Penny Skanina

в Москве прошли крупные акции

Вчера в Москве прошли крупные акции протеста против политрепрессий — снова на проспекте Сахарова, снова немного в зажатом состоянии разрешенного загончика.

Много споров про то, должен ли протест быть жестче — или же надо добиваться “мягкими”, “законными” способами.

Я тут (как обычно, совершенно не в тему и просто так) Марциала зачитаю. Эпиграмма 9 из книги I.

Bellus homo(милый человек)et magnus(и великий)vis idem(хочешь одновременно),Cotta, videri(Котта, казаться):
sed qui bellus homo est (но кто человек милый есть), Cotta(Котта)pusillus homo est(незначительный человек есть).

Bellus homo et magnus vis idem, Cotta, videri:
sed qui bellus homo est, Cotta, pusillus homo est.


Oh Hiroshima “Simulacra” working Monday is rolling on: have a lot to write and publish today. The weather does not add to any desire of outdoor activities either.

Therefore, need to concentrate. Does anything like God Is an Astronaut actually exist, that is, meditative instrumental post-rock of quality, to get absorbed and to be calm all the time?

By a pure chance I come across these two bands, and they have been sounding in my study since early morning.

Distant Dream sounds like God Is an Astronaut’s clone, or twin-brother, or what could we call such a close similarity in their music styles? Their profound melodies and orchestration leave no room for nervousness, only pondering over the reality in the musical form. Or over the task being performed.

Oh Hiroshima is slightly different from the two aforementioned. They use vocal parts from time to time – and they are stormier. Neither of these features, however, distracts the listener: human voices appear only sporadically and sould like additional instruments with just quite a specific timbre.

Original titles (English): Oh Hiroshima “Simulacra”
Distant Dream “Resistance Is Futile”



Rostov Vielikij

Rostov Vielikij now boasts of the marvelous Kremlin (which is not a defense fortress, but an Orthodox episcopal chair). In 1787, the chair was moved to Yaroslavl (which grew bigger and of greater significance by that time).

The Kremlin started falling in decay, and by mid 19th century, local bishops started seriosly discussing the possibility to sell it. It ran the risk of going to scavenge. Luckily, the local enlightened merchants stood against the decision, and by 1860-1880s reconstruction works started.

In 1910, Russian State Duma officially made it a museum of national importance.

Guess what happened in 2010s. Russian Orthodox Church wanted the Kremlin “back”. Driving the museum out to some abstract “new building”. (No documents cancelling Duma’s 1910 decision exist.)

They wanted an “all-Russian spiritual center for christening and weddings” there. Luckily the project failed.

Address: Russia, Jaroslavskaja oblastj, Rostov Vielikij, Sobornaja plośadj



Kirill Solovjev “Autocracy and Constitution”

Very few periods in the Russian history provoke so much debate as do the stormy pre-revolution years of 1905-1917.

In this book, Kirill Solovjov tries to sketch out the most important events of this time and to analyze them in a cold-blooded way.

The monograph helped me systematize everything I had so disparately in my head.

English title: Kirill Solovjev “Autocracy and Constitution”
Original title (Russian): Кирилл Соловьев “Самодержавие и конституция”



Mickey 3d and Karpatt have always thought that France is somewhat second-rate in the world of rock music, which turned out to be a complete fallacy.

Mickey 3d and Karpatt are two more revelations of mine.

Adding some intrinsically French features to their sound, they still retain the easily recognized sound of the international rock.

More than that, their texts are brain-sweeping: word games, allusions, political, social and historical contexts.

Les gens raisonnables se lèvent toujours à l’heure
Ils n’oublient jamais leur cartable, font bien gaffe de rien abîmer.

(Reasonable people always get up on time, they never forget their briefcase, they always take care not to break something.)



Holograf and Omul cu şobolani

Good morning!

Holograf and Omul cu şobolani are two more amazingly powerful Romanian rock bands with quite a distinctive sound that I had a chance to get acquainted with recently.

For a powerful Monday morning start: enjoy!


Секретарь Повседневности

30 сентября 2019. Ростов Великий, Россия.

Это прекрасный Ростовский кремль в нежных розоватых лучах меланхоличного сентябрьского вечернего солнца. Мало кто знает, какая охренительная история с ним связана.

Он в целом не был предназначен выполнять оборонительные функции, он – архиерейская кафедра. Но мы его просто традиционно называем “кремлем”.

В 1787 кафедру перенесли в Ярославль, и кремль начал ветшать. К середине XIX в. архиереи начали всерьез обсуждать возможность продать его “на слом”. Хорошо, что взбухнули просвещенные ростовские купцы и отбили мракобесов в рясах. В 1860-х – 1880-х начались какие-то первые восстановительные работы, а в 1910 Государственная Дума официально закрепила статус музея российского значения.

Заметим, что нет документов, отменяющих решение Думы от 1910. Но в 2010 РПЦ… захотела кремлик назад: музейные помещения “выселим в новые здания” (годных на такое в Ростове, если что, нет: я вчера фигачил полумарафон по городу – и маршрут пролегал через всякие немыслимые районы, так что представление получил сполна), а тут сделаем “всероссийский центр венчания и крещения”.

К счастью, отбили и в этот раз. Наслаждайтесь.

От Москвы – сидячим прямым или двумя электричками с Ярославского (Москва-Ярославская – Александров; полчаса выпить кофе; пересесть на Александров-Ростов-Ярославский) – лучшая прогулка выходного дня. На город пяти-шести часов хватит.



books on Middle Ages

Have just finished reading two more books on Middle Ages. I already reviewed one published in this series, and was eager to read more.

Amazing how the Russian medievists made it a popular Internet topic: just by creating memes and making flamboyant public talks on the subject.

Both books tell the reader in a very fun and absorbing way how we should understand the art and history of this period.

Both also contain a lot of colorful plates inside to illustrate and remember everything better.

English titles: S. Zotov, M. Majzuljs, D. Ķarman “Suffering Middle Ages”; Valierija Kosiakova “Apocalypse of the Middle Ages
Original titles (Russian): С. Зотов, М. Майзульс, Д. Харман “Страдающее Средневековье”; Валерия Косякова “Апокалипсис Средневековья”



The Expert, 2014

Did you know, btw, that this already legendary sketch is based on a LJ post by a Russian user?

The topicality was so burning that it was translated into many languages: the international community easily understood the core of the dialogue between a customer and an executor.

4 short films were made after this story: in Russia, Ukraine, and the UK.

English title: The Expert, 2014
Original title of the Russian short story: “Семь красных линий” (“Seven Red Lines”)

Let’s take a small break and revisit the classics before the working week.



Jekatierina Andriejeva “Finland: Ladscape Under Construction”

Jekatierina Andriejeva is known for her profound works on postmodernism, but this book is really out of her line, and probably one of the best texts about Finland I ever read.

English title: Jekatierina Andriejeva “Finland: Ladscape Under Construction”
Original title (Russian): Екатерина Андреева “Финляндия: творимый ландшафт”