The Squeaky Robot

A Meddling Robot in a Human's World

Posts tagged “Soviet

Arctic Nights

Posted on November 11, 2012

Unrelated yet recommended musical accompaniment.

To the Arctic and back. Not many can say that, but also many can. Because it’s just another place – foreign to me but home to many. So I quickly abandoned naïve notions of barren tundra and nothingness and unforgiving weather. Because, going on with lost gloves, the weather forgave me and I returned to Peter with blood flowing through both hands and all fingers.

Murmansk is strange, though. A Soviet star of nautical ventures and industry, its Soviet stamps are still smoldering while those of other Russian cities have more or less tempered.  Maybe the Communist rally that I stumbled onto on November 7th – revolution day – makes me say that, but probably not. It’s simply something I felt in the hammer-and-sickle-clad buildings, in the gray and angular memorials, in the comradeship and friendliness of the people. An older woman chased after me as I boarded a bus. Catching her breath, she pulled the bus doors open to tell me that she had made a mistake when giving me directions. I know a lot of people who wouldn’t think twice about me once I’d be out of their sight, and none of them are Russian.

Final thoughts: it’s a nice place, but a lonely place. I’m not sure what I mean by that.

I tried my best to document it in a way that would do it justice. And I think that if you’d find yourself in Murmansk in November, this is what you’d see:

Soviet Secrets are Forever

Posted on August 20, 2012

May, 1991: Antoliy Dyatlov Kills Himself by Way of Rope. This isn’t true, of course. Dyatlov died in 1995 of heart failure. * * * There was a cartoon published in the New Yorker shortly after the incident. Two dogs are having a conversation. One dog says: “They attributed it to human error”, and the other replies: “But everything in the world is due to human error.” * * * “The one common thread through all of these accidents is the complete failure of the Soviet system to manage modern technology in a safe manner. This failure is due in large part to the secrecy that was endemic in Soviet society and to a lesser extent in twist Russian society before it. Society existed in compartments,…