Because of the Russians

While sitting in my idling Jeep last week, waiting to go through the car wash, a Gordon Sumner (Sting) song came on satellite radio.

“In Europe and America there’s a growing feeling of hysteria.  Conditioned to respond to all the threats in the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets…”

“Russians,” from Sting’s 1985 debut solo album The Dream of the Blue Turtles, was in heavy rotation at UMaine Orono’s radio station WMEB in November of that year.  It was my senior year of college and I played the song often.  Sting used a Prokofiev theme and the song evoked a dark winter’s day.  Admittedly, I did not listen intently to the words, just the refrain of “I hope the Russians love their children too.”

I took a picture of my dashboard computer, showing Sting and the name of the song and I texted it to a friend with the note “always the Russians.”

It’s interesting how long the Russians have been our national nemesis.  It was the leading headline in yesterday’s local paper.  And just this morning before I muted the NPR news that interrupts Maine Public Classical’s pleasant playlist at the top of the hour, I heard “investigations of Russian interference in US elections…”

Always the Russians.

I once heard a man sarcastically tell someone “It’s because of the Russians that we can’t have nice things.”

I’ve got to admit, I really liked the response and I’ve used it a few times in conversation, dropping it deadpan before a few uncomfortable moments of silence.  Followed by a smile, of course, to break the inevitable tension.

1945 is generally considered the beginning of the Cold War.  Using this as a starting date, the Russians have been interfering with life here in America for 73 years, more than my entire lifetime.  Unbelievable, isn’t it?  Maybe that’s why I find Russian president Vladimir Putin rather handsome and intriguing.

Russians or no, we are moving dangerously close to Christmas with many things undone.  My new living room carpet is still in transit and won’t be installed before Christmas.  It might as well be in Kiev.  I got tired of looking at the Cold War-era linoleum that was under the old carpet, so I went out and bought a very inexpensive (some might call it cheap) bound area rug to stage the room for the holidays.  It will work for now and Paul at the carpet store tells me the installation will be complete by New Year’s.

And then there’s Moxie…

I have not blogged about this yet, but I have been asked to “coordinate” this year’s Moxie Festival.  I’m excited about it and I had a special Moxie Santa hat made for myself.  And how about the reusable shopping bags they’re selling at Family Dollar?  I thought they fit perfectly with the “Moxie Goes Artsy” theme, all orange and pop-artsy.  Maybe in 2020 we can do a “Moxie Christmas in July” theme.  The Santa hats would probably be too hot for summer wear, so who knows.

No Russians are going to stop it; Christmas is six days away and the Moxie Festival is two hundred and five days down the road.

I’m going to heat up my samovar right now.

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