Thursday, September 08, 2005

"We Will Bury You!"

I remember, when I was a very young child, seeing President Eisenhower on TV. I also remember seeing Premier Khrushchev on TV. At first I was confused: they were both bald men in suits. Then I began to understand the difference. Eisenhower was sort of like Superman or Batman: if you were in trouble, he would send the Army to help you. Whereas Khrushchev banged his shoe on the table and said, "We will bury you!"

Not a bad understanding of world politics, for a preschooler.

There was a TV commercial on in those days which scared the willies out of me. It showed a young child sleeping in a crib. Then a voice declaimed, "We will bury you!", and a hand reached in with a rubber stamp from off screen, and stamped a hammer and sickle on the headboard of the crib.

At that age, I thought that this commercial was produced by the Soviet government itself, which was buying time on American TV stations to advertise to us their intentions of world conquest. I also thought that some day when I was taking a nap, Khrushchev was going to come to our house and rubber-stamp a hammer and sickle on the headboard of my bed.

Nobody in those days would have imagined in their wildest dreams that, in little more than 30 years, the Soviet Union would fold up and go out of business.



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