If Victims of Communism Museums, nuclear bomb shelter tours, and talk of a “New Cold War” isn’t enough to satisfy your nostalgia for a bi-polar world, try Cold War Unicorns. Yes! Cold War Unicorns are bound to fully recreate that pitched battle between Communism and Capitalism that only ideological warfare and proxy wars could produce, albeit this time with a magical mythical flare. As the Archie McPhee Toy Company website promises:
The Cold War Unicorns Play Set allows you to play out the intense struggle between two global superpowers in the majestic fantasy world of the Unicorn! Can the Communist Unicorn’s horn of classless social structure hold up against the Freedom Unicorn’s hooves of capitalist opportunity? Each hard vinyl unicorn is 3-3/4″ tall with articulated joints for all sorts of dramatic poses.
And to think I thought a gas mask with a Geiger counter was cool.
A friend passed this along and I just couldn’t resist sharing.
You Might also like
By Sean — 9 years ago
It appears that some of Medvedev’s liberal posturing is producing concrete results. Or at least someone is getting the signals. Finally, fi-nal-ly Memorial has gotten its materials back from the St. Petersburg prosecutor. Twelve computer hard disks, or “Winchesters” as one report calls them, about 1000 business cards belonging to A. D. Margolis (the general director of St. Petersburg Rescue Fund and editor of the St. Petersburg Encyclopedia, and heаd of several Memorial projects), and seven CDs and DVDs were returned to the human rights organization on Thursday.
The return of Memorial’s property followed another ruling in its favor by the Dzerzhinsky court that deemed the December raid by the police as unlawful. The case’s lead investigator Mikhail Kalganov decided to not press the issue further. “Yes, this is our victory,” Memorial’s lawyer Ivan Pavlov told Kommersant. “And we think that in this case the Russian legal system managed itself [well]. The court has shown that it is on the right side.” It also didn’t hurt, the advocate said, that Russia’s representative to the OSCE spoke out on Memorial’s behalf. So the question is did the legal system work or did Memorial have an influential patron? Or better yet, is this another, albeit small, sign of a Medvedevian “thaw” in the forecast?
A thorough inspection of the “Winchesters” will be done on May 13 to make sure the authorities didn’t erase anything or damage any of the files.
Thus ends an almost six month ordeal. It’s nice to see a happy ending to an incident that generated cries about the return of Stalinism. As I said in my last post on the Memorial Saga, I expect this victory to get as much press as the initial raid.
Still, despite the positive outcome, Memorial still had to jump through several hoops for a victory that they never should have been forced to fight for in the first place. Which leaves one crucial question unanswered. Why was Memorial raided exactly? I guess we’ll never really know. I don’t expect Chief Investigator Kalganov to shed any light on this any time soon. For the time being, he’s got some wounds to lick.Post Views: 230
By Sean — 10 years ago
By Maxim Gorky
Novaya Zhizn, No. 174
November 20, 1917
The socialist ministers released by Lenin and Trotsky from the Peter and Paul Fortress went home, leaving their colleagues M. V. Bernatsky, A. I. Konovalov, M. I. Tereshchenko, and others in the hands of people who have no conception of the freedom of the individual or of the rights of man.
Lenin, Trotsky, and their companions have already become poisoned with the filthy venom of power, and this is evidenced by their shameful attitude toward freedom of speech, the individual, and the sum total of those rights for the triumph of which democracy struggled.
Blind fanatics and dishonest adventurers are rushing madly, supposedly along the road to the “social revolution”; in reality this is the road to anarchy, to the destruction of the proletariat and of the revolution.
On this road Lenin and his associates consider it possible to commit all kinds of crimes, such as the slaughter outside St. Petersburg, the destruction of Moscow, the abolition of freedom of speech, and the senseless arrests–all the abominations which Pleve and Stolypin once perpetrated.
Of course, Stolypin and Pleve went against democracy, against all that was live and decent in Russia. Lenin, however, is followed by a rather sizable–for the time being–portion of the workers; but I believe that the good sense of the working class and its awareness of its historical tasks will soon open the eyes of the proletariat to the utter impossibility of realizing Lenin’s promises, to all the depth of his madness, and to his Nechaev and Bakunin brand of anarchism.
The working class cannot fail to understand that Lenin is only performing a certain experiment on their skin and on their blood, that he is striving to push the revolutionary mood of the proletariat to its furthest extreme and see–what will come of this?
Of course, he does not believe in the possibility of the victory of the proletariat in Russia under the present conditions, but perhaps he is hoping for a miracle.
The working class should know that miracles do not occur in real life, that they are to expect hunger, complete disorder in industry, disruption of transportation, and protracted bloody anarchy followed by a no less bloody and gloomy reaction.
This is where the proletariat is being led by its present leader, and it must be understood that Lenin is not an omnipotent magician but a cold-blooded trickster who spares neither the honor nor the life of the proletariat.
The workers must not allow adventurers and madmen to heap shameful, senseless, and bloody crimes on the head of the proletariat, for which not Lenin but the proletariat itself will pay.
Does the Russian democracy remember the ideas for the triumph of which it struggled against the despotism of the monarchy?
Does it consider itself capable of continuing this struggle now?
Does it remember that when the Romanov gendarmes threw its ideological leaders into prisons and hard-labor camps, it called this methods of struggle base?
In what way does Lenin’s attitude toward freedom of speech differ from the same attitude of a Stolypin, A Pleve, and other half-humans?
Does not Lenin’s government, as the Romanov government did, seize and drag off to prison all those who think differently?
Why are Bernatsky, Konovalov, and other members of the coalition government sitting in the fortress? Are they in any way more criminal than their socialist colleagues freed by Lenin?
The only honest answer to these questions must be an immediate demand to free the ministers and other innocent people who were arrested, and also to restore the freedom of speech in its entirety.
Then the sensible elements of the democracy must draw further conclusions, they must decide: is the road of conspirators and anarchists of Nachaev’s type also their road?
Published in Maxim Gorky, Untimely Thoughts: Essays on Revolution, Culture and the Bolsheviks, 1917-1918, Yale University Press, 1995, 85-87Post Views: 40
By Sean — 5 years ago
This week’s Russia Magazine! column, “Victory’s Essential, but Unwanted Guest,”
Victory Day is Russia’s most sacred holiday. The day marks Russia’s most traumatic moment in its turbulent twentieth century. The war supplants all previous traumas: WWI, the Revolution, the Civil War, and the Great Terror. In many respects it even absorbs the Soviet Union’s collapse, if only because victory over the Nazis makes the whole Soviet experiment worth it. Indeed, Victory Day has such resonance that it provides Russians one of the few means to reconcile their Soviet past with their post-Soviet present. And in an increasingly divided Russia, it is one of the few days of genuine national unity.
As Lev Gudkov put it in his 2005 essay, “The Fetters of Victory,”
All [Soviet] components of the positive collective unity of the idea of “us” are eroding. After their devaluation has brought to the fore a range of complexes of hurt self-esteem and inferiority, Victory now stands out as a stone pillar in the desert, the vestige of a weathered rock. All the most important interpretations of the present are concentrated around Victory; it provides them with their standards of evaluation and their rhetorical means of expression.
A stone pillar for sure, except for one essential capstone in that victory: Stalin.
Stalin has yet to find his place in contemporary Russian memory of Victory. He is a figure that is evoked at the same time he’s repudiated. In both instances—total embrace and total rejection—Stalin is fetishized as savior or destroyer, angel or demon, neither of which is any less violent. The difference is in who he smites with his sword, not how he wields it. The tension between these two figures makes Stalin eternally split. Thus, he was the leader of the nation during the war. Yet displaying his image is taboo. The system he created facilitated victory with all its attending scars and burns. But to give Stalin credit verges on blasphemy. Stalin embodied the unity of the Soviet people. Yet their victory is not his. On the day to commemorate Russia’s greatest tragedy and triumph, Stalin remains the guest you have to invite, but one you pray doesn’t show.Post Views: 75