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Thread: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

  1. #21
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    Re: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

    I have heard of this particular game but I don't think it registered as an important event... My Dad loves chess and sports in general so he often goes on about something sports-related (I usually take only half notice as I'm not so passionate about sports). He taught me ... er... the basics of chess. As for foreshadowing -- I don't know... It's a bit difficult for me to judge because I didn't live then. Any victory or defeat can then be seen as "foreshadowing." But it's absolutely true that this match was especially important and a lot of people followed it. Sports events were often looked upon in that way you describe, Martin, as evidence of USSR superiority. But the way Fischer ended could be seen as a sort of portent that "Something is rotten in the State of Denmarke."

    What I dislike now is that sports events are again being made into more than what they are. It seems that political expectations are being placed on whether Russia 'won' or 'lost' in a football match. Those things suddenly become the most important items on the news. Football matches are becoming a sort of national frenzy. Perhaps I'm just not as much of a fan but I rather dislike it all.

    The one thing that was better in the USSR was music. There is heart and soul in the songs of that time. I was listening to some of the war-time songs yesterday, like "В землянке" -- they touch your soul in a way no modern songs do... Our modern "эстрада" is a crowd of idiots, like the former hairdresser Sergei Zverev turned "singer" -- the effiminate victim of "glamour" and plastic surgery. The thing that seems to matter most in today's singers (Russian, at least) is appearance. They have to voice, their songs are stupid and nonsensical to distraction and all they seem to care about is "stardom." There are exceptions, of course, all this idiocy is enough to make me wanna puke evey time I see some "Kirkorov"... Such 'flowers' would never have been allowed to blossom on the Soviet soil but, to be fair, there were other idiots in abundance...

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    I have visited a few countries in Asia where the people still feel sick at what was done to them in the name of "freedom" and stopping them from becoming communist. They should have been left alone to mind their own business...
    There's a good proverb in Russian "Со своим уставом в чужой монастырь не ходят" (one doesn't go with his own regulations into a strange monastery) which roughly corresponds to the English "When in Rome do as the Romans do." But of course no one minds folk wisdom... USSR was guilty of it too but I happen to have a balanced view on my country's past -- there were good sides to it, and there were bad sides to it, same as with capitalism. Besides better music there were no homeless people in the streets, everyone had a job and people were more sure of their future than they are now. But the arms race sucked a lot of money for the military needs hence the USSR backwardness in terms of consumer goods... These are all truisms and well-known facts though...
    Alice: One can't believe impossible things.
    The Queen: I dare say you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

  2. #22
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    Re: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

    Да Советская музыка .... Нынешней эстраде далеко до прошлого. Но это все благодаря цензуре. По поводу гонки вооружений - много средств было вложено в это.
    По поводу спортивнух достижений. В фашисткой Германии (незадолго перед войной) победу немецких спорсменов объясняли превосходством арийской рассы.

  3. #23
    Почтенный гражданин Martin Miles's Avatar
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    Re: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

    Quote Originally Posted by starrysky
    As for foreshadowing -- I don't know... It's a bit difficult for me to judge because I didn't live then. Any victory or defeat can then be seen as "foreshadowing."
    Quote Originally Posted by starrysky
    But the way Fischer ended could be seen as a sort of portent that "Something is rotten in the State of Denmarke."
    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77
    А Вы в курсе чем кончил Бобби Фишер? Смотрите как бы и вы, победители хреновы, там не оказались.
    Both of you seem to like the foreshadowing idea, at least sometimes. Исправляюсь: захотел сказать, что резултаты матча и войны были интересное совпадение. That was what I meant by "foreshadow". Strictly speaking, I suppose I could have expressed myself more accurately. And Denmark has no 'e'.
    Девушка - лoвушка.

    Пожалуйста, кто-то скажи мне, есть ли ошибки где-то.

  4. #24
    Hanna
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    Re: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

    I really don't think this chess match bore any relevance to what was to come in the cold war. It was just a milestone game between two very talented players who happened to come from different superpowers. Plus it was the first time for decades (I think) that the US had managed to beat Russia at chess.

    It's a mystery (to me) why the USSR went under. All I can think is that people got fed up with certain aspects of life in the USSR and that the government was no longer willing to apply force to stay in power and keep the union together. The dissolving of this superpower will surely go down in history as something very unique! I think that in a hundred years people will wonder how a superpower just "gave up" without even facing an external enemy... Perhaps there was something psychological involved. I don't think there is any similar example at all in history. It's not surprising to hear that there are conspiracy theories about it.

    I don't think the US "won" the cold war per se... it's more a case that it was the only player left in the game...

    I don't consider it to have any moral superiority. I'd guess that the same amount of people have died in wars that the US started, as the number of people who died as the result of brutal policies in the early years of the USSR. Possibly many more. A human life is worth the same amount whether the person is American, Russian, Vietnamese or Afghan...

    I like countries that take good care of its own citizens and treat them with respect.. And leaves other countries alone instead of meddling and starting wars.

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    Re: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

    Ok, Martin, I get your point. Sorry, if I insulted you - I was dead drunk when I posted above. But I still think the parallel between Fisher's victory and collapse of USSR is st.. er.. not proper. Let me remind you that the next chess champion was Anatoliy Karpov, again from USSR. And I personally think that the greatest result of Fisher's victory was the song :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvI0NmLmP-4 part 1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvOLRiQ8mTY part 2

    P.S. About U.S. "victory" in cold war. Imagine: two people are playing some stupid game. Then one of them suddenly realises that while he was playing there are some serious problems occured in his personal life. He tells his partner: " Sorry, I'm quit playing, I have far more important buisness right now." And the partner yells: "Ah, afraid? Then I won! Yehha!!!" Get my point?
    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

  6. #26
    Почтенный гражданин Martin Miles's Avatar
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    Re: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

    I'm certainly not arguing that Fischer-Spassky had any bearing on the outcome of the Cold War, only,as I said above, that it was an interesting coincidence that they both turned out the same way, given the huge significance that was attached to the encounter at the time.
    Whether people then were right to see it as a battle of East versus West rather than just another match is something that could be discussed. What may be relevant here is that Fischer was very much an individualist, doing everything on his own steam, and so could be seen as a good embodiment of Western ideas about the value of individualism and enterprise, whereas the Soviets were more collaborative, communal, if you like, and there were allegations that if two Russians played each other in a tournament the result might be fixed.
    And to be fair, Fischer really was enterprising, because in his day, nobody in America took chess seriously, or made a living from it, and then he came from nowhere and more or less singlehandedly won the World Championship. You may not be head over heels in love with the US, Johanna, and neither am I, but you have to admire that kind of spirit.
    So in the end there is some justification for seeing Reykjavik 1972 as more than just another match between opponents who just happened to come from different superpowers.
    Девушка - лoвушка.

    Пожалуйста, кто-то скажи мне, есть ли ошибки где-то.

  7. #27
    Hanna
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    Re: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77
    P.S. About U.S. "victory" in cold war. Imagine: two people are playing some stupid game. Then one of them suddenly realises that while he was playing there are some serious problems occured in his personal life. He tells his partner: " Sorry, I'm quit playing, I have far more important buisness right now." And the partner yells: "Ah, afraid? Then I won! Yehha!!!" Get my point?
    That's an absolutely fantastic and quite funny allegory.
    Haha, you're a lot sharper when you don't drink before posting here... guess it's just the holiday season... But luckily drinking doesn't seem to make you quite as outrageous as Dogboy... Speaking of which... I wonder what kind of "diplomatic" commment Dogboy will be making about the outcome of the cold war....

    Also, speaking about chess players & politics. I'm interested to hear about Kasparov and what he stands for (or opposes). All I know is that he has got involved in politics, in an opposition party. I have a very high view of him; he's practically like a living legend, from a chess perpective. But from what I understand, Putin does not share my appreciation of him... Don't know why.

    Good Vysotskij songs! I did not know he had made songs about chess. He's yet another genius person for sure...

    @Martin, actually I quite like a lot of things about the US including the people, many aspects of the culture and the amazing nature. I just dislike it's foreign policy, plus lately it's unwillingness to make an effort in environmental issues.

  8. #28
    Почтенный гражданин Martin Miles's Avatar
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    Re: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77
    About U.S. "victory" in cold war. Imagine: two people are playing some stupid game. Then one of them suddenly realises that while he was playing there are some serious problems occured in his personal life. He tells his partner: " Sorry, I'm quit playing, I have far more important buisness right now." And the partner yells: "Ah, afraid? Then I won! Yehha!!!" Get my point?
    It's a nice analogy, Basil. Btw, I remember when the Soviet Union collapsed some academic rushed into print with a book claiming that because democracy had triumphed history had effectively come to an end.
    The weakness of your comparison is that the Cold War was not just a trivial game unrelated to more important things, it was a big contest about which superpower had the better social/political/economic system. So if one opponent had to withdraw because his empire fell apart (the serious, personal problems of your analogy) then it suggests that the other contestant won because his system of government was better. In other words, the personal problems are really part of the game.
    But I am not saying the last word has been written. We have to see how things work out between the U.S. and China in this century.
    Девушка - лoвушка.

    Пожалуйста, кто-то скажи мне, есть ли ошибки где-то.

  9. #29
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    Re: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77
    Ok, Martin, I get your point. Sorry, if I insulted you - I was dead drunk when I posted above.
    *ха. так я и знала* I knew there was something about the tone of that comment...

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Miles
    And Denmark has no 'e'.
    I know it doesn't but it's Shakespeare -- that's how it was written where I copied it from. This quote is rather famous in Russia -- "что-то не так в Датском королевстве/не всё прекрасно в Датском королевстве."

    Quote Originally Posted by Aimak
    Нынешней эстраде далеко до прошлого.
    Надоели они мне все до смерти, пугачевы эти. Ни одного любимого певца/певицы русских нет. Ну "Любэ" неплохо, но они ещё "оттуда."

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    That's an absolutely fantastic and quite funny allegory.
    Yes, Basil hit the nail on the head. If it hadn't been for Gorbachev, we might still be living in the USSR. It wasn't so much the question of losing as quitting. A different person came to power... Then again, that's what the USA wanted, so... The communist dream and the Soviet way of life was a bit of utopia, a beautiful dream, as Ramil said somewhere I believe but an unworking system. I wish we could have a socialist state, like Sweden. Maybe that's what we're heading for? I do think it is, actually. I used to vote for democrats because I was brought up to believe capitalism, democracy=good, communism=bad. But the democratic parties seem very much in the shadows now and I've slightly changed my views...
    Alice: One can't believe impossible things.
    The Queen: I dare say you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

  10. #30
    Почтенный гражданин Martin Miles's Avatar
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    Re: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

    The line from Hamlet, is, of course, part of everyday English, like so much else written by Shakespeare. Since English spelling was standardised after the Bard wrote his plays, and because it is part of everyday language, no native English speaker would normally write "Denmarke" instead of "Denmark" eventhough Shakespeare spelt it that way.

    On your last point, I often find that the opinions that are most easily comprehended are often the least interesting since they are just repetitions of things I've heard too many times before, whereas originality is frequently difficult to understand at first.
    Девушка - лoвушка.

    Пожалуйста, кто-то скажи мне, есть ли ошибки где-то.

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    Re: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

    ="starrysky"Надоели они мне все до смерти, пугачевы эти. Ни одного любимого певца/певицы русских нет. Ну "Любэ" неплохо, но они ещё "оттуда.".


    You have forgot Трофима. His last songs not bad.

  12. #32
    Hanna
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    Re: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

    Quote Originally Posted by Starrysky
    What I dislike now is that sports events are again being made into more than what they are. It seems that political expectations are being placed on whether Russia 'won' or 'lost' in a football match. Those things suddenly become the most important items on the news. Football matches are becoming a sort of national frenzy. Perhaps I'm just not as much of a fan but I rather dislike it all.
    Yes, well if people only read about

    -The love life and weight of celebrities
    -Football and other sports
    -Freak occurrences, i.e. "My dog drowned my cat in the toilet"
    -What is the EXACT latest style of jeans to wear...

    etc...

    Instead of politics, economy, education, healthcare....
    .....then polticians and capitalists can continue to run things the way they please without too much interference from regular people. Convenient!

    "Junk news" are addictive actually. If you start reading about it, you want to read more! And whether people watch 24 hour news channels, or listen to the news on the radio, they still get essentially the same things.

    I agree that it is totally hyped.

    About a year ago my cable TV broke for two weeks and I can't get terrestrial TV because of the location of my building by the river. So I had no TV for two weeks and realised it was a very good thing. I never really got back to watching TV after that, and it is very liberating.

  13. #33
    Почтенный гражданин Martin Miles's Avatar
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    Re: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77
    Ok, Martin, I get your point. Sorry, if I insulted you - I was dead drunk when I posted above. But I still think the parallel between Fis[c]her's victory and collapse of USSR is st.. er.. not proper.
    Можем разрешать это на шахматной доске.
    Девушка - лoвушка.

    Пожалуйста, кто-то скажи мне, есть ли ошибки где-то.

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    Re: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

    Well, I'd already written this post but it disappeared in the Great Collapse of a few days ago...

    Anyway, I've recently watched this programme about a curious episode from the times of the Cold War. 50 years ago, on January 17, 1960, a Soviet self-propelled barge T-36 broke away from its pier on the Kuril Islands due to heavy weather and was set adrift in the Pacific Ocean. The crew, which consisted of 4 soldiers -- a Russian, a Tatar, and two Ukrainians -- had no means of communication and hardly any food -- one loaf of bread and 16 potatoes covered in black oil. The barge was damaged and as they drifted in the area, where the Soviet missiles were tested and navigation was forbidden, no ship could find them. They ate the bread in two days and had to split the remaining potatoes. But even so, they were soon reduced to boiling and eating their leather belts, wristlets, and even boots. They had virtually no water either, except rainwater. Sharks accompanied the barge continually. Finally, after 49 days of drifting in the sea, on March 7, starved and dying, the soldiers were found by an American aircraft carrier "Kearsarge." Here's its report http://www.history.navy.mil/wars/kearsage.htm.

    It is interesting that at first, dying as they were, the four men were unwilling to be taken to the American ship as they considered it "surrendering to the enemy." They were treated very well by the Americans, of course -- given a lot of food, which they had to refuse at first because they knew that in such cases, eating too much after having been so starved could prove fatal. Very soon, they were called heroes in the American media and asked how they managed to retain their humanity and didn't start fighting and trying to kill each other for food, which other people in similar situations had been known to do, to which they answered that they were Soviet people and that Soviet people are friends and brothers to each other. But at the same time they feared that on coming back home they would be labelled "traitors" for surrendering to the enemy and sent to prison camps (which they might have been, had Stalin been alive). They were offered political asylum in the US but refused it.

    In fact, they were received as heroes in the Soviet Union and became very popular. Some children started to refuse normal food and tried boiling boots -- they wanted to be heroes and tested their ability to survive in extreme conditions. The name of the junior sergeant Askhat Ziganshin (the Tatar) who was the superior in rank of the four entered into lyrics: "Зиганшин буги, Зиганшин рок, Зиганшин ест второй сапог". Vladimir Vysotsky wrote a song about their ordeal called "Сорок девять дней" ("49 days").

    The tv programme that I watched is called "Их могли не спасти. Узники Курильского квадрата" and it's available online.







    Interviews:
    http://www.ogoniok.com/archive/2002/4744/16-28-30/
    http://www.bulvar.com.ua/arch/2005/488-9/42246f4135d8b/
    http://smena.ru/news/2006/06/14/7793/
    Alice: One can't believe impossible things.
    The Queen: I dare say you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

  15. #35
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    Re: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

    Does anyone know any good books that tell the cold war from the perspective of the CCCP but translated into English?

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    Re: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

    I recommend "TASS Is Authorized to Declare" by Julian Semenov. It's written like fiction novel, but the whole plot based on real facts, even some names kept unchanged. The plot is about spies, the action takes place in early 80s. Point of view is typical for USSR: KGB=good guys, CIA=bad guys. There are TV series based on this novel, but I liked the book more. Unfortunately I have no idea if it was translated into English.
    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

  17. #37
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    Re: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

    I would also recommend two movies from my childhood:

    Incident At Map Grid 36-80 (Случай в квадрате 36-80)
    Plot summary:
    While on maneuvers, a Soviet naval flagship picks up a distress call from an American submarine carrying a secret nuclear arsenal. When the sub's computer malfunctions and gives the order to launch the cruise missiles, the American commander warns the Soviets. The opposing admirals must decide the fate of the nuclear sub.
    IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085723/


    Solo Voyage (Одиночное плавание)
    Plot Summary:
    It is the peak of the Cold War. A TV journalist stands on a US aircraft carrier, interviewing the ship's commander. The commander talks about the current military maneuvers of the US fleet. Among other things, the commander points out a shape of an unknown warship on the horizon, speaking about the Russians. According to the commander, they constantly track American wargames.
    At the same time, a man in the uniform of a high-ranking American military officer meets Jack Hessalt, a veteran of the Vietnam war. The military officer, a CIA agent, appoints US Army Major Jack Hessalt to be in charge of a missile command post inside a secret US military base in the Pacific Ocean. Jack is still troubled by memories of Vietnam, and realizes that he has no way out.
    While the US and Russian ships spy on each other in the zone of the Pacific military maneuvers, a single Russian frigate moves nearby a group of small islands. The combat patrol of the ship completed, she moves to Russian waters. After arriving at the US military base, Hessalt receives a secret order to launch a missile with a conventional warhead at the foreign civil ship. The CIA has planned this operation in order to blame a ship of the Soviet fleet for the unsuccessful launch of a missile. The aim of the operation is to prevent the upcoming Soviet-American summit by discrediting the Soviet authorities. Jack understands that his entire crew will be murdered immediately after the completion of the operation. There are also a few desperate guys inside the base who see the situation Hessalt's way. Finally, Jack decides to take full control of the base. Jack and his allies seize an intermediate-range missile equipped with a nuclear warhead, and are ready to make a suicidal attack on the Russian frigate that is approaching the islands where the US secret base is located.
    The Soviet command decides to send a group of marines to the island, led by Major Shatokhin, who are faced with the difficult assignment of preventing an incident that could lead to World War III.

    IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089721/
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  18. #38
    Завсегдатай BappaBa's Avatar
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    Re: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

    I like a serial about secret agent Tulyev.

    The Secret Agent's Blunder/Ошибка резидента 1968


    The Secret Agent's Destiny/Судьба резидента 1970


    The Secret Agent's Return/Возвращение резидента 1982


    The End of Operation/Конец операции резидент 1986

  19. #39
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    Re: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

    [s:3bxyt9mg]Secret agent[/s:3bxyt9mg] resident.

    IMO
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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    Re: Positive Aspects of the Cold War

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    [s:1g6462nk]Secret agent[/s:1g6462nk] resident.
    Т.е. секретный агент работает на своей территории, а резидент "засланный казачок"?

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