Archive for the ‘Paul Kengor’ Tag

FDR tragically misjudged “Uncle Joe”

In his book “Dupes“, Paul Kengor chronicles FDR’s misguided charity towards Stalin (to whom he gave the casual moniker “Uncle Joe”).  FDR had several close advisors who tried to coax him out of this stance throughout his Presidency, to no avail.  Tragically, FDR stubbornly held his position through the Yalta Conference, which occurred just a couple of months before his death.  Kengor writes:

It took FDR only a few weeks to deduce that he may have failed postwar Eastern Europe at Yalta.  He learned quickly, but only after the conference.  He had been president for twelve years prior to Yalta–during which time the Soviet tyrant was murdering tens of millions of his own citizens for his classless “utopia”–but still he had not figured out Stalin’s monstrous character.  This was an odd learning curve, and a fatal one.

Churchill, FDR, and Stalin at the infamous Yalta Conference

Communist dupes

Santa Cruz Bicycles has the “clever” Custom Color Choice Program logo up on their homepage, complete with Soviet-style artwork:

dumb nostalgia

Santa Cruz makes amazingly good bikes.  I had been looking forward to buying one for my midlife crisis as soon as I put a reasonable amount of miles on my Rumblefish to warrant the upgrade.  But just because Santa Cruz has misguided longing (caveat:  see their response below, even though I’m not buying it) for the good ol’ CCCP (which exterminated roughly 50 million human beings in the 20th century), I don’t suffer that same useful idiocy.  I will buy nothing from this company while it promotes such foolishness.

For those of you still open-minded enough to erase any notion of Soviet nostalgia, I recommend two excellent books:

  1. Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century“, by Paul Kengor (2010)
  2. Gulag: A History“, by Anne Applebaum (2003)

Update, 8/9/2012:  my brother received an email response to his complaint on this subject from Santa Cruz.  In part, it said

I think you may have misunderstood the underlying theme of this campaign.  It was not our intention to pay homage to, or make light of, the atrocities of the soviet communist regime, it was to parody the “CCCP” acronym by using it to mean the complete opposite of something it was previously associated with, a lack of choice.

In addition, they attached an earlier version of the artwork, which had a “much less subtle” tagline in the upper left hand side of the image:

ironic, right?

Parody?  I’m not buying it.  At best, this advertising campaign is in extremely poor taste.  By the logic given, why not name the campaign “Auschwitz!” with the implied tagline “Chill, brah!  We ain’t the Führer.  You get a choice!  LOLZ, don’t forget to dig the irony.”

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