Why are all the fun kid activities planned for the same weekend in this town? On September 22, we have a visit from Moana, on September 22-23 there’s a hot balloon festival, and on September 22-24 there’s an Art Fair. 

But there’s nothing at all in the weeks before and after. 


The Fragile Rich

Ahead of a talk from conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro at UC Berkeley, a letter has been sent by the university to students, faculty and staff, stating that counseling services will be made available to those who feel “threatened or harrassed” by certain speakers. “We are deeply concerned about the impact some speakers may have on individuals’ sense of safety and belonging,” the letter states.

And you are going to tell me this place hasn’t turned into a total joke? They haven’t been able to teach or produce any research in the past decade, so they hypercompensate with these childish tantrums. It’s their recruitment strategy. They no longer can attract good scholars, so they try to recruit students who aren’t looking to learn. They cater to the rich brats with an exaggerated sense of grievance against the world that fails to celebrate their magnificence as much as they want. 

Pickled Garlic

The farmer I tried to buy 2lbs of garlic from reacted as if I asked him to engage in unnatural sexual practiced with his tractor. Have people never heard of pickled garlic? This is rural Midwest, I thought people pickled garlic for fun. 

I did finally wrench my 2lbs of garlic from the farmer, by the way.

1932 Tourism

In 1932, Stalin was obsessed with getting money to fund the big war he was planning. As part of his money-making activities that year, he was not only starving 8,000,000 Ukrainians to death but also trying to attract Western tourists with posters like this one:

It looks like cars were allowed onto the Red Square back then but I don’t know if it’s true or part of poetic licence. Today they aren’t, of course. Neither are pedestrians unless there is a special dispensation. 

Tsar’s Box

One of the very few good things about Facebook is this group called “Soviet Art.” They never say anything, just share art from the Soviet era.

This is a painting by artist Ivan Vladimirov titled “Tsar’s Box at the Theater” (1918).

I’d love to know what they were watching.