Please go over here, folks, to see how my dislike of spammers made me way too paranoid. This is too funny.
It’s really funny to get messages from Netflix begging one pathetically to “Come home to Netflix.”
Sorry, Netflix. It was good while it lasted but now Kindle Fire has killed you for good. I just watched the entire first season of a British show called Keeping Up Appearances that is so much about my family, it’s scary. I started watching it in the bedroom, continued in the bath-tub, and finished in the kitchen as I was making dinner. And it cost me exactly $0.00.
Don’t be lonely, though, dear Netflix. I sent cable television to the same sad place where you find yourself right now.
This is what I mean when I talk about the rapid changes in technology. I remember how quite a short time ago Netflix was a really big deal. Now it’s all but dead. And it took less than 10 years for the company to rise and to fall. You’ll think I’m saying this just to prove a point, but I swear on my Kindle Fire that right now I’m wearing gaucho pants that I bought before I first subscribed to Netflix.
I have a feeling that I’m not making myself clear on the subject of the so-called Soviet economy. So let me put it this way:
The lifestyle I, the daughter of a linguist and a school teacher and a grand-daughter of a famous doctor, a corporate lawyer, a school-teacher, and a World War II veteran, enjoyed while growing up in the Soviet Union is the kind of lifestyle that a kid has today in the US if her mother is a drug-addicted prostitute and her father is a convicted criminal who hasn’t seen the outside of a jail in a decade.
My parents only had 2 kids, didn’t drink or smoke, and worked all day and well into the night to the point where we barely saw them. And the result of all that industry was that I saw a piece of cheese maybe once a year if I was lucky, only wore hand-downs, and couldn’t visit my friends’ birthday parties in winter because – other than my school uniform – I had no clothes to wear outside. My cousins (both boys and girls) had to wear my and my sister’s used underwear. Where my underwear came from is also a very interesting question. That’s how we lived. And that’s just a small part of it.
The children of the party apparatchiks, decked in diamonds and furs and lighting cigarettes with a bill that represented my father’s entire monthly salary, lived differently, of course.
But yes, we all had security. We could all be completely secure in the idea that, as long as the USSR persisted, every generation of us, lowly doctors, teachers, academics, lawyers, etc., would live exactly the same abject lifestyle where the greatest achievement you could hope for was to wrestle a piece of butter from the hands of equally desperate and pathetic individuals beating each other up in stores over basic food-stuffs.
Is it a little clearer now why steam starts coming out of my ears whenever anybody says anything even remotely positive about the Soviet Union?
Do I remember correctly that somebody was huffing and puffing on this very blog about how The Guardian is not a tabloid? Today, I have definitive proof for you that it is. Let me give you a little quote from this nasty rag, after which we can hopefully put the matter to rest:
Havel’s anti-communist critique contained little if any acknowledgement of the positive achievements of the regimes of eastern Europe in the fields of employment, welfare provision, education and women’s rights. Or the fact that communism, for all its faults, was still a system which put the economic needs of the majority first.
OK? Is that enough for you? Welfare, education, and women’s rights in Eastern Europe. Those existed in the Communist regimes just as much as the Yeti, the flying saucers, and the hobbits exist everywhere else in the world. A newspaper that discusses the Yeti and / or the women’s rights in Communist regimes of Eastern Europe is a tabloid, wouldn’t you agree?
As for the Eastern European Communism “which put the economic needs of the majority first”, I hope that a group of Communist party apparatchiks will roast the nuts of the lying sack of garbage who wrote this vicious lie for all eternity in hell where he undoubtedly will end up. Does this jerkazoid realize that there are millions of people living in the world right now who actually experienced the Communist care about “the economic needs of the majority” on their own skins? How dare he despise us so much as to publish these vicious, cruel lies?
And I’m not even starting on the morality of publishing a collection of insulting prevarications about somebody on the day they die. Like this super enlightening piece of garbage that passes for an article in The Guardian couldn’t have waited for a couple of weeks.
I hope that after this, at least, people will stop quoting this vile rag on my blog as a source of information about anything.
Reader Jodi kind of beat me to it but I still want to discuss my hypothesis as to why fashion, pop music, hair-styles, etc. seem frozen in time and have been this way for the past 20 years.
There is one area of our lives that has been changing extremely rapidly. And that, of course, is technology. I look at the cell phone I used in 2010, and it looks completely outdated and very primitive. Just a little over a year ago, however, that phone was the pinnacle of complexity and sophistication. My first Kindle that I bought in 2008, looked like a miracle to me. By the side of the recently released Kindle Fire tablet, however, it is clunky and almost prehistoric. 🙂 Just 10 years ago, could anybody have imagined the ubiquity of tablets that we experience today? Just 20 years ago, did anybody who is not an author of science fiction envision this permanent sense of connectedness to the world that technology allows us to have today?
We have seen the rise and the death of Blockbuster, then Netflix. I have no doubt that we will all live to see the death of television just like we have witnessed the demise of land-lines and public phones. I still remember the time when you always needed to have a quarter on you to make a call from a public phone in case of an emergency. And it wasn’t all that many years ago. I’m talking about 2000-2001. Something tells me my niece Klubnikis will need to be taken to a museum to see what a payphone and a TV-set even are. Gosh, I’m so ancient I remember rotary phones. And does anybody want a bet that there are people reading this blog right now who have never used a rotary phone? I’m sure there are some who had to Google it.
Technology changes so fast that we need to expend a lot of energy to adapt to it. Against the background of constantly changing computers, tablets, apps, cell phones, websites, plugins, gadgets, etc., a relative stability in other areas of our lives allows us to compensate for the trauma of such rapid and constant transformations. Since the technological innovation doesn’t seem to slow down even a little, it seems like we are doomed to the same boring clothes and hairdos for a while longer.