I previously posted a diatribe about my blog being a place dedicated to the free exchange of ideas and words and about world peace and political theory and blah, blah, blah… So, if you are here for that, great! Don’t go! However, that will not be on the menu tonight. This evening’s menu is dessert only.
What not to read.
From time to time, I am prone to be intensely shallow. Maybe I am afraid of becoming too librarian. Maybe it is an evolutionary adaptation to ensure that I can navigate mundane social situations. Maybe I am trying not to become what a friend called “a literary bore.” So I watch re-runs of old Sex and the City episodes, the ones with Baryshnikov. Or I check out a book entitled, He’s just not that into you. “Oh, girl, no you did not!” Oh, yes. I did. Don’t worry – I am the one who has to live with that on my permanent Chicago Public Library record for all the NSA to know. It stings. What was I thinking?! I was thinking, the books currently on my nightstand are The Ghost of Freedom: A History of the Caucasus, Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War and Boss: Richard J. Daley of Chicago and maybe it’s time for something silly. I was thinking, I need something I can pretend to read while I get a tan. I was thinking, the reviews of the movie were kind of good, and I really like Drew Barrymore. I do just adore her. I was thinking, “it is by the writers of Sex and the City and whe-he-ell, if they are brilliant enough to write for Baryshnikov…” I thought. Ok – I wasn’t thinking. Which was part of the point. Sometimes I need to not be thinking. So I read things like Vogue, or He’s just not that into you.
People say such things are bad for your self esteem. Whenever women do shallow shit is bad for their self-esteem. Or a sign of bad self-esteem. Or something. I am not certain, but I don’t think men are given lectures on their self-esteem when they read Playboy or watch the game on tv. Can any of the men in the house tell me if anyone has ever warned them that they cannot possibly live up to the expectations placed upon them by professional sports celebrities or Maxim, so they should walk away and go cultivate their inner gods by doing arts and crafts or something? I like the expectations placed on me by Vogue. In fact, I look around and am hardly worried that people are placing too much import on their appearance. Would you like to know what is truly bad for my self esteem? Not terrible relationship books with hot pink dust jackets. When I read crap like this, I exhale a sigh or relief upon the realization that I am already *far* better off than most people. Or the people reading it. And the people who wrote it. If you can call it writing. The whole point of that horrid little book, if it had a point and can be called a book, was that women should stop wasting time on people who belittle them because, even if they end up alone forever, and they will, it will be good for their self-confidence to ignore idiots. It was supposed to be empowering. And it was. I finished it and thought, “I should stop wasting time on crap writers who belittle women because, even if I end up a literary bore forever, and I will, it will be good for my self-confidence to ignore these idiots.” So I guess it worked, in some perverse way.
No, what really makes me question my worth is … Žižek. I know he has some brilliant point, but can’t for the life of me figure out what it is, exactly. There are people out there who claim to understand him, and I believe them. I also know that some of my problem with Zizek is that I’m removed from academia where theory has a language all its own. But it makes me feel like an idiot. I am not used to reading things and not easily comprehending them. That’s meant to be one of the very few things I can be relied upon to do: be literate. If I can’t do that – I am fucked. So fucked is how I feel when I read Zizek. And yet I don’t see any interventions in the offing to wrench the horrible habit of reading pop-philosophy from my routine, in order that I should stop feeling bad about myself and fly off into the sunset like a happy butterfly finally free of her cocoon. Nope.
What not to wear.
What the hell was I talking about? Oh, yes, dessert. Mmmm…
In addition to reading silly books and fashion magazines and going insane for Russia dancers, I also indulge by reading the news and going insane for Russian leaders. Which is why I am absolutely loving the avalanche of retrospectives on the past 10 years of Putin’s leadership. Men, fashion, polls, people pretending to be experts talking a lot of nonsense. It’s brilliant! It’s like Cosmo for Russophiles! For example, Kommersant offers up this gem:
“Кремлевская мода. Сезон 1999-2009.” ["Kremlin Fashion Season 1999-2009"]
Izzy -you know Izzy, right?- Izzy made me addicted to the website “Go fug yourself”, which has a really unnecessarily hostile name, given the volumes of constructive criticism inside. Anyway, you could play the same game with these, giving each photo a label like, “Oh honey, no!,” “Skin is not a shirt,” or “Well-played, Mr. Putin.” A black turtleneck paired with sportscoat is always well-played, IMO. You will have to click through for the fun ones, though, since Kommersant is combating legal nihilism by copyrighting its good fotos. But I assure you the all-white denim get-up is a not to be missed.
|увеличить фото …|
In all, a fun collection of the good, the bad and the “Oh, who are we kidding? You don’t even need to wear clothes.”
(Oh, did you want polls too? Here are some polls. “63 percent of those questioned were convinced that the concentration of virtually total power in Putin’s hands is ‘to the good of Russia.’” Shocked… Here are some more. “The 4% of Ukrainians who approve [of their government] is not only the lowest rating Gallup has ever measured in former Soviet countries, but also the lowest in the world.” Damn.)
Hopping aboard the Kremlin Fashion Week bandwagon, Eternal Remont wonders, “Who is dressing Dmitry Medvedev?”
Hm. Maybe Svet, the fashionista? I think he dresses acceptably well. A nice balance of business casual and business “4% Seriously? You should feel lucky I’m only starting a flame war with you on my blog and not a real one in your country, Viktor. Have I made myself clear?” serious. Though I have no idea why he insists on those creepy bible school blue suits. Yeesh… But the kids at Eternal Remont think he looks an awful lot like a vampire these days – and HE DOES! It is the hair. I don’t remember it always being so Dracula-esque in the front, do you? The more Putin’s hairline recedes, the pointier Medvedev’s becomes! What is up with that? What are those evil genius Soviet scientists up to now? It’s alive!
Psst. Dima, when they advised you to appear more like “Vlad,” I don’t think they meant the fellow from Transylvania, darling.
Speaking of vampires. Lukyanenko is writing Night Watch, the Opera for the Vienna State Opera. I couldn’t get into the books, and I am always annoyed by Bekmambetov movies. But I would absolutely go see the opera! Blood and arias and champagne. How romantic…
Ok, that’s all for now. Thanks for reading!