… at least they had plenty of kompot.

There is a good discussion currently going on at Harry’s Place in the comments section of a post looking for the best conclusion of this phrase:

No one will deny that crimes were committed under Communism. But…

In an effort to keep things light hearted, my effort was:

No one will deny that crimes were committed under Communism. But Cheburashka was awfully cute, and the Pioneers had some great songs in their repertoire.

There are some worthy entries in the thread, and it is worth browsing in full if not for any other reason than to see the odd Soviet apologist answering the question in seriousness. 

An effort from a Mike S made me laugh somewhat loudly:

No one will deny that crimes were committed under communism. But at least you didn’t have to worry about Tim Newman cracking on to your daughter.

Who, me?

But the best comment in the thread thus far is from a Martin Morgan, who I think worked in the Soviet Union at some point:

My bottom line on the good old USSR is that all the benefits it produced – decent education, adequate health care, relative emancipation of women, restriction of religious strictures and alphabet reform – could and almost certainly would have been better implemented by democratic means.

The price Soviet people had to pay was too high. If they want to have a rosy vision of the Brezhnev years, that’s their right. But nostalgia for the Soviet system looks tacky coming from people who didn’t have to endure it.

My thoughts exactly, especially the last two lines.

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5 Responses to … at least they had plenty of kompot.

  1. But at least you didnt have to worry about Tim Newman cracking on to your daughter.

    LOL. As if all those SS20s were a deterent…

  2. secretdubai says:

    What was the alphabet reform?

  3. Tim Newman says:

    The alphabet reform, as far as I can gather, was the removal of the hard sound (tverdii znak) from many words of “old Russian”. The hard sound was represented by the letter ?, which is still in use but not as much as before.

    Previously, this letter was put on the end of nearly every word which ended in a consonant: such as ???? (dom = house). Nowadays it is just spelled ???.

    It still appears in certain words, such as ???????? (s’ezdit’= to go) and ????????? (pod’ehat’ = to approach). This is to make sure you say s’ezdit’ and pod’ehat’ instead of sezdit’ and podehat’.

    Hope this helps. It’s all second hand, and maybe wrong in places, so anyone with a better explanation feel free to leave a comment.

  4. Crocodile Gena is also one of the great characters of literature and a damn fine chess player too.

    This is another conversation I’ve had with my Russian girlfriend, who keeps bringing up how many engineers and scientists the USSR produced whenever the topic of the Gulag crops up. She’s immune to the argument that the West produced far more of everything than the Soviets, which is why WE WON THE COLD WAR, without having to murder millions of people in Siberea. The millions who died in the camps died working for a system which was worse in every practical respect than the democracies.

    I still hear the argument that women had more freedom in the USSR than they have in America. It is to laugh.

  5. She also loves to sing her pioneer songs, on the guitar, and one day she’ll teach me how to spell Siberia too.

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