The Week: 30th April – 6th May

Blue Sky Autumn Sunshine Canberra Australia 24 Degrees Sonya Heaney Eucalyptus Tree Gum Tree 1st May 2018 Garden Nature

Still looking beautiful in Canberra, even though it’s the last month of autumn!

My review of A Devil of a Duke (Decadent Dukes Society #2) by Madeline Hunter

A Devil of a Duke (2018) (The second book in the Decadent Dukes Society series) A novel by Madeline Hunter

My review of Baby on Her Doorstep by Rhonda Gibson

Baby on Her Doorstep by Rhonda Gibson

Release Day for Mary Balogh

Someone to Care (Westcott Family #4) by Mary Balogh

Tribeca Film Festival Gives Russian Propaganda Film Major Award

Make Tribeca Film Festival Deprive Anti-Ukrainian Movie Of The Award Phone Duty Russian Propaganda Movie

Fund in Honour of Miranda Neville

Miranda Neville Frances Mallary Historical Romance

Release Day for How I Resist: Activism and Hope for the Next Generation

How I Resist Activism and Hope for the Next Generation

Tribeca Film Festival Gives Russian Propaganda Film Major Award

Make Tribeca Film Festival Deprive Anti-Ukrainian Movie Of The Award Phone Duty Russian Propaganda Movie

Deprive Propaganda Movie of Award

Nothing to do with books, but I want to share a petition. ^^^^

I know, everyone’s signing a million petitions on Change.org these days. However, if you wouldn’t mind signing this one…

Any art form comes with responsibility. Promoting propaganda just because you thought the cinematography or script were good is dangerous. It’s appalling. That America will reward and promote Russian propaganda against Ukraine when their own democracy has been so badly damaged by the same thing is incomprehensible. Many thousands of Ukrainians are dead and dying, but the Tribeca folks care more about “art”.

Remember that people were more interested in Leni Riefenstahl’s filmmaking skills than they were in the fact she was making propaganda films for Hitler? It’s not okay.

This movie is anti-Ukrainian, and floats the theory all of Ukraine should be invaded and occupied by Russia.

Sorry, pretentious, arty – ignorant! – film people, but you don’t deserve a pass on this one.

I’m just going to leave this here…

'On brand' Helen Dale accused of plagiarising tweets

‘On brand’ Helen Dale accused of plagiarising tweets

My scheduled book review has been moved to tomorrow, because I want to share this story!

A couple of decades ago, a woman masquerading as a Ukrainian published a book that became an overnight sensation, a multi-award-winning book that allegedly was a mostly-true story about Ukraine in the Second World War, based on “her family history”.

It was all fake. The woman’s family is 100% British, and her parading around in traditional Ukrainian dress, with a fake Ukrainian name, was such an offensive, gross appropriation of a culture.

Her real – non-Ukrainian – name was eventually revealed to the press, and her lies about all Ukrainians being Nazis crumbled around her.

However, a lot of damage was already done (I tried to discuss this at university a few years later, and got attacked by a know-it-all Anglo-Australian man who’d done his thesis on this particular book – and believed every word of it). The Kremlin has been running that particular Nazi propaganda line since WW2 began.

For the record: Unlike many of its neighbours, Ukraine NEVER collaborated with Nazi Germany.

My grandmother was taken by the Nazis in their invasion of Ukraine in Operation Barbarossa in 1941. She was taken to Germany, stripped naked, hosed down, and literally sold on a slave market. She was a teenager at the time, and ended up trapped in Germany for eight years.

My grandfather – a resistance fighter against both Russia AND Germany – was finally captured by the Nazis in 1944, beaten badly, and put on a train to a concentration camp. He and a friend managed to escape, and spent the rest of the war in hiding in record-low temperatures. His health issues from that time killed him early. I never met him.

Because America dominates the media, everyone (especially younger people who live on sites like Tumblr) see cultural and race relations *only* as how they relate to the United States. This is dangerous – and WRONG. Every part of the world has different, specific issues.

Everyone forgets the hate crimes being committed against Eastern Europeans on a daily basis in Britain (one of the main reasons for Brexit was to keep us out!). The ethnic cleansing in Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine happening *right now*. The Holodomor. The way my non-Ukrainian relatives still refer to us by the racial slur “wogs” (I was told recently that “wogs” shouldn’t be allowed to finish school, because we might bring the scores down!).

I’m glad this horrendous author is in trouble for something else. If she’d slandered another ethnic group the way she’d slandered Ukrainians, she’d be hated a great deal more than she is.

To Australians (and everyone else!): what not to do this weekend.

Oliver Stone illegally hanging out with one of the world’s most wanted men.

Please don’t watch Oliver Stone’s pro-Putin propaganda “documentary” that is starting in Australia this weekend (and I believe is on about the same time in other countries). Please just don’t.

It is no different to watching and supporting a film praising Hitler.

And, for the love of God, don’t become one of those authors who watches the well-crafted lies, gets all turned around, and recommends Stone’s propaganda to their substantial fanbase on Facebook!!

Stone is a Western mouthpiece for the Kremlin, and has close family connections to Moscow propaganda network “RT News” – previously known as Russia Today, but they don’t want you to remember that.

(By the way, it’d be nice if authors stopped sharing RT stories on Twitter and Facebook – just because it’s in English and comes up on top of search results doesn’t mean it’s safe, or *true*.).

RT is already illegal in some countries because it spreads dangerous lies.

There’s heaps to do on a Sunday. But watching this nonsense about Putin should not be one of them. It’s immoral, and SBS TV – allegedly Australia’s champion for truth and justice and human rights – should be ashamed for allowing it on their station. Despite years of campaigning by the Ukrainian community, they also refuse to remove RT News – with its endless fake news stories about Ukrainians crucifying Russian babies and flying swastikas in the streets – from their network.

Read a book. Have a glass of wine or four. SLEEP!! But please have some morals this weekend and boycott SBS.

A note on something that happened last week.

How (Not To) Cover Lies

I was going to post a long explanation of why I was horrified by an author’s Facebook rave about a movie last week, and said something I probably shouldn’t have, but instead I’ll make it short(ish):

#1 Hollywood director Oliver Stone is one of the most prominent Western propagandists for Russia.

#2 He considers Vladimir Putin a friend (in fact his next movie is a propaganda piece praising Putin; he interviewed him personally for it). If people liked and believed his Edward Snowden “biopic”, what’s to say they won’t like and believe the Putin one, too?

#3 He talks to right-wing English-language tabloids, spreading blatant Kremlin-approved lies about things like the war in Ukraine.

Oliver Stone Interviews Yanukovych

^^^^

Oliver Stone interviews the deposed pro-Russian president of Ukraine for a propaganda piece about the revolution that resulted in Putin’s invasion. Viktor Yanukovych is wanted worldwide for crimes such as killing his own people in 2014. He is now in hiding in Russia, but Putin gave Stone access to him.

#4 Which means paying to support, and watching, enjoying, and then recommending his films to thousands of your readers is more dangerous than you might realise.

#5 After 2016, when English-language, Kremlin-generated propaganda achieved appalling, damaging things, like delivering Trump to power, this is not a time for being ignorant.

#6 Which is why I became very angry with a very popular romance author on Friday night after seeing her singing the praises of an Oliver Stone film, made to put subtle and not-so subtle ideas in Westerners’ heads about Edward Snowden, the United States, and Russia. I totally lost it when she concluded Snowden was a hero of our time – exactly what the Russians want you to think.

This is not an era where anyone can afford to take “documentaries” or “biopics” at face value (e.g. the day after Ukraine’s new president was elected, a Kremlin-produced “documentary” was released, calling him a Nazi). The past four years have been dangerous enough and thousands of people have already died because of it – they might not be American, and so they rarely make the news, but their lives aren’t worth less. Authors with a massive fanbase and a great deal of influence have a responsibility to be smarter that that.