Out Of The Way

I tuned out, I dropped in. I'm a naive, wide-eyed sell-out

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Well Read not, well, Red (ha-ha, what a clever title - do you smoke me, eh, eh?)

Oh well, so I'll carry on a bit.

Why am I called Voroshilov? Well, it's relatively straight-forward but it opens up lots of other questions which I've spent the past few years investigating.

I first used the name over 10 years ago when writing on the student newspaper. I'd written too much stuff due to a lack of decent pieces from the usual sources and when laying the pages up became quite embarassed at the amount of times my name appeared - so i started to swap them out for pseudonyms. There was about five of them but I liked Voroshilov the best.

Why Voroshilov?

Here he is:

Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov is the original. If you want to know about him you, then check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kliment_Voroshilov

Basically, senior military figure in the USSR, who wasn't actually as great as he was presented.

For years however, I fetishized everything to do with the Soviet Union. My grandad was a communist and I swerved more and more in that direction as things started to go wrong in my late teens.

As a beginner "leftie" you immediately denounce everything you formerly believed in and take on board a load of stuff that is now taken as the truth. It takes years to realise that the truth lies somewhere between these positions.

As an advanced "leftie" and flailing freelance journalist I found myself working with Reidski on a certain "left-wing" publication. Here's where I found out about a things called "the party line" and "revolutionary discipline" - I learnt the former but could never accept the latter (hence some fat bastard called me a libertarian humanist with all the self-satisfaction that a Trot can muster - quite a lot).

I met a guy who was proud of leading a mutiny against the RAF in WWII - arse. I met a couple of people who thought that Stalin's cruelty was something to be applied to office politics. I encountered real office politics. I also met a bunch of very smart, very savvy people who I have nothing but good things to say about.

As a kid, the turning point towards the left was watching Newsround. They had a piece on arranged holidays in the Soviet Union. It showed "Russians" in bathing costumes lounging in deck chairs in the snow and swimming in icey water. This, it carefully explained, was what happened under the evil communist regime (the equivalent would be Russians watching those idiots swimming in the Serpentine on News Years Day, while a voiceover explained this was how the bourgeois Brits like to shrink their nuts). I can't have been very old, but I remember being struck by what a load of old nonsense I was being fed. Like a bolt of lightning I understood that Russians weren't any more evil and stoopid than us.

That was the beginning of the journey which led me to a point where I was trotting out party line without even thinking about what I was saying. What stopped me?

I'm a bit of buff when it comes to military history (I have all the hobbies of a 70-year-old widower - except chasing widows) (ooh and Crown Green Bowls, I don't do that) (although I do sometimes discuss my toilet habits), and I was reading some tract or other that kept referring to WWII as the second imperialist war. It drove me mad. So clumsy, so stupid. I'm not going to go in to a history of imperialist wars, but the point is it was needlessly putting a spin on something which really doesn't need it.

So I kicked it, like I kicked smoking, I no longer toed the party line. It meant I had to read twice as much as before to make my mind up, but a small price to pay.

Voroshilov stuck. At the end of the day, although I no longer think everything that happened in the USSR was wonderful, i still think it's a cool name. And it is.

That was rather boring. Sorry.

Next time I'll talk about why I flew off at southerners (sorry nice southerners) and why this proves that I'm not a humanist.

Then I'll link to more Blogs.


At 12:08 PM, Blogger Reidski said...

Bloody hell, what a great post - loved it. May be inviting you round to chez Reidski in the next week or so, whaddya say?

At 6:13 AM, Blogger Moo said...

Great post and not at all boring!! At least now I understand where the name came from!

You need to do some explaining on the Southerner approach, we are lovely people! Im unsure as to why you would disagree! Nat, where are you...need back up here!!

At 8:52 PM, Blogger Nat said...

Loved the story behind your name. You do realise, when you start something like this, it's difficult to stop?

Welcome to the blog-o-dome.

Moo, am an aussie now. It's a legal requirement to hate all the whinging poms!

Throughout the whole world there are dickheads living next to lovely people. Just a fact of life.

I've lived north, south and antipodean. All lovely people.


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