And then I'm up at the beach with an old friend and get a call from my metalhead concert homie who's looking for something to do, and awesome hanging out ensues with him and a friend of his, who's strangely got the same love of stuff that I do, of Central Asian politics and big riffs and Italo Calvino and general historical geekery, so we have a lovely night of playing frisbee in the dark and walking on the beach and when it starts raining, we decamp to my place for sitting around the kitchen table talking until it gets late. We were talking about Uzbekistan and Syrian-Lebanese relations and Chechnya and lo and behold the next morning I'm reading about some Chechen kids and a big-ass manhunt. This whole police-statey thing weirds out my quasi-libertarian side of my brain, and it reminds me of those scenes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
One of my friends points out the plot similarities to a Die Hard movie and I'm thinking of Sacco and Vanzetti and what more perfect enemies than both Russkis (never mind that it's a different ethnicity) and Muslims combined into the same group. I don't know, my brain is trying to process all of this. I don't claim to make sense here.