Stupid meme time

Have you had a chat with your demons today? You have to dedicate them time you know.

(I’m on vacation so you’re going to get only stupid memes for a while. And maybe for a while later too as I’ll have to play piano for many hours to recuperate and I have to finish the second book and start editing the first for the 26th time or something like that and oh my god, did I say I was on vacation? XD)

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Somebody made a “Friends” inspired Chernobyl intro. Seriously.

I’ve never watched “Friends” in my whole life so I don’t get any potential references, yet I found it hilarious. Yes, we are all going to hell for this but I already had a one way ticket for it so why not get down there a legend?

No but seriously watch it. I mean it’s just. Oh my god. And Bryukhanov? Oh my god. And Toptunov lying his head against the pipes as if he’s in the middle of some love crisis? Oh my god. It gets funnier and funnier the more you watch it, trust me XºD

And do you know what this means? It means I AM NOT ALONE.

Chernobyl episode 3 review

Versione italiana qui.


With episode 3 the producers make me forgive them for all the imprecisions, all the errors, all the exaggerations. They give me what I’ve been wanting all the time – what YOU have been wanting all time, I mean come on, what are you watching Chernobyl for? – shutting up my remonstrances and making me jolly as a sandboy. No, it’s not the explosion of Number 4, not yet at least, but it’s just as good. It’s gore.

Oh, and there are dicks. Wait for it XD

THERE’S GOING TO BE PLENTY OF SPOILERS. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.
ALSO, IF YOU HAVE IN ANY WAY BEEN INVOLVED IN THE DISASTER OR SUFFERED BECAUSE OF IT, PLEASE GET OUT OF THIS BLOG NOW. NOW. I MEAN IT. I SAY IT OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE FEELINGS OF THOSE INVOLVED. I’M GOING TO MAKE FUN OF THE DISASTER. YES YES, I KNOW I’VE DONE IT ALREADY A THOUSAND TIMES, BUT THIS HUMOUR IS GOING TO BE DARKER THAN USUAL SO PLEASE GO AWAY. SERIOUSLY. NOW!

The efforts to contain the damage continue. The water in the tanks gets finally pumped out, Legasov loses his shit at Shcherbina because people are not being evacuated as much as he thinks necessary, a heat exchanger (liquid nitrogen) needs to be put under the concrete pad under the reactor to prevent the molten mass from burning through and reaching the ground water which flows into the river. The KGB wants to control the scientists to prevent them from speaking openly, while they try to understand what happened.

This is the so-called Elephant’s Foot. It’s solidified molten fuel plus concrete plus metal plus everything that it dragged with itself (this material is called corium). I think it’s very pretty.

And people die. A great part of this episode is dedicated to showing the effects of high doses of radiation, that is Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS), as we watch Lyudmila Ignatenko staying by her husband’s deathbed and Ulana Khomyuk interviewing the plant workers in an attempt to find out what really happened in the reactor. While we know that Khomyuk’s story is fake, Lyudmila’s is very real and very sad too, and it went pretty much how they show in the episode. First they tried stopping her from going to visit her husband, then they let her in telling her she had only 30 minutes, but she stayed nevertheless. All the time, very little information was given to her, and very little protection. It was cruel and it was a mess. She just watched her husband die, burnt and basically decaying because at that level of radiation your cells just die off. And to make matters worse she was pregnant too, and the radiations from her contaminated husband damaged the fetus so much that even though she carried the pregnancy to term the baby died very quickly after her birth. There are many sad stories about Chernobyl, but this has always been one I feel for particularly, maybe also because I’ve read actual interviews with Lyudmila (who, as far as I know, is still alive).

Meanwhile, Khomyuk, sent by Legasov, tries to get as many information as she can from the workers before they die. Dyatlov, who’s even more of an asshole now that he’s sick, refuses to talk to her. He will survive by the way because, as we say in Italian, people full of troubles die but motherfuckers never do. On the other hand Akimov and Toptunov – who will die – accept to collaborate, and that’s how Khomyuk comes to know that the pressing of the emergency shutdown button, which should’ve initiated the SCRAM (shutdown of the reactor), led instead to the explosion of the core. I’m super-duper happy that they got this right – I mean, you couldn’t get this wrong. You could’ve shown me all the gore in the world but I couldn’t have forgiven you if you had got this wrong – and that they mention it because it’s one of the most interesting things, physically speaking, about what happened there. It was the tipping point, the last cogwheel for the perfect disaster, the hidden fault, that teeny-tiny detail so deliciously wrong which everybody either overlooked or hid was unaware of, the cancer in the system.

Yeah right, what was I talking about? Ah yes, those guys. Well, Khomyuk’s research is also a very good pretext to show us their condition. While Akimov is not shown and we get to know only from Khomyuk’s words that “his face is gone” (not sure whether this is true, but he definitely was very burnt), this is how we are shown Toptunov.

… Well, he’s hot.

I am a bad person.

You’d maybe think they exaggerated it for how much it looks freaky but nope, ARS looks like that. These depictions are very realistic, maybe one of the most realistic things in the whole series, as you know if like me you’ve spent a considerable part of your time obsessively watching every possible documentary about Chernobyl, grabbing any possible document or report or book. Ah, I still remember the first proper documentary I saw about it. I was around 10 years old and had already been very interested in it for a while. Don’t ask me how I was into Chernobyl before I was 10, long story, but the point is I used to watch this documentary programme, Gaia il pianeta che vive (Gaia, the living planet) it was, and they spoke about pretty much anything and I liked it a lot. One evening, boom, I’ll be damned if there isn’t fucking Chernobyl on TV. I was transfixed, absolutely mind-blown; I stayed there glued to the screen as if I was receiving the divine enlightenment, like a good Child of Atom (you don’t play Fallout? Shame on you). You might think 10 years old is a bit early to watch a documentary about Chernobyl, which by the way was kind of graphic, but hey look at me, I watched it and I came out just fine. Hahahahaha. Haha. Ha.

And what about the dicks? Well, they needed miners to place the liquid nitrogen under the concrete pad. They had to go underground, reach the pad from below, dig out a big enough space and fill it with the heath exchanger. Problem was, it was very warm in there and the miners were suffering the heat. In the episode, they show the miners’ chief ask for fans – I really like his character by the way, he’s very cool – but he’s denied them as fans will put more radioactive dust in the air. I don’t know whether this about the fans is true and most of all I don’t know if what follows is true but long story short the miners just remove all of their clothes and resolve to work naked, and the producers don’t hesitate to show us booties and dicks. I think it’s totally gratuitous, as even though I’ve read around some claims that sometimes the miners were naked, what I believe is most likely is that they just worked shirtless. But you know what, even if it were just another imprecision, I am very pleased with it. It’s usually women who are shown naked or half naked at any occasion, in contexts that absolutely do not call for it, and this time for once it’s men. I’m a feminist, remember? This was a very nice change. Plus, it provided some very good humour. So hurray for Chernobyl now also with dicks.

Overall judgement

I loved this episode. It contained less bullshit than the previous one, it was spooky, it was funny, it was really sad and moving, it touched on some very interesting physics details. This might reach only people like me, who were already interested or knew something about it; I don’t know how entertaining it is for those who have no knowledge on the matter. Several times while watching this series I thought that it appears meant more for the enthusiasts than for laypeople, as they don’t bother too much with explaining shit. When Pretty Monster asked me «But why the lead?» I realized they hadn’t mentioned that lead is a good protection from radiation, neither had they explained why. I would anyway recommend it even for those who know nothing about it – just don’t take everything as true – as it’s really enjoyable and it can be a good initiation.

Criticism

I don’t have much criticism for this episode. Maybe at the beginning the exit of the three workers from the basement was again a bit overly dramatic, but it isn’t very important. And maybe there weren’t all those dicks around, but who cares.

Funny moments

  • Shcherbina at the phone with Gorbachev:
    «We’re recommending we install a heat exchanger under the pad to lower the core temperature and halt the meltdown. And in order to do that I’m told that we will need all of the liquid nitrogen in the Soviet Union.»
    « … Oh.»
    Gorbachev needs a hug.
  • Shcherbina and Legasov are told to go and see the miners. They stand flabbergasted as the chief walks toward them naked as his mother made him, his dick going boing boing boing at every step because, well, dicks go boing boing boing if you walk without pants around them. Legasov’s face is priceless. The miner stops in front of them and snarls: «We’re still wearing the fucking hats. What do you want?» Then he turns on his heels and boing boing boing back into the tunnel he goes.

Stay tuned for the review of episode 4.