Sunday, October 29, 2017

Welcome to the World of “Soviet” Feelings (updated)

Mikhail Iossel, The New Yorker
image from
This is how it was back in the late Soviet Union: parents, at least in intelligentsia families, would never discuss the country’s rulers with their children. It was understood by default that the country was ruled by bad people, presumably in the service of some crazy ideology that no one but the really old Party members and downright dotards (yes, indeed) happened to believe even remotely. At night, parents listened—or, rather, attempted to listen, in big cities, through the howling and ululating of radio-signal-jamming installations set up by the K.G.B.—to the “enemy” voices on their portable VEF-Spidolas: the Voice of America, the BBC, the German Wave. Their kids, in turn, were normal children, same as anyplace else in the world, ordinary high-school students keenly interested in fun and games and, above all else, love and sex (or, at least, the latter’s theoretical possibility). ...


FACEBOOK comment from a retired VOA broadcaster who worked for many years at VOA; posted here with the commentator's kind ok.
Did the writer forget the 'zolotaya molodezh' of the 60's and 70's, the children of the Party members, who had more access than the average young soviet to western music, books and culture? Non-Party parents among the Intelligentsia and non-intelligentsia of course were still under the impact of Stalin's Pavel Morozov era where parents could be imprisoned, tortured or killed if the kids, in the spirit of the glorified Morozov, would squeal on them to the authorities. A most complex picture. Re: VOA as a messenger of contrasting opinions? No longer the case. That died in the 1990's. Around the time that the monster BBG was created.

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