August 12, 2009

The Bogeyman


Yeah, baby, Russia's still got it...

When it comes to bogeymen, China, Cuba, even North Korea can't hold a candle to old Mother Russia.

This week, as tempers flared and theatrical protests abounded around health care, a woman offered this irrational take on proposed reforms at a town hall meeting led by Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter:

"This is about the dismantling of this country," Katy Abram, 35, shouted at Mr. Specter, drawing one of the most prolonged rounds of applause. "We don't want this country to turn into Russia."

Meanwhile, back in Moscow, the Russian military has announced plans to upgrade its ABM capabilities by 2020, to ward off impending US attacks from space.

It is just me, or has it suddenly gotten colder in here...?

Note to Obama: Flip the protesters' argument. Health care reform is about making Americans safe from its enemies, about preserving the American way of life, about avoiding a freefall into the abyss of "just-like-Russian-ness"...

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Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

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Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
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Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

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Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

The Life Stories collection is a nice introduction to contemporary Russian fiction: many of the 19 authors featured here have won major Russian literary prizes and/or become bestsellers. These are life-affirming stories of love, family, hope, rebirth, mystery and imagination, masterfully translated by some of the best Russian-English translators working today. The selections reassert the power of Russian literature to affect readers of all cultures in profound and lasting ways. Best of all, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book are going to benefit Russian hospice—not-for-profit care for fellow human beings who are nearing the end of their own life stories.
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Moscow and Muscovites

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Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.

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