Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Starry Ticket

Snoopy the Goon (not one of the Ludlow Goon-Squads, I'm glad to say), has presented me with a mimetic challenge. Thus:

  • Write one superpower you would like to have and what you would do with it.
  • Write why you chose that super power over everything else.
  • Tag and link lots of people and write why you think they will have an interesting meme.
  • Fix your broken links.

I'll not tag any individuals as I don't want another cat fight for my favours unless it involves real cats, or selected female followers acting out the Bardot-Cardinale encounter:

And as for links, Madame Boyo keeps my chains well-oiled and secure, thanks.

And so to business. The only superpower I'd ever want is the Unbreakable Union of Free Republics that was the USSR. "Why not the Goddam' United States of these Americas, then?" you might ask, switching the 'baccy plug from one ingrown cheek to the other.

True, the USA would be a more pleasant entity with which to share your life, and therefore one that needs little guidance from me. Apart from giving up The Philippines and failing to flood Cuba with cheap TVs, it's hardly put a foot wrong.

Soviet Russia, on the other boot, missed chance after chance to make the world a cheerier place during its 70-year drunken lurch from feudal demense to oligarch's doormat, and now it's gone.

We Welsh have never let mere dimensions of time and space bother us before, so here's what I'd have done with the USSR and why:

1. Got Poland to Invade Germany. I may have made it up, but I'm sure I read somewhere that in 1933 Marszałek Piłsudski proposed to send some uhlans to Berlin and hang Hitler by his mono orchid, no questions asked, as long as Britain and France promised to go fishing that weekend. He got no answer, and the moment passed.

If he'd contacted me, Comrade General-Secretary Premier Boyovich in Moscow, I'd have applauded this initiative, offered him the rest of his homeland Lithuania, and thrown in a brace of Belarussian bison swamps as a gesture of Slavonic socialist solidarity.

A Europe without Herr Hitler would have been a more elegant and populous place, and my kind of Soviets could have made it happen. Also, there would be something
deliciously kinky about the Poles marching Unter die Linden.

2. Banned The Beatles. And Oasis too, if they and the Soviets had been mutually unlucky enough to overlap. Why? I like The Beatles, but they made string arrangements, bad poetry, sitars and Lord Paul of the McCartneys acceptable to
generations of Russians. The ensuing descent into Pink Floyd cultism was inevitable.

Pale loiterers sat around in frumpy housecoats pondering the meaning of "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" while
picking lice out of their Buryat girlfriends' matted hair. The Kremlin happily let Beatles albums through customs once in a while, because this epic, Armenian bang-fuelled self-indulgence left the Young Guard with little time to organise counter-revolution.

I'd have kept the Northern monkeys out and turned Red Youth onto The Stones. Ripped-off blues, elliptical drumming, a vocabulary of 15 words, smack, proper birds like Marianne Faithfull and Anita Pallenberg - that's a national curriculum for the sort of strutting, street-fighting little scuzzballs needed to keep a proper superpower on its toes.

And, above all, no one would have sat next to me at parties, pointed at the 8-track of "Gimme Shelter" and asked "what is Mick really trying to tell us here?"

3. Sold Guns to Israel. Big ones. Just to watch George Galloway's head explode, in a good way.

No tags, as I say, but what would you have done with the Soviet Union if you'd had the chance? Nazis and members of the House of Romanov need not apply.


Gadjo Dilo said...

I'd have made Herman's Hermits the only band accesible to Soviet youth: their Teutonic name coupled with their soppy songs and looks would inspire the thought in the Kremlin that Poland could indeed easily invade Germany, ensuring that we had plenty of polka rather than Kraftwerk over the ensuing decades.

Gorilla Bananas said...

They should have patented their standard method of execution. A bullet to the back of the neck and it's all over. Much better than the macabre theatres of doom constructed by the Americans. I have a curious fancy that Soviet apparatchiks would have made good sports commentators.

No Good Boyo said...

Not sure whether I really want polka-ing Germans, Gadjo, but anything would be worth the delight of seeing the Polish cavalry trying to negotiate the Autobahn.

True, GB. A single bulb swinging in the dank cellar, a glance down at the drain in the sloping floor, the rustle of a leather apron behind you and it's all over. Pure class, the Cheka.

Soviet football commentators were frit and useless, as they had to ensure socialist equality between all teams except when the Army of KGB squads were playing.

The apparatchiks would have been excellent at commentating foxy boxing. They had the lack of imagination necessary to concentrate on the game, not thep players.

Another good use of the Soviet would be to gather up their officious pensioners and put them in charge of Britain's state schools. Knifings, pregnancy, cheek and subjects with "studies" in the title would be a thing of the past.

Gareth Williams said...

Excellent stuff. I think the adoption of the Soviet diet would save us a great deal of time and energy. It was very good at separating the fat from the thin, with none of the messing about in the middle that we indulge ourselves with in the West.

You either lived off fags, vodka and the odd pickle, on the one hand, or large slabs of indeterminate carbohydrate and protein, on the other. (The inequality in body shape that resulted can be thought of as a paradox of socialism.)

Your true shape therefore emerged quickly allowing you to carry on with the rest of your, albeit short, life without being troubled by bodily vanities.

Anonymous said...

It's 'Unter den Linden', old boyo. I used to worry tourists there.

No Good Boyo said...

But "unter" takes the accusative when it indicates motion, goboi. Those Poles are marching, not taking coffee and cake.

Gaw, nice one on the Soviet diet. I could never understand how lard and fried eggs could produce millions of leggy Russian lovelies, while the Mediterranean diet of olives and sunshine turns Italian and Greek women over 40 into Terry Jones.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Since it was the best entry in that brain-numbing meme (ain't they all?), you get a Russian prize for your diligence, NGB:

Of course, that poster reminded me...

Anyhow, Луспекаев was a great actor, he will be fondly remembered.

Re your challenge about what to do with that late entity, I shall have a lay-in with some beer handy. Tough, that.

No Good Boyo said...

From NGB to KGB in one easy step! Thanks Snoop, and I look forward to your thoughts.

Beloye Solntse is one of my favourite Soviet films. I was lucky enough to see many of the sites where it was shot on a visit to Khiva - which is where some scenes in Orlando were also done. A late friend of mine was the Uzbek artistic director on that latter film, and I think you'll agree he did well:

Kevin Musgrove said...

Ta for the cat-fight clip. I missed that edition of Animal Magic first time round.

No Good Boyo said...

"Hello Mr Pangolin, can you see a French lady? What, you can see two? no, I think one is an Italian. Let's see if we can get a bit closer, shall we? Oh my."

Johnny Morris. Like Owain Glyndŵr he's not dead just awaiting the call.

You're very welcome, Kevin, although I would like to take this opportunity to address a few words to Cymru Rouge cadres:

It has come to mine attention that some disloyal readers of this web blog has reached the video clip of Misses Bardot and Cardinale, and proceeded no further, preferring instead to play the clip over and over.

The purpose of this site is to disseminate my jejeune views on Wales, politics and ladies, and to reap the admiration of all people of ill-will. Those who peruse it solely with the left hand will be banned from the readership.

Cymru Rouge Commissar for Behaviour Conformity and Personality Cult Facilitator
Leks Dŵra

Brit said...

Soviet Russia, on the other boot, missed chance after chance to make the world a cheerier place during its 70-year drunken lurch from feudal demense to oligarch's doormat, and now it's gone.

That's the best summary of that sorry slice of 20th Century history I've ever read.

One thing I will sat for them, the USSR athletes had great tracksuits.

Kevin Musgrove said...

And the lady athletes in the jumping disciplines had lovely bottoms.

sackcloth and ashes said...

'I may have made it up, but I'm sure I read somewhere that in 1933 Marszałek Piłsudski proposed to send some uhlans to Berlin and hang Hitler by his mono orchid, no questions asked, as long as Britain and France promised to go fishing that weekend'.

Boyo, may I commend you on (1) a bloody good anecdote (2) an argument for the potential legitimacy of preventative war and (3) the correct use of diacritic marks (if that's what they're called).

Had I been in the Kremlin in the instead of Brezhnev, I would have insisted that all examples of Blaxploitation cinema from 'Sweet Sweetback's Badasss Song' to 'Shaft in Africa' be shown in cinemas. My explicit intention would have been to show the African-American's struggle for freedom. My subversive intent would have been to ensure that Soviet youth would have been exposed to Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, and James Brown, and would have copied the mannerisms and dress of Richard Roundtree and Fred Williamson. Cue early end of Cold War, without that boring conformist fucker Yuri Andropov getting a shot at the top job (and almost nuking us in the process in 1983).

Ian Plenderleith said...

I would have had Soviet free jazz combo The Ganelin Trio play a 25-minute improvised version of the USSR national anthem before international home fixtures, just as a sort of psycho-sports experiment to see what effect it would have on the visiting players while the home team stood staunchly to attention throughout.

And I'd have made those four-hour standing ovations at party congresses into 24-hour ovations. First Party members to drop would be taken outside, blindfolded, bundled into the back of a dark van, transported to an undisclosed location, have something cold and metal held to their heads, then have the blindfold whipped off to reveal they're being reprieved live on state TV at Saturday tea-time on a programme called Just Kiddin', Comrade!

And I'd have driven to the Kremlin every day in my own tractor.

xerxes said...

BB and CC illustrate that being a star (is that a superpower?) is far more important than anything as trivial as an ability to act.

No Good Boyo said...

Gentlemen, these are all splendid ideas. I have happily memories of the Ganelin Trio appearing on the South Bank Show in the 1980s, to everyone's hushed bemusement.

Inky, Bardot and Cardinale were giving a display of Butoh performance art. I'll like to see Helen Mirren do that. No, on second thoughts, I'd like to see Jennifer Tilly do that. With Megan Mullally.

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