Author Archives: Alexander Mikhaylov

Keep the Beltane Fires Burning!

It appears sometimes that the Finns view a calendar year exclusively in terms of the important holidays. A man lives merely to celebrate one big holiday that doesn’t happen often. Once the celebration is over he simply waits for another one to come. For example, there is such a big event as Christmas. When it […]

Advice from my grandmother

There is a lot of talk about ‘the talk’ in the media, in all shapes and colors. And it got me thinking. See, I never got any talk from my parents, but after reading several articles on the recent John Derbyshire affair, I suddenly recalled some things my grandmother had taught me when I was […]

Falling down the memory hole: Reflections on the 1980s Soviet counterculture, Part 5

During my pre-hospital days, when I still hung out with a lot of ‘the system people’, I had been if not an ‘honorary Jew’ then certainly a sympathizer. Therefore it often happened that my Jewish friends and acquaintances did not mind my presence when they felt like saying an honest thing or two about the […]

Falling down the memory hole: Reflections on the 1980s Soviet counterculture, Part 4

It was a cold and sickly gray February morning of 1983 when I walked into a shrink’s office and said that I had a severe mental and drug problem. The office belonged to Kirov’s District Psychiatric clinic of the city of Leningrad. The shrink I was to see was Dr. Dvorkin.  My ‘system’ friends especially […]

Falling down the memory hole: Reflections on the 1980s Soviet counterculture, Part 3

The ‘system’ members always proclaimed that the drugs were necessary for artistic creativity. Using drugs was also a form of political protest and an activity that distinguished the self-ordained elite from the vodka-soaked proletarian crowd. The most common drug — cannabis — was easily obtainable through friends and acquaintances, but it was also freely shared […]

Falling down the memory hole: Reflections on the 1980s Soviet counterculture, Part 2

My personal involvement with ‘the system’ had seemingly innocent origins. All through my adolescent years, I had been dreaming of becoming a rock musician. Of course, harboring such dreams, especially by one born in the Soviet Union, smacked of a childish naiveté. For one thing, the Soviet authorities viewed rock music as a political and […]

Falling down the memory hole: Reflections on the 1980s Soviet counterculture, Part 1

This essay is a reflection on certain aspects of my past in connection with a counterculture of the former Soviet Union and its main architects, participants and driving force — the Jews.  I had been a disillusioned young man at the time I joined the so-called ‘system’ movement, and although my personal involvement with it […]