A thoughtcriminal speaks

Oleg Atbashian, the gifted satirist and artist who founded The People’s Cube, has written a classic essay that deserves the widest possible circulation.  "How I Became a Thoughtcriminal" is a personal account of growing up in the Soviet Union and discovering censorship, leaving it behind, and rediscovering it here.  This is chapter one of the story: Since my grandfather was Polish, we had a Polish dictionary and a language manual in the family library. Polish is also close enough to my native Russian and Ukrainian, so with some practice I was able to read Polish magazines, which were more interesting than the Soviet ones. As a kid, I loved the Polish satirical magazine Szpilki. It wasn't widely available and their cartoons were often a lot more sexually charged than those in the Soviet print media, so my parents tried to keep them out of my sight. But seeing just one issue was enough to make me wonder why such things didn't exist in the Soviet...(Read Full Post)