Soviet Union, Where Are You, We Need a Nemesis!

              There are days when the world seems so grossly out of whack (and much of that has to do with internal issues in the United States), that I miss our glorious nemesis in RED; the Russkie Ivans, the Soviets, the CCCP, the USSR, those commie bastards, and their diabolical plan to turn the world into a collective business and then hand it back to the people so that everyone call profit in the fruition of labor; or be systematically disambiguated (dead).  Of course, that’s simplifying an empire and their methodology to world domination; but that’s what we do well in America:  We turn other nations and their histories into nice little sound bytes that fit conveniently into the packaging we call “TRUTH.” 

Rocky 4: Dolph Lundgren weigh in
"If he dies, he dies."  Classic.  Thanks for helping the Cold War Dolph.  
            But how could I miss a nation in whose short 70 year history, killed over 61,000,000 of its own people?  A nation who built up an arsenal of over 40,000 nuclear weapons with the capability of destroying the earth a few times over?  A nation who jump-started Acute Screen-Glaze Over Syndrome, by introducing Tetris to the masses in the mid-80s? 
Tetris Kremlin screen shot
"Just one more minute, Mom!! Please, I'm playing in the Kremlin now!"
            Simple.  I’m way the heck over here in America, and even though we’ve done similar things (except for the democide of our own people for the most part), we’ve crafted a very nice image of ourselves that I mostly believe.   It’s one thing we’re still good at: marketing. 
Scary Vladimir Putin face
Actually, you are quite scary, Mr. Putin.  Please put your hand
down...I'm sorry for what I said.  I'm sorry George 'W' called
you Pootie-Poot, he was, uh, special.    
            But that’s not what I miss.  What I miss was how easy it was to hate the Soviets.  I mean, they were evil, right?  Stalin was a horrific person, possibly worse than Hitler (I wonder who gets tortured more in hell).  Half the world feared his agenda.  Most of his people lived in fear of his insane purges.  And communism was bad.  It went against everything we in the West believe in—ingenuity, drive, creativity, spiritualism, individualism, passion, entrepreneurship, genetics, talent, ability, …heck, the human spirit.  Basically, communism lacked heart.  It was so easy for the West to hate.  And now they are gone.  Oh, sure the Russians remain…but they’re not the same, no matter how much Vladimir Putin looks like an old Kremlin KGB master, I just don’t hate him or the Russians like I did the Soviets.    
            They were such good adversaries.  They were good at what we were: espionage, politics, strong-arming, market manipulation, threats, alcoholism, making weapons, Olympic games success: they beat us twice in our game, basketball, and we beat them twice in their game, hockey.  Heck, it’s like we were made for each other.  A functionally dysfunctional relationship.  Like your two uncles who are so similar, yet divided over one dumb issue from 1973, that no matter what event they showed up at, always ended with punches, hugs, and then punches again. 
Jerry Springer family riot
Another family reunion on the Springer show. 
            But now, instead of belligerent relatives crashing family get togethers, we have world chaos.  The Chinese married into the family, and nobody knows what their agenda is.  They seem nice, but damn are they different.  The Middle East is still bubbling over with activity; like having twenty kids from twenty different mothers and then trying to have a normal Christmas morning together.  “Oh you didn’t just give my child a Barbie doll, and Vanessa’s child a nice shiny bike; that ain’t right.”  I don’t even remember if Israel was adopted or blood related anymore…I just know that I don’t like how any of the kids are turning out.  Maybe they will get normal in their twenties, right (or is it their seventies by now)?  We can only hope. 
            Europe is Europe.  Like Nuprin: Little, Yellow, Different.  They get it together, and then they crash together, and then have to take a ton of ibuprofen.  The Germans still don’t know why they invited the Greeks to the party.  Don’t they know the debauchery that happens at a toga party?  Just when it seems like the Euro is going to become the next gold standard of currency, they undertake another former Soviet protectorate, and lose all ability to usurp the US at economics.  It’s been more than twenty years since the USSR has had a hand in the affairs of Europe, and yet the backwards policies enacted while in control of the Eastern Bloc are still paying dividends to the US, in terms of economic supremacy. It doesn’t really matter, as long as Europe buys its Advil and Bloody Mary supplies direct from the good ole’ USA, when it wakes up with a splitting headache (okay, we’ll let Russia get in on the Vodka sales as well…) 
Wayne's World Nuprin commercial: Little Yellow Different
The nature of the beast includes selling out: But even Wayne's
World couldn't keep Nuprin relevant.  
            And for almost a decade, Mexico, in our own backyard, has been going through a hideously bloody upheaval.  It’s not a civil war, or guerrilla uprising, but simply drug cartels, ruthlessly murdering citizens for unlimited access to our drug addicts.  They love our business so much, they’re willing to kill anyone for it.  Talk about customer service.  And yet, we, the almighty United States, have basically ignored their situation…unless bullets happen to stray across the border.  And we crucify Joe Paterno for turning a blind eye to offenses, while that thing in Mexico is simply delaying that trip we wanted to take to Cabo San Lucas.     
Boris and Natasha: Rocky and Bullwinkle
How many stereotypical images can I
use to make my point.  
            This is just a smattering of world affairs playing out right now during the Olympics; where we get together and pretend everything is hunky-dory.   The world is no longer run by two superpowers, but an oligarchy of conflicting ideals and agendas.  The US is no longer the moral authority on most world events.  Our PR people let us down the last few decades, and we no longer have our whipping boy (USSR) to blame when everything goes wrong.                        
         Which leads me back to the Soviets, and how badly I miss their simple adversarial challenge.  Things were easier then; all we had to fear was total thermal nuclear annihilation.  Now we have all these complex relationships with difficult nations to work through, and all I want to know is, “do you want to blow us up, or go have White Russians together? Cause I got a cupboard full of Aleve, and my Ukrainian friend makes a killer Bloody Mary.”  Or perhaps we should all join a 12 step recovery program where we can all anonymously admit our mistakes, and move towards a better, soberer tomorrow.  

Big Lebowski:  The Dude abides, white russian
The Dude abides; it's time for AA and a shower.  


  1. TroyP- I enjoyed this one chris.
    I just erased a big long comment because it dawned on me you pretty much said the same thing. That's what I enjoy about your writing also why i dont comment. You and I are more a like than you might think. Minus the whole love affair with steve jobs.
    Keep up the good work.

  2. I wish I had a love affair with Steve Jobs. That book would get published instantly. I did create all these blogs on a Mac with nary an error. I'm not anti-PC, they just kept rebelling against me by blowing up, slowing down, or finding rare viruses...when the last one walked out the door, I never looked back.

  3. Just read this, Chris. I enjoyed all the analogies of a family get-together, never saw it in that way, but your brain did--and, yes, now that I think about it...
    I also really liked the part about that, oh, what was it?--that THING in Mexico.