our uncivilized behavior. Lord knows we could use some civility these days.

                           

Nina Kennedy is a concert pianist, orchestral conductor, and award-winning filmmaker. She holds a master’s degree from the Juilliard School. Her memoir, Practicing for Love, is a 2021 Lambda Literary Award Finalist. The sequel, Practice What You Preach, Is available at infemnity.com/shop.

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