Reds fanfic

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by E. Burke, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. Shevek23 Spherical Cow-poke

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    It most likely would if such a system had been adopted OTL without the evolution of values and practices I hoped to sketch. Something like that probably did happen a lot in the early USSR--though I would bet plenty of instances of the Party putting the brakes on it could be cited. Much of this kind of thing was probably censored largely from the record.

    But is it inconceivable to you that a moral evolution could take place, especially with the USSR influenced by the UASR, to enable this sort of organization all through the USSR with that sort of tyranny of the majority becoming rarer and eventually almost completely abolished? That in the context of improving quality of life, a frank and open democracy would operate to deter such excesses, take measures to correct them when they happen, and eventually such bedlam in such circumstances is almost completely unheard of, and every incident that strays in this direction brings intervention and attempts at correction in its wake?

    The premise of the TL is that forms of Communism can be made to work, and surely anyone who is aware of the vision of the future Marxists pursued would expect that Communists in a functional version of it would deplore ethnic bigotry and condemn rash and disproportionate actions among members of a socialist society? If one rejects the premise, of course none of the institutions of any of the Comintern societies presented here would work as advertised; one would have to presume that stories such as the one starting this exchange, about the Kadet campaigning but facing much hostility, were cleaned up propaganda or even outright fabrications, I suppose.
     
  2. Libertad Interdimensional Traveler Anarchist

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    @Bookmark1995 is on the line that the UASR is more of a "radical social democracy" and this radical social democratic world that the UASR had created is in an incredibly different situation to the "more traditionally communist" USSR and so it means that while the UASR is indeed more advanced in many ways that the US of OTL, it doesn't necessarily mean that there are exponential advancements in societal affairs and cultural norms that there is a sudden 180 from the situation that corresponds OTL to something more advanced than OTL 2018 in just a few years.

    It's the entire message of his series of posts on this thread on many, many things. The UASR advances more than OTL US but not so much and the USSR is on the same road until the 1970s. It changes by the 1970s like the social and cultural changes of OTL and then that's when you can see the advances.

    That's the gist of what I am seeing and reading. Doesn't mean that I fully agree to this premise but it's good nonetheless and it's acceptable because I love his works and they do not mean to become cannon. Jello and Red Star are very quiet about the post-1945 world for all of the hints of previous versions and the retcons.
     
  3. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

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    Thank you for understanding my point.
     
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  4. Libertad Interdimensional Traveler Anarchist

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    But to be fair, I also understand what @Shevek23 is pointing out and I personally lean more on his direction ... that we may have been underestimating how revolutionary social and cultural changes can become due to the impact of a North American communist revolution more than what is currently offered by the latest updates. Shevek is more open about the potential and the possibilities while Bookmark is more moderate and at most skeptical.

    I understand it all. I don't mean to side with one of the two, though.

    Thank you for understanding my point of view too, friends. :)
     
  5. Redshank Galloglass Literally Alasdair Mac Colla Banned

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    I'm a bit more skeptical of the more extreme social and cultural changes, honestly.
     
  6. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

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    You sir, are a rarity on the Internet, a mediator.
     
  7. Aelita In ur means of production...

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    There are no sirs here, only comrades
     
  8. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

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    Hahahahaha...

    But seriously, I am perturbed by a society that alters speech patterns. I don't know why, but I feel that is a sign of totalitarianism.
     
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  9. Mr.E The Man that Time Forgot

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    I mean, language is a fluid thing, and circumstances do change it.
     
  10. Redshank Galloglass Literally Alasdair Mac Colla Banned

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    Agreed.
     
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  11. Crunch Buttsteak Supreme Thunder! Donor

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    Language is fluid and constantly changes, and it reflects the culture that it resides in. That the UASR has been diverging culturally from the OTL USA for a century, of course language is going to change.

    It’s not a top-down imposition of language, it’s a bottom-up evolution of language.
     
  12. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

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    Yes, but when it is done through ideological motivation rather than evolution, it is a sign that an ideology has taken hold over a country.

    The ITTL ideology seems good, but still...
     
  13. The_Red_Star_Rising Homestuck Trash

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    To believe any society is not in the thrall of an ideology is some pretty pure ideology. *Sniff*

    Liberal ideology is largely unconscious in OTL's America, but it's very much there.
     
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  14. BP Booker Citizen Shill

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    The Postal Clause

    The Postal Clause was an American period piece comedy/drama that ran from 1991 to 1996 about a group of American Mailmen working in Manhattan from the late 1940s to early 1950s, as through their profession witness the post war consensus, the shifting culture of their country, the increased tensions between former allied nations and their own personal lives and struggles.

    The series follows Abel Dean, who moved in from upstate New York at the beginning of the first season, and now works as a mailman in the country’s biggest city, a radical change from his old job as the only mailman in a town with less than 1000 residents. Wanting more for himself and curious about life in the “big city” Abel moves to Manhattan and gets to see, first hand, the radical changes American society has gone through, and is going through. Overtly eager, boundlessly optimistic, but extremely naive and politically unsavvy he gets quite a shock when he arrives to the Big Apple. Other characters find him annoying for his sheltered attitude, but as he mellows out and grows as a person he becomes quite close to his work colleges.

    Other characters include:

    Ralph Fuller, a veteran from both the Revolution and WWII and committed Marxist who serves a sort of reluctant teacher to Abel, who he jokes “didn’t know there was a revolution until he crossed the Washington Bridge”. Ralph and Abel are usually the ones to try to help other people with problems who they run into in the job, under the guise of community solidarity.

    Peter Castelli, a quiet and shy Italian-American who finds himself increasingly at odds with how communal and social American culture is becoming. Soft spoken and timid he is usually the target of Ralph´s attempts to get him to interact more than the bare minimum with the rest of society.

    Caleb Bernnan, a cheery and easygoing African-American from Georgia. While quite happy of the progress the country has made in the last years, he is still, with Ralph, one the most outspoken and active reformers. He is in a relation with a local mechanic, Randall Simpson, which earns him the quiet antipathy of Dean, which forms part of his latter character development

    Abraham Ackle, the cantankerous district administrator who, according to Ralph “Wanted to fight for the Union, but was told he was too old”. Ackle is a strict, overbearing post carrier obsessed with punctuality and record keeping, who “fights valiantly against the politicization of our work place by government ideologues” but does show at the end to care for the people in his life and is even more progressive at times than the much younger Dean

    The series received positive reviews during its original run, however, The Postal Clause is now more famous for its Halloween Special Episodes, which take place outside continuity. On this once a year episodes, the Character of Peter Castelli would reveal that he is not shy and quiet because that’s just how his personality is, but because he’s a actually a supernatural creature. He was, in order of season: a werewolf, a vampire, a dimension hopper from a timeline where the revolution didn’t happen, a time traveler, an alien and a wizard
     
  15. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

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    Was this ripped off from Treehouse of Horror?
     
  16. BP Booker Citizen Shill

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    Not really, more like the BBC Red Nose Day Specials
     
  17. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

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    Even as the old Jewish Identity Fades in Berdichev, Another is Slowly Emerging in Leningrad


    By Aaron Bernstein


    [​IMG]

    Picture of the LYT.

    [1]
    A Bittersweet Ending


    Berdichev, a city in Western Ukraine of 80,000, seems unremarkable in a country like the USSR. However, in the Jewish Renaissance taking place across the former Pale, it is a moderate area of tourist and scholarly. Like many communities across Ukraine, Belarus, and Poland, they have uncovered their long buried past of Jewry, and are rebuilding it for some tourist dollars.


    Berdichev itself holds a special place in Jewish history. In a small home located on the outskirts of the city, Sholem Yankev Abramovitsh, aka Mendele the Book Peddler, would begin the modern literary Yiddish tradition with tales of human folly. Today a restored home can be visited by tourists [2], and surrounding the building is a moderately sized cultural center, known as the Berdichev Jewish Community center. Here tourists can learn about Jewish history, take Yiddish courses, and even buy books of Mendele's tales and other literary works in the original Yiddish.


    "Here is an old Jewish dining set," says Lev Kurschman, the 88 year old curator of the museum. He takes me to the backroom of the facility, where various artifacts of old Pale life are displayed.


    "Here a family of maybe ten would enjoy Shabbat diner," Kurschman says. He then pauses and bends his head. "Mine did as well."


    For Kurschman, his role in Berdichev's Jewish Renaissance, is bittersweet. For the Renaisance is largely occurring, as in most other communities in Eastern Europe, almost without its large Jewish population. Kurschman is the only Jewish employee of the Community Center. The tour guides are mainly Russian or Ukrainian, and most of the attendees of cultural activities are semitophilic gentiles.


    The reason for this lies in the darker side of Jewish history. Outside the Center is a monument to the Shoah of Bullets, when hundreds of thousands of Jews were mercilessly gunned down across the Western Soviet Union during Operation Teutonic, often with the help of Ukrainian collaborators. The monument, a large stone statue of a family huddled together, shows the fascist brutality toward the innocent.


    Sadly for Kurschman, this too is not something for him that is in a museum, but something he barely survived.


    "The Germans demanded all of appear near the ravine," Kurschman mutters barely holding back tears.


    On August 10, 1940, the Jews of Berdichev, confined to a ghetto were ordered to appear on a ravine. A young 13 year old Lev remembers appearing with two older sisters and his parents.


    "They demanded we give up our money and positions in order to be able to work," Kurschman spat bitterly.


    He watched in shock as many of his former Ukrainian comrades were among those rounding up him and his family, taunting them all the way.


    "A year ago, we sang the Internationale, but know they no longer saw us as Soviets, but as Jews," Kurschman continued.


    When thousands of them arrived, Kurschman was behind his older family members when the Nazis pulled out their machine guns, and began the mass executions, surpassing the horror of any previous pogrom 1000 fold.


    "I felt my parents and sisters collapse on top of me," Kurschman continued. "It was when I felt blood flow on top of me that I knew they would not get up."


    The Nazis then picked up the corpses of the dead and the half dead, and tossed them into a burial pit. Those who were still alive and could crawl out were beaned with a shovel by the Ukrainian militias in a twisted game of Wack-A-Mole[3].


    Kurschman hid under the bodies of the dead for up to two days, no food or water, until he finally could crawl out.


    "I did not cry when I left. I was out of tears," Kurschman continued. "Having no family to protect, I only became concerned with my survival.


    Kurschman would spend the next four years until the liberation of Ukraine fighting as a guerrilla fighter in a partisan band, the loss of family inspiring an incredible hatred for the German Nazis. He was one of 26 survivors out of a 15,000 executed over two days. By the end of the war, over 25,000 of Berdichev's Jews would lie in the ground.


    Although 5,000 Jews, including Kurschman, would return to Berdichev, their population growing to 6,000 by 1960. But in spite of this, the decline of Pale life in Berdichev would only continue. Even before the Second World War, the forces of assimilation, state atheism, and migration were already causing Jewish life in the Pale to decline significantly.


    The Second World War brutally accelerated the process, and instead of greater acceptance of their faith, the Jews of Berdichev and elsewhere who escaped German gas and bullets found continued hostility from their neighbors, and a blanket of silence the Soviet leadership was pushing on them. Those who sought to maintain their faith chose to flee to the UASR and the fledging Palestinian state. Others abandoned their faith and pursued assimilation into the Soviet nation, and relocated to fledgling urban centers.


    A handful of people, like Kurschman, continued to remember their stories in this veil of silence, in hopes that one day, their nation would allow them to tell it, and others would actually listen.


    The Cultural Leap and the Black Easter Massacre finally forced the Soviet nation to confront the pervasive antisemitism and deal with tragedies like the Shoah of Bullets. More importantly, it led to communities to finally rediscover and celebrate their Jewish history. Kurschman, the unofficial Jewish scholar, would help open the Berdichev Jewish Community Center in 2003.


    But by that point, the Jews of Berdichev were in continued decline. Today, the Jewish population of Berdichev is little over 1,000, over two-thirds of whom are over the age of 65. Every week, the elderly and those old enough to remember the old days are dying out. The young, those who could carry on the traditions, are leaving for opportunities elsewhere, in Kiev and Odessa. Even the old are packing up and retiring. Kurschman himself plans to return to a retirement community in El Salvador in the next six months, because many of his elderly friends have passed on.

    "After Yitzhak (his friend) died, I realized that I couldn't go on," Kurschman said sadly. "I have to leave."

    Kurschman, however, is not without hope.

    Each week, hundreds of tourists buy the titles of Mendele, walk the museums, lay wreathes at the site of the massacre, purchase recordings of Yiddish songs, and even take Yiddish courses in their spare time, Many of them pure Slavs, and not just Jewish tourists. For while Jews of Berdichev may vanish one day, the Gentile authorities are working to preserve their history-good or bad- for generations to come. This is something Kurschman himself never imagined would happen even three decades ago.

    "The fact that the commissars here want to keep this, perserve this," he pauses and looks outside as he watches gentile schoolchildren learn about making Matzo from scratch, with a smile, "it means we won. The fascists wanted not only kill us, but destroy our history, our traditions, that we existed. As long as we remember our history, than my family never truly have died."


    Uncovering the Past

    In April 1987, a 13 year old Natalia Gurevich was taking a history class in her secondary school in Leningrad. Her assignment, as told by her old teacher, Professor Nadezhda Prokiera, was to research her family history and give a presentation about it, and tell a story about a relative. Of course, the kind of the story her old-timer teacher wanted was obvious.


    "The Great Patriotic War", Gurevich said with a playful sneer, "Us Leningraders have millions to say about that." We sat in a small kosher cafe located on the first floor of the Leningrad Jewish Center, known locally as the LYT [4], which she founded back back in the 1990s, and is the current director.


    Leningrad, and its incredible and horrific story of survival against the vicious Nazi horde which sought to raze the old imperial capital to the ground, remains possibly the most definitive conflict of the Second World War. It defined the war as the precarious survival of socialism against the union between capital and fascism. Those who lived through it told many stories. Those who fled will talk about their life on the frontline, or in the hinterlands of the Soviet Union. Those trapped in the city will talk about the struggle to survive as death itself was evident in the starving streets. In her family, Natalia learned about the latter.


    "My grandfather Georgy, I learned, was a doctor," Gurevich commented. "He stayed in hospitals during the siege, working tirelessly even the hospitals became little more than morgues."


    The young Natalia, however, wanted to learn if the story was true.

    She visited the hospital where her grandfather Georgy had worked. To her surprise, she found records of him working there, dated from the siege of the city.

    "Like any Leningrader, I felt proud of my ancestors for defending the motherland," Gurevich said with a smile.

    However, a letter found in the files of her grandfather drew her attention.

    "The letter was dated 1938", Gurevich said, "I believe it was from a hospital administrator. He called my father 'Grossman' ".

    The name Grossman led Gurevich to ask her father, Valentin about it.

    "When I showed him the letter, he went catatonic," Gurevich. "Like I thought I had discovered a horrific secret."

    A Tsarist Mentality

    The history of Jews in Russia is more complicated then simply pogroms and racism.

    While the tsars frequently riled up antisemitism to support themselves, and banned the majority of Jews to the Pale , a select few Jews with valued skills and business sense were allowed to enter the capital. In return for their privileges, they were required to abandon their traditions and become Russian.

    "This cultural domination was a powerful tool of the ruling classes," said Meyer Vinsky, a professor of Soviet cultural history and part time teacher at the LYT. "This was meant to distract the various peoples' from fighting for their rights."

    Even after the fall of the tsar and the consolidation of Soviet power, the Soviet government continued the tsarist policy of assimilation toward non-Russian peoples.

    "Even Comrade Stalin, an oppressed Georgian, retained this tsarist mentality," Vinsky commented. "Abandoning his own identity to imitate the men who had conquered his people." [5]

    Jewish people, despite officially equals, were often discouraged from practicing their culture, except from a proletariat standpoint. And like in tsarist times, those who wanted to assimilate into society often did adopt Russian identity.

    Georgy Gurevich, born Grossman, originally came from Shostka, in a Jewish community similar to Lev Kurschman. Unlike Kurschman, Gurevich, whether motivated by opportunism or ideology, abandoned his Jewish roots and name to work in Leningrad. It was easy, as Grossman was blond, and not easily identifiable as Jewish, similar to Natalia who does not appear Jewish to an outsider.

    Assimilation was the goal of Leningrad's 200,000 Jews, and others living in the Russian Republic. Ironically, the abandonment of their traditions that may have protected them. Unlike their cousins in Ukraine and Belarus, the Jews of Leningrad managed to survive and avoid the Holocaust of Bullets that would kill a million and destroy the world of piety that Kurschman and others like him were born into.


    "After my father confessed, it was like a fire had been lit under him," Gurevich said. "He seemed eager to learn about his roots."

    Against the objections of her mother, Leonida, Valentin dragged his daughter to synagogue, suddenly eager to learn about his roots. For Valentin, who lived under a shadow of oppression, his daughter's rediscovery of his buried heritage was a sign of his long repressed desire to practice in the open.

    Natalia, however, had little interest in service.

    "I found the whole thing boring, just standing and praying," Natalia says with disgust. "I didn't see a point."

    While her father's generation was a generation of Jews that had buried their faith, and only practiced in private, Natalia's generation, born in the fires of the Cultural Leap had not the same want. Their desires-American movies, sex, and drugs-were not spiritual. Of course, her concerns were also reputation.

    "A mob of fascists attacked those walking into the city," Natalia says with anger. "Calling us Zionists and capitalist puppets."

    Prejudice also awaited her at the synagogue. Due to the rule of matrilineal descent in the Halakha, Natalia was not considered a Jew, and was barred from the traditional service.

    "This one asshole rabbi even called me a gentile bastard child," Natalia said with fury on her face.

    The Leningrad of the 1980s, despite the growing cultural shift, remained a society in transition. Even in a growing freedom, old prejudices remained. Caucasus people were still called "Black-ass", LGBT communities remained mostly underground and disliked, and Beria-style gangs continued to persecute those challenging the supremacy of Soviet power.

    Black Easter and a New Awakening

    By 1992, Natalia was enrolled at an engineering college in Leningrad, hoping to become an electrician, when the horror of the Pogrom was revived in Easter of that year.

    "I was sitting in my dorm when a roommate of mine showed me the newspaper," Natalia said.

    For many Jews of the Soviet Union, the evil of Black Easter did not inspire fear or emigration. As with every injustice, it instead inspired resistance. Those who assimilated would no longer hide from their heritage.

    "I decided then I was not going to let those fascist bastards from keeping me down," Natalia said with a wicked smirk. "I was going to fight by embracing my Jewish background."

    Natalia, however, understood that she could not win over the modern Soviet generation with an appeal to tradition. The old-style Jewish celebrations, and old-style prejudice had alienated the young Natalia. Judaism had to become attractive to outsiders, if it was going to survive.

    "Most people my age wanted to have fun, not stand around in a hot suit reading an old suit," Natalia with a grin.

    The young Natalia began writing to Jewish communities in the UASR and Canada, asking them for advice. She began meeting with other Jewish people in her university. More importantly, she asked her Russian friends what they would like to do in a Jewish club.

    "They originally told a racist joke," Natalia said, "but when I pressed them, they said 'it would be like one of those new clubs, singing, dancing, drinks."

    In 1994, Natalia founded the LYT in a small warehouse in Leningrad. Here, she would be constructing the new Soviet Jew.

    "I never expected what would follow from that tiny building," Natalia said with a smile.

    A Shared Judaism

    Seven decades after the fall of fascism, the memories of the siege have largely faded in the Second City of the USSR. The Leningrad of today is one that works toward the future, and that seeks to uphold the ideals of Comintern instead of being merely mouthed about them.

    The tsarist tradition for Russification has been replaced by a celebration of cultural diversity. Many of the 7 million residents [6] of the modern Leningrad are non-Russians, many of them are non-Soviet migrants from the Eastern bloc.Through the city, dozens of languages are spoken everyday. Many faiths, from Orthodox Christianity to Catharism, are practiced. Millions of tourists from around the world come to the city see the beautiful palaces and museums left behind by the tsarist predecessors.

    20 kilometers south of the Hermitage, the HQ of the YLT, nickname the Menorah building for its Menorah like design, rises from the surrounding landscape. Built in 2009, funded by Jewish groups from across the Comitern, it has become the unofficial Jerusalem of the Eastern bloc, and a place of fun and learning for Leningrad's Jews, who have grown by 50,000 in the last two decades.

    It is here that modern Soviet Jewry has emerged. While there are several synagogues on the grounds of the facility, these are not the only things a visitor can enjoy here.

    "We have shops, languages, gyms, restaurants, bars, language classes in Hebrew and Yiddish, poetry," she says as we leave the cafe. "And a discotechque," she says, pulling my arm toward the red doors where it is located.

    What is more important than the facilities offered are the patrons themselves, and who is allowed. Half of the people I've met here are not Jewish. Many of them are Slavic, some of them East and Central Asians. The chefs at the cafe I ate at are Chinese who whip up a delicious Palestinian-Chinese fusion dish. This is a Jewish center than invites goyim, rather than rejects outsiders. Here, non-Jews can participate in the Maccabean Hannukah, with some getting to play Judah.

    "Only by teaching people about what Judaism is can we bury the demons of hatred," says Natalia. As we enter the discotheque, we find a Yiddish tradition that not even Mendele could have conceived: A group of Belarusian rappers singing a techno mix of old Yiddish songs. The multiethnic crowd jumps at the modernized version of this old language.

    Gurevich has worked hard to promote this new Jewish identity of shared tradition. Other Jewish communities throughout the Soviet Union and Eastern bloc are taken this openness model with incredible success.

    The old isolated life in the Pale may be dying out, but the fortune of the Soviet Jewish community, by building a new tradition based off openness seems brighter than ever.

    [1] OTL, this is the Jewish community center of Dnipropetrovsk, said to be one of the largest in the world. I'm stunned that they would build such a building in the city that was less than one percent Jewish.

    [2] OTL, it hasn't been restored, but I figured ITTL, the authorities would be eager to resurrect the an old symbol of Yiddish culture.

    [3] I read about this in Dina Pronicheva's horrific account of Babi Yar.

    [4] Leningradskiy yevreyskiy tsentr

    [5] Stalin was awfully quick to embrace Russian culture, as I've observed. Like Hitler was a wannabe German, I think Stalin was a wannabe Russian.

    [6] OTL, it got to be about 5 million, but I figured with the USSR's survival, the population would get bigger.
     
  18. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2016
    Quotes About UASR Youth

    -In Ireland, the greatest hope for our children is them becoming community leaders. Our greatest fear is them becoming hedonistic hooligans. In America, they are often both. The teenager who helps his community can behave in a way that makes you think he is destroying it.

    -Former Irish Ambassador to the UASR Sean Fitzpatrick, in his 1993 book Diplomacy: The Hidden Years

    -American Teenage Hooligan Disrespects Renowned British Theorist
    -Daily Mail headline from 1992

    -American Exchange Student Rebuked For Correcting Controversial Physician
    -The Guardian headline covering that same event

    -I remember I visited my brother and his family in Pittsburgh. He has this little girl who makes your heart melt. I called her princess-you know, because she is adorable- and she gives me 3 minute lecture about the problem of archaic political structures. Only in America does an eight-year old start a political debate over nothing.

    -Canadian tourist, 1987

    -They say American teenagers are stuck-up, self-centered, and pretentious. That they are coddled by the socialist state, and they don't need to unlearn their vulgar behavior. The opposite is true: the excesses of American children are the result of them having responsibility born on them, maybe too much.

    Since the 1930s, children in America are taught to expect an eventual great battle against capitalism will be upon them, and they must prepare. Their teenage years are spent training, exercising, and even learning to carry a rifle. Despite stories of foolish American youth mishandling weapons, there are less firearm accidents there then in the FBU, despite there being more guns.

    Democracy in America is not a privilege, but a responsibility. While only half of the eligible FBU citizens may vote in their lives, the UASR child is forced from a young age to participate in government, learn how to behave on a worker's council, and question authority, and .

    If there is arrogance, it is an arrogance born from gaining responsibility, sometimes even before reaching the driving age. Because his athleticism, education, belief in an idea of the world, and military skill makes him feel mature, and thus can feel justified in thinking himself better than the people from across the pond.

    -British psychoanalyst, 2005

    In my old school, they pick on the new kid. In America, the class fights over who will invite the new kid over for lunch. Their civics books teach them to be welcome. I get teased for being a "bourgeois", but mostly in good fun.

    -Young British Immigrant, 2002

    In France, children are bullied over clothes and shoes. In America, children will tease a kid who didn't participate in their community project.

    -French immigrant, 1994

    What does an American child and a crowbar to the head equal? Two headaches for the parents.

    -British joke
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
  19. Mr.E The Man that Time Forgot

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    Commonpedia.org
    Andrew Miller (Fictional Character)

    Andrew Miller is a fictional detective, created by John Fredrick Begay, first appearing in Hollywoodland (1987).

    Andrew Sapper Miller is a hard drinking, hard smoking professional detective with the Los Angeles Police Militia between 1946-1968. A veteran of both the Civil War and World War II, Miller walks with a limp from a bullet he received during the Battle of Moscow. In his spare time, he enjoys chess, reading philosophy (particularly early socialist and Marxist theory) and poetry, and classical music. He keeps in shape (having been a boxer in his teens), and has training in combat from the Army. He is a devout Marxist, which informs his opinion on various matters (one of his comrades stated in a later book, that Bill Bailey would say that Miller was too uncompromising), but retains a cold intellectual demeanor in the face of the various violent crimes he has investigated. Still, he has compassion and occasional sympathy, particularly when he learns of the circumstances of a case, and is willing to compromise.

    Begay, a geologist and cartographer for the Navajo ASR, originally wrote the murder-mystery The Dry Valley in 1984, based on his experiences on the job. Despite Begay himself stating that it was "horrendous" (and only got reprints after the success of the Andrew Miller series), it gave him the confidence to write a better murder mystery. This time, he decided to take a different route, and write a traditional murder mystery. Bengay described the story as "Max Kaplan-Meets-Raymond Chandler," and wrote an appropriate character for such a description. An agent of the government, like Jack Stern, but also a detective, like Phillip Marlowe. Begay also took influence from the show Dragnet, particularly in its setting of post-war Los Angeles. Hollywoodland was released to critical success in 1987, prompting Begay to write several other Miller novel, showing the characters progression through the 20th Century.

    Hollywoodland (1987): 1947,An acclaimed film director is found dead in his home, a blunt force to his head. While the investigation seems to point to a crime of passion committed by the director's actress wife during a heated argument, Miller instead senses something bigger. He finds a discarded version of the script for Aleppo, the feature he was filming at the time of his death. He eventually finds a web of conspiracy involving the film committee, the film funding commission, and a dispute over the growing costs of the feature, as well as a number of changes made to the script by the director.

    Valley of the Sun (1991): 1955, A Russian mechanic is found dead, having been strangled and left under an unfinished car. Miller's investigation eventually sees him in the middle of a gang war between Russian and Mexican youth gangs, the mechanic being the first casualty. Miller is forced to try to stop this war, before it intensifies even further.

    Peach Springs (1993): 1961, The death of a construction worker for a new planned commune in California reaches back to Los Angeles, where Miller attempts to untangle the consistent mismanagement of the commune, and the real reason the commune has been built (involving a corrupt commissar and money laundering). In the meantime, Miller pursues a relationship with another commissar also investigating the program.

    Sunshine Boulevard (1998): 1964, Miller's orthodox Marxism is shaken by the arrival of the Second Cultural Revolution, and a killer targeting young people throughout the city. He deals with these implications while also dealing with his new family, and especially, his new daughter. New, younger detectives are also being elected from the volunteer pool, some of them embrace the SecCulRev values to his discomfort. Eventually, he realizes that a volunteer in the militia is the killer, further shaking his belief in the system.

    Golden Coast (2001): 1968, a bombing happens at the California Commune Bank. A letter is sent, proclaiming it to be the responsibility of the "Children of the Golden Coast", a neo-reactionary group (a reference to real reactionary group "The Sons of the Golden West"), and warning of a larger attack. Miller and his team work over time to find the ringleaders of this group, and their future target. Despite capturing the ringleaders and stopping the bombings, Miller is caught by the still-in-progress bomb during the capture. This experience, reminding him of Moscow, causes him to retire.

    Turquoise Mountain (2005): 1971, Miller has been retired for 3 years, now divorced (still visiting his daughter at the children's creche), and working occasionally as a private investigator. He receives a visit from a Navajo woman, who hires him to find her brother, who had disappeared in the Navajo ASR ten days earlier. He travels to the region, where he teams up with a local detective to investigate the brother's last step. There, he finds the brother had been seen with a group called "The Higher Plane". This leads them to a small farm, where the members are leading an ascetic lifestyle, under a mysterious Guru. Miller and the detective know that something mysterious is happening underneath this (Begay based the details of the story off his childhood in the Navajo ASR).

    Despite the relative popularity of the books, very few adaptations were made of Miller. An TV movie was made from Peach Springs in 1997, with Ray Wise in the lead role as Miller, largely a period piece in the vein of the book. Golden Coast was partially adapted into the third entry of popular Justice action film series Justice: Golden Coast(with the character of Miller replaced by the lead character of that film, and the Golden Coast changed to a Strasserist organization). Finally, a proper adaptation of Hollywoodland was made in 2009, with Adrien Brody as Andrew Miller. However, unlike the book, set in 1947, the film was set in 1987 (the year of the publication of the book), with Miller now having gotten his limp from the Congo Wars. The character mostly acts as an anachronism, a 40's style detective living in the 1980's.[1] His hard living, underhanded ways are unwelcome, and he is at odds with the professional police force. Begay himself cameoed.

    [1] Think Robert Altman's version of The Long Goodbye
     
  20. Bookmark1995 Bookmark95 Reborn!

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2016
    I recently watched excerpts from "The Squirrel and the Hedgehog", a North Korean cartoon (an idea so twisted, I know), that has both terrible morals, and surprisingly good production values. It is notorious for pushing North Korea's jingoist philisophy onto young children.

    Would cartoons in the Comintern be likely to push similar themes.

    The UASR seems more militaristic than the OTL USA, and have adopted the idea of spreading Communist ideology (albeit without paving a road to hell, and matching good intentions with good results).

    It is indicated that the UASR government is somewhat heavy-handed in enforcing its message in media early on. Eventually, it stops being heavy handed, as people who grew up in the society eventually believe in the message on their own and insert it into their stories.

    One the values of the UASR is people running their own militias. But would they use the power of cartoons to push kids into this system. Would Bugs Bunny shoot capitalists? Would Militia Mike be the most popular cartoon character of the post-war generation? What is the psychological effect of all this?

    Similarly, would the capitalist states, desperately trying to fight the winds of history, also create political cartoons to influence children?
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018