CategoryJournal

Radio Silence

I feel like seven is too young an age to have to learn about the awfulness of international terrorism. I can’t shield my kid from the bad things in the world forever, but I can put it off a little longer.

 

Detritus

Nothing makes me feel better about the mercurial nature of my blog history then looking at other folks’ blog detritus. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who:

  • changes blog names
  • deletes blogs
  • restarts blogs
  • apologizes for not posting in so long
  • reintroduces blogs with new statements of purposes that are abandoned three posts later
  • apologizes for going on tangents unrelated to the blog
  • moves blogs to a new platform and then never posts (although I never left the WordPress “Hello world” post up)

I always want to believe I am unique, but there is some assurance in knowing how much I am like other people.

Taking the Edge Out of Traveling

I think I have a bit of travel anxiety. In the days leading up to an trip, I start obsessing over the details, like getting to and from the airport, potential delays (particularly when there is a transfer), and things like that.

I am very nervous about getting lost, although there is a kernel of rationality to that fear: I have no sense of direction and cannot read a map. I once went to Mexico City for work and I wanted to visit the Zócalo, the city’s large main square. One of the people I was working with gave me a map and circled the Zócalo on it and sent me on my way. After an hour of walking, I found myself at the Plaza de La Revolución. It was very cool, but nowhere near where I wanted to be:

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All humans are created equal…

All humans are created equal. They are only made unequal by the prejudices of their forebears. Those prejudices are pernicious, but they can be overcome. As we have seen in the past couple of weeks, we are not there yet, but we’re getting there. We will get there.

Light Organs? How Interesting!

Made in Russia: Unsung Icons of Soviet DesignMade in Russia: Unsung Icons of Soviet Design by Michael Idov

The first book I read this year is a delightful little catalog of Soviet-era Russian products and iconography, from color-coded caviar cans to Misha, Moscow’s massively popular Olympic mascot (the year the U.S. skipped the Olympics). It of course covers Sputnik, which not only forced the U.S. into the space race, but also influenced American products in the 1950s as much as it influenced Russian products.

Two items described in Made in Russia stood out to me. One was a Russian music magazine called Krugozor. Each 16-page issue, which are now available online, contained six records featuring pop music from around the world, interviews with musicians, and even reports on the latest in the Soviet space program. Idov wrote, “These things were essentially, for the lack of a better word, podcasts.” (Coincidentally, it was on the podcast 99% Invisible that I first heard about this book.)

The other was a beloved 12-sided glass that, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, made its way onto Ikea’s shelves. I will be sorely tempted to purchase a few of them next time I shop there.

By the way, the title of this post is the name of a Kyiv-published brochure on how to build your own disco light display. As Idov writes, “The Soviets loved their disco.”

© 2018 Chris Zammarelli

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