Every few days or so, a friend and I email back and forth, asking for good news. Occasionally, it’s utterly knock-it-out-of-the-park news — I finished this revision of my book — but more often the meaningful mundaneness of everyday life. A sunny afternoon, plans for a walk, a funny exchange at work.
After one long day, I recently dug down and wrote: we’re all still employed.
But I also forwarded my father’s email about Arkhipov Day.
Although Henry Ford might have once proclaimed that history is bunk, we live in the narrative of history, and continue to create history every day. And that might be a variation of good news, too.
Today, October 27, is Arkhipov Day. We should raise a glass, salute Vasili Arkhipov, and celebrate his obedience to humankind, not to the Nation-State. On this day, 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, World War III was averted by his refusal to accede to his two fellow Soviet submarine officers’ decision to fire a nuclear-tipped torpedo at the USS Randolph.
Peace and love,
P.S.: If anyone wishes to read or reread about Vasili Arkhipov, see The New Barbarians.