Alexei Zoubov,head with saxophone
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        My allergy to ads.

        September 1st, 2008 by Alexei Zoubov

        It looks like with age I develop really severe allergy to ads!

        For the most of my life I didn’t watch TV at all. And was very pleased with it.

        For a short time I watched a lot of American TV when I visited the States in 1979, 1981 and 1983 (invited by my second – American – wife). It was all very new and very interesting to me – especially the commercials! Russia didn’t have any TV commercials back then.

        In 1984 I moved to the States, my wife left me and I found myself in a small furnished studio apartment with Murphy bed and – again, no TV.

        Several year later I met my third wife and started to watch some TV programs. To my great surprise, there were some worth watching. I somehow was able to get through the ads without losing my sanity, just managing to switch them off in my mind.

        And then, when I was getting closer and closer to become septuagenarian (had to look how to spell this word), I also was getting more and more annoyed by the ads. Some were disturbing me on the intellectual level (usually when their intellectual level was in negative numbers), some by their bag taste (often intentional), some by being so stupid as if created by some lower life forms, some… you know what I’m talking about.

        And there are some that annoy me because I really believe they shouldn’t be there at all. Like advertisements for prescription drugs that, in my opinion, should be promoted only to the doctors. Or alcohol of any kind – why it is better than tobacco or pot?

        Oh, there are still worse – the couples discussing insurance, supplemental coverage or investment options with the naturalness of bad robots with the batteries down; couples about to make love, being interrupted and praising Cialis for keeping it up longer. Or a crowd of sexually obsessed, like the sailors after a year in the sea, dudes singing a hymn to Viagra.

        Some don’t make any sense to me at all. Have you seen “PPA buses” ad (it is actually about providing help with prescription drugs)? Why do they need buses to promote this? Are they driving from town to town like “Straight Talk Express”? If they are there for help and not for profit, does it make sense to spend millions on commercials? “Because pharmaceutical companies want to help”, as they say in the ad? Fat chance.

        Now, I have to say that there are a few commercials made with wit, creative spark and intelligence. Here are three that come to mind:

        1. Bridgestone Squirrel
        2. FedEx Prehistoric
        3. March of the Emperors (French)

        If anybody knows any more, please include links in your comment!

        But.. these constitute a fraction of one percent of the dummy-targeted flood. And the most disturbing thing to me – bad tasteless ads work better. I know – I’ve done some marketing myself.

        Really, “Nobody ever got broke, underestimating..” and so on.

        Posted in Thoughts | No Comments »

        The Great Jazz Seduction (Moscow)

        August 29th, 2008 by Alexei Zoubov

        As I remember, jazz seduction (of me) started around 1949-50. The scene of this seduction was Moscow, Russia (then USSR). There was no accessible jazz music anywhere in the country – not on television, not on the radio, not in record stores (at least this was the intention of the ruling party then).

        And still there was a considerable number of real jazz fans and even some very small number of miraculously surviving jazz musicians – most of them were sent to Stalin’s gulag’s.

        I don’t want to get into the history of Russian jazz, I don’t want this post to go on forever. If you are interested, there is a great book by S. Frederick Starr : Red and Hot: The Fate of Jazz in the Soviet Union. It even mentions my name in a couple of places.

        So, where the seduction came from? There were records from before the Second World War, the records brought by soldiers returning from Germany after the war. There were movies that appeared in the period when America still wasn’t an enemy (this period ended in 1947), especially Sun Valley Serenade (with Glen Miller band) and The Roaring Twenties (in Russia presented as The Fate of a Soldier in America).

        And, of course, the radio. All programs in Russian, coming from abroad, were jammed, but there were many BBC and The Voice of America jazz programs in English that we could easily tune to.

        Jazz was officially labeled as the “rotten capitalist music”, but, I think, this even fueled our interest.

        Starting with the seventh grade, there was at least a dozen boys in my class (it was an all-male school) that were in love with jazz, although the level of knowledge of jazz was understandably limited.

        I had an old 78 record of Fats Waller and his band, and I was so enthralled by his playing, that I tried to transcribe his solos, in the process completely destroying the record. I had about 18 months of piano lessons when I was little, that proved to be not enough to play the Fats’ solos as he played them, but it was the first step for me on the road to understanding the inner workings of jazz.

        There wasn’t even a passing thought in my mind of becoming a professional jazz musician. None whatsoever. There were no musicians in our family. They were all scientists and I was supposed to become one too.

        And so it goes, as says Kurt Vonnegut. In the year of Stalin’s death – 1953 – I went to Moscow University to major in physics and fulfill the expectations of my family.

        The jazz virus was still there, though. In my sophomore year I got the urge to try some wind instrument and got a really bad clarinet from the University amateur brass band. After learning some simple tunes, I destroyed another 78 record, this one of Benny Goodman playing “Blue Sky”, again while trying to transcribe Benny’s solo.

        My old friend since the school, Boris Rytchkov, later to become one of the very best Russian jazz pianists, was leading a small amateur band at the time and I shamesly abused this friendship by practically forcing him to let me play with the band. Believe me, I was pretty awful!

        Being a good friend, Boris managed to tolerate the cat screams emanating from my clarinet for a month or so. Finally he called me aside and said, “I’m sorry, but I can’t listen to this anymore! I know and old guy who sells a saxophone, why don’t you try it?”

        That was it. The year was 1955. That was the moment when I, still not knowing it, made my first step away from the road, leading to a stable and respected future as a scientist, and started on a winding, often disappointing and sometimes even dangerous in Russia path to becoming a jazz musician.

        (Continues HERE)

        Posted in Jazz, Just Stories, Mementos, Music, Musicians, That's how it was.. | 2 Comments »

        Solar System is at Risk!

        August 26th, 2008 by Alexei Zoubov

        I think Paul Begala had it right:

        The Bush-McCain Republicans messed up the country in their first term, and they messed up the world in their second. If they get a third term, even the solar system won’t be safe.

        Really, do you want this crap to continue? Do you think the fact that McCain is a war hero guarantees that his policies would be good for you? Think again! Those are Bush policies he is going to continue and develope. About his only difference with Bush is that McCain at least doesn’t have a moronic expression on his face like Bush normally has.

        Unseparable

        I love you so much!

        I love you so much!

        Posted in Ideas & Ideologies, Thoughts | No Comments »

        The World according to Leon

        August 24th, 2008 by Alexei Zoubov

        Every ideology has its postulates.

        Many of these postulates are wrong in practically every ideology. Based on these postulates the adherents of a particular ideology are making supposedly logical conclusions. These conclusions and conclusions derived from them make the body of ideology.

        As Merriam-Webster tells us, it is “the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program” (that’s one of definitions, the one that relates to what I intend to talk about the most).

        Basic characteristics of ideology (according to Willard A. Mullins):

        1. it must have power over cognitions;
        2. it must be capable of guiding one’s evaluations;
        3. it must provide guidance towards action;
        4. it must be logically coherent.

        The first three points are obviously correct, the fourth one is desirable, but often not present.

        If the ideology is based on arbitrary assumptions and especially if it isn’t coherent, ideology becomes akin to religion; it is then a system of beliefs that aren’t or couldn’t be proved and have no real correlation to reality.

        One good example of such is the Soviet Communist party ideology that we, Russian immigrants, are unfortunately very familiar with. Another example is the ideology of Bush and his administration, which is as “valid” as the Soviet one. Actually, the methods of putting these ideologies in action are frightfully similar in both of them.

        My intent is to present some postulates that are the basis of the ideology of specific group of people, very well represented by already mentioned on this blog Leon Weinstein.

        I have to warn you, if you find the following funny, think once more, I think it is scary.

        Let’s start with the most inportant statement:

        1. All people are equal, but those that have more money are more equal (proportionally).

        This one was adopted from “1984”, as you’ve probably noticed. This is a “corner stone” or, better to say, the corner stone. Nobody says it openly, but you always can read it between the lines.

        Follows from the first, but also a postulate by itself:

        2. Worth of a human being is measured by his/her money worth.

        From this follows that success is measured only by the ability to create personal wealth.

        3. Poor people are losers and don’t deserve any help whatsoever. (Poor also usually means: those who work for low wages).

        4. Rich people are real deserving winners and should be respected and praised according to their monetary worth.

        Here is a logical (or illigical) conclusion from #3 and #4.:

        5. Poor people (losers) deserve less money, rich people (winners) deserve more money.

        Here is a rule, which could be discovered only by studying proposed measures and legislations:

        6. Money coming from investment is better money than which is earned by actual work.

        That is a logical conclusion from everything above. People working for low wages don’t have money to invest, they are losers. Those who have money to invest are winners, their money (capital gains, dividends) should be taxed less than wages.

        7. All social programs are just robbing the successful people. (That, of course, includes health care for everybody and even public education).

        In simple terms: Succeed or be damned!

        As it was stated earlier, an ideology “must provide guidance towards action.” So, watch for the actions. Very often only the actions give the clue to the underlying ideology.

        From this world view follows, that any free social programs are just encouraging losers and lazy bums. Public schools also serve mostly losers. Forget about universal health care.

        Profit, profit,profit, money, money, money – real engine of society. If you ever watched Star Trek (Next Generation and Space 9), you should remember Ferengi, that was exactly their ideology.

        Watch for the post on this ideology in Leon’s writings.

        Posted in Ideas & Ideologies, Leon Weinstein, Thoughts | 3 Comments »

        Trying to be me – politically.

        August 16th, 2008 by Alexei Zoubov

        I’m not a Democrat and definitely not a Republican, I’m trying hard to use reason to the best of my abilities and be as independent as I can.

        Although I will definitely vote for Obama, it doesn’t mean that I’m his devoted supporter or admirer. There are numerous areas where I don’t agree with him and I’m a little worried that he slides more and more towards the usual Washington politics.

        But… the other option is just plain scary (or ridiculous, if you wish).

        I take a certain pride in the fact that I was able to figure out the true nature of George Bush (Jr) the moment I saw his face and heard him speak. With a feeling of doom and sadness I discovered then that many of my friends, whose judgement I used to respect, liked Bush and then voted for him. Some of them still think he is great. What a tragic joke!

        I really did like McCain of eight years back and was really angry with “below the belt” attacks on him by the¬† Bush’s gang during the campaign. Since then McCain not only has forgiven the unforgivable, but has started embracing Bush (literally!) and continues moving further and further to the right. With this pace he will soon get to the right of Bush himself (and, may be, fall off the right wing).

        But even that is not conservative enough for ultra-reactionary graphomaniac Leon Weinstein. I got another of his amazing opuses: “Open Letter to Senator McCain” that, essentially, is Leon teaching McCain how to understand history, economy, war, peace and what America (in Leon’s understanding) is about. Pretty sick staff. I will review it right here on my blog as soon as I get some time for it.

        I promise I will do it – otherwise I will have the aftertaste of these verbal feces for a long time.

        Keep coming back!

        Posted in Ideas & Ideologies, Thoughts | No Comments »

        The Unforgettable Duo with Igor Saulsky

        August 14th, 2008 by Alexei Zoubov

        This is one of the many upcoming posts that are not about the present per se, although the events and people mentioned had an enormous influence on who I am today, and definitely on how I play, percieve music and life today.

        My duo with Igor Saulsky lasted for about 2 years, from my forced departure from ensemble “Melodia” to Igor’s departure to USA in 1980.

        Igor Saulsky was (and probably is, although he completely dropped all his music activities in early 90-ties, or even earlier) one of the most talented musicians I ever encountered. His father, prominent Russian composer Yuri Saulsky, conducted the first semi-professional big band I ever played in. It was a band put together in late 1956 for the sole purpose of participating in the Moscow International Youth Festival in the summer of 1957. There was a jazz competition within the festival and Soviet apparatchiks wanted to have Soviet participants in it, our band served their purpose.

        Well, I digress. I will return to this pretty strange and exciting time in some other post. Igor was just a little boy then. He vividly remembers playing with empty vodka bottle under the table, while his father and I were finishing another bottle right at this table.

        So, much later , in 1978 I was already dating my American (second) wife-to-be, which led to my expulsion from my job with the Melodia Record Studio and its in house ensemble. At that time dating an American girl was definitely an anti-Soviet activity.

        I suddenly got a lot of free time on my hands and decided to put together my own group. From the compositional point of view, my inspiration then was Weather Report, so I transcribed some of their charts and wrote some of my own in the same vein. Igor Saulsky, whose musical abilities were practically unknown to me then, became a member of my group on recommendation of his father.

        The group was a total disaster. We rehearsed for about two months, got absolutely nowhere and I had to abandon this hopeless enterprise before going completely nuts. The bassist and the drummer where fired and I was left with Igor, who was really shining all through these disappointing rehearsals.

        Igor wasn’t a jazz musician in the traditional (read: conservative) sense. He had a decent classical training and has played in several rock and fusion bands. What attracted me to him was his intuitive understanding of what music is for and ability to deliver the musical emotional message with honesty and passion. He was also into Keith Jarret’s solo works and had a similar to Keith’s touch on the piano.

        While attempting to drown my misery in a cup of Chinese tee at Igor’s place and trying to figure out whom of the Moscow musicians we could consider for the group, I suddenly heard Igor say, “Why don’t we just play as a duo?”.

        To tell you the truth, I wasn’t really enthralled. I really wasn’t able to imagine what the hell we could play together in this format. Nevertheless it was clear that whatever we play, it won’t be “jazz” as I played it before. I said “yes” mostly out of the desperation, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.

        I was sure that this conversation will be the end of this idea, so I was astonished to get a call from Igor the next day. “This coming Saturday we have our first concert. We will be opening for the rock group “Time Machine”, he said.

        “Why the f–k did I agree?” was my first thought. There were only two days left, we never rehearsed anything, we never even talked about what we were going to play and playing the first set for a rock-oriented audience was, in my understanding, akin to suicide!

        I got to our first and only rehearsal with a determination to go through several days of torture with poise and dignity. Unexpectedly enough, our get together turned into a very pleasant experience. Igor played me some of his tunes, which I immediately liked. Then I showed some of my staff that I hoped would be usable, then we went through a few Russian folk songs, then some short motifs popped up as if from nowhere, some simple, but unusual chord sequences were considered and adopted. Then we went through our tunes, and having immediately assumed that there will be no real “blowing on the changes”, we trimmed and cropped the melodies to make them useful as themes in a larger composition, not stand-alone tunes.

        And then we made a chart of the whole set, that was supposed to be from 50 minutes to an hour. There was no music notation, there were boxes with the names we gave to “themes”, boxes were connected with arrows, crescendo’s and diminuendo’s, rising and falling drawn waves. Some spots were marked with the symbolic drawings of explosions and waterfalls. What we were trying to do, is to draw an emotional map with intermediate destinations, suggested routes and methods of travel. We paid special attention to the final destination, then I suddenly realized, with some surprise, that Igor intended to sing in the finale, as well as in some spots in the middle. Well, I really didn’t want to fight it, although I never trusted singers in general.

        I’m taking some time to describe this brainstorm session because that’s how we planned each of our many concerts that followed. This method never failed.

        Although I was happy with the rehearsal, the prospect of playing all this esoteric staff for rock-n-roll fans made me uncomfortable. I was trembling all through the remaining time and right until we got on stage. Then I was only concerned with doing the best I could and keeping the lines of communication open. Right from the start I felt that we are getting better and better response from each other, that we are creating a good story and telling it well, and that the audience is getting getting more and more interested in the process and anticipating and enjoying the plot and execution.

        We had extremely good response and even (absolutely unexpectedly) played some encores, which, out of necessity, were absolutely free.

        That’s how this duo started a string of concerts, most of them just us playing two sets, some of them before large audiences of 1500 – 2000 listeners. We were never perfect, we couldn’t be, each of us was far from perfect, but there was a desire to be sincere, honest and tell musical stories that any audience could relate to, that made the duo successful and popular among jazz fans, rock fans, classic music lovers and even unsophisticated housewives.

        Regretfully, there are no remaining professional recordings of any of these concerts. While on my tour to Russia in the autumn of 2006, I talked to music critics and producers that tried to find anything that could be published. In all these years nothing surfaced. I have only fragments, and those are on pretty bad quality cassettes.

        As i mentioned before, in 1978 Igor emigrated to the States. It was, I think, in 1980 that I visited him in Washington, DC, where we recorded three tunes, two of them his compositions, on a fairly decent tape recorder with two decent mikes, but all that was left was a lousy cassette copy. You can hear one of his tunes here: November Joy Link.

        Please come back to the music page on my site – I will be placing more excerpts from our duo works soon.

        Posted in Jazz, Just Stories, Music, Musicians, That's how it was.. | No Comments »

        Leon Weinstein – more distortions and lies.

        August 7th, 2008 by Alexei Zoubov

        I’d gladly stop wasting time on Leon Weinstein’s graphomania – (I actually prefer the term “logorrhoea”), but he is popping up everywhere.

        He promised to fight with all he has against Obama, with emails, blog postings, money, etc, and he really does it. He is really scared, and I understand why – all his retarded reactionary stance is under attack. Thanks to the likes of him we had these disastrous eight years – and he wants more and more of the same.

        Just to add to my last post where I gave a link to Jews for Obama. Today I post a response to some false statements in Weinstein’s letter from another blog. Unlike Leon’s letter, this blog has links to specific articles and documents.

        The Leon Weinstein letter/email‚

        Weinstein writes an “open letter” to Obama, in which Weinstein pretends to be a neutral party with concerns about Obama. In reality, Weinstein is a far-right Republican and his “letter” is chock full of lies.

        Book lie No. 1:

        The claim: In “Dreams of My Father” Obama wrote: “I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother’s race”.

        The reality: Obama didn’t write this, the quote is a flat-out lie

        http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/517/

        Book lie No. 2:

        The claim: Obama wrote “I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.”

        The reality: Weinstein intentionally edits this quote to change its meaning. Here‚Äôs the actual paragraph: “When people who don’t know me well, black or white, discover my background (and it is usually a discovery, for I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites) I see the split-second adjustments they have to make, the searching of my eyes for some telltale sign.”

        Voting “present”:

        The email takes issue with the fact that Obama sometimes voted “present” in the Illinois Senate.

        The reality: Present Votes Are an Accepted Legislative Strategy in the Illinois Senate

        http://factcheck.barackobama.com/factcheck/2008/01/21/present_votes_are_an_accepted.php

        Also: Abner J. Mikva, a former Illinois state legislator, congressman, federal judge and White House Counsel from 1994 to 1995 backs Obama on the use of “present” votes.

        http://www.law.uchicago.edu/news/mikva-021608/index.html

        The march on Selma:

        The claim: Obama lied in a speech that his parents met during the historic march to Selma Alabama.

        The reality: Obama never made this claim. Rather, he said the civil rights movement (such as the march on Selma) made it possible for his parents to marry.

        http://www.barackobama.com/2007/03/04/selma_voting_rights_march_comm.php  

        Michelle Obama’s thesis (claim No. 2):

        The claim: Michelle Obama claims in her thesis that she feels obligated to serve the black community “first and foremost.”

        The reality: Michelle was writing about how she felt when she first entered college. Later in the thesis, she states that her views on that issue have changed.

        http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/505/

        I have more materials on Leon Weinstein lies and I will get back to them later.

        Do you have no shame, Leon?

        Posted in Ideas & Ideologies, Leon Weinstein | 3 Comments »

        Response to Leon Weinstein’s Letter

        August 4th, 2008 by Alexei Zoubov

        The next day after posting my previous entry I did a Google search on “Leon Weinstein” and discovered a response to his “Open letter to Obama“.

        I would like you to read Leon’s letter first and then go to Jews4Obama page to read their response.

        I would also suggest to follow all links in the response posting, because they refer to some specific allegations by Leon Weinstein and provide factual material that shows that Leon Weinstein is just lying all through his letter.

        I’ve made a wrong conclusion based on my previous email exchange with him. I said there that Leon’s intelligence left him for good, now it seems that his honesty and integrity are gone too (in case they’ve been there in the first place). I’d love to be mistaken, but there is just too much evidence.

        What is still most amazing to me is that the whole tone and method’s of Weinstein seem to be borrowed from old Soviet party newspapers. That’s how Soviet communists use to smear their “enemies” , both domestic and International.

        I guess we will hear more from Leon. He definitely has a condition, called graphomania.

        He also produced other two opuses I know of: “Open letter to Senator McCain” (in Leon’s opinion, McCain is a leftist) and “American Robin Hood” against all Obama’s policies. The latter includes an interesting thought that democracy always leads to socialism (!!!!).

        Quite enough for the day, time to do music.

        Posted in Ideas & Ideologies, Leon Weinstein, Thoughts | No Comments »

        Leon Weinstein in all his glory!

        August 4th, 2008 by Alexei Zoubov

        This is placed in my blog with a delay (I actually didn’t have a blog back then).

        In the morning of May 10th I’ve received the following message by email¬†from Leon Weinstein. He sent it to a large group of recipients, mostly Russian immigrants.

        From Leon:

        I am usually not forwarding other people’s emails or u-tube videous.
        This one however is a must. I am not joking, this is a must. The black guy who is talking about Obama is one of the most couragious people I ever encounter. WOW! Please click, view and forward. LW
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfyHQ2PjLz

        ¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† —-end Leon’s quote.

        So, I decided to watch the video and it started the chain of absolutely amazing and also sad events, that I consider worth telling you about.

        I really urge you to watch the video, especially the very end of it, and also read the comments Рit will help you understand what I will talk about better.

        In short, after some preliminary statements, mostly making some sense and designed obviously to set the stage for the most important message to white America, the pastor delivers the following warning:
        If you elect Barack Hussein Obama (note “Hussein”), the black America¬†will rise and trash you, White America, “all the way back to the¬†plantations of Mississippi”.

        I watched once more and read all the comments, and my conclusion was¬†that this pastor, whom Leon called “one of the most courageous people”¬†he ever encountered, is either insane, or possessed, or is hired by¬†far-right functionaries.

        It left such an awful aftertaste in my mouth, mostly because I had¬†the misfortune to encounter some of the manifestations of this kind¬†of “self-racism” in my life (like Jew-on-Jew hatred) and always hated¬†it.

        So, I sat down and wrote a pretty long response (or a short essay) on¬†the matter and was about to send it to Leon and also to all those¬†whom he sent the original message to. At this time my wife looked¬†over my shoulder and said that it was too long and elaborate, and why¬†don’t I just send something sarcastic and short.

        Well, I followed her advice, here is what I’ve sent to all the recipients:¬†¬†

        From Alexei to Leon and others:

        Yes, Obama is a muslim and a monster, there is a worldwide¬†secret organization of blacks against whites and Jews, it¬†is well known that they drink the blood of white and Jewish¬†babies and Obama, if he becomes a president, will employ¬†a “final solution” of enslaving or exterminating all whites.

        Yes, we all end up as slaves on the plantation in Mississippi. See you there!

        Alexei Zoubov

        PS: Einstein once said: “Two things are infinite: the universe¬†and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe”.¬†He would love both the video and the accompanying note.¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†——— end my quote

        As I thought it would be obvious, I just expanded on the last¬†sentences of this “courageous” pastor, whom Leon admires so much,¬†using the exaderation, called “ad absurdum”, in order to make it¬†too outrageous to be considered either true or serious.

        Obviously, I didn’t succeed, with Leon it didn’t click at all!

        Here is what he sent me in response:

        From Leon:

        Dear Alexi,

        I think it is very racist to write things like that about¬†African Americans. I understand that you came from the¬†Soviet Union where you never saw blacks, but by now you¬†shall know that they also people, and that the fact that you¬†have white skin doesn’t make you better person then someone¬†with black, brown, yellow or green skin. But even if you¬†think that someone is inferior then you, this type of¬†thoughts you shall keep to yourself.

        Sorry, but without any respect,

        Leon Weinstein¬†¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†——— End Leon’s quote

        At first I couldn’t believe my eyes, It took me several readings to¬†sink in what the implication was. I called my wife and she couldn’t¬†believe it either. I showed this exchange to some of my friends -all of them suggested that I drop it, that explaining anything was a¬†hopless endeavor.

        Unfortunately I didn’t listen and tried to explain the matter:

        Alexei to Leon:

        That’s amazing that you didn’t understand a joke and a¬†sarcasm. I mistakenly believed that you know what “ad¬†absurdum” means. That makes my quote of Einstein even more¬†to the point.

        I, as most of my friends, perceived the video, as well as¬†your note as an awful racist proclamation against Obama,¬†using absolutely insane rambling of this “courageous”¬†pastor against his own people.

        Don’t you understand that this video was a perfect example¬†of “reverse” racism, otherwise why “Warning to white¬†America?” The same reverse racism that makes some Jews¬†anti-semite? Even the title,”Warning to white America” is¬†racist. So, your suggestion to take this video seriously I¬†consider very racist in itself.

        Read my note again and try to think this time, that’s all I¬†can say. And your lecture doesn’t apply to me, I¬† actually¬†prefer to deal with blacks more than with many of my white¬†compatriots

        And I’m actually voting for Obama.

        AZ

        PS: Ad absurdum: an argument carried to such lengths that it¬†becomes silly or ridiculous.¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†—- end my quote.

        Well, this one didn’t click ether. The response I got showed that¬†Leon was still wandering in his own version of reality:

        From Leon:

        Dear Mr. Zubov,

        I personlly think that your statement or even a “joke” (as¬†you now trying to say) that blacks drink Jewish blood is¬†racist. Sorry, I will have my computer reject all futureemails from you because I think that statements like “some¬†of my friends are black” are racist and distasteful.

        NO¬†RESPECT SIR. LW ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†——— End Leon’s quote

        That’s¬† utterly amazing. Nothing penetrates. He still thinks that I¬†really¬† accuse blacks of drinking Jewish blood!!???? And I didn’t¬†say “some of my friends are black”! I said that I “prefer to deal¬†with blacks more than with many of my white compatriots” – wich is true, if only because I’m a jazz musician! Leon¬†definitely placed himself in this group of my compatriots I don’t¬†want to deal with at all. I always considered him a fairly intelligent person, in spite many of my friends disagreeing with this opinion. After his last note it became obvious that the intelligence (if it was there) left him for good and he has that special reactionary ideological insanity that puts him in the same category as Ann Coulter.

        Nothing more to say. If you didn’t lose the patience completely. here is¬†my first response to Leon’s first message (the one I didn’t send).

            From Alexei:

            Hello, whoever wants to listen.

        It is not the first time that Leon Weinstein is sending me and probably you the messages and links to some videos  that essentially designed to explore and build up racial and partisan tensions.

        I’ve watched the video¬† he advised me to see with the¬†feeling of my intelligence being¬† deeply offended.¬†Not only because of what I think of this pastor’s speech -¬†I find the main message of it, which is getting “white¬†America” scared of blacks, pretty sickening, but also¬†because Leon, although he doesn’t know me really¬† well,¬†thinks so low of me, that he expects me to share his view¬†about the message and his admiration of this pastor.

        There was (and probably still is) in Moscow a composer Ovchinnikov, who approached me once, and after making sure that I am a real Russian, not a Jew, poured streams of most disgusting anti-semitic propaganda on me, telling me that all evil comes from Jews and that they rule Mother Russia, etc. He thought I would be sympathetic РI was definitely not and made it clear that I oppose racism in any form.

        Why do  I think this story is related Рthe fact is, Ovchinnikov was a Jew, which made it all even more disgusting.

        So, the pastor Leon admires so much, wants us (whites) to be¬†scared of his own people and Leon applauds? Isn’t it clear that¬†this is black-on-black racism, similar to Ovchinnikov’s¬†Jew-on-Jew anti-semitism? Or – another option – this pastor¬†is so afraid of Obama becoming the president, that he is¬†eager to sell out his own people to prevent that? And that’s¬†what Leon calls courage

        Only a person that doesn’t know me at all could think that¬†this video would evoke in me the same feelings Leon had.¬†I felt sick to my stomach and saddened not only by the¬†message, but also by the fact that anybody could really¬†admire the “courage” of this pastor and expect others to do¬†the same – and forward the link to others.

        I’m not writing this to support Obama or anybody else. I’m¬†writing this in support of simple human decency that was¬†lacking in the video, in Leon’s opinion about it and in his responses.

        Leon, don’t you have any shame?

        Alexei Zoubov

        Posted in Ideas & Ideologies, Leon Weinstein | 5 Comments »

        Why good people do evil things?

        August 3rd, 2008 by Alexei Zoubov

        With or without it [religion] you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things.

        But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

        – Professor Steven Weinberg, 1999

        Posted in Faith | 1 Comment »

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