poemless. a slap in the face of public taste.

September 21, 2009

I am sick… I am spiteful. And I have links.

Ok, it’s official, kids. I’m sick. The doctor I spoke with when making an appointment would not rule out swine flu and told me I had to wear a face mask in the waiting room. What the hell? I thought those things were largely useless. “It’s a precaution.” In fact, when I told him my symptoms, which are pretty lame, generic seasonal virus symptoms, there was a silence followed by, “Oooh… Ok. That is … that’s not good.” Just 24 hours ago I was still convinced I wasn’t really sick & now I’m convinced I’m dying. Possibly of something called, “Swine Flu.” How humiliating. Like being physically and mentally compromised isn’t humiliating enough.

My agenda for the near future is to see the doctor (I am one of those crazy Americans who has incredibly fantastic healthcare and pays a mere pittance for it, yet thinks we need a single payer system), go to the pharmacy for drugs and snacks (I don’t really keep snacks at home. I hate the word “snack.” Sounds offensive… “Snack.” But I am thinking of some juice and donuts, those little ones that have absolutely no nutritional value) and, if still ambulatory, swing by and rent some movies. Then I will go home and resign myself to illness, boredom and Dancing with the Stars. Which will never be the same without Gilles. Beautiful Gilles… Yes, as if choking on my own snot and having an illness with a name which in any other circumstance would be considered an epithet, as if that were not humiliating enough, I will now be scheduling my life according to the TV Guide. They shoot horses don’t they? Too bad I don’t have horse flu.

I’m not up for writing anything, but here are the thinks to things I’ve been reading. Check ’em out.

~ Exiled: The Great Gazoo Returns: “Don’t Scrap The Missile Shield, Dumb-Dumbs!” by Mark Ames.

Ames compares the neo-cons to some cartoon character who was either before my time or was not, I don’t know. I never watched a lot of cartoons.

Money quote:

But really, even if Russia is “evil,” can you blame them? It worked: now we’re doing a deal to get rid of a system we don’t need, so that they’ll stop causing problems we can’t handle.

Preach it, Mark.


At a briefing that same day, Gen. James Cartwright, vice-chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the Pentagon was considering whether to deploy an early-warning radar detection system in the Caucasus.

So now the word is that the MDS will be placed in Georgia? Instead of Poland or the CR? Oh. That’s going to go over well. You think Russia is “evil” now? If they go ahead with this, that thing will be in the Georgian Republic of the Russian Federation by the time it is built.

~ Open Democracy: The Khodorkovsky-Ulitskaya correspondence.

This is a seriously fascinating exchange between the famed novelist (who I could really never get into, to be frank) and the megalomaniacal oligarch/political prisoner extraordinaire (whom I am really into, to be even more frank.)


“This is a very important topic for Russian literature – so much so that month ago I even wrote a foreword to the book called Through the Prisons by Eduard Limonov – a man of many faces, and barely respectable.
I also happen to be supervising editor of a book for children called Crimes and Punishments, which is also about the history of prisons, types of punishment etc.”

That’s right. In Putin’s Russia children’s books are about prison and different types of punishment. Sweet dreams.


“Dear Lyudmila Yevgenevna, I think of myself as a Voltairean, i.e. a supporter of free thinking, of freedom of speech. Yeltsin was my ideal in this sense, as G.A. Yagodin was before him.”

Yeltsin, Voltaire … Tomayto, Tomahto.

“As for your question about the “brutality” with which we seized and redistributed enterprises – well it’s funny, really.”

Yeah. That was really funny.

“On the whole our laws are fine, no worse and no better than in other countries, but the application of the law and the courts are a catastrophe.”

Fascinating, fascinating…

~ From A Russia of My Own:

Josefina decorates her bathroom:

See, it’s not just me.

~ AP: Putin hangs out with the big cats: Snow leopards.

The Russian prime minister supervised the release of two snow leopards into a wildlife sanctuary near the southern resort of Sochi, fulfilling a pledge he made before Russia won the right to host the 2014 Olympic Games.

So, he’s already been given a baby leopard for his birthday, and tranquilized one in the wild (and kissed its head, he felt so bad about it). Now he’s releasing some back into the Caucasus, where they were extinct. The man’s a veritable Saint Francis of Assisi. If St. Francis were a KGB playboy.

~ Russia!: Medvedev is a Photographer, By the Way

This is hilarious. I mean, it is hilarious enough that he’s not even that great a photographer (and go check out his “personal” site, where he also has some kind of manifesto and links to Svet’s stuff.) But they’ve gone and placed some hilarious commentary on his shots. For example:

“Medvedev discovers photoshop/LSD/another planet.”


~ “The Post-Soviet Wars: Rebellion, Ethnic Conflict, and Nationhood in the Caucasus,” by Christoph Zurcher.

I’ve just gotten my hands on this book. Georgi Derlugyan contributed a blurb to the dust jacket, and I seem to remember him saying something intelligent once. It will be my sickbed (I’m going all 19th Century…) reading. Yesterday I told Izzy I had been watching Al Jazeera. It’s true. I’m a bit serious with my downtime. I did just finish Kurkov’s Good Angel of Death. Well, it lost some steam about half-way through, and ended somewhat abruptly. Overall enjoyable, however. But now I’m fresh outta fiction. So I’m reading about war in the Caucasus and also, The Patriotism of Despair. You can thank Sean for that last one. Maybe my reading is making me sick… I need something more fun. Maybe I should redecorate my bathroom like Josefina and read in there, amidst soft-porn patriotism. And make YOU sick! Hahaha.

Alright. Obviously delirious with fever. Must go lie down. If I’m not back within a week, I’ve passed from this world. Though I’m probably not in a better place. Pray for this sinner’s soul, and thanks for reading!


  1. Hope you get better soon, poemless!

    Anyhow, congrats. You aren’t as paranoid as I was during the first swine flu scare this April. 😉

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — September 21, 2009 @ 3:27 PM | Reply

    • I was on hold for a long time before I got through to the dr. office; he said that a lot of people have been calling in with my symptoms. I think it is just the regular flu, but MaryB says it is too early for reg. flu. Anyhow, I’m off to get a check up now & will know the verdict soon.

      Comment by poemless — September 21, 2009 @ 3:29 PM | Reply

  2. Take vitamin C (like, pills with C, pure C, lemons…). It has no great meaning, but will help you to combat the disease.

    Comment by Evgeny — September 22, 2009 @ 1:42 AM | Reply

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