Sunday, April 09, 2006

eXile - 59 Reasons Not to Kill Yourself!

eXile Feature Story - 59 Reasons Not to Kill Yourself!

While on the topic of satire, I found this article in eXile rather funny and thought I should pass it along. The people over at eXile are brutal, but it isn't as if they don't direct that lampooning spirit towards everyone. So without further ado, (cliche) here are excerpts from 59 Reasons Not to Kill Yourself:

At the end of another long, brutal win­ter, when the blackened receding snow lays bare everything from rat-gnawed dead bodies to dog shit and six months' worth of Prima butts, life in Russia is at its bleakest. [..] While spring elsewhere is a sign of rebirth and nature's endurance, in Russia, it means just one thing - keep a towel and sec­ond set of clothes handy at all times.

Yep, April really is the cruelest month. While we can't say for certain whether more Russians whack themselves in April than at any other time in the year, if they do, well, it's pretty clear why. In any event, we do know that Russia's suicide rate is the second highest in the world, clocking in with a silver-medal-winning 37.4 suicides per 100,000 people. Only little Lithuania, the Baltic country that could [kill itself], logged in more. Russia's rate almost doubles among men aged 15 to 34, with 66 deaths per 100,000.
The Life-Affirming List
2. Two week nation-wide zapoi after New Year's
Sure other countries have two-week long vacations, but where else can you count on the entire country to get wast­ed during it? Besides, the New Year's holidays in Russia mean that everyone's going to be broke until mid-February, when they finally get a full pay-check again. There's nothing like a collective binge followed by a month of regret to make you feel like part of a community!

5. Over-the-counter anti-depressants
Gloomy? No need to be. Just head on over to any apteka and in a chipper voice say the magic word. Cipramil. Yeah it's a bit on the expensive side and at $50 for a month's supply will take a big chunk out of your budget, but this fast-acting SSRI will get you up and run­ning carefree faster than you can say ya hochu ubit sebya. And best of all, the pharmacist won't annoy you for a pre­scription and you can double or triple the dose without having to endure the guilt of breaking your doctor's orders.

8. To drive your kid crazy
If you kill yourself now, who's going to constantly harass your child? Who'll tell her that she should've had an abor­tion? Who'll yell over and over that she's killing her mother, that you've sacrificed everything for her and that she's an ingrate who you should have been dropped off in an orphanage? But words are only so effective, and your actions will speak even louder. Lecture them about how you're not running a brothel every time she comes home after midnight, no matter how old she is. When she's married, claim health issues and move in to her apartment, filling the medicine cabinet with strange herbal extracts and the fridge with pick­led herring and dill. If that's not reason enough to live, you can always lose your dentures somewhere in the apartment, and then mobilize the household to find them. Also, while you're alive you can pass on all of your superstitions and prejudices. Don't let them die with you!

10. You will not want to miss seeing how the US administration complete­ly fucks up the Iran/Iraq
For years you had to endure the humiliation of seeing your country's imperial glory go down first in Afghanistan, then in Eastern Europe, and then finally within Russia itself. Now, after 25 bad years, it's Russia's turn for a heapin helpin' of schadenfreude. And you want to off yourself? Just when you can sit back, flip on the TV news, and watch America get ground into shawar-ma meat in Iraq? Moreover, recent evi­dence that Russian agents gave the Americans' warplans to Saddam means that you, as a Russian, really can savor the defeat of the US as something your country helped bring about. Killing your­self now would be as crazy as spending 2 hours getting to know a whore, then sending her home just as she mouth-applies your condom. They payoff is coming, just wait a little more.

16. Mayonnaise
Mayo, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways: you can be made out of olive oil or sunflower seed oil... you turn slightly yellow in the sun... you can accompany everything from Caesar sal­ads to spaghetti Bolognese... you repre­sent the primary flavor in every single facet of Russia's rich culinary tapestry... you don't spoil when refrigerated... you go great with dill.. you can even be put on Nachos.. you rhyme with salad days...

21. There are still short cuts waiting to be discov­ered
Sure, you've been a cab driver all your life, learning the ins and outs of Moscow's streets, how to avoid traffic and beat the system. Yeah, you're pretty good at what you do -- and even when you get stuck somewhere, you can always tell your passenger "it would have been even worse if we took the route you suggested." But who knows ifthere's a pereulok or two out there lurking, just waiting for you to find it. And if there is out there, just imagine the joy you'll experience when you pick up your first foreigner after discovering that way to pass by a knot of traffic.

22. IKEA
That's right, you just need to open yourself to the transformative power of Ikea on the Russian psyche. Russia's sal­vation lies in reasonably priced, unstained Swedish furniture produced by near-slave-wage labor. But don't believe us, believe the Moscow Times. Ikea's back advertising in Moscow's English-language Paper of Record, and with that come the glowing articles. In a recent article titled "6 Years On, IKEA Still Waits Profit," we learned that Ikea hasn't made a dime in Russia, yet keeps investing in the spirit of absolute selflessness. Kinda like the eXile. "We believe in Russia," gen­eral director Per Kaufman told the Times last week, confirming what longtime Times readers have long suspected: that Ikea's motivations are purely altruistic. They're in it for you, friends. Now go buy yourselves some shelving units and assemble them with relish! Think about it -- if you die, you can't shop for useless IKEA kitchenwares. The company is tak­ing a hit to improve your life -- whattaya gonna do, throw it all away?

30. If you fuck up and end up in a Russian hospital, you're in a world of pain
Just hope you got the bribe funds necessary for proper treatment. Cuz if you don't, you're fucked. The filthy con­ditions and snide remarks you'll get from the hospital staff will surely lead to long and depressing stay that you probably won't survive. Better not to even try.

41. Goryachie putyovki
If the last few months of cold, grey Moscow weather have you entertaining thoughts of suicide, there's a way out! Just pick up a copy of Otdykh magazine outside of any metro station and let your fantasies run away with you! Only $300 for a vacation at a three-star hotel in Hurghada? What a bargain! Add the cost of a five-liter bottle of Johnny Walker Red in duty-free and we're talk­ing dream-vacation! You'll be wasted from the time the charter flight leaves the gate to the moment you get home, but at least you'll have a tan to remind you that there's a whole world of over­built beach resorts just waiting to be visited for next to nothing!

45. To see how Putin extends his authority beyond the 8-year maxi­mum.
Here at the eXile office, we've got a hefty pool building up. Jake's got his college fund on the line, while Mark got his property in Laos riding on this one, even Salnikov's got one of his cheaper Moscow properties in there. The ques­tion is, how is that man going to stay in vlast'? A sudden terrorist threat? A civil war? Maybe just a war? But with who? Stick around for the exciting conclusion.

49. Who's going to beat your wife/husband?
Domestic abuse is Russia's national pastime. Check the facts: just over half of Russian men beat their wives and about a third of Russian men have been beaten by their wives. 7% of Russian women don't know why they beat their husbands - they just do it. Russians know better than anyone that a good periodic pimp-slappin is healthy for mind and body - if not theirs, then yours. Question is, if you off yourself, who's going to beat your spouse? Your sense of responsibility should keep you from abandoning him or her to the violent whims of some other miserable drunk, who may not know the difference between a love-nip on the eye and a hammer to the back of the head. It's tricky, after all.

58. You won't see the eXile get closed down
For over nine fucking years, you've been waiting for the Russian authorities to wake up, act like the authoritarians they're supposed to be, and once and for all shut this goddamn newspaper down. Imagine if you threw yourself under a KamAZ, and the last Death Porn they ever print is about your stupid death...complete with close-up photos. You can't miss the one event everyone in this town has been..not so much dying to see, cuz that's what you're not supposed to do.but "waiting to see."

59. Giving Westerners long pedantic harangues
You've been reading up on the way things REALLY are in the West for years now, culling articles from Komsomolskaya Pravda, Moskovsky Komsomolets, and other key sources. But you still haven't been able to corner a Westerner yet to tell him exactly how things are run in the West, why they are run the way they are. More important, you haven't been able to explain to any American or Brit yet how English is a "simple" language that is "rational" but not expressive like Russian, which has so many nuances. You know this because you've read about it -- and in any event, everyone knows this to be true. Except those Westerners. If you can just get an audience with them, you'd make them see how well you understand things.

Aggravating Factor: You don't speak any English, and the three or four Westerners you've so far come across didn't speak any Russian. What's the point of sticking around in this life to engage in long, pedantic harangues over a range of important topics, if not a single word you utter is understood?

PS ~ The Accidental Russophile is surprised that Remont! did not make the list ...

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