Saturday, March 21, 2009

From Russia with Love

From "Russian Girls" by Sasha Dith

Russian, russian, russian girls, my baby
Give me, give me all your love
Russian, russian, russian girls
You take my soul...

The other day my fiancee and I were having Pho in our favorite little Vietnamese restaurant (Pho Green Papaya) when I noticed that my mug was made in Russia. And then it hit me..

I miss the cold war.

Sad, I know. But they made for such an imposing adversary. Their country was bigger, scarier, gruffer and more.. well - RUSSIAN than ours. Heck, even when you look at their country's acronym it was more imposing:



They were enough of a scare that to be branded a communist (or a RED) was enough to ruin your career or at least make you miserable. I look at who the US has tense relations with now a days and I realize that they're just squabbles or posturing. Something that we, alas, have set an example of.

I know it's stating the obvious, but O what a different era we were in. MAD hanging in the air like a real possibility. Thinly veiled threats and dire warnings. Spy games going on with reckless abandon (spy movies flourishing ...)

Maybe "I miss the cold war" is too strong a statement. After all, I am positive I was too young to really know what was going on around me. But I felt like I was in a movie with good guys and bad guys, and it was clear which was which. Not only that, but I don't miss the fact that the world was in genuine peril and it took the work of a good many people to keep the fragile peace.

Nothing is that simple anymore. Maybe it never was, but it sure felt simple then. Now everything is innuendo and hidden agendas. Torture happening in dark places, corrupt officials at all levels. It was easier to trust our government when we had such a terrifying nemesis rearing up to strike overshadowing our own shortcomings. How easy to forgive and forget when we must band together against a common enemy. Now that the shadow of imminent destruction has been lifted and daylight is shining on our own faults and foibles, it's just downright embarrassing.

Maybe that's it.. maybe it's the current air of rightfully earned cynicism that has me feeling like theirs was the better era. Maybe it's the rose colored goggles of nostalgia and not the truth, but again, that's what if feels like.

And lastly, and let's be honest with ourselves folks, the 80's had cooler cartoons.

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