Lana V Lynx
Avid reader and occasional writer of satire and dystopia under a pen name of my favorite wild cat.
Harry Porter Trains Ukrainian Soldiers
You can't make this up. No one can, even those of us who write satire and dystopian fiction. This exchange reportedly happened on one of the Russian media channels where they allow viewers to call in with their opinions. I am going to translate it from Russian, verbatim.
Twitter, Musk, and Trump
I was inspired by the High-Ku challenge to write about one of the most important developments in the social media world, i.e. Musk's takeover of Twitter and his desperate attempts to attract more eyeballs to the platform and stop exodus of advertisers and reputable news organizations. So here are my haiku verses on Twitter's demise and impending death:
This high-ku is devoted to Mount Khan Tengri, whose ancient Turkic name denotes nature's sacredness and literally means "King Heaven" in Kazakh and Kyrgyz and "King Sky" in Mongolian. A jewel of the Tien Shen mountain range, second only to the Victory Peak, it stands at five meters short of 7,000 (almost 23,000 feet) on the tripoint of three countries: Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and China. Notoriously hard to scale, Khan Tengri is one of the deadliest mountains in the world. It also has a sacred meaning for local cultures that believe the mountain only allows those people close to it or onto it who have righteous strength, pure soul, and good heart.
We all have been targets of marketers and salespeople who use well-established and proven techniques of "foot-in-the-door" and "low-balling," when the persuader starts out with a small request and then ramps it up to a bigger second request if you comply with the first one. In case of low-balling, the second request will be followed by the third, fourth, fifth, etc. into perpetuity until the target gets tired, exhausts resources to give, or figures out the manipulation. This excellent illustration from Curb Your Enthusiasm shows how foot-in-the-door and low-balling can be rolled together into a never-ending string of requests, making a good comedy.
Kyrgyz Farmer's Luck
I come from one of the most beautiful places on earth: a mountainous country of Kyrgyzstan, which used to be a part of the Soviet Union. It is located in Central Asia. Its mountain range north of Himalayas makes up about 93% of the country's land and is a part of the Tien-Shen system with the highest peak amply called Victory Peak measured at 7349 meters (24.4K feet) sitting close to the border with China.
Modern Senseless Wars
I was born and raised in a beautiful mountainous country of Kyrgyzstan, one of the fifteen former Soviet Union republics in Central Asia. I came of age in a bipolar world of the 1980s, with the USA and USSR leading the world on what the governments of both countries claimed was the path to happiness but with different ideologies and political-economic systems. It was a fierce battle between the capitalism and authoritarian socialism, and in 1979 Afghanistan became the battle ground where the systems finally faced off in a real hot combat for 10 years.
Moonlighting in Academia
Let me tell you the quirkiest story about an “entrepreneurial” academic who managed to get himself hired into two tenure-track positions at the same time, at two different higher education institutions. The schools were only about one-hour drive from each other. So, our scholar found a house in the middle and commuted to both!
I was making the blinis (Russian version of crepes) the other day and remembered how my great aunt used to make them. Baba Lyuba, as we called her lovingly, was my maternal mother's older sister and they lived across the road from each other in our "ancestrial village" in the north of Kyrgyzstan. They were "Irish twins," only 18 months apart, and when I became aware of myself, baba Lyuba was already a "pensioner." Women retired at 55 at that time in the Soviet Union, and my grandma, who was born in 1924, retired at 50 as a mother of 5 children (mother-heroines they were called). So, for as long as I remember myself, they both were retired, and just living their lives off the land and their small pensions (social security payments). Simple, heavenly life.