YouTubing the Competition Away

Mostly, my new YouTube channel exists for N’s benefit. He loves YouTube videos and constantly greets me with happy discoveries such as, “You’ve got to watch this video! It tells about how the nation-state is disappearing and what that means. I don’t know if you are interested in that sort of stuff but it’s really fascinating.”

Yeah, hmm, what is all that about the nation-state? Why would I know anything about this kind of thing?

22 thoughts on “YouTubing the Competition Away

  1. I’m the opposite, I strongly prefer reading to watching. But I might watch your youtube videos. Don’t ever start a podcast though; that’s a bridge too far.


    1. Hah! I can’t do YouTube– uses too much bandwidth, and I can’t bear being stuck in front of the screen in a passive posture. It’s too awful. But I love podcasts, which I can download and listen to in the car, where I’m stuck in my seat anyway.


  2. My husband is much more into YouTube as well. I prefer reading unless it’s a tutorial of some kind. I find YouTube videos tend to need editors. They take an hour to say what I could read in less than 5-10 minutes. But I very much enjoyed your video! Keep posting them. 🙂 I can also share them with my husband this way.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. OT: Random question…do Russian or Ukrainian tv series/movies ever have ‘phony returning emigrant’ characters? I’ve seen it a number of times in Poland, someone who supposedly was successful in the US and then returned to Poland. They use lots of English words (in weird unidiomatic ways) talk up the US while putting down local things… and then it’s revealed that they were either never in the US or came back to Poland because of failure there. I had thought it was just a Polish thing but I recently saw a Czech series with the same character. Now I’m wondering how widespread it is…


    1. Oh, it’s a massively favorite Russian narrative device. It’s been all over the novels and TV since, I’d say, 2005 or so. I don’t watch movies but maybe it’s there, too. I don’t know. The story isnt that the emigres never left but that they were so miserable and unsuccessful that they came back. But then usually they have to leave again because they were so spoiled by the West they can’t succeed in Russia any more.


      1. “then usually they have to leave again ”

        That part doesn’t happen here. Instead they’re exposed (usually by being recognized by someone from their past life) and eventually come clean and end up with a chance to start over at home.
        I’ve never seen ‘spoiled by the west’ as a story feature here.

        Weirdly it’s often a kind of arc of redemption as they give up the phony self and accept who they are (cued by dropping the phony accent and speaking normally).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Weirdly, we met this character IRL while in Peru. He was a Russian medical doctor. Peru had this interesting international licensing requirement where a medical doctor licensed in a foreign country can get licensed in Peru by, among other things, serving a year (or was it three?) as a doctor… wherever the government chooses to send you, in Peru. Usually a poor rural area with very limited access to medical care. The guy had served several months of his government-service term, but ultimately couldn’t handle the rural areas, got homesick, and went back to Russia. Granted, probably has different implications from unsuccessful US immigration, but still…


          1. // I watch old Soviet movies. They are actually very good, in spite of the propaganda and censorship.

            Which are the ones you would recommend? I watched only a few like “Moscow doesn’t believe in tears”, “Love and Doves”, etc.

            Hardly watched any movies, but the best of old Soviet ones have something special, in a good way.

            Btw, a few days ago, did watch something for a change and liked it – HBO miniseries Chernobyl (2019).

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I just finished re-watching, for the millionth time, Мы, нижеподписавшиеся. Amazing acting. Everything with Куравлёв is worth watching.

              My absolute favorite movie in the world is Неоконченная пьеса для механического пианино. It’s by Mikhalkov who is a dirty bastard but also an incredible genius. That movie is absolutely narcotic, it’s so good. It’s based on a Chekhov play, and there’s truly nobody else capable of doing Chekhov well but Mikhalkov. Also, his Утомленные солнцем. The first half especially. The plot is stupid but the work of the director and the acting are out of this world. That is great art.

              Another one is Собачье сердце. It’s genius. The director is genius. And today he announced that every Ukrainian should be wiped off the face of the Earth. There’s absolutely no reason why an artistic genius can’t be a war criminal and a bloody bastard, unfortunately. So many wonderful people would kill for 1% of this kind of genius but God or nature decided to be funny and award it to these scumbags.


              1. There’s also a very great pianist, Valentina Lisista, who is Ukrainian-born I believe, but very pro-Russia and very hateful of Ukraine unfortunately.


          2. Just a thought, why did I have to watch HBO to learn about my own history? My own since I was a toddler in 1986 and a doctor told my mother not to take me outside. Where is a good famous FSU movie about Chernobyl ?

            Another topic I would love to read about (or listen to, though I prefer posts to videos) is the connection between art and freedom, especially FSU art and culture.

            In the essay “Literature and Totalitarianism,” Orwell argued: “if totalitarianism triumphs throughout the world, literature, as we have known it, is at an end.”

            However, FSU had some great artists, writers and movie makers despite lack of freedom.

            Where are they now? Why had art died AFTER the dissolution of FSU, instead of using the new freedoms to flourish? Why are modern Russian movies so horrible that I cannot even think of watching them?

            Liked by 1 person

          3. A really good one IMO, albeit horrific, is the 1985 Soviet movie “Come and See.” It is about the German war crimes in Soviet Belarussia and basically shows how the Germans really were on the Eastern Front at the time, as there has been somewhat of a whitewashing of this in recent years. The movie is not graphic, but horrific, and it is what inspired Steven Spielberg in his making of “Saving Private Ryan.”

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Btw, am now hearing people in other flats singing at their seder tables, probably from the Pesach Haggadah , “why is this night different from all other nights?”

    Thought of watching Тихий Дон (1957) but 5 and a half hours is frightening a bit. Did you love it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Watch Любовь земная instead. So good!

      I’m now tempted to skip my meeting and go rewatch this movie.

      Also great is Адъютант его превосходительства. Set in Kharkiv! So talented.


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