A Schoolyard Story of Present Dystopia

A rant after the Russian invasion of Ukraine

I don’t know about you, but I am seriously pissed off, so if you are expecting my usual sci-fi-ish stuff, well, I must apologize, and very exceptionally, I kindly ask you to ignore this page and go somewhere more rozy.

But I doubt you are going anywhere.

You know how I know? There are many similarities between Fantasy and Science-Fiction lovers: the focus on escapist entertainment, world-building and sense of wonder to name a few. You tend to find them in the same library sections for a reason. BUT the reason I am venting today about real world crap is one of the key differences. Science Fiction is anchored to reality in a way that Fantasy is not. It takes reality, swallows it, twists it, squishes it, and turns it into something inspiring, awesome, bitter or, yeah, deadly (who doesn’t find dystopian stories eerily scary?).

And I bet that same drive, the fascination and fear we all share about the many ways humanity can screw up, is what has all of us sci-fi lovers anxiously refreshing the page of our favorite news feed.

Where to begin?

Hey, I don’t pretend to be a geopolitical expert. I am just a dude. But I’m venting, so cover your asses!

Why am I so mad? And with WHOM am I mad?

I live in this huge, diverse city that unfortunately has only one school. Now, this is not a public school. On the contrary, it is run exclusively via parents’ contributions. Each family is requested to pay as much as they can afford, Problem is, as you can imagine, that the school staff’s salaries depend very directly on the contributions of a few, very rich, parents. And you can imagine that their children get quite the special treatment.

One of them is a bully. Name’s Vlad.

One day, at pause, Vlad went to Georgina, an ex of him, and molested her. Of course, the other kids, including mine, immediately warned the adults, who tried to keep Vlad from the girl. But Vlad ignored the adults and, a knife on her neck, raped the poor girl in the middle of the playground.


I was! The staff considered what to do with Vlad, and they decided to do… nothing.

Getting mad already?

Then Vlad began to force some of his friends into an almost cult-like dependency. Some tried to escape his toxic influence, but that only made Vlad more determined. He extorted them, even used his parents to threaten their parents, until he raised to the top of the most vicious gang in the playground.

But this other girl, Ukkra – another ex, Vlad has obviously a problem letting go – kept refusing to sit next to him in class. One day, he decided to give her a lesson. He put a mask on, and, in plain sight, took her right arm, stretched it violently, and severed her hand with a machete. Yeah, it’s a rough school.

Guess what the witnessing kids, including mine, did? What else? They ran to the teachers, scared shitless, and told them what happened. But hey, when they arrived back to the playground, the mask was on Vlad’s feet. My kid and the others pointed at him, but after his vehement denial and violent outburst of outrage and threats, the teachers ended up trying to calm the him down and ask the rest of the kids to go back to class. They promised to investigate the incident, as if it needed investigation! Guess what they found out. Yep, nothing at all.

Getting mad already?

Well, now Vlad and his buddy Lukas are stabbing Ukkra to death in the middle of the playground. His gang is cheering on, and the rest of the kids, mine included, are being threatened with knives, were they to dare approach.

I wonder what Vlad will come up with tomorrow?

I would gladly take my kid off this school at once. Problem is, I can’t.

Neither can you. 

So, am I mad at Vlad, Lukas and the rest of his gang? That is without question. I am rabid. But I am also mad at the school staff, which are the ones supposed to keep our kids safe! Who is to say that my kid – or yours –  is not next? But they just don’t give a shit, that is the sad truth. As long as parents’ contributions keep coming in, our kids don’t matter.

Okay, that was all a bit too grim, I realize, so I would like to finish off with a positive note. Because there is hope, after all. Stuff is happening that I am astonished of witnessing in my lifetime. The school’s governing body seems to be finally pushing for the expulsion of Vlad and Lukas, even if that means losing their juicy contributions. The problem now is that nobody dares scorting them off-grounds. In the meantime they keep stabbing Ukkra over and over.

Please, please, for the love of everything you hold sacred, get rid of these killers, whatever it takes! The rest of us, we are the majority, we are on the right side of history, and we are stronger than those bullies and their gang of enablers – if we stick together.

In other words: Fuck Putin. Hard. Even if it hurts us.

End of vent.

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