• Know Your Spanish

  • Canned Art

    My secret awesome tipsters (who are everywhere) alerted me about an exhibition of canned food sculpture at the Union Station.

    CANstruction, is a design-build competition, that showcases the talent of Kansas City’s creative community as they create unconventional, astounding structures using only canned and other non-perishable food items.

    After the exhibition is over, Union Station will use cans and other non-perishable items to build an army of robotic employees to replace those recently laid off.

  • The West in The Soviet Caricature: Israel

    Yes, I know Israel is not in the West, but, as you will see below, hardly any caricature from the Soviet satirical magazine Krokodil depicting Israel went without bringing the United States into the picture. Having a lot of Jewish friends and/or people who know my email address, I frequently receive emails and links to various examples of anti-Israel and antisemitic propaganda being published around the world; recently started Advocacy KC Israel page is keeping me updated on the latest creations of that nature. However, all the newly-minted humorists should stand back in awe and acknowledge the original and still unsurpassed masters of the anti-Israel humor – the Soviet caricaturists and satirists.

    While looking through the images below, published in the late 1960’s – early 1970’s, keep in mind that they express the official position of the Soviet Government. All the press, including Krokodil, was state-owned and 100% censored and vetted by the appropriate branches of the Government and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Frequently the subject of the next outburst of humor was directly dictated by the ideology¬†departments¬†on various levels. What makes these cartoons even more sinister is that at the same time when they were published the USSR was thinking up, creating, financing and arming the PLO and Yasser Arafat. As an aside, recently when I mentioned this in an argument I was told that this is my personal opinion, however, multiple authentic documents (in Russian) exist, clearly demonstrating the Soviet overt and covert support of the PLO’s terrorist activities.

    With that in mind, take a look at these images, most of which are probably shown in the West for the first time.

    Hide and Seek. New York Police pretends not to be able to find the Zionist perpetrators of the provocations against the Soviet establishments and citizens. 1976.

    Continue reading →

  • Behind The Iron Curtain: Political Prisoners of Imperialism

    Today’s Stuff White People Like brought up a subject of political prisoners. Strangely, I probably know more about American political prisoners and dissidents than many of you. Soviet propaganda machine loved to get the people involved in a cause of standing up for a political prisoner. It served many purposes, not the least of which was to show the Soviet people that the grass wasn’t that much greener on the other side of the barbed-wire fence. Growing up in mid-seventies and early eighties I recall a few campaigns when millions of “outraged” Soviet people of all ages wrote letters and collected signatures to free some unjustly imprisoned victim of imperialism.

    According to the Soviet press, Angela Davis was arrested for her progressive views and the government fabricated the charges of her being and accomplice in a murder case. Her arrest was supposed to “discredit and hurt the Black Panther movement and start a misinformation campaign against the Communist Party of the USA”. Thousands of people signed petitions to “Free Angela Davis” and Soviet school kids participated in a “Million Roses for Angela” drive where they were mailing postcards with hand-drawn roses and their pleas for Angela’s freedom to the American president. As a special touch they weren’t attaching any stamps so that evil bastard President would owe the missing postage. In reality Angela Davis was arrested when her gun was used in a hostage situation and a shootout and she was charged  as an accomplice to conspiracy, kidnapping, and homicide. After 18 months in prison she was acquitted and released, clearly as a result of the White House being flooded with a million postcards; she went on to visit the USSR and meet L.I.Brezhnev and is presently working at UC, Santa Cruz.

    Leonard Peltier was imprisoned by the military-industrial complex and imperialist murderers from the CIA for being an outspoken advocate for the rights of the Native Americans. The Soviet people stood up in his support with another letter-writing campaign, meetings and demonstrations but failed to get him released. One central newspaper was printing out pre-filled petitions which were supposed to be cut out, glued to a postcard and mailed to the (still an evil S.O.B) US President. In reality Peltier was arrested and convicted of killing two FBI agents and although the allegations had been disputed they were never overturned.

    Charles Hyder is hardly known in this country but his name is familiar to anyone who grew up when his name was mentioned daily on the Soviet TV and in the press. Dr.Hyder was a progressive American astro-physicist who used to work for NASA. In 1986 he protested against the use of the nuclear weapons and the arms-race by staging a 218-day fast in front of the White House. All of the progressive humanity (except of course the heartless imperialists in this country) watched in awe as the aging professor was weakening by the minute for the cause of detente. Soviet TV broadcast daily updates on his health condition while that callous S.O.B President Reagan let this hero waste away. Gorbachev wrote a personal letter to Hyder and the Soviet people expressed their strong support for his cause and even offered to send him food and money. In reality, the consensus was that Hyder was cheating, either eating at night or sneaking food somehow because no one survives 218 days without food even to prove a point. In addition, it turned out that his doctor ordered him to lose weight due to a health condition. A Soviet correspondent faked the daily reports by changing his clothes and filming up to five updates on the same day. Dr. Hyder died in 2004.

    There were some others that I don’t personally recall like Assata Shakur or the ones where the person was not a dissident but just a victim of capitalism like a fake homeless guy Joe Mauri.

    The common thread was the forced enthusiasm with which the Soviet people stood up for anyone, anywhere, for any reason. Propaganda, constant barrage of falsified information and mandatory attendance of these “spontaneous” events created an impression, an impression is what we were after in the first place.

    I’ll conclude with an anti-American poster from the olden days.

  • Food Crumb-skiy

    There are so many websites covering all things food around this town that another one is hardly needed, however, I feel it’s my duty to continue with the coverage of cheap foods and places that don’t rip you off.

    I recently visited La Cocinita Mexicana – a place where my friend Chimpotle has been grazing lately gaining fat for upcoming winter hibernation. This place is located in a usual Johnson County strip mall so despised by people looking for “character” from across the county line. I am happy to admit that I never ate in Mexico outside of the buffets of Cancun so I will not be judging authenticity of the food, it looked Mexican to me and everyone behind the counter was speaking Spanish, which is the case for many restaurants around here, including Chinese. The owner/manager/chef XX was extremely enthusiastic and insisted that we try a variety of fillings before we made our selections. He mentioned several times that they are better than Chipotle, I would have to agree. Two large tacos, one good tamale and a Mexican pop – little over $7, that’s my kind of place. Both tacos – beef and chicken – were pretty spicy, with good amount of filling and plenty of toppings we chose from the topping bar. I’d definitely go there again for good food, low prices, friendly staff. Plenty of seating is available.

    Speaking of Mexican food, I finally bought salsa mix from Bebo at the City Market. I see Bebo at the Market every Saturday and he frequently calls into local radio shows never forgetting to plug his products after every conversation. A co-worker recently brought some excellent salsa to work and it was apparently made with one of the Mama Socorro’s mixes made by Chef Bebo (see I can play that “chef” game too).

    Chef Bebo

    Chef Bebo recommends to mix one package with a 28 OZ can of crushed tomatoes or a similar amount of chopped fresh tomatoes and let it set for 1 hour or overnight. Mine is doing it right now. Chef Bebo is offering other spice mixes and prepared salsas at the City Market and many local grocery stores. Here is another review of his products.

    Lastly, as if this being the Best Kansas City Blog of 2008 and recent presidential elections were not enough to make you think that the secret communist takeover of this country is going on as planned, Russian vodka now has its own billboard over I-35.

    “The Russians Are Coming” is so 1966. The Russians are already here…