Formative Experience from the USSR

When I was 12-13 years old, whenever I got any pocket money, I’d save it to buy chewing gum. Of course, it wasn’t sold in stores. One had to go to the underpass and but it from the “gypsies” who somehow had access to all kinds of tempting stuff: lipstick, Hungarian cigarettes, hair barrettes, sometimes even shoelaces.

I waa so desperate for the gum not because I liked it – I didn’t and still don’t – but because each hugely expensive piece (1 rouble, which would be something like $40 to me today) had a colorful insert with pictures of Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse. I had no idea what these characters meant and I was too old for cartoon animals anyway. The reason why I went without lunch for weeks to buy the gum was that the inserts were so colorful. I did not possess any other object that had such bright colors. 

Before seeing the gum, I had no idea such colors even existed. I was mesmerized. I could stare at those inserts for hours, trying to imagine what else could exist in the world that could be brightly colored. 

A couple of years later, we all started wearing these really horrible electric orange and electric green outfits that looked pathetic and that I wouldn’t be caught dead in today. But they were crazy popular back then for the same reason that I loved the gum inserts. They weren’t drab. 

So just imagine people who for generations experienced this kind of sensory deprivation and then suddenly saw a show like Santa Barbara. Of course, it was a huge deal. I still remember the names of all the show’s characters. And I’m normally so bad with names that I can’t remember a single one even from the mystery novel I read yesterday.

Progressive Neoliberalism

This is how Nancy Fraser describes progressive neoliberalism:

In its US form, progressive neoliberalism is an alliance of mainstream currents of new social movements (feminism, anti-racism, multiculturalism and LGBTQ rights) on the one side, and high-end ‘symbolic’ and service-based sectors of business (Wall Street, Silicon Valley and Hollywood) on the other. In this alliance, progressive forces are effectively joined with the forces of cognitive capitalism, especially financialization. However unwittingly, the former lend their charisma to the latter. Ideals like diversity and empowerment gloss policies that have devastated manufacturing and the middle-class livelihoods that were once available to those engaged in it.

This is precisely what I meant with the preceding post.

Charity Begins at a Rich Home

What’s really shocking about the charities that are cancelling events at Trump’s resort is that they were even considering wasting so much money on some ridiculous “Let’s feed the rich” activity. 

Whoever donated anything to them in the past must feel pretty stupid right now.

Thursday Link Encyclopedia

Disgusting, horrible people.

Fashion trends in mental illness diagnoses.

Oh, we loved this soap opera. But not even remotely for reasons this author suggests. The article is a great example of how one takes a true fact and misinterprets it completely.

It‘s always Asians who get caught in the middle of American civil war reenactments.

At this point, using the expression “white men” marks one as an unredeemable fool. And there are many fools. 

I’m stunned by the childishness of all these people who hide messages in resignation letters. I’m sure they think it’s some sort of a political action instead of an infantile prank with zero consequences.