Politics Magazine

Russian into Things

Posted on the 07 December 2018 by Steveawiggins @stawiggins

It’s the holiday season.The people I overheard at the bus stop the other day were discussing shopping on the bus.It can be a long trip from here, and evening traffic out of New York (ironically) is quite heavy this time of year.Bored commuters, sitting on the bus with their phones, shop.I couldn’t help but notice that I was the only one with the overhead light on during the fully dark ride home this week.At one point the driver seemed to think it was a mistake on my part and snapped it off.I carry a book light with me for just such eventualities, but I had that odd feeling one gets when everyone else got the memo but you didn’t.In any case, I was reading a physical book, not shopping.

Then I read about a book I need for my research.Problem is, I don’t have an institution, or a wealthy sponsor, so I often buy books used.Back in my teaching days Amazon was new, and the idea of buying books online foreign and unfamiliar.Now you can’t find a bookstore when you want one.In any case, this particular book was on offer on eBay.Now, I haven’t used eBay for quite a while.I never think of it as a place to find reading material, but there it was.Who would’ve thought research would ever lead in this direction?The price was reasonable, so I signed in as a guest and placed my order.With out of print books like this you run the risk of price-gouging or sudden unavailability—the independent researcher’s nightmare.

When the confirmation page came up, I couldn’t help but notice that the header was in Russian.I wondered if Trump’s dream had really finally come true, or if the eBay on which I ordered an out-of-print book was really a trap.How do you find out?Who do you tell when your current government is completely at the beck and call of the Russian government?I was in a brown study for a while.The book, used, on Amazon was listed at over a thousand dollars, and this for a paperback published in 2009.People will pay quite a lot for certain books, even if they don’t retain their resale value.Ideas, it seems, are worth more than money.But we no longer have a government to protect our interests.Not even research, it seems, is safe any more.

Russian into Things

If you squint, he could be St. Nick

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