Saturday, March 29, 2008

Matt Taibbi channels Wittgenstein

That's just the way we are, and maybe it's time to wonder why that is. In Russia they have a word, sovok, which described the craven, chickenshit mindset that over the course of decades became hard-wired into the increasingly silly brains of Soviet subjects. It's a hard word to define, but once you get it — and all Russians get it — it's like riding a bicycle, you've got it.



Exactly how Wittgenstein explained how language works. Also justice "I can't define it but I know it when I see it" White.

Sovok is the word that described a society where for decades silence and a thoughtful demeanor might be construed as evidence of a dangerous dissidence lurking underneath; the sovok therefore protected himself from suspicion by babbling meaningless nonsense at all times, so that no one would accuse him of harboring smart ideas. A sovok talked tough, and cheered Khruschev for banging a shoe at America, but at the same time a sovok would have sold his own children for a pair of American jeans.


ahhh now I get it, a Forz'idiota (sad to say over here they are, at the moment, in the majority and without any terror at all).


The sovok talked like a romantic and lavished women with compliments, but preferred long fishing trips and nights spend in the garage tinkering with his shitty car to actual sex.


Ooops fell off the bicycle. I knew that they were creating the New Man, but I mean, you know, biology. I doubt many managed true Sovoknitzi before the age of 30 (it's hard to be indifferent to sex under 30).

It's hard to explain, but over there, they know what the word means. More than anything, sovok described a society that spent seventy years in mortal terror of new ideas, and tended to drape itself in a paper-thin patriotism whenever it felt threatened, and worshipped mediocrities as a matter of course, elevating to positions of responsibility only those who showed an utter absence not only of objectionable qualities, but any qualities at all.

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