“Believe nothing you hear, and only one half of that you see.” – Edgar Allan Poe.

I know, I know, it sounds a little nuts. More than a little nuts, actually. Truth be told, I felt a little “click-baity” writing the title, but this is a real story that needs to be told.

One of the more persistent rumors about Russia’s seven-month-long war with Ukraine is that it is fake. Look hard enough, and you’ll find conspiracy theorists that say there is no war, that all of what we see on TV is staged and all the money going to Ukraine is ending up in President Zelensky’s private bank account. Rumors like that were bound to happen (after all, there are still people out there who believe the world is flat), and there are small but vocal groups who won’t let the fake war story die.

USA Today recently ran a story discussing the video below when it was posted on Instagram. It’s since been pulled from that social media platform but is alive and well on Twitter and probably Facebook as well. When the video was posted on Instagram, the caption supposedly read, “So far the US has given $40B to the fake war. This is Kyiv, Ukraine yesterday. They’re now asking for another $13B.” 

Ok, I don’t know WTF that has to do with an 11-second video of young people dancing outside, but we are living in strange times. For all I know, that could have been filmed at Daytona Beach, a US club, or maybe it was filmed in Kyiv, but before the war. Or, and this is also a possibility, perhaps it was filmed recently in or around Kyiv. Ukraine is a large country, similar in size to Texas. Just because people are fighting in Dallas doesn’t mean folks aren’t going to party in El Paso.

The US fought a 20-year war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and parts of Africa and we are still in some places shooting bad guys in the face very quietly.  Americans didn’t don the black cloth of mourning for 20 years and suspend anything that was fun.  America went to the mall, partied, and celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, New Year, and Fourth of July.

While American service members were dying overseas. We had our own moral scolds also telling us we shouldn’t indulge in anything enjoyable while a war was going on, but these tend to be the same people who tell us not to enjoy Thanksgiving or Christmas because somebody, somewhere isn’t enjoying their own.