Early development of artistic taste? No more.

The daily prompt today (Ode to a Playground) says, “A place from your past or childhood, one that you’re fond of, is destroyed. Write it a memorial”.

Let me spill and spell my grief.

Yesterday, my playground was destroyed to make space for an underground parking. No. You got it wrong. It is a new playground in the photograph above, not the one that was destroyed!

My former playground!… For over forty years its motley collection of swings, merry-go-rounds, seesaws (or teeter–totters) and sculptures had been providing educational and inspirational guidance and development for local children. No more. Nostalgic feelings have nothing to do with my grief. I am sad because it is a huge loss to the future generations of Russian children. Who will instruct them better in the ways of Russian life than the now ‘deceased’ playground? What will replace the fallen statues that have been inculcating in kids the sense of beauty, the artistic taste that Russians are so famous for?

For the Russian way of life is not governed by reason, logic, care or common sense, and needs to be taught from a very early age. The Russian artistic sense is a product of this way of life, its myths, fairy tales and archetypes. The most celebrated Russian literature dramatises the Fall and depends on our national preparedness to be sent rolling face down in the mud (from a comfy position on top of the world a second before that), cast down by destiny’s higher forces.

How can one even begin to understand Anna Karenina without THIS SLIDE?

Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky. To understand Raskolnikov, who killed a couple of old ladies, without really a second thought, you have to be raised with this sculpture in your playground. It is OK to kill creepy “babushkas” for they are living horrors even when they smile.

Russian believe Stephen King is a comic writer. Imagine keeping company with these characters since three years of age, and you’d understand why:

Oh, this dragon (?) had three heads, of which two were subaltern:

And you are surprised that Russian tourists stayed in Thailand when it was hit by a tsunami? No, it was not because Russians are insensitive. It was because the pain threshold is so low.

Vegetarianism is not a wide-spread concept in Russia. Not because people are not aware about its benefits. You simply can’t become a vegetarian, if you really want to kill animals. Look at these little piglet raping swings and other equipment. You’d want to mass murder the lot!

No, one is enough, I think – for others are so obscene, this blog can get banned.

Don’t you want to skin this maniac wolf?

And what to do with this rabbit if not to eat it? Any other use of it would be inappropriate.

So, perhaps, now you’d better understand why I am so sad. My former playground, a powerful character-forming inspiration tool for generations to come has been broken, discarded, destroyed! 

Hug me. For I need consolation. And explanation. I could never understand what the two bears are doing in this sculpture, maybe you can. Or, maybe, you rather don’t. Or won’t. But you are getting the idea why Russians love complicated novels, dramatic paintings and vodka.


  1. What I see here is the bastardisation of playgrounds even. Identikit countries, identikit towns, and now playgrounds. Let’s white wash the lot and conform. Never! (Whoops, did I just say that O.o)

  2. I can understand your grief about the loss of your playground (mine was destroyed years ago together with my childhood home, there is a multistory car park there now). I think this bitterness made you so merciless describing Russian character… We are not THAT bad, are we? Some of us still listen to Okudjava…

    1. Come on. That’s a joke piece ) There’s no grief at all because it is pure fiction, written in response to the Daily Prompt ) Being Russian, staying Russian, knowing Russian history and art, I am not bitter at all. And me, merciless? No, just a bit self-ironic. But, as they say, there’s some joke in every joke.

      1. I know, I know… But like you say ‘a bit of joke in every joke’… what about the rest? Where does it go? 🙂 It is very easy to became disheartened I must admit. I often get this feeling myself. But never mind. All the best to you!

        1. We, Russians, don’t get disheartened, but hardened, and that’s why we rebound time after time, when anyone else would just drop out, fold, stand by and watch or run. ) That’s Okudzhava in us )

            1. No, I was not even aware that it existed. Even though I think I could sing a good two dozen of his songs when I was a teenager ) Thank you – I’ll google it up!

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