Monday, December 26, 2011

I miss hating the USSR

Today's an anniversary of sorts: The Supreme Soviet voted itself out of existence on Dec. 26, 1991.

A writer from my hometown (St. Paul, represent!) writes about how she misses hating the USSR.

It's weird to say you miss hating anyone, especially if you grew up in the 80s with a horrendous fear that the Soviets would nuke us, but as opposed to rogue terrorists with dirty bombs, they seem like such a civilized enemy by comparison.

It's weird to think the USSR fell more than 20 years ago. Sometimes I think they're still there. In high school, we had one year devoted to world history. We all had to take Western Europe, and then your choices were The Americas, East Asia, USSR and Eastern Europe, and Middle East and Africa. I chose East Asia and USSR, East Asia because it fascinated me, and USSR because there was a nagging sense that everyone should know about that place.

Yet I also remember in 8th grade, our social studies teacher (who was also the principal) flat-out laughed at us one day. "You all think Russia is the enemy!" he said. "You can't even find our real threat on a map!" And he turned around and wrote IRAN on the board, and yes, no one could find it on a map.

Any Soviet Union childhood memories for you?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember hearing about the SALT II talks breaking down and then I freaked out, thinking we were sure to go to nuclear war. I was in the 7th grade, so this must have been around 1979. What I miss is the old Olympic rivalry. Beating the Soviets felt so good! Oh, well.