MOSCOW, June 15, 2005 – Denis is going to Moldava today. He finally got his passport yesterday after battling interminable lines for a week. One problem – probably the biggest – was that he has been watching TV all night, dropping off to sleep at 5 or 6 a.m., then being too tired to get up and get to the Moldavan Embassy by 10 a.m.
But yesterday he made it and was – with the help of 100 bucksi from me – able to get it in one day. We bought his ticket yesterday afternoon. He’s all packed and happy as a kid at Christmas. He’s overjoyed that he’s going to get to see his Mama. He adores her and misses her very much. I’m giving him 0 to take with him, so he will have some money to spend on her, which he very much wants to do.
He’s a very sweet and -- despite his street savvy – naïve kid. His values are simple. I have enjoyed him, and he me, I think. We’ve had a lot of good sex. But for the second time in a row last night – our last roll in the hay for gods know how long – I almost wasn’t able to come. I think he no longer trips my peter meter. For one thing, he always watches straight porn so he can come more easily, and these dudes are the ugliest things I’ve seen outside a horror movie. The films are absolutely disgusting, and while Denis’s dick gets bigger, mine starts shrinking.
Anyway, he’s loving and kind and conscientious, and he loves me – with or without sex. I will miss him, but I’m a bit relieved to see him go and am looking forward to a new chapter.
The high mortality rates and lower life expectancy of Russia and former Soviet Union countries are expected to continue, according to an American Enterprise Institute (AEI) paper published recently by the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Wash., DC.
The AEI is a far-right-wing think tank, but there’s no reason to think its politics affect the reality of its reporting.
According to the report, “The Russian Federation is perhaps the most striking and anomalous of the states suffering from long-term health retrogression.”
Russia’s life expectancy at birth today is about four years lower than it was forty years ago, according to the AEI paper. And of especially serious concern is the fact that this reversal is occurring in working age groups.
“This peacetime death explosion has been triggered not by tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS,” it says, “but by cardiovascular disease and injuries.”
Alcohol, of course, has played its part. In fact, a Russian study is cited that found that nearly half of the young and middle-aged men who died of cardiovascular disease – like my upstairs neighbor – or of injury were drunk at the time.
“Russians now in their 30s, 40s, or 50s have already accumulated a lifetime of insults to their health.”
Are plastics and pesticides a culprit in the general decline of fertility noted not only in Russia, but in most of the world today? queries Jan Lundberg, a recognized and respected chronicler of current events.
In the current “Culture Change” newsletter e-mail, Lundberg notes that “sperm counts are way down, and sexual development of males is more and more deformed in terms of smaller penises and shrinking distance been penis and anus.”
I’m not sure of the significance of the number of centimeters between your piska and your ochko, but shrinking dicks strike a real note of alarm.
Lunderg also notes the following recent headlines:
- Study Links Plastics to Small Genitals and breast development:
- New York - A manmade ingredient of many plastics, cosmetics and other consumer products may be interfering with prenatal male sexual development, new research suggests. A study of 85 infant boys found a correlation between increased exposure to some forms of the chemical phthalate and smaller penis size and incomplete testicular descent... Researchers have reported for the first time that they have found a highly significant link between human exposure to chemicals used in consumer products and adverse changes in the genitals of baby boys...
He as well cites the following from a new study on pesticides' effects:
'We are mostly describing a new phenomenon... , said Dr. Michael Skinner, head of the research team at Washington State University. ‘The hazards of environmental toxins are much more pronounced than we realized,' [source: Truthout.org/The Independent - UK]
Thank gods my Russian boyfriends, based on the generally robust health of their genitalia (with maybe the exception of Slava) were apparently not exposed to these frightening chemicals. Perhaps I have the “backwardness” of the USSR and the inability of their parents to buy “modern Western” plastic food containers and other plastic gadgets to thank.
‘Tis an ill wind….
Denis, for example, does not have a little dick. We measured it last night just before he came. It’s 15 cm – a full six inches. Perhaps because it was – is -- such a poor country, one of the poorest in Europe, Moldava couldn’t afford plastics 20 years ago. Maybe there are no little dicks in Moldava. I hope to find out some day.
The word “Chechnya” is appearing in the news this week despite Putin’s directives to the contrary. Some Chechens helped Russia celebrate its Day of Independence by exploding a bomb underneath a train headed from the Chechen capital of Grozny to Moscow.
The incident “dominated the airwaves” on Monday, Independence Day -- or Russia Day -- according to the Moscow Times.
No one was killed, but some 30 passengers and crew were treated for injuries and five were hospitalized. There were approximately 300 passengers on the train.
The Grozny-Moscow service was trumpeted by Putin as a sign that conditions in Chechnya were normalizing when it was reinstituted in 2001 after five years of disruption.
The rails were quickly repaired and service restored the same night.
The Kremlin response was not that it was a sign of continued civil defiance, but rather than it was an unsuccessful attempt to create bad feelings between Chechens and Russians.
2,000 protesters gathered in front of FSB (KGB) headquarters on Independence day to protest the jailing of Khodorkovsky and to demonstrate for greater freedom and against Putin’s tightening reins of dictatorship.
Chanting “I’m free, I’ve forgotten what fear means,” a line from a song by the popular Russian pop group, Aria, the protesters challenged Putin’s “backsliding on democracy” and growing suppression of dissent.
“It feels as if the authorities want to make us afraid, and our goal today is to come out very clearly and show the authorities that we are not afraid,” Elia Yashin, leader of the youth wing of one of the leading liberal political groups, was reported as saying.
Organizers of the rally, sponsored by exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky, included opposition political and youth groups, as well as independent journalists. One of them, Sergei Parkhamenko, recalled June 12, 1990, as “the day of Russia’s leap toward freedom,” the day when the Russian Supreme Soviet declared the sovereignty of Russia and the precedence of its laws over the Soviet Unions.
He noted that Putin has declared the disintegration of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.”
Parkhamenko alluded to this when he said “those who are ruling Russia today look at those events with indifference – or even worse, with dismay.”
The Moscow Times reported that the police did not attempt to interfere with the rally, “but later an unnamed official at city police headquarters told (a Russian news agency) that the rally had drawn 10 times more participants than the organizers said it would in their permit application.”
“Such a disparity violated the Adminisrative Code and was being investigated by the police, the official said.”
Yashin told Ekho Moskvy radio station that he had been summoned to appear at a local court in connection with the “discrepancy.”
The Moscow Times reported that the day before, another 2500 gathered at a protest demonstration by the “Rodina” party who decried corruption, the oligarchs, and the government’s economic reforms.
“A social government should represent the interests of the majority of the people, and the majority is against those in power,” Rodina leader Dmitry Rogozin declared.
Just called my little May Day Basket, Alex. He didn’t pass his TOEFL test, but he’s decided to stay and go to a university in Russia instead of Stanford, which – given his health problems – probably makes good sense. So I won’t be giving him any more English lessons.
The good news is that he has a friend, Vitaliy, who is thinking of studying in America and therefore will need to take TOEFL lessons. Apparently EE was charging an hour, so I’ll charge and we’ll both be getting a good deal.
I just hope Vitaliy is as cute and personable as Alex.
Another Alex called earlier today, a friend of Kreutz, and wants lessons. We will meet tonight at 9 p.m. after my lesson with two friends of Basil’s. So things could be looking up. They weren’t exactly looking down, but I’m always looking for lessons to fill empty time slots.