Sunday, December 25, 2016

Three cheers for super mom! - pro-natal propaganda in post-WWII USSR

Here is a lovely pro-natal poster from the late 1940s Russia. World War II had depleted the population of able-bodied marriageable men. Women were encouraged to repopulate the country, even if they did not have a steady partner. This is a very interesting poster showing a mother with ten children. The father is NOT in the picture. The implicit message in the propaganda poster is that your duty is to procreate, even outside marriage, if necessary. Women who pursued single motherhood by choice were given perks and medals for their selfless sacrifice. By late 1950s the demographic crisis was eliminated more or less, and traditional two-parent families were encouraged. Notice, the boys are sporting uniforms - the next generation of warriors!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Kennedys' Curse over a Russian family - Yelena Litinskaya's confessional memoir

Greetings, commies and fellow deplorables!

Another post for my Russian speaking readers. I wanted to share a very short but intense confessional memoir by Yelena Litinskaya, a Brooklyn-based librarian, linguist and one of the most prominent figures in the Russian literary scene. The memoir is complete with poems written over the course of her turbulent marriage and some photographs.

My thoughts
They say that the question of ethnicity is not relevant for the truly educated, enlightened individuals. At least that's the point of view held by many Russian-Jewish immigrants, especially those who come from mixed families. And yet, this principle does not stop Yelena Litinskaya, the author of the confessional memoir "A Descendant of the Istratov Dynasty", to make humorous comments regarding her second marriage. Her remarks are good-natured and self-deprecating. She refers to herself as a typical overbearing Jewish mother and wife, while her husband Dmitry, is depicted as an old-fashioned Slavic titan, the stuff of Russian folk tales. Picture an animated, petite Jewish woman and a melancholic, tormented Russian man. There seems to be a curse hovering over the noble Istratov family from which Dmitry comes. A string of tragic deaths plague the family: freak accidents, mental illness, addition, suicide. You immediately think of the Kennedys. That is the baggage that the wide-eyed Jewish girl inherits when she falls in love with her Russian titan. On the intellectual level, these two seem like a golden couple, she an accomplished linguist and he a brilliant radio producer. Like many talented people, however, Dmitry is terrifyingly impractical and prone to self-destruction. The dark cloud that hovers over his family eventually engulfs him. Yelena, a creature of the light, is powerless to rescue him. She lives to tell the story of their tumultuous, deeply sensual love.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Case White - Thomas Sullivan's nightmarish gem (think Anthony Burgess and Umberto Eco)

Greetings, commies!
If you are looking for something a few notches above Dan Brown, consider picking up Thomas Sullivan's recent re-release CASE WHITE.

Editorial note:
No work of fiction or nonfiction has done what CASE WHITE does in this monumental new novel by USA Today Best-selling author Thomas Sullivan. Set in the era of two world wars, this comprehensive work weaves together the bizarre mythology and eccentric beliefs that explain how a nation went insane for 12 years. Told through the compelling lives and loves of a pair of very unique characters, this tour de force will take you into a radical blend of religion and myth frighteningly similar to what is going on in parts of the world today. Certain to be a benchmark work of elegantly written fiction and historical perspective, CASE WHITE delivers a poignant people story played out on a grand stage.

My thoughts:
With Anthony Burgess and Umberto Eco gone, there is a considerable gap in world literature that needs to be filled. Dan Brown is a sorry band-aid solution. For the fans of erudite, complex, cryptic fiction that is loaded with esoteric references and challenges every brain cell, there is Thomas Sullivan, a Pulitzer Prize nominee. Having made a name for himself before the digital era, he is making a comeback. If you had not discovered him in the 80s and 90s (back when people had stronger stomachs, longer attention spans and more vivid imaginations) this is your chance to become acquainted with his marvelous work. Set between the two world wars, "Case White" is a nightmarish tale of obsession. His usage of first person omniscient narrator and present tense enhances the eerie noir ambiance. Who is that nameless omniscient narrator that seems to get into every character's head? Is he God or the Devil? If you pick up "Case White", you will not be sorry. But prepare to engage all your brain cells. This is not a light read.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

"Safe Space" theme party - comfort food suggestions

Greetings, commies!
To show that we, GOP supporters are capable of compassion and concern for our fellow Americans, regardless of their political affiliation, sexual orientation or religious conviction, I am planning a very special "safe space" party to be hosted chez moi, at Chateau Neary in early 2017 to coincide with the inauguration ceremony. I am thinking of decorating my house with rainbow flags, balloons and pictures of kittens. I need a selection of non-threatening, non-allergenic treats that will not trigger a panic attack in anyone or send anyone to the emergency room with a violent allergic reaction. I welcome your suggestions. Please e-mail me or send me private messages on Facebook. Let's kickoff 2017 with a bang and make America great again!

Deplorably yours,
--Connecticut Commie

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

"So how many kids have YOU adopted?" - Pro-life movement is not a private club

Greetings, commies!

Every holiday season we get bombarded with requests to support various causes. Every time I open my mailbox, a stack of donation requests falls out. These requests come from various charities that I have contributed to at least once. Everyone knows that once you donate $10, you are in the database forever. This year is particularly interesting, because the pre-holiday madness also overlaps with the post-election madness. No matter what your political or religious persuasion may be, you are encouraged to "put your money where your mouth is."

One of the trends in the pro-choice movement is laying guilt on their pro-life adversaries by reminding us that our support for "life" in general does not end with the child's birth. We keep hearing, "If you want to see this child born, but not clothed, fed, medicated and educated, then you are not truly pro-life." Let's take a step back. I think it's safe to state that most of us do not want to see any person go naked, hungry, sick and uneducated. We pay federal and state taxes that partially go to support those who are struggling financially. Apparently, being a compliant taxpayer is not enough. If you maintain a pro-life position, you also have to prove that you go above and beyond to alleviate the suffering of those already born.

As a fairly vocal pro-life advocate, I hear this question quite often: "How many kids have YOU adopted?" And I don't have a problem providing a candid answer, which seems to disarm my opponents: "I cannot afford to adopt. I stopped at one child myself, because I could not financially commit to any more." One child is all I can afford in this socioeconomic atmosphere. My husband and I use non-abortive contraception to control our family size. Any more questions? As much as I would love to adopt, and as much I believe in the idea of adoption, I do not have $40K floating around just to cover the administrative costs. I do what I can to support various charities dedicated to the relief of mothers and children. I have no illusions about my modest donations solving the complex problem of world hunger. It's just a tiny sand grain.

Still, your own financial situation and your ability to contribute to poverty relief should not affect your right to claim a pro-life stance. The pro-life movement is not a private club where you need to pay membership dues or show receipts for all the mother-and-child friendly organizations you've supported. If you can - that's fantastic. But if you are struggling financially yourself at this stage in your life, you should not feel like an inferior pro-life activist. It doesn't cost a penny to advocate for the innate right of each child to be born. You don't have to be rich. You don't have to be a Christian. You don't even have to believe in God. You don't have to open the Bible or any other religious text. Just open a textbook on embryonic development.

Happy holidays!

Deplorably yours,
Connecticut Commie