Posts Tagged ‘racism’

DC-Moscow Letters

17 Feb


Transcon­ti­nen­tal Bear


Orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished on Feb­ru­ary 17, 1998


Sorry about that last trun­cat­ed line. Some­how in the typo edit­ing process the line was chopped off, but is rather irrel­e­vant at this time. Thanks for your offer to clue me in to your Mus­cov­ian mys­ter­ies. Over here I read about gangs of orga­nized crime tak­ing over the Russ­ian econ­o­my which has improved lit­tle in recent years as the tran­si­tion to cap­i­tal­ism is prov­ing much more dif­fi­cult than the pop­u­la­tions are will­ing to tol­er­ate. What is your opin­ion on this mat­ter? Is my news source a dis­tor­tion of the facts? Or is the typ­i­cal con­ser­vatism of the old in desir­ing the sta­tus quo and the old ways while the rad­i­cal youth and pro­fes­sion­al crim­i­nals embrac­ing the chaos of change as part and par­cel of their own pow­er grab sim­ply “expect­ed in these tran­si­tion­al years” by the Russ­ian peo­ple as a whole, how­ev­er begrud­ing­ly or exub­o­rant­ly, depen­dent upon one’s own demo­graph­ic?

Oth­er than cross-cul­tur­al chitchat of a very super­fi­cial nature, my knowl­edge of Russ­ian cul­ture is decid­ed­ly very shal­low, Anni. In my igno­rance, or per­haps in my enthu­si­asm to wish peace and tol­er­ance among the peo­ple of the world wher­ev­er con­flict reigns among class­es and races and polit­i­cal intent, I don’t view the Russ­ian peo­ple any dif­fer­ent than any oth­er Euro­pean-derived cul­ture. Here in Amer­i­ca, the racial prob­lems inher­it­ed from sev­er­al hun­dred years of slav­ery, have divid­ed the pop­u­la­tions in polit­i­cal polar­i­ties quite unnat­ur­al and observed­ly bogus, exploit­ed by unsa­vory types for rea­sons of trea­sure and trea­son, col­lec­tive usurpa­tion and indi­vid­ual flaw alike, but they exist and thrive nev­er­the­less. It’s very sad. Lan­guage is sub­vert­ed in these polit­i­cal­ly-moti­vat­ed caus­es, and while I would like to think this is sim­ply an Amer­i­can or a class war­fare phe­nom­e­non, some­thing that ide­ol­o­gy could cure, I know bet­ter. Human greed, envy, cor­rup­tion and frailty; these are the cul­prits, and the clock keeps tick­ing away as mankind destroys itself, its home­lands, and its author­i­ty to pro­claim itself a tru­ly ratio­nal crea­ture.

Great lit­er­a­ture sums it up for us. But false sav­iors devour us in our beds, in our work­places, pol­lut­ing our minds and enslav­ing our bod­ies. We are nev­er sat­is­fied but con­sis­tent­ly look over our shoul­ders to exploit our neigh­bors in the name of love, and if that does­n’t work, in the name of fear. There seems to be no peace. Our finest writ­ers are either arro­gant and ruth­less or they are timid all-see­ing inver­sions of the truths they dis­cov­er. Thus, even lit­er­a­ture is part of the prob­lem with its hero-wor­ship and cold for­mu­las of per­fec­tion, yet those of us who have reject­ed all else, savor lit­er­a­ture as the last ves­tiges of san­i­ty in a world gone mad with desire and dead­ly with gra­tu­itous delu­sions of ratio­nal­i­ty.

Oh sil­ly me, why am I tot­ter­ing on the brink of my own blath­er? Anni, thanks for writ­ing. I am glad to have helped you per­haps sell your Russ­ian lan­guage books. Now that I think about it, maybe I can buy a small col­lec­tion from you. A Nabakov, a Tol­stoy, a Dos­to­evsky, one oth­er? That would be fun. Four books I would like to buy from you. Even though I don’t read the lan­guage. You sug­gest a fair price. If I can afford the price, we then need to cre­ate a for­mu­la and map the logis­tics for trans­fer­ring funds and books. Please think about this. Who knows what might devel­op? But do fol­low up on the Kamkins address. It is a very large ware­house, and is a true busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ty for you. I am a very small unim­por­tant Inter­net author, a lover of books, but of no great con­se­quence to your busi­ness ambi­tions.

But I do look for­ward to your next reply. Best wish­es,

Gabriel Thy
Cre­ative Direc­tor
Graph­ic Solu­tions Ink Sys­tems


"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""