From the Left



Shhhh! The Ukrainians Don't Know Yet

Marc Munroe Dion on

In Ukraine, war continues and begins to go unnoticed.

Note I wrote "Ukraine" and not "The Ukraine." The first indicates I went to college. The second indicates I may have gone from high school to Vietnam, all those decades ago. In America, where we say we have no class system, we define class membership with the things we say. This is because no one wears crowns anymore, but we still need to know who the peasants are.

The Ukrainians are, of course, still fighting and dying, still pushing forward their reenactment of the 300 Spartans. It's gonna make a great computer-generated movie someday, although there may not be many Ukrainians left to provide "authentic" voice-overs.

The Ukrainians have run straight into the impenetrable shield wall that is America's attention span, which is about as long as a cigarette butt. That's not the half-a-cigarette butt you find people with money sometimes throw away. Nah. The American attention span is more like the smoked-down-to-the-filter butt you find outside of a bar in a poor neighborhood.

And, as if our miserably short attention span wasn't enough, there's a war in Gaza, and it involves not just Arabs but Jews. How the hell can you expect Ukrainians Vs. Russians to get more pay-per-views than Arabs Vs. Jews? The first is the undercard. The second is the title bout, and you're a lot more familiar with the fighters involved.

The Ukrainians may have figured this out, or they have if their army has a Social Media Command, and it probably does. They see their TV minutes falling, their Facebook posts dwindling. They were neck-and-neck with Taylor Swift. Now they're in a dead heat with Billie Eilish and falling behind fast.

Sure, that's crude, but if a war can't sell to the big streaming services, it's going to end up on a podcast in Omaha.

The Ukrainians have just been fighting and dying too long. The Israelis are the new fighters and die-ers. The Russians and the Palestinians can die all they want and no one cares. The Russians have zero star quality. Palestinian death is attractive as a cause only to college students who got tired of waiting for the next BLM.


As America turns to its new parade of death, we brawl over who "belongs" in Israel as though we can unravel that ball of history in a slogan short enough to fit on a picket sign.

I'll give you one tip. Do not argue any kind of international issue with anyone who refers to any part of the world as "The Holy Land." Hippie-ish as it sounds, every inch of this world is holy, and the failure to recognize that is one reason why we keep butchering each other in ways that taught God how to cry.

As the Ukrainian war vanished behind the war in Gaza, the Ukrainians are going to watch us turn away. We have to. We're getting bored. We always get bored.

If the Ukrainians get anything out of us forgetting about them, it may be that the aid money will keep flowing because, once we're bored, it won't be worth arguing about anymore, and we'll forget to turn off the faucet. Joe Biden will get reelected, and he'll send the Ukrainians $10 trillion a week, and no one will notice. Remember welfare reform? It was a big deal for a while, and then we got bored, and then the welfare money started flowing again and no one cared. The "border wall" slipped into that land of forgetfulness a few months ago, as did the idea of NATO countries paying their "fair share," whatever that meant. Heard much about Confederate statues lately?

The world is a multiplex of disaster, and we're forever stumbling from theater to theater, catching a little bit of disaster on one screen and then drifting to the theater next door to see what they're showing.

It's not a good way to see history because it mixes it up in our heads, and we go home early with a headache, accidentally leaving our wallet behind in the theater.

To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion, and read features by Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Dion's latest book, a collection of his best columns, is called "Devil's Elbow: Dancing in the Ashes of America." It is available in paperback from, and for Nook, Kindle, and iBooks.




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