28 September 2008

A tiny T-34

When I saw this little guy, he reminded me of my favorite tank. Just like the Soviet T34, he looks crude, sturdy, and is about to (hopefully!) consume that technologically advanced fly.

*If you thought that I was feeling totally zen as a result of not only taking, but also posting a nature-lovin', tree-huggin', water bottle-recyclin' photograph of a frog, I trust that my tank analogy totally destroyed your initial assumption.


It's been several months since I've even looked at this blog, and my never-updated personal website has been down inexplicably for two weeks. (Web hosting money well spent! And there I was thinking of redesigning it.) I'm amidst transcribing a lengthy interview regarding the unofficial Soviet rock (unfortunately, not metal specifically) music publications for one of my multiple jobs in the pre-"dissertating" stage. Stalinist shock-worker style.

I have an irreconcilable attitude toward being swept into Russia's irreconcilable history by the mere fact of having been born at the USSR's epicenter nearly twenty-eight years ago. Nonetheless, I've always admired the 30s Stakhanovite shock workers, despite having read many a book on Stalinist economics by "free" and Gulag laborers alike. And, it is not so much the peculiar brand of an ambitious work ethic than is motivating, but rather the fact that it fits my lifestyle.

The only way I can maintain the crazy train (not the Ozzy kind) pace that I've signed myself up for is by subscribing to the udarnik technique. So, whereas a normal PhD student would spread the work over a few days, with sleep and socializing-with-other-humans breaks in between, I am going to do this entire job in one go. By choice and no longer by choice.

Whereas the man who mined one hundred and two tonnes of coal in five hours and forty-five minutes may inspire me to do the same via Microsoft Word, the strange reason I came back to the blog has to do with Sex Machineguns. With the help of the Google translator, I've been reading Anchang's blog for the past week (naturally, during my well earned Stakhanovite breaks). Presumably as a result of the automated translator's limitations and my cliched perception, some of the entries sound like haikus. What I really enjoy about his blog (apart from the multiple photos of objects great and small that carry a heavy metal significance), is the fact that this Japanese rock celebrity manages to keep things succinct, frequent, entertaining, sufficiently personal, yet private at the same time (as his status would require). I'm neither succinct, Japanese, nor a celebrity (phew!), but perhaps the South-East Asian rockstar public diary is just what I need to balance out Alexey Stakhanov.