Sarah Kenzior on Kyiv and disaster porn in Politico:

“One could charitably see the apocalypsticle as dumbing up. At least the pictures were of the actual people in the conflict, instead of, say, characters from The Hills explaining Syria. Western websites were giving Ukrainian activists what they wanted: foreign media attention. “I am a native of Kyiv. I want you to know why thousands of people all over my country are on the streets,” a Ukrainian activist said in a typical video pleading for coverage.

Unfortunately, the answer to the activist’s question of “why” is ignored in a clickbait competition where a picture is worth zero words. The only “wh-“ word that matters is “whoa”: Look at the fire, the water, the bullets, the blood. Look, but do not listen. Look inward, at the movie you watched that looked like Ukraine, at the painting you saw that looked like Ukraine. Look at Ukraine without seeing Ukraine.”