"Hoxha’s suspicions also extended beyond Albanian borders and the bunkers, which number 24 to every square kilometer, and were built in preparation for a multi-front war Hoxha expected from invading countries, East and West. Every citizen in Hoxha’s plan was a reservist. Twelve-year-olds were trained to fire rifles. The bunkers never saw action."And lucky for the Albanians they didn't; the fucking things look utterly useless from a military standpoint. Worse - small, poorly constructed, either isolated or bunched up these things would have been at best speed bumps and at worst pre-cast tombs for those rifle-firing twelve-year-olds. They don't appear to have been sited with any sort of actual intent to provide interlocking fields of fire or anything else of value; they're just there.
I paged through the slideshow and the thought that came to me was; I think we here in the United States underestimate the way that weirdly random fuckedupness dominates (or influences) the lives of a hell of a lot of people all over the rest of the world. And not the sort of things that we think of as "fucked up" around here: losing your job, getting sick, falling out of love, finding out your kid has gone over to the Dark Side of the Force.
No, I'm talking about REALLY bizarre, genuinely headscratchingly WTF?-sort of fucked up things. Your government forcing you to build a bunker in your gas station.
Some foreign oil company killing off the fish you catch and sell, or, worse, subtly poisoning them (or your water, or your air) so that you and your kids sicken and die. Some official in some quiet office hundreds of miles away making choices that suddenly take away your land, or your home, or your kid, or your husband. Pointless wars that suddenly descend on you for no reason you can imagine. Massive typhoons or earthquakes or tsunamis that devastate your life and leave you scrabbling just to survive because there's no one to help you; the lives of everyone around you are as broken as yours.
I yield to no one in my estimation of the messed-up nature of current U.S. society; we have far too many people making shortsighted choices that will make their and their children's lives harder based on idiotic trivia. But at least our commonest problems are, well, sort of sane. Comprehensible. More-or-less amenable to reason.
The bunkers remind us that out beyond our well-ordered lives, past the tidy subdivisions and strip malls are people in places where there is a madness that has become their sanity, a freakish randomness that is their everyday. And that that random madness is not the product of some malicious external Evil but the firing neurons of the human brain. Which within its bony shell contains things stranger than any bunker in Fushë-Krujë and as horrible as the bronze Dubya raised above it.
(h/t to Ed at Gin and Tacos for the link.)