Another Bykov Quote

If there are people, individuals or a category of people, who are always protected, spared any discomfort or criticism because we feel sorry for them, they are going to end up turning into monsters. They will end up devouring human beings.

What’s sad is that Bykov’s novel would be extremely useful for Americans to read. He’s writing for Russian speakers but we already know everything he has to say. And people who really, really need to be warned against this scourge can’t hear those of us who experienced it and want to issue a warning.

What Puts an End to Wokeness?

One idea that I find interesting in Bykov’s novel is how, in a reign of extreme wokeness, people are waiting and wanting a war because that is the only thing that can end the ideological stranglehold.

Bykov is writing about the Stalinist USSR in 1941. And he’s right in that the Great War put an end to any sincere belief in the Soviet dogma. The regime didn’t end in 1945 but its capacity to control minds and not only bodies did. Of course, it then took several decades to make it go away completely.

As I keep saying, the current insanity we are experiencing in North America will end when not a single person will be able to hear the words “structural racism” or “decolonizing the curriculum” with anything but a cynical chuckle. I hate cynicism but at this point it’s our only hope for a way out of all this.

Buckley’s Formula

It’s funny how, decades after Professor Buckley created his definition of a Bildungsroman, writers who never heard of Buckley and live in a different era and culture still follow the formula he observed. I’m reading a novel by a famous Russian writer Dmitry Bykov, and it follows Buckley’s formula with the exactitude of an algebraic equation.

As a real scholar, Buckley didn’t invent anything. He observed a phenomenon that occurs independently of Buckley’s will and described it carefully.

Funny fact: I know Buckley’s formula by heart from back in my Bildungsroman days.

Stay In

I don’t care if they stay in, stay out, or stand on their heads. This project is a stupid and ineffective Instagram fad, nothing else. What I do care about are these abject apologies. Every apology of this kind, every attempt to explain yourself, every kind of engagement with the petty tyrants makes life worse for all of us.

When “you are not inclusive” idiots try to comment on my blog I ban them immediately. I used to engage in debates with them before they acquired the power they now have. But that’s in the past. Any engagement with them feeds the destructive force that animates them.

If you ignore them, they get bored fast and seek another victim. If you engage, they won’t stop until you are completely destroyed and then will be even more vicious with the next victim.


I recently found this divine thing at the Global Foods Store called juniper sausage. It’s extraordinary. Does anybody here use juniper berries in recipes? I’m eager to try them.

Speaking of sausage, my mother invented a recipe for cured sausage. One evening, she was sitting on the sofa, eating a piece of sausage when she heard my father’s footsteps. Unwilling to let him catch her eating sausage at night, she hid it in the sofa cushions and forgot about it.

Days later, she discovered the piece in the sofa, tasted it, and realized it was great.

Yes, Ukrainians and food. There’s always a story.