Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

 
Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Monday, May 2, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
by Dan Hancox
The Guardian (1 May 2011)

“Feeling nostalgic for the good old Soviet Union? Then head to Lithuania, where several theme parks let visitors feel exactly what it was like – right down to scary, abusive guards…. Just by the Neris river, towards the Belorussian border, a red flag by the side of the road indicates a turning into the forest, down a path towards an anonymous, decrepit building in a small clearing. Inside, Soviet anthems blare out from a creaking old radio, the paint is not so much chipping as crumbling off in blocks, the few striplights that are working are flickering maddeningly, and damp swarms over the walls like triffids. We are given mouldy overcoats that are so damp they’re virtually liquid, and a cup of Soviet coffee – coffee with no coffee in it, made from barley. As we wait for the actors to show up (several of them genuine ex-KGB), the 40 or so participants, mostly Lithuanians in their 20s, laugh at the absurdity of it, smirking at the kitsch costuming. This, it becomes clear, is the fun bit. “Do you guys understand Russian?” asks a Lithuanian comrade. An Australian, Matt, answers for both of us: “I understand people with dogs shouting at me.” Vanagaite chips in to tell us the alsation’s day-job is working in the police’s organised crime squad, digging for corpses. Oh good.”


Latest in European Studies

The Duchess of Cambridge and the Rise of the Sloane Ranger
— Harry Mount (The Telegraph, 9 January 2012)
All-TIME 100 Best Nonfiction Books
— TIME (TIME, 2011)
The UK Riots: The Psychology of Looting
— Zoe Williams (The Guardian, 9 August 2011)
Why Don't We Love Our Intellectuals?
— John Naughton (The Observer, 8 May 2011)
Oh, Britannia, How You Have Changed
— Andrew Sullivan (The Sunday Times, 24 July 2011)
How British Social History Is Written Through Our Cookbooks
— Felicity Cloake (New Statesman, 27 June 2011)
Heroes of the KGB: The Communist Bloc's Spy Films
— Alex von Tunzelmann (The Guardian, 5 May 2011)
Lithuania's Soviet Nostalgia: Back in the USSR
— Dan Hancox (The Guardian, 1 May 2011)
Germany's New Boom: Making Money by Making Stuff
— Larry Elliott (The Guardian, 14 March 2011)
Reggae: The Sound That Revolutionised Britain
— Neil Spencer (The Observer, 30 January 2011)

Latest in History

All-TIME 100 Best Nonfiction Books
— TIME (TIME, 2011)
How British Social History Is Written Through Our Cookbooks
— Felicity Cloake (New Statesman, 27 June 2011)
Words and Music: Our 60 Favorite Music Books
— Pitchfork (Pitchfork, 11 July 2011)
Before Walt Disney: 5 Pioneers of Early Animation
— Maria Popova (The Atlantic, 5 July 2011)
Heroes of the KGB: The Communist Bloc's Spy Films
— Alex von Tunzelmann (The Guardian, 5 May 2011)
What Is Totalitarian Art? Cultural Kitsch From Stalin to Saddam
— Kanan Makiya (Foreign Affairs, May 2011)
Lithuania's Soviet Nostalgia: Back in the USSR
— Dan Hancox (The Guardian, 1 May 2011)
The Best Civil War Books
— Malcolm Jones (The Daily Beast, 15 April 2011)
How the Civil War changed American Literature
— Craig Fehrman (The Boston Globe, 10 April 2011)
The Roots of the Irish Disco/Dance Club Scene
— Paul Tarpey (Amoeblog, 17 March 2011)
discussion by

Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.