Friday, April 11, 2008
  Could it happen?



Local PBS station showed the 1966 movie "The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!" last week. I had watched the movie when it was new, and had been sort of wanting to see it again.

The first time was with several of my nerd buddies, in the K-State Student Union. I'm pretty sure we got bored with the movie and went down to the Union basement to bowl a few lines, because most of the movie was totally unfamiliar this time.

Super-condensed plot: A Russian submarine spying on the East Coast runs aground on a small island near Martha's Vineyard. A few crewmen form a commando cadre, taking hostages, cutting phone lines, stealing cars, aiming to borrow a large enough boat to pull the sub from the beach before the US Govt catches on. The locals, all well-armed, cause even more chaos by generating and responding to wild rumors. A bunch of other stuff happens, and finally the sub itself confronts the armed citizens, threatening to blow the town to smithereens if the town doesn't return one of the commandos. (In fact the lost commando has fallen in love with one of the local girls, and they are mooning and spooning.) Amid the tense confrontation, a local boy climbs into the church steeple to watch, then falls out of the steeple and gets caught on a protruding beam 50 feet from the ground. Predictably the sub crew, showing their basic humanity, swarm ashore and help the locals build a sort of human pyramid to rescue the boy. By that time the Air Force is finally on the way, but the locals don't want to see their newfound friends destroyed by a bomber ... so they form a convoy of small boats to escort the sub out to international waters, and the fighter planes can't bring themselves to bomb the locals.

What would happen today? The Russians could still land accidentally, because they're still as incompetent as ever. But the rest is impossible. If any locals brandished guns against the Russkis, the police would instantly kill the locals, bring in tanks to destroy their homes (alias "Sick perverted nativist compounds"), and hire the Russkis as Cultural Diversity Consultants to help investigate all the relatives, associates and ancestors of the evil gun-brandishers, and to bring false charges against all such Sick Perverted Nativist Wackos, yea unto the seventieth generation.

However! The officials would soon be sorely disappointed. They'd find the ordinary Russians had never heard of Diversity, which was strictly a poison for foreign consumption. Russians are ferociously patriotic, racist, anti-Jewish, and anti-homosexual, with an intensity that was never common in America. In fact the Russians would understand the gun-brandishing citizens quite easily, and the Russians would also understand the Stalinist officials only too well.
 


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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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