Kids’ Play

Klara and I are playing that she’s a little unicorn and I’m an evil witch who stole her and is pretending to be her mommy.

“You are a bad mommy!” she exclaims. “You don’t take good care of me and you always call me names!”

“Yes, I’m a bad mommy,” I hiss. “I enjoy mistreating you!”

Then I turn around and discover a group of strangers staring at me with shocked and disgusted faces.

Being a parent is an exercise in constant humiliation.

Vegan and Woke

When vegan neurosis meets woke neurosis, a lot of craziness happens:

When Afia Amoako became a vegan five years ago, she said she didn’t see herself reflected in the community, which was dominated by wealthy white women.

They often touted recipes—”African peanut stew” or “Asian stir fry”—that rely on racial stereotypes, said Amoako.

“One, they don’t look like you, and, two, they are appropriating your food. Those are ways to turn racialized people away.”

Another Reason to Hate USSR

My daughter got her first tooth filling yesterday. Dang genes, I spent my whole childhood at the dentist’s and I detested sweets. My great-grandfather would try to tempt me with all kinds of sweet treats but I had zero interest. I survived on gigantic quantities of apples. Still, my teeth were atrocious.

In any case, looking at how an American pediatric dentist (a specialization that didn’t exist in the USSR) works made me hate the Soviet Union even more. Klara loved the visit so much, she’s asking when we can go again. My argument that it’s important to brush teeth to avoid cavities has lost its potency. She now thinks cavities are great.

The dentist warned me not to prepare her and not talk about it at all. “Let us do our jobs,” he said. “We know what we are doing.”

And they really do. There was no pain, no tears, everything was scripted as a game, the dentist explained everything, showed her exactly what was going to happen. Plus, there was a TV with cartoons in the ceiling. My child is screen-deprived, so the second she sees one, she’s glued to it and forgets everything else.

In the USSR, I had a dentist who hit me in the face with a fist, I had a drunken dentist, I had a dentist who terrorized me into selective mutism. It’s a different world.


I came of age in the 1990s, in the era of the bandit wars and Wild West capitalism in the former USSR. We saw 1,500% inflation. We experienced everybody we know losing their jobs. We saw everybody’s – EVERYBODY’S – life savings getting wiped out overnight. Literally. We went through several currency changes. One country disappeared. Another country began. Everything changed. Even the way we wrote addresses on envelopes changed. What we ate, how we ate it, what we believed, what we knew about the world. It all changed.

And throughout all that, I never saw such lawlessness as is happening now in New York, Chicago, Portland and Seattle.

I’m so completely enraged by these “protests” because these are people who have been handed everything, every opportunity on a silver platter. They haven’t been through any of the shit I listed above. And the only reason they are shitting on everything is because they know there will be crowds of people who’ll clean up after them and make it all pretty again.

I’m like a poor kid watching a spoiled rich brat trash a roomful of expensive toys with the certainty that mommy and daddy will buy even better ones tomorrow. That the brat is convinced his tantrum is justified makes no difference.