Saturday, October 13, 2007

Why 'Kremlinology'?

i realized i meant to get this post out before i started reviewing things and making comments, but i guess i got distracted by "Soft Rains" and just started in without thinking. GFK originally asked me to write something explaining the blog name, since i picked it, and i said i'd follow through...soooo...why the name?

kremlinology is a really cool term invented during the cold war to describe anyone who specialized in analyzing the soviet union. you think you know photoshop on the internet? shit, you dont even know who invented it. the soviets were so obsessed with wiping out party members whod said the wrong thing that theyd photoshop them out of thousands of official pictures...all before photoshop even existed. the thing was, with a country that never told the truth about ANYTHING, getting a hold of doctored photos was sometimes the only way americans and other NATO countries could ever figure out what was going on

"oh, this guy disappeared from photos...which one was he?"
"he was the guy who talked peace and openness"
"i guess the peace party isnt coming to the negotiating table anymore."

the thing is, i didnt pick the name because of that. it just came to me because we all like cool soviet propaganda stuff. we dont like it because we love communism: honestly it just looks cool as shit most of the time. we were all in a chat at the time though, and after i typed the name out, i thought, "damn, that makes so much sense"

like GFK said in his earlier post, we got booted from another board for being "problem kids" or whatever, but i think a better word for it is "doubters." i dont like the term "skeptics" because that makes us sound eggheaded when we not like "hmmm...does the data correlate???" i think its a gut feel, like something is wrong here. like "i cant even be sure about this data in the first place."

maybe that comes from digging old soviet posters and writing and movies. you look at them, and theyre really beautiful and sometimes just really well made, and you appreciate them for that...but you also laugh at how many lies are in there. that laughter remember, someone believed this with his heart. someone died believing this. someone cried to his kids telling them about this because he believed it so much...and it just breaks your heart

because then you think about your dads or uncles or friends of the family who died on the other side for the same bullshit. "russian communists have an interest in vietnam." fuck no they didnt. nobody gave a fuck about vietnam except the vietnamese who just wanted their own fucking country and everyone else to fuck off. my mom still gets tears in her eyes talking about kennedy sometimes, and he lied about a missile gap...there wasnt one! we had so many more fucking nukes than the russians it was SICK. my older brother gets more misty-eyed about fucking REAGAN than our own grandpa, and he lied too. contras, iran, russia, fucking pick one

thats where the name started to sink in with me. because look at the last five years. WMDs that never existed. yellowcake uranium that might as well of been fucking angelfood cake. Osama and Saddam are buddies...oops! they never talked at all. iraq did 9/11 --- ha! we send people out to die based on info, and the more i think about it, the more i wouldnt even go to the corner store based on it

so i immed everybody, "why not kremlinology?" and it turned out someone already had that blog. but LS said "new kremlinology isnt taken," and i said "take it." because honestly that makes even more sense. 60 years ago, all anyone knew was that the soviet union was our enemy. we had to read into it and figure it out and try to guess what to do next...because everything that came out of it was lies and misinformation.

now, 60 years later, we learned that we produced the same many lies as they sent to us, WE sent to US. we got a double dose of lies, and it turned out the one place we were looking for truth was double-dealing us too. now we have more than one enemy...there are enemies all over the globe...even maybe here...and they could be anyone or believe in anything. and how much can you trust what we hear about them? we used to have one enemy and got fed a batch of lies about it. how many more do we get from multiple enemies? multiply the doubt by hundreds, thousands...i dont know. i want to be like that poor russian guy who cried to his kids telling them a lie he believed so hard, instead of sitting here wanting to cry because i cant believe anything

we picked the blog as a place to shoot the shit and figure out life and have fun like anyone else. with a little help from your friends and with a little help from effort. it seems like it takes a lot more effort these days, or maybe a lot more friends to divide up the reading just to figure shit out. i didnt want this to be depressing. the name might be right, and its right to doubt, and maybe we find something true along the way. i just hope its fun.


George F.K. said...

Oh, EC, though I'll fight you forever on matters of grammar and punctuation, you always speak to my heart. Thanks for the blog piece. I'm glad you wrote it.

I'm also really glad you touched on the idea of symmetric v. asymmetric warfare. You're right: it's appalling the level of disinformation that was promulgated by our government and the Soviets'. But that was a one-against-one proposition. Yet look at the level of falsehood that sprang from a relatively easy equation. Any journalist could examine the other side and perhaps even compromise a source for information. We could have figured out the other side, because it was just the other side of the coin. We knew it had to have some weight and balance. Yet, again, look at what happened to truth under that system.

Then look now at the asymmetry of our warfare. We face disparate and discontiguous cells, working for disassociated aims. What truth can we expect from this? As you already pointed out, we got, "Iraq Helped Do 9/11," which we now know to be totally fraudulent. The only WMDs they could find were decades-old mustard gas that we likely sold them. Plame and her husband torpedoed any logic to the uranium deals before the war, and yet only now are they vindicated.

In a world of one enemy, we were offered so much untruth from even ourselves. In a world of multiple enemies, we've already been offered so, so, so much more. From ourselves. What purchase can truth even have in our future, with so many enemies foreign and, worse, domestic?

In a society of cooperation and mutual respect, the worst enemy we can have is our cooperative belief in predatory untruth.

I'm scared, EC. It's not getting better.

stir.max.alot said...

i don't think either of you have thought about a symmetric versus an asymmetric amount of booze

for instance, a symmetric amount of booze would be how much i want and how much i have

an assymmetric amount would be how much i have and how much i want right now

you're also both total choads for writing all that

superchoads if you don't mind my saying

can one of you IM me an extra beer because i don't feel like drinking dry sherry to keep this buzz going

and FUCK i love motown