"Now the trumpet summons us again—not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are—but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle [...]"
- John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address
TWILIGHT STRUGGLE is a card-driven board game simulation of the Cold War. It has been called a game of crisis management
; dealing with them yourself, creating them for your opponent, and their proper timing. There is a extensive blog about the game, Twilight Strategy
. This is that site's article on starting out play. This page could help you decide if it's for you. ("Do you enjoy games that are extremely tense and nerve-wracking?") Here's a YouTube video on how to play it.
And, although I suggest learning to play with a physical set, the online multiplayer wargaming client Warroom has a Java Twilight Struggle client/server program available
. There is also a VASSAL module
, but it currently doesn't work with VASSAL 3.2 or later. There's a lot more on the game after the break.... [more inside]
posted by JHarris
on Mar 24, 2013 -
Georgian-born Armenian, Sergei Parajanov
) was a controversial director in the Soviet era. At first he followed the state mandated style of Socialist Realism
, but in 1964 he broke out into his own style with Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
(YT), a dream-like film that combines expressionistic camera techniques, ethnography, and the logic of folktales
. The film won almost every, award in sight on the 1964 film festival circuit, but it was also of the restrictive Soviet approach to the arts
. The film was banned by authorities, but Parajanov did not return to realism, and instead paid tribute to the Armenian troubadour Sayat-Nova
("King of Songs" in Persian). The Color of Pomegranates
(1968) is a film that sought to portray Sayat-Nova through images inspired by his life and poetry
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Dec 5, 2012 -
“The music and lyrics of punk rock provoke among the young fits of aimless rage, vandalism, and the urge to destroy everything they get their hands on. No matter how carefully they try to clean it up, it will remain the most reactionary offspring of the bourgeoisie mass culture.” Pravda
Photographs and video
of pre-Perestroika/Glasnost punks in the Soviet Union. [Some site images possibly NSFW]
posted by Isadorady
on Aug 28, 2012 -
Sergey Petrovich Kapitsa (1928-2012)
, scientist, television personality, pacifist. The son of a Nobel Prize in Physics laureate
, Kapitsa's research drifted from physics into demography and mathematical population modeling, having spoken alongside Sagan in the Club of Rome. Kapitsa is better known, however, as the host of Evident, but incredible
, which catapulted him into the figure of a public ambassador of science and eventually the longest-running television host in the history of Russia. Kapitsa also left a minor mark as a filmmaker
, with his "Sea of Japan" arriving second to Jacques Cousteau in Cannes.
posted by syntaxfree
on Aug 21, 2012 -
Our Man in Great Neck: 'In June 1982, my grandparents, Murray and Helene Cohen, traveled to the Soviet Union as part of a secret mission
headed by the Great Neck chapter of the long island Committee for Soviet Jewry in order to pass information and contraband goods to Jews attempting to leave Russia.'
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jun 14, 2012 -
The Feynman Files.
For the first time, FBI records for Dr Richard Feynman have been released to the public
. They document the Bureau's apparent obsession in the 1950's with outing him as a communist sympathizer, and include notations from several background checks as well as interviews with his colleagues, friends and acquaintances.
posted by zarq
on Jun 6, 2012 -
Человек с киноаппаратом
("Man with a Movie Camera") is a classic experimental documentary film that was released in 1929. Directed by pioneer Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov
, this classic, silent documentary film has no story and no actors, and is actually three documentaries in one. Ostensibly it documents 24 hours of life in a single city in the Soviet Union. But it is also a documentary of the filming of that documentary and a depiction of an audience watching that documentary and their responses. "We see the cameraman and the editing of the film, but what we don't see is any of the film itself." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Feb 13, 2012 -
Growing up, she was a beloved celebrity in her home country. Thousands of girls were named after her. So was a bestselling perfume
. But Josef Stalin's "Little Sparrow," his only daughter, (born Svetlana Stalina) defected to the United States in 1967. Upon arriving in New York, she promptly held a press conference
that surprised the world, denouncing her father's regime. Svetlana
became a naturalized US citizen, moved to Taliesin West, married an American, changed her name to Lana Peters, then returned to the Soviet Union in 1984, declaring
that she had not been free "for one single day" in the U.S., only to once again
return to America in 1986. She lived out her remaining days in a small town in Wisconsin
. Mrs. Peters passed away
from colon cancer on November 22nd, at the age of 85. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Nov 28, 2011 -
In 1967, Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov went up in a capsule he knew would never get back
(NSFW gruesome image) to earth in one piece. He could have bowed out of the mission, but that would meant his good friend, Yuri Gagarin (the first man in space) would have drawn the mission instead. So Vladamir launched knowing it was a suicide mission. The CIA was listening in , and recorded what may have been Vladimir Komarov's last words, amid cries of rage. Adding to the tragedy, Yuri died in a plane crash the next year.
posted by COD
on Mar 18, 2011 -
The Soviet Collapse
"The document which effectively concluded the history of the Soviet Union was a letter from the Vneshekonombank in November 1991 to the Soviet leadership, informing them that the Soviet state had not a cent in its coffers."
posted by bitmage
on Nov 19, 2010 -
"Russia's three all-female air regiments flew more than 30,000 missions along the Eastern Front in WWII. At home they were known as Stalin's Falcons, but terrified German troops called them the Night Witches." [more inside]
posted by shetterly
on Nov 6, 2009 -
1989: The Lost Year.
"Twenty years after the Berlin Wall came down, the end of the Cold War still inspires euphoria and triumphalism in the West. But even as we lift toasts once again to the victory of 1989, we should re-examine that momentous year. Documents
, and other evidence that have come to light suggest that for relations between the United States and the Soviet Union, it was also a time of missed opportunity." The first article in a series by Foreign Policy. Also, check out the National Security Archive's Electronic Briefing Books section to access "critical declassified records on issues including U.S. national security, foreign policy, diplomatic and military history, intelligence policy, and more."
posted by cog_nate
on Nov 5, 2009 -
More subprime collateral damage. Iceland's now getting a $5B bailout
from Russia. What does Russia want in return
? Access to shipping lanes? The old US base? via
posted by blahblah
on Oct 7, 2008 -