Recc Roundup 07/22/19-07/28/19

  • Reading (book): Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters, by Kate Brown
    • A book comparing the history of two towns that arose around nuclear plants during the Cold War nuclear arms race, one American and one Russian. Get ready to hear about how a whole bunch of people got horrible radiation poisoning!
    • (No seriously, it’s, uh, really just a spectrum from incompetence on one end to human experimentation and general callousness on the other.)
    • Also the mindset of people who lived in these towns and were aware they were under constant government watch, constant threat of danger, constant risk of horrible illness or death, but still like defensive of or grateful for what they had is wild, and the comparison of the American and Russian mindsets in particular is some good shit.
    • Also the way the American residents dealt with the cognitive dissonance of being good, patriotic, commie-hating Americans with that conservative we-support-the-military-industrial-complex-that-sustains-us mindset, while living under government (or government contractor proxy) control, with curtailed freedom of press, assembly, self-governance, etc, their whole living situation subsidized by the government, etc.
  • Reading (article): Psychic Healing at the End of History, by Hannah Gais, (The Baffler, April 10, 2019)
    • This article on the popularity of psychics presented on state TV as a salve and alternate explanation for the crisis of communist collapse and capitalist shock after the fall of the Soviet Union is my gender, my sexuality, my Mood, and my Patronus.
  • Watching: Rhythmic gymnastics instagram is a thing I’m now fascinated by, also while it’s deeply impressive, I am solidly willing to assume that all of these kids need help because this cannot be a sport that fosters good physical and mental health and I’m worried about all of these very bendy girls.
  • Listening: I’m just gonna keep this all very Russia-and-Russia-adjacent themed in this here post because there’s some powerful aesthetic here that I’m vibing with–

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