Glasnost

The Soviet Union was a home that didn’t feel like a home. Actually, it felt like hell. “Throw off the yoke of imperialism!” That was the USSR’s pitch, and it sounded great. But many countries who would eventually become Soviet socialist republics and satellites weren’t there because they wanted to be.  In 1940 Lithuania, Estonia, and…

My Sputnik knows what you do in the dark

America received a package from Moscow. He carefully set it on the desk and began walking around it, leaning in, keeling down, giving it a little tap or poke or slap to test the waters, inspecting it every which way with utmost scrutiny. When he was sure it wasn’t going to kill him, he decided to open it. Inside…

The Life and Times of North Korea: Sino-Soviet Split

You’re Both Wrong, Now Give Me Your Money North Korea was never good at making friends, but he had a lot of comrades by default. The Golden Rule of Communism stated that every communist be friends with every other communist (which was funny because many communists hated each other). But when it came to people…

North Korea’s Diary: The List

In the back of a book named Tactical Memoir Of Dear Leader’s Most Revolutionary And Anti-imperialist Fashion Ideas was a lone piece of paper that had been torn from its binding. On it was a simple list. The words and names on the list, penned neatly in black ink, all bore sentiment. There was resentment, disappointment, and a little bit…

Sucker Punch

Sometimes they danced. Their dance was not an elegant waltz. It was an aggressive swing with all of the passion and none of the pleasure. When she jerked him this way, he jerked her that way. There was no lead, only two fervid stars dancing to two different beats. Neither found solace in the intimacy…

It’s all fun and games until a superpower collapses

The Cuban Missile Crisis left deep, psychological scars on both nuclear superpowers. For weeks after, America wore his flag on everything (tie, boxers, socks, cool baseball cap) to repel communism as much as possible. He also spent most of his nights on the roof with a 6-pack of root beer and a shotgun. But that…