Sunday, August 15, 2010

You really can't bugger a hedgehog

They are very cute, and very prickly. More pictures here.

A friend of mine is breeding those. The temptation is huge.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"...ribbed and dotted condoms to stimulate you both"

The text above was on a pack of condoms at the grocery store checkout, and it made me wonder: are there really any women who can derive some pleasure (I mean vaginally) from those ribs and dots, or indeed notice them?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Sleep, what's that?

I should really write every day in a Bridget Jones style how many hours I have slept, and what has prevented me from sleeping more.

The common reasons for going to bed late: had someone over, was at someone's place, been to a party, been out for a beer with friends, been reading a book, been to the movies, been blogging, been on IRC, been studying Chinese characters, been masturbating, been trying to read the TV Tropes through, been on the phone with someone living far away, been cooking, been thinking whether I want an ice cream, been thinking, been just too lazy to get my ass from the chair to bed.

The Other Sanity

Today I've read The Other Russia, the vision of Eduard Limonov, the leader of Russia's National Bolsheviks.

The text's purpose is to raise the reader's warrior spirit, and it does work: approximately by the page three I could easily visualize myself dressed in a loincloth and with the author's intestines right on the tip of my spear.

Mind you, this post is not Russia-bashing for once. Anyone who'd spend his whole life in Russia would surely have enough sense not to start a National Bolshevik party, because the country already had one and it didn't turn out quite as advertised. On the other hand, never underestimate the lack of common sense.

No, Limonov is not entirely a product of Russia. He was kicked out the there in 1974 (guess Russia was in no condition to feed two simultaneous Bolshevik parties), moved the the US, "fell in with the New York punk and avant-garde scene", according to Wikipedia, moved to France in 1982, quickly became active in French literary circles and moved back to Russia in 1991 to become a politician.

French intellectual circles are a dangerous place to put a power-hungry idiot in, as a couple of millions dead Cambodians can attest.

Anyway, Limonov believes in young energy and liberating young people from their families. He disapproves of families in general, because the family is just a burden on a budding young hero. His idea of the proper family values is free polyamorous sex where people get satisfied and nobody refuses anyone (he is not clear on how that is to be achieved), where nobody is tied down to any kind of family, where women are obliged to have at least 4 children, who are taken away as soon as they can walk and raised by the society. He wants to permit polygamous families.

Well, you can understand him. For some reason his party seems to be rather short on women. The party homepage features heroes, martyrs and authors, none of whom happen to be women, and the photo gallery shows a few women in the demonstrations. I am sure that if every one of those women took a harem of 10 men, they'd all be one happy unfamily. (Limonov does warn against mating outside the party, so that is out.)

He doesn't like school much, either, and gives his own model for education: "Education will become short and will be different. Boys and girls will be taught to shoot from grenade throwers, to jump from helicopters, to besiege villages and cities, to skin sheep and pigs, to cook good hot food and to write poetry."

"The teacher in the middle school has to be only one. It has to be a man, he has to have an artistic (painter, poet, writer) and military experience. No algebra, trigonometry, mathematics, physics and other abstract, never useful disciplines will be taught to the children."

A nation of warrior poets. Right.

Limonov wishes for a youth revolution and destroying every institution there is. He is not clear on how he'd enforce the 4 children per woman rule after he gets rid of police. He promises sex, war, and no school. And mandatory defloration at the age of 13. He would like to ban and destroy the cities outright, and frowns on agriculture and infrastructure in general. And furniture.

He has a vision: nomadic warrior communities roaming around on helicopters. All of them in black jeans, black coats and black boots. Infrastructure largely destroyed, except that businesses that produce weapons and said helicopters can be located on the outskirts of the abandoned cities.

He has ideas on the foreign policy, too:

"Will we produce weapons? Of course, we will. We will wage wars. But not like those before, not front on front. Ours will infiltrate their territories, familiarize their people with our way of living and ideas and the healthiest and strongest ones among them will become ours, our nation. And then our forces will invade and finish off those who don’t agree."

"The armed community could be called "Government of Eurasia". Thus the dreams of the Eurasians of the 30s will be realized. Many people will want to join us. Possibly we will conquer the whole world. People will die young but it will be fun. We will burn the corpses of the heroes."

Oh dear. I thought the most popular dream among the Eurasians of the 30s was not to get into any concentration camps, and generally avoid heroes and corpse-burning.

I wish I could say that the man is a lone lunatic, but he does have 56 thousand followers. On the other hand, everything should be tried except incest and folk dancing, so can some TV studio arrange for a bit of uninhabited land for them to build their society on, in return for getting to film it? A society of 56 thousand heroic sociopaths should make one hell of a reality show.

BTW, can anyone tell me: how come all those people extolling the virtues of dying young are always in their sixties or seventies?

Monday, August 02, 2010

Citizen of the World

I don't like it much when people ask me where I am from, because any response would of necessity be either longer than the asker expects, or less truthful than the asker expects, or both. "Born in Russia, moved to the US as a teenager, moved to Finland as an adult" doesn't sound like much, but you'd be surprised how many people's mental buffers it overflows.

A very common response to whatever I say is "ah, a citizen of the world..." I don't usually berate them for that, because they just don't know what to say and say whatever comes to mind, but my gut reaction is "no, I am not".

No, I am not a citizen of the world. I am a citizen of the United States and Finland, just like my passports say.

I don't think anyone can be a citizen of the world, really. Obviously I don't mean "citizen" to denote a legal citizenship here, although I doubt that there is any one person who'd managed to collect all the world's citizenships, but the kind of cultural connection that citizens mostly have to their countries.

I am a citizen of two countries, and have various amounts of cultural connections to a few more. If my life had turned out differently, there could have been just one country, or three. Not the world. The reasons are the same as the reasons why a polyamorous person can have a relationship with two partners, or three, but nobody can have a meaningful relationship with a large apartment building. Nobody has the time for a meaningful couple relationship with a hundred people, and an apartment building usually contains at least a few people that you wouldn't want to have a relationship with even if they were the last folks on earth. There are countries like that, too.

Yes, I also know people don't really mean a true connection to all the countries of the world when they speak about citizens of the world. In fact every person whom I have heard call him or herself a citizen of the world meant something quite the opposite of a connection. These are people who move from country to country every few years, speak only English (or English and their native language), have some professional jobs where English is enough, mostly hang out with each other and generally avoid developing any connection with whatever country they happen to live in. A perfectly valid lifestyle, to be sure, but definitely not me.