‘Russia today, a democracy, is not unlike the United States when [Franklin] Roosevelt and Truman were in power,’ said my father.
‘What? How? Russia is in a deep ﬁnancial crisis, it’s cutting social services across the board, and everything still remains politicized like crazy,’ I replied. ‘Tell me one thing it has in common with the US.’
Dad replied, ‘These days, if President Putin wants to do something, his party, his secret police and other organizations tend to follow. They act in unison.
‘When [Edgar J.] Hoover wanted to kick Charlie [Chaplin] out of America, he could.’ I thought of the case of
‘But in the United States, what the President says does not always go. The Republicans are divided and misbehaving. The Democrats are just an anti-GOP, frustrating his policies without regard for the country.
He reminisced about the Japanese invasion of China. ‘The Americans do not know how lucky they are that they don’t have to ﬁght terrorism on their own shores, with how bin Laden had been escalating his attacks through the 1990s.’ And he should know: he walked to school during World War II with his classmates while bullets literally whizzed over their heads. Soldiers were trying to kill other soldiers, not kids, which is one thing that the terrorists today don’t consider.
He remembers it clearly: stories of death, starvation, hardship, and, perhaps most disappointingly, Chinese collaborators—who only changed sides because of food—pitted against everyday villagers.
We didn’t enter a discussion about the war on terror itself. We had been through it. We know the arguments on both sides.
‘I think Russia’s growing, and it will get to where the US once was,’ he concluded.
Well, I did ask him for one thing. I didn’t ask for it all to be tied back to reality. Nor do I really know that much about Russia, other than my Russian friends telling me that the mass-media and Hollywood picture of it is totally false. I must check out some more Russian blogs, beyond my Atlantic Monthly read.
Still, it’s an interesting hypothesis, even if it was a late-night-conversation one. And the above might be the nearest Dad will presently have to doing his own blog entries. Posted by Jack Yan, 21:36
Cheers, Carl: I was hoping someone would appreciate it! It’s probably more a Wellington joke, too. (Last year, I wrote an article on the Škoda Superb and called it, ‘It Škoda be perfect’. I have been dying to use a lot of these.)Post a Comment
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