GUEST ROOM | Russia is Home I’ve Lost

It’s never been easy to be from Russia. Okay, it actually was for a while. The 90s were a tumultuous time, but I was a kid. And the 2000s, when I was learning to think, were a decade of prosperity compared to before (or after). If I talked to foreigners, we mostly joked about bears and balalaika (but it is no joke that some actually believed I had a pet bear that I rode to school).

BEARD | How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Try as we may and worry as we do, the future does what it wants regardless. Consult the graphs all you want and laude your expertise in whatever field it may be, but at the end of the day, you could still end up with your own proverbial “land war in Europe.”

GOROKH | Nerve Gas, Spies and Secret Briefings

Following politics can be frustrating. You see decisions made on the basis of private motives and private information. Whatever efforts you make in inferring the missing pieces are often thwarted by the fact that some actions are motivated by nothing but plain human stupidity. So instead I kick back and stream the new season of Homeland (which involves plots about as unrealistic but a whole lot more entertaining than those on CNN). But then sometimes, especially when it comes to my homeland Russia, I just can’t help it.