The Driving Force of Everlasting Madness
by Alex Shlenski
Copyright © 2018 – 2019 by Alex Shlenski
All right reserved
“My dear Philosopher! I am writing this letter to you in reply to your letter that you are going to write to me in reply to my first letter to you that I have not yet sent…”
Danny “Eel” Harms
Book 1. A mental doctor in the insane empire.
(NB: the chapters has been added to sync the printed version of this book with the audio version)
My dear imaginary reader,
The first chapter of this book appeared to the world as an inline attachment to my letter that I wrote to a top notch literary agent. Her reply was not very promising: “Sorry, dude, no one’s gonna read this shit!” – That’s all she wrote. My first reaction was, to remove the no more necessary “letter” part from my manuscript and keep just the attachment, that is, the true beginning of this book that, as I said, happened to appear for the first time inside that letter. I hope it’s obvious now that the letter has never meant to be a part of this book. Now that I knew that no one’s gonna read it anyway, and I was writing it for my own pleasure, it was quite the time to get rid of the letter in favor of the attachment.
But strangely, when I started reading the letter again, with the beginning of my book in it, I suddenly realized that they were coupled even tighter than Siamese twins. It was absolutely impossible to surgically remove the letter without damaging the book. I had no other choice than make the letter a valid part of my book, only removing the part where I was telling that I had nowhere to live and nothing to eat and begging desperately for a small amount of cash: just fifty dollars. Or maybe, fifty thousand… The amount doesn’t matter because I didn’t expect to get it anyway.
I gotta tell ya, though, that I had a perfect place to live, plenty of yummy food in my fridge and even a bottle of Hennessy VSOP (in fact, by the time I finished the letter, half of the bottle was gone). It’s just the tradition, man! An emerging artist is obliged by the holy tradition to die of hunger and mostly, of hangover, day by day. Tradition overweighs condition, you know…
In observance of that tradition I could not start a new book just by writing its first chapter, no way! First of all, I had to get heavily drunk and keep drinking for at least two weeks, get involved into a bar fight, spend a night in a precinct or a county jail, where I was supposed to ask a little cop for a piece of paper and write a letter to a literary agent, asking her to read my book that I have not written yet and, by the way, bail me out.
But I only drank for one night and completely skipped the bar fight and the precinct. Of course, the broken tradition avenged for itself, and the beginning of my book got stuck inside the improperly written letter. What was I supposed to do? So be it! – I told to myself – And that’s how this book, indeed, starts. It starts with the damn letter!
My dear Chastity,
I am a well-established Russian-language writer with an audience close to a million (just the audience but not the figure on my bank statement), living in the States for the past 21 years now. All these years I’ve been providing for myself, working a job of a software engineer. So I could only write my books in my free time – and mostly just on the fumes of my brain power left from work.
For that reason you won’t find much sense in my Russian novels and stories, even if you understood Russian like a native. But readers are not attracted to sense anyway. On the contrary, sense repeals them rather quickly. What really attracts and mesmerizes readers, viewers, and even spectators, is but pure nonsense. It does not take much brain power to write nonsense, and this is the beauty of it. But it requires lots of delicacy and precision, and that’s the caveat.
Let me beef up this thought, dear Chastity. You know, even the most perfect sense has its little flaws, those tiny specs of imperfection, which inevitably render the whole thing imperfect. On the other hand, nonsense is extremely refined and delicate matter: it is accurate and flawless by definition. You can question any kind of sense all way around – but nobody can question nonsense. Nonsense is always impregnable and shiny like a brand new silver dollar made of the hardest titanium alloy.
You’d probably wonder how a silver dollar could be made of titanium alloy, that’s crazy, isn’t it? But that’s the whole point, that’s the nonsense’s nature! Sanity can’t produce nonsense, only craziness and stupidity can. You have to realize that all nonsense you see around did not come out of nowhere on its own. It was produced by the people who are either stupid or crazy. Or in most cases, both. You only can’t see that they are crazy and stupid because you get used to it. In other words, because you don’t see people with unimpaired mental faculties too often. The situation is partially alleviated by a simple rule: stupid people think that everyone is crazy while crazy people think that everyone is stupid. In any case you need a lot of time and energy to learn how to think out of the box if you want to succeed in telling madness from sanity.
Persistent lack of time and energy, that was always consumed by my demanding day job, did not leave me much chance to study the primary writer’s tool I needed the most in America – written English – so I kept writing in Russian. It’s not that I was unable to write in English: on the contrary, I always did it quite easily. The problem was that I could never understand in the morning what I wrote the night before. I would desperately need a translator to regain a grip on my work that was already done.
And them translators, they charge a lot! Five dollars per short word up to ten letters and one dollar per each additional letter, as I remember. In case of a cuss word the rate doubles, and I use cuss words a lot. All in all, I’ve been stuck to a sophisticated foreign language for the longest time in my life because unfortunately I knew it much better than plain English. Now that I am much closer to the retirement age, I am getting ready to re-route the remnants of my mental faculties and time to my literary projects and start writing the finest nonsense for English speaking readers. Please try to sell every ounce of it dearly, dear Chastity.
Before I start discussing my book with you, dear Chastity, I’d like to explain what kind of a literary agent I need. I have visited a number of literary agents’ front pages, trying to learn their interests and find something compatible. Instead, I found dry and brutal submission requirements, apparently written by some ferocious dominatrix looking for a submissive masochistic slave. They must be thinking that submission is all about being submissive, really! But here’s the thing: I am an old fashioned stubborn Russian kike who plunged down the emigration grinder and made it out in one piece, so being submissive is not my thing. I am looking for a plain consensual, um… partnership, trying to stay away from any unhealthy arrangements that involve kinky stuff, especially submission.
As a former psychiatrist… No, dear Chastity, I am not shitting you! Back in Russia I used to be a mental health doctor. I’ll explain later in this book, why I changed my career path to IT and software. So again, as a former psychiatrist, I always look at the agent’s face shots, trying to identify their personal traits. Most of their faces express the mental state of being set in their ways, signs of prejudice and close mindedness, preoccupation with some ideas that dominate the society (for example, I can easily see a touch of feminism on a man’s face: he looks like a premenstrual bitch), as well as excessive professionalism at the expense of originality – didn’t even need to read their submission requirements after seeing their faces. Any attempt to talk those people into something that is outside of their pinhole chamber is like talking an ATM machine into giving you a couple of twenties: you keep making your points, it keeps blinking at you, but the cash slot never opens.
So most and foremost, I need an open minded agent, a kind of person that won’t be shocked by a cuss word, a graphic story or an awkward situation. I’d like to test the waters real quick. Um… let me ask you a simple question: do you know how to kill potato bugs en masse? Imagine, you’re in soviet Russia, growing your potatoes on a half an acre of land and you see them bugs and their larvas eating your potato plants alive! Any pesticide you can buy in the store will kill you dead way before the first bug starts feeling slightly sick. It’s not surprising because soviet chemical factories were producing chemical weaponry, primarily designed to kill humans, out of all pests, and those pesticides were their by-products sold to civilians to use for their agricultural applications.
Therefore, your only option is to collect the bugs manually, picking them from the potato plants one by one and storing them into a huge aluminum pot. After a long day of hard labor when your back and your legs can barely move and your arms and your hands are sore, you have your potato plants cleaned from the pests. As a bonus, you have a ten quart aluminum pot full of potato bugs. You can see their striped backs and twisted spiky legs moving relentlessly. You can feel their nervous fidgeting as they are rustling-rustling in the pot and scratching furiously its side and bottom, trying to escape. Now it’s time to kill them all. Do you know how to do it properly?
Let me tell you first how you certainly cannot kill them and shouldn’t even try. Don’t throw the bugs into a fire! A huge pot load of potato bugs will extinguish the fire at once, and most of the bugs will crawl away and get back to your potato rows in no time. Don’t even think about pouring the entire pot on the ground and trying to stomp them! You’ll ruin your shoes and the bugs will crawl away, even though the little buggers move slowly. If you try to pour and stomp them in small batches then less portion of the bugs will escape the execution but you’ll kill yourself with the exertion much sooner than you kill even half of the bugs. So what’s the solution?
It is amazingly stupid simple. You should pour a fair amount of water into the pot and set the bugs afloat. Despite what you think, the bugs won’t drown at once. They are still alive and keep trying to escape. Then you simply set it on a stove and turn on the burner… It’s time to make a potato bugs stew! For the first minutes the bugs feel quite happy in the warming water. They move, buzz, scratch and even try to hump each other as they always do. Then you start seeing the signs of worrying in their movement. The worrying increases quickly. The bugs start moving faster and faster. They’re trying to escape the heat, climbing on each other’s backs. Then they start panicking. Apparently they can feel pain and fear just like you and me.
At the last agonizing moment they run for their lives furiously and desperately, making an impression of hard boiling water. Another couple of seconds – and the boiling stops at once… Now the bugs are floating motionlessly in still water, with their serrated legs appallingly stretched out as if they were tortured by a bunch of daemons. They are done now. At this moment I can feel the sheer presence of death in my little garden cabin. It feels like translucent vibrating substance, emitted from the man made aluminum hell. It gently curls its fluctuating tentacles around my neck and drills into my mind, whispering: “Your love potion is ready, boy! Drink it and live forever!” Now I gotta shake those sticky tentacles off my frightened little marbles and get back to life… I grab the damn dish by its handles and empty it into a manure pit. That’s for the funeral.
Are you still reading, dear Chastity? If you are, and you’d like to find out how I came by this shit, it’s simple. Like many other boys in communist Russia I helped my parents to make ends meet. My parents bought a little strip of land called “dacha” where they grew potatoes, to save a buck or two on our food. Keeping the potato rows free from pests was my responsibility. Boiling the bugs in a pot was my little invention.
We all had to do lots of ugly things in order to survive. Killing potato bugs was one of those things. I wish I could boil those communists, who crapped up our lives, the same way I boiled the bugs, but apparently, for those pests I’d need a much bigger pot. I don’t have that kind of vessel in my disposal but someone else surely does! I envision that someone else boiling them communists in the pit of hell, I can hear them yelling and screaming as I still can see a little ferocious Russian devil boiling the potato bugs, hallelujah! Now it’s time to really start talking about my book.
At this point my book is not written yet but I can see it as an ad libitum mix of my Bio and my memoirs. It will definitely have more layers than both ogres and onions and tell lots of things but ultimately it should strongly suggest the readers to re-examine the balance of sanity and madness in their everyday life.
I will simply show them how usual ways of doing things that seem to be wise and sane, produce crazy side effects when they rub off each other on a global scale. It happens so frequently that nobody give a shit and prefer to routinely suffer the usual consequences, unless things really blow out of proportions. I will bring plenty of examples, to prove my point, pertaining to different times, countries and regimes: communist USSR, then post-soviet Russia and finally, the United States.
The above mentioned unexpected consequences may have a killing effect. Suppose, someone got drunk and could not sleep and took a handful of sleeping pills after a glass of whiskey. End of story. Some other effects are just unimaginably crazy. Something like taking a sleeping pill along with a laxative (according to Russian stand up comedian Mikhail Zhvanetski, “the effect is terrifying”).
Have you ever heard that prudence and sanity attracted lots of attention? It never happens. Only craziness attracts people’s attention, the crazier the better. Good old stupidity counts, too. If you are eager to be on everyone’s radar, be crazy or stupid or better yet, both. I strongly believe that the proper balance between craziness and stupidity is the winning factor and it’s very hard to find. Nevertheless, if you are really smart you’ll figure the right proportion.
The best and the easiest way to enter the world bullshitting championship is to start a blog on one of them social networks. These virtual brothels have been purposefully designed to draw people’s attention with all kinds of crazy and stupid stuff that other people can come up with. If you’re looking for a weapon grade stupidity, watch the political news closely. Government officials and public politicians have no competitors in producing all kinds of stupid shit that makes your life miserable. However, the highest level of meshuggeneh bullcrap is certainly produced by the media.
Anyway, here’s how I am going to outline the above mentioned layers in my book… While I’ll be laying down my Bio bit by bit, telling the mere facts of my being born in Moscow in the year of 1956, just three years after the death of Stalin, and my growing up in a provincial city of Ryazan, I will draw a series of small but epic pictures, digging them out of the depth of my memory. I will start with some fragmentary recollections of the shittiest period of my life, which also was the earliest one, which I can’t call “childhood” because it would be like calling a dog poop a birthday cake.
Ryazan… An ugly shithole that happened to be the city of my youth. I still remember its gloomy dirty streets full of ghetto-looking four and five story project houses inhabited by permanently drunk dwellers, mostly workers and low-paid personnel… its cold northern climate with lack of sunlight, where passengers in stinky overcrowded streetcars sneezed and coughed at each other’s faces… where decent food was scarce and an orange or a pair of good shoes was an unimaginable luxury, and so was good clothes, good furniture and good books… Where you might got robbed or mugged or beaten into a bloody corpse just for being at the wrong place at the wrong time…
Ryazan… A mystic place where evening twilight agglutinated excruciatingly thirsty men into drinking gangs. Three hungover drunks, who did not even know each other, emptied their pockets into a sordid pile of cash barely enough to buy a bottle of crappy booze for them to share… You had to prepare your liver pretty well before making a first sip of that shit… Where those who already bought that so much desired bottle of cheap poison were sitting in a cold city park on a broken bench, spitting phlegm under their feet and cussing at each other, glugging in turn from their life-saving vessel that was mercifully bestowed upon them that night to extinguish their internal hellfire…
Ryazan… One of the countless places in the ugly communist paradise, where anything you laid your eyes on was an eyesore with a pompous communist slogan painted on its front.
There was no such things as public restrooms in that city. You either had to hold your shit until you get back home or to some other place where they let you use their restroom or you had to find some secluded area in between fences, trees, garage buildings and shacks – anything that could hide you from passers-by and cops, and do your stuff real quick. With some experience you could find those “restroom” spots pretty easily. The look and especially the smell would lead you to the right direction. You always had to watch your steps to avoid the “landmines”: sticky and smelly piles of human shit left by the previous visitors. They frequently camouflaged their by-products with grass, leaves and trash to turn them into traps.
Those “restrooms” usually did not offer toilet tissue so you had to use tree leaves if there was a tree around with some leaves not torn off yet for the same purpose. Otherwise you had to wipe your ass with a suitable piece of trash that you pick up from the ground. Or just pull up your pants and keep walking like nothing happened. It’s much easier to choose the last option when you are drunk. You could not carry toilet tissue with you because this hygiene product practically was not manufactured in the USSR. At home we always cut old newspapers into suitable sheets and kept them in a special basket next to the toilet seat. As an experienced city shitter I always carried a piece of paper in my pocket, just in some shitty case.
State medical help was free but dentists were drilling our teeth without any anesthesia and the fillings they put in usually drop out in a year or two. Then the whole tooth would fall apart and they would pull out the roots for free, again with no anesthesia (yikes!). Most people were scared to death to go to a dentist. Both men and women lost most of their teeth pretty early and kept living, wearing nigga style metal grills or blabbering around with empty mouths like hillbillies. Bad breath was a habitual norm as well as clumsy ridiculous underwear, worn out dirty shoes or the smell of cheap booze from already stinky mouth.
Everything belonged to the communist state, nothing belonged to the people… Private business was forbidden and severely punishable. Religion was practically outlawed. Going to a church could have ruined your career. There was not even one synagogue in Ryazan. The communist propaganda was telling every second in a stentorian voice how lucky we were to live in the USSR. KGB secret spies always raided the crowd clandestinely, watching out for unsatisfied people… Some fucking life!
Communist government deprived people of wealth and stripped their basic rights. As a result, those miserable people were ruthless and had absolutely no mercy. They did not have guns in their possession but men and women died regularly from stabbing wounds and heavy beating. Teenage gangs from different parts of the city were in a perpetual war with each other. They were using clubs, metal pipes and rebars. Most part of the population was extremely anti-Semitic. I might’ve been killed several times in my early age, especially that day when a drunk neighbor started throwing heavy bricks from the four story building’s roof, aiming at my head, yelling: “Die, fucking bastard, you little kike!” God watches for children and fools… Not even one brick hit me, and he threw more than a dozen.
I almost forgot to mention a huge military airbase in Dyagilevo, whose fighter planes were roaring constantly above the four story slum building where I lived as a child. There was a military antenna in a fenced area in front of our house that navigated those planes right above our project house. When they were taking off in pairs, using their afterburners, I felt as if my chest was being torn apart. And that heavy kerosene smell in the air, it would never go away, unless it was a really windy weather.
The water taps in our flat half of the time were dry as a pistol. When I opened the valve trying to squeeze out some water, the tap would say “ph-h-h-h-h-h” as if it was teasing me. At a better time the tap produced some dirty and rusty liquid substance that our cat refused to drink. We’d pour it into a big bucket and leave for a day or two, to let the rust and dust settle down on the bottom. After that we collected partially cleared water from the top of that bucket, boiled it in a huge kettle and kept it in the clean bucket for our drinking and cooking.
I remember our liquor stores… Alcoholism was a real epidemic in that God forsaken place that could not offer its residents any other entertainment than getting drunk every night. Most people could not afford vodka that was the only more or less pure beverage; they had no other choice than poison their system with cheap daily shit and die young. Every liquor store was unavoidably surrounded by a dark crowd of desperate thirsty men who were craving for any fluid that could just burn. They were begging passers-by for small change; the most desperate ones tried to rob anyone who looked like a possible victim. The pipes are burning! – They moaned in agony – Fucking help! The pipes are burning…
The pipes of soviet factories and plants were burning, too. They were burning out their worker’s lives. Working conditions were horrible, they’ve been making workers seriously sick in no time. The official life expectancy in the USSR was proclaimed to be about 70 years but cemeteries have been abundant with the graves of men in their fifties and forties. No surprise – people in that damn country always were expendable.
As a typical soviet child I was going to a kindergarten. Every boy was jealous of my toy soldiers that I treasured the most. Everybody was trying to trade them from me for some other toy, which I always refused. Until the day when some boy broke his piggy bank and desperately begged me to sell my precious soldiers to him for all his money. I refused as usual. The boy started weeping and crying desperately. The peer pressure was unprecedentedly high. Finally I had to give up and trade my little heroes that I loved for a bunch of coins that I had no use for.
When my father found out that I sold my toy soldiers, all the hell broke loose. I’ve never seen my old man that furious. I thought he’d kill me! A businessman! – He roared in my face – You little prick decided to become a fucking businessman?!! I was too little to understand what he meant. When I got a little older, I realized that for my communist father the word “businessman” embodied the worst type of a political enemy, the pure evil in human shape that communists wanted to wipe out from planet Earth. But at that moment I only realized that he called me a strange name I could not understand and the next minute he’d beaten a bloody hell out of my ass. My mother was too scared to stick up for me.
That day I lost a father for the rest of my life. I never trusted that grumpy hateful man ever since. When he died at the age of forty four I sighed in great relief. His most important contribution into my life was a harsh gift of understanding that being intangible does not make an idea a harmless thing. An idea could be a contagious and ferocious virus capable of infecting the entire country. An idea could acquire material power, using the physical body of the people it infected. It could beat my butt into a bloody pulp by simply moving the hands of my pathetic miserable father, who was infected and enslaved by the communist idea like many others.
All in all, on one end of the course of human history there was Karl Marx with his very Jewish idea that human shall not exploit other human’s labor. On the other end there was a colossal ever anti-Semitic country, where low classes had brutally exterminated the majority of cultivated and intelligent people, following that idea. And there was a little Jewish boy in that country, beaten like a ginger stepchild by his own father, again as a repercussion of that idea. This is a bright example of a global craziness.
As I was growing up, my father kept teaching me his communist faith. One day he started telling me about the dictatorship of proletariat. Proletariat is us, working people! We rule the country because we have no possessions of our own, which makes us the most just and fair-minded people on Earth! Do you understand? I could not help objecting: I see them workers every day, father. They are ignorant uneducated rough people. They cuss every word and phrase out of the Satan’s book, they drink their shitty booze every day, they beat their wives and children, they piss on our entrance door like street dogs, and there is no place in the city parks where they didn’t leave a pile of shit. I see them every day lying dead drunk across the sidewalk drowning in their own urine and vomit. How could these miserable people, this pathetic low life rule our nation, including great scientists, doctors, lawyers, artists, composers, philosophers, university professors? How can their ignorance, disgusting manners, strong addiction to alcohol or bad hygiene make them the cream of our society? – Well, my father replied, I think your butt has not tasted my belt way too long!
Pretty soon things changed at school, too. The system started drilling us heavily and regularly. We all had to join Young Communist League, “the Komsomol”, had to march like my toy soldiers that I sold in the kindergarten, only we had to sing soviet songs and recite communist slogans while marching. We were required to write the “socialist self-obligations” that I hated and report the completion; learn the biographies of Marx, Engels, Lenin and other communist idols and memorize quotes from their bloody books. I knew that those communist faggots wrote all those books with one purpose: to make my life miserable. I simply could not stand all that rubbish. I was hoping that someday this bullshit would magically evaporate into thin air, just like it started from fucking nowhere. But it’s been getting worse and worse every day until I suddenly realized that I was one of the very few, who had natural immunity to the communist infection. It’s not even that I could think out of the box. I was born an indigo child, so I never had that “box” in my head and always been thinking independently, and had always suffer the consequences.
The communist virus couldn’t infect and re-wire my atypical brain like everybody else’s, and that’s why I’ve been feeling the tremendous pressure of the communist regime all the time. The infected people did not feel that pressure at all. They were like dogs that enthusiastically learn all the tricks that their master teaches them and never question the master. But I just was not born to be somebody’s dog. I was born a cat who always tends to walk by himself.
No matter how many books I read and how hard I tried, I still could not find the explanation, why the original communist ideas that were not bad (what’s bad in “peace, equality and fraternity”?) ended up as a tool of the oppressor? What is it in human nature that is capable of twisting good things in such way that they turn into horrible things? It was a crying out loud contradiction – and my inability to grasp and perceive the intrinsic mechanics of how perfect sense gradually turns into utmost nonsense was eating my mind for many years.
In soviet Russia only the dumbest people (and among them the most hard working ones) would take communist ideas at face value and become true believers – like my poor father, who worked an adult man’s job since he turned fourteen and who joined communist party in his twenties. But most soviet commoners were just skillful pretenders.
To believe or not to believe, it was not a conscious choice anyway. Most people can’t think in abstract categories. Therefore, they can’t seriously question their social environment, they can only adapt to it in the manner of an animal. They don’t have enough brains, let alone education, to understand such complex matters as a political system, economical principles, social psychology, etc.
Undoubtedly there are still enough smart people around who are able to learn and improve our social system to the benefit of all the people. However, they are smart enough to see how other smart people abuse the system and make it work for their own benefit. They immediately realize that they will be doing much better if they join those crooks and earn a good share of the loot instead of fighting them, trying to make the system work better for everyone. You wonder, why?
Just answer the question, why should smart people work hard and put their own asses at risk, trying to help stupid people to live good life? Why wouldn’t they just get rich themselves? You don’t know the answer? I’ll tell ya! They shouldn’t and they won’t because the majority of people always pursue their own interests and don’t give a shit about you. When people cut corners and exchange cheap shots, competing for wealth and prosperity, the best strategy is to join the toughest gang on the block. When a robbery is in progress in your ‘hood, it’s more profitable to help the robbers than those who’s being robbed.
Human society will never eradicate the ubiquitous natural phenomenon called corruption because corruption is a smart system inside a stupid system and it’s constantly recruiting the smartest people into its ranks. Matter of fact, it recruits plenty of stupid people as well because it always in need of cannon fodder. Someone has to do mafia’s dirty job risking their lives, take the blame for someone else’s crimes and go to prison instead of the mafia’s bosses. Corruption is a machine inside another machine, it replenishes its resources quite relentlessly.
You still think there must be some way to fight corruption? Then answer the ultimate question: how could stupid people prevent smart people from screwing their asses? Things can only change radically when the hereditary beneficiaries of the system lose their smarts and strength upon the time and become as stupid as the rest of the population. That’s the exact time when a revolution or a coup strikes!
In Russia, in the twentieth century it happened twice: first in 1917 because Russian low classes led by the communists wanted to exterminate the upper classes and rob their wealth. Then it happened once again in 1991 because state wealth did not work for individuals at all, and everybody wanted to rob that wealth, especially those who were supposed to guard it, that is, the special government agencies and first of all, KGB.
As a result, corruption in Russia is now soaring much higher than in 1917 and in 1991. However, new political regime managed to get rid of all serious competitors, including political opposition. The newly formed Russian elite instinctively embraced the idea of getting rich by all means possible. Moreover, they made it the leading national idea. The ruling clan was able to consolidate all ruthless people in the country around that idea and create a monolithic system bonded and driven solely by the golden dream of getting filthy rich at the expense of the rest of the nation. Practically, nothing has changed since 1917, only the Lenin’s maxima “Rob the robbers!” was reduced to “Rob anyone you can!”
Government special agencies and organized crime blended together and created a regime that even François Duvalier would’ve envied. This regime is now incorporating all branches of power, all government institutions, big business, the clergy and mass media. There is no organized crime in Russia anymore. The regime incorporated it as well so now Russian mafia is deeply intertwined into the system. Anyone who wants to get rich or die trying must find their ways within the system, because it controls everything. If they prove themselves more useful than cannon fodder the system may hire them and the reward may be substantial, otherwise it may throw them out or simply make them vanish without a grave.
Communist shepherds always lived wealthier that regular people. Like George Orwell elegantly put it, “all animals are equal but some are more equal than the others”. However, they still had to hide their lifestyle from their herd because their hands were tied by the stale communist ideals of equality and fraternity. They were just guarding the state wealth but they did not own it like they wanted, despite of all their power. Now they wanted not just the power but also the wealth. The mindset has changed upon the time but the regime and the rhetoric has not. The stalemate could not last long and in 1991 the communist regime collapsed. The nation trashed notorious communist ideals pretty quickly and retired to the basic rules of life: “every man for himself!” and “if you’re so smart why you’re so poor?”
The turmoil called “Russian perestroika” was horrific but the outcome was not bad until a nasty weasel called Vladimir Putin seized the power. Russians are no longer practicing their notorious genocidal religion, the bloody communism. Needless to say that communism in Russia just like Nazism in Germany were both nothing else but modernized religions where Marx, Lenin, Hitler and Stalin were worshiped as gods.
Communism in Russia lost its appeal because everybody realized the hard way that fighting for social fairness is way less rewarding that fighting for a good life of their own. Most importantly, they realized that their leaders who urged them to fight for social fairness never hesitated to push them into a deadly battle and then reap the benefits of their victory and have a good life or run away safely in case of defeat. Corruption never rests.
As long as people’s memories are fresh, nobody in Russia wants to kill and get killed for communist ideals anymore. Now Russians are willing to kill only for money and power, just like any normal people who are not as sick in their heads as radical Muslims. This is a significant improvement because people never kill, torture, imprison or ostracize nearly as many of their own kind for money and power as they do for their religious ideals.
In Brezhnev’s soviet Russia where I spent my younger years one’s career expectancy was “hard earned” by the accident of birth. The top dogs’ puppies were guaranteed fast and steep careers and high rank positions in the communist party or any other government institution or enterprise. I still remember the popular saying from those times: “Can a colonel’s son become a general? No he can’t! Because the general has his own kids!”
There was, however, an important exception due to a communist declaration that working people in the USSR have an incredibly vast career opportunities. This declaration was indeed confirmed by real actions. Communist government was reserving a certain number of more or less attractive career spots for the selected representatives of the social classes they usually promote: workers and peasants.
Young people with the right social origin had an official score raise when passed a university entrance exams as well as other privileges. They also could join the communist party much easier than the others. For anyone seriously making a career, membership in that monstrous organization was mandatory: it was the starting point and a firm foundation for a successful career in any possible field.
But there was also a catch twenty two. Once you’re a member of a communist party, there was no way back. You couldn’t simply resign your membership without complete devastation of your life. As a lowest rank communist, a private, so to speak, you had to serve like a soldier under the command of the superior party officers and obey any order, even if you were ordered to walk into flames and die burning. And if you didn’t obey they would burn you anyway, slowly and painfully.
Communist party had complete control over each and every entity in USSR, except KGB. That’s why KGB eventually seized control over the country after the end of the communist party. Communist leaders had derived from the same low life origin, the notorious “proletariat”. That’s why they were ignorant, illiterate, arrogant and appallingly unprofessional. Their leadership cost the country much more than the worst enemy’s sabotage activity. They usually barked their orders downward, not even trying to learn the details. As a result, regular people had to pay dearly for ignorance, arrogance and ineptitude of their leaders.
Sure enough, upper communist leaders were not in complete denial of their natural limitations. That’s why they invented a simplest way to avoid competition: beside they own children, they routinely recruited into the party the most slimy and subservient bastards they could find. The operative word in those times was “devotion” but it really meant “servility”. Communist leaders valued that type of “devotion” much more than honesty, intellect and professionalism.
As a result of this unnatural selection, the Soviet Union at its latest time was controlled by a bunch of slimy worms who elaborated supernatural instincts and skills in bureaucratic intrigues and were absolutely inept in any other area of expertise, much like a highly specialized parasitic organism in biology. Communist party needed servants and cannon fodder just like any mafia. However, the official explanation of the promotion of the low class people was both pompous and primitive: those who were “nothing” before the great revolution are now “everything”! Those who’ve been oppressed all their lives are now entitled exceptional rights as a compensation for their suffering!
Because of that communist travesty, the children of street thugs, hillbillies, habitual drunks and other trash called “proletariat” had special privileges for university entrance. A whole bunch of those dumbass C students entered our medical university in Ryazan and studied medicine along with to me. I could only sigh helplessly, watching that dumb trash in white gowns, who took the places that rightfully belonged to talented young people. They were shitty students and as expected, became unskillful and illiterate doctors. I’d rather die than agree to be treated by my alumni.
Even dumb communist officials understood that the qualification of those peasant doctors left much to be desired. But they justified their policy, saying that at least those shitty doctors will come back to their shitty rural places, where nobody else wanted to live, and help people using their poor skills. At least those degenerate rural drunks will have a shitty doctor than no doctor at all.
However, those peasant students had their own plans. They did everything possible to stay in the city and never come back to their rural shithole, where people had to freeze their asses in the outhouse and bring water in buckets from a water well, where roads had never seen any pavement, where food and manufactured goods were scarce, where bottled moonshine was much stronger currency than soviet money, where all the people were permanently drunk because a sober human being will go berserk in such a fucked up place in less than a day.
I remember how they used to approach me and say: “listen up, you city boy! You’re going to work in the country! For we’ve been stomping liquid dirt with our kersey boots all our lives. Now it’s your turn to live in a rural shithole and eat our shit, and drown in our shit every day, and it’s our turn to live in the city, walk its clean paved streets and wear nice clothes and clean shoes!” I was not surprised at all. As the old proverb says, give a mouse a cookie and he will ask for a glass of milk.
As you may imagine, all those times I’ve been dreaming that someday I’ll flee from that goddamn country to the Promised Land ruled by democracy, to the United States of America! But when after many years I finally moved to the US, I did not see even a small hint of what I’ve dreamt about. In reality I saw a painfully familiar ideology-ruled society, massive propaganda and usual persecution of free thinking. I did not realize soon enough that freedom of speech in America was a complete fake and I’d better had kept my mouth shut even more thoroughly than in communist Russia. As a result I said something that was not “politically correct” and was fired from my job.
In America they don’t need to put you in prison for your words, it is more than enough to simply terminate your employment, and you’re done anyway. Once you’re unemployed and have no income, you better find a way to go to prison voluntarily so that you at least had your three hots and a cot. It’s better than rot and starve to death under a shitty bridge like a sick animal.
Job termination here in America is much like termination of your membership in the communist party in USSR. In many cases it will be the end of you. Now that you have no income and can’t pay your rent or mortgage, you have to leave your furniture by the dumpster because nobody will buy it, and think how to survive because you’ll have to move out pretty soon. Along with your job you also lost your medical and dental insurance, so you can’t get any medical help if you get sick, even the shitty one that I had in USSR for free. You are ostracized from the society, you’re on your own! You need a good reference from your previous manager in order to get another job but if you were fired, you won’t get one.
That’s why when you came from the HR with a pink slip on your forehead, and cleared your desk, and a little security guard in gray uniform is proudly escorting you to the exit, and you’re carrying that notorious cardboard box half-filled with your meager belongings, your coworkers, many of whom you considered friends, turn their heads far away from you, trying not to even look, let alone say their farewells. That moment you feel like you are infected with a contagious disease and the whole world is trying to rush away from you. And those few who are brave enough to give you that last look, they are looking at you as if you’re a dead man, and you really are. Once you’re fired, you’re a dead man walking.
I had high hopes about my immigration but after all I could find only one meaningful thing in America: a fair opportunity to trade my skills for green dollars. Everything else did not have much sense to me. My coveted America turned out to be over-regulated and bureaucratized ways more than communist Russia. I was completely lost, I could not imagine how I would live in this country without a miniature lawyer in my pocket. Everything was forbidden. Every door and gate was riddled with signs “No weapon”, “No soliciting”, “No loitering” and “No trespassing”. And for those who still wanted to solicit or loiter or trespass or bring a machine gun there was another sign: “Security cameras are in use!”
Every highway had a posted speed limit that nobody obeyed anyway. Every bridge and every pier had signs “No fishing” and “No swimming”. Every beach entrance also had signs “No vehicles beyond this point”, “No dogs on the beach”, “No alcohol” and “No lifeguard on duty. Swim at your own risk”. I could not loiter or solicit at the shopping center front door at my own risk but at least I could swim on the beach at my own risk.
And with alcohol, it was a complete disaster! Drinking alcohol was forbidden on the beach, in the streets, at the parks, on the piers and bridges and at other public places. “I just bought a case of Miller High Life. Where am I supposed to drink my fucking beer?” – I asked local people. – “Drink your fucking beer at home”, they replied. – “What’s the fun, for fuck sake? I want to drink my beer on the beach by the water or in the park under a tree!” – “And people in hell want ice water but they can’t have it!” – replied American aborigines.
“Wait… There are plenty of bars right at the beach. Why I can legally get drunk in the beach bar and immediately go back to the beach being drunk but I can’t get drunk right on the beach by myself? What kind of stuff do they add to my glass that makes my being drunk legal, eh?” – “Okay, okay! We know it is a stupid law. You can drink on the beach, just wrap your beer bottle in a brown bag so that the cops could not see you drinking alcohol, that should be enough. We always drink on the beach that way”.
“Would it help if I wrap my fishing rod in a brown bag when I am fishing from a bridge? Shall I wrap my car in a brown bag when I’m driving eighty miles an hour in a fifty miles an hour zone like every other fucking car on the highway? Can I wrap my glock 45 in a brown bag and bring it to an office building?” – “No-o-o-o!!!” – “But when I wrap my fucking beer bottle in a brown bag…” – “Yes!!!”
“Well, at least now I understand why you Americans need legal advice every fucking minute.” “Why?” “Because you not only have a whole bunch of rules and regulations but what is even more important, they are inconsistent!” “There is no law that says that the law supposed to be consistent! If you need legal help you have to pay to a lawyer! That’s how things work in our great country. It’s called democracy!” “You can call it democracy but I call it bullshit! The law supposed to be simple enough for every citizen to learn and understand. The law that nobody can understand and nobody has the right to interpret except for lawyers is lawlessness. You Americans still live in your wild West, only you switched your Colt revolvers to lawyers.”
A little later I found out that I cannot give people psychological advice or fix someone’s light fixture or even catch a fucking fish in the river without a license. I cannot camp on a river or in the woods anywhere I want except for special camping grounds that I have to pay for, I can’t sell my apples or carrots by the side of the road without a license, and I cannot dig a hole or put up a fence on my front yard or change a window package in my own house without a permit. I did not feel myself so trapped even in USSR.
To my Russian understanding, American social life and especially private life was a total fuck up. Later in this book I will try to cover a little more the undeclared war that American women are waging on American men and all the devastation it brought unto this country – appalling divorce rate, innumerable neurotic children raised in a split custody, crushed and humiliated men who forgot how to be a head of a household, and a catastrophic national epidemic of “singlicity”. People are social animals and being single for a long time makes them sick mentally and physically.
With my psychiatric experience, I couldn’t help but notice an incredibly high percentage of mental disorders among American people, especially depression that lonely people are very much prone to. I also found out that most people with depression could not afford a medical doctor, so they were helping themselves with what was in their disposal – beer, gin tonic, vodka lemon, captain Morgan, Jack Daniels and of course a whole bunch of street drugs readily available at every corner. Those who could afford a doctor were taking Prozac, Xanax, Oxycodone, Tramadol and many other bright inventions of the refined human civilization.
end of the demo part