The Cold War was the best! No. Wait. Let me start over. The Cold War was the best because we knew who we were fighting. Let’s face it, the war on terror is about as specific as the war on war (patent pending). It’s an obscure blanket term that focuses more on an ideal than a physical enemy. And as an American I can say with no hesitation that we need physical enemies. We need guys to point the finger at and give the finger to. Guys we can put on the fronts of t-shirts and parody on television. Plus, you can’t punch a concept in the face… or screw its wife (metaphorically speaking, of course).
During the Cold War, we had the Soviet Union; the great red bear led by mother Russia herself. A vodka-soaked, capitalism-hating empire bent on world domination (at least that’s what our media seemed to think). It was like Cobra, if everybody was the Baroness. With America’s current foreign policy going the way it’s going (we’re looking at you Syria and most of the Middle East, for that matter), we might not be too far off from bringing back the times when our hatred of other nations seemed more politically based and substantially less racist.
Continue reading for more and to check out my 6 Reasons Life Was Way Better When Russia Was The Bad Guy.
Russia seems primed to hop back into the spotlight. The Sochi Olympics, set at Putin’s favorite vacation spot, could easily be the catalyst for bringing back the good (bad) old days. There’s been a steady homophobic agenda lately and their latest stunt, making the U.S.A. Olympic ring smaller than the others, appears to be a way to say that “the U.S. is weak” or that we “universally have small dicks.”
I’ve always felt that there were certain elements of fear that made life way more entertaining, and these elements were far more prominent when a certain Union hated our guts. I’ve attempted to narrow the field and highlight the major reasons that Russia needs to be the Ric Flair to our proverbial Sting.
1. THE MOVIES WERE WAY BETTER
Russians made awesome bad guys, plain and simple. From Russian computers to Russian boxers, to Russian scientists and just Russian people rushin’ around all terrorizing shit, American box office heroes had legit bad guys to fight. The lineup of Russian bad guy movies is like the movie title equivalent of the Expendables—Red Dawn, Red Heat, Rocky 4, The Hunt for Red October to name a few (and for the record Russian bad guys would have made The Expendables better).
Take THAT, Joe Kony
Knowing whom the bad guy is and knowing what they hate doesn’t just make the movie better, it makes the good guy better! The hero doesn’t just represent himself anymore; he represents every blue collar American who has ever been oppressed by commies because they love democracy and drive a big rig shaped like a bald eagle. The Russians are responsible for the careers of America’s most action packed movie heroes. Without the Russians you don’t have the Stallones, Segals, Willis’s—hell, even Jim Belushi…I should probably rethink that last one.
Let’s examine modern attempts at what Russia used to thrive on. The Red Dawn remake for example was not only unnecessary but also completely laughable. North Korea just got basic cable for crying out loud, so how am I supposed to believe they can pull off a fucking land invasion of the United States? Even if Dennis Rodman snuck them all in, they wouldn’t stand a chance. They’re not even the best military of the Koreas, let alone the region.
2. WE ACTUALLY KNEW WHY THE BAD GUYS HATED US!
This would never be allowed under a Soviet regime. That might be for the best.
Modern warfare is stupid. It’s based on broad terms and broader ideas spouted by vague people who the common man would be hard pressed to buy a microwave from.
“We’re under attack because we love freedom, is why we’re under attack.” Really? Get over yourself, American Government. That would be like me starting a fight with my neighbor because they enjoy cooking on the grill. The Middle East hates us because they see us as a bad guy. Now, not to get all political, but using unmanned spy planes crammed with missiles and outfits named “Blackwater” doesn’t exactly help our case. With the Cold War there was enough bad behavior on both sides of the fence that we could feel comfortable vilifying the reds.
Russia legit hated America from our ideology to our MTV. They hated our smarmy ways. They hated capitalism. They hated Americans! You don’t get more “bad guy” than that!
Everything with the Soviet Union was a big deal. The Union itself made up a huge percentage of the world. They were a juggernaut, not unlike the Juggernaut, and Juggernaut took on the X-Men.
To quote my good friend David, “the Middle East just forces us to come up with more and more clever ways to pretend we’re not punching a toddler in the face.”
3. THE FOREIGNNESS WAS INCOGNITO!
The Soviets worked so well as bad guys because they looked like us. They had McDonald’s (eventually), they wore clothing that now costs obscene amounts of money in Brooklyn thrift shops, they had cities and presumably jobs that we could identity with. Plus, there is nothing more foreign than a good Russian accent. It just sounds evil (sorry Russian readers, I mean that in the most flattering way possible). Team that with amazing (and often shocking) fashion sense, stern and hilariously intoxicated stereotypes, and Russians corner the foreign market on comfortable foreignness.
Draw me like your Soviet boys.
The Middle East is a different story all together. Their tech is old Russian or from us via the 80s. The society that the biased news media shows us is straight out of medieval times (and that’s what gets digested by most of America) because the fundamentalists have fucked it up so badly. It doesn’t seem fair that we show up with our Terminator 2 weaponry and turn their parking lots into emptier parking lots. The Middle East make bad villains because they make us look like the Miami Heat playing against a middle school hockey team forced to try and play basketball. We’re America, for crying out loud. We love to route for the underdog. We need our heroes to be Rudy.
4. THE SYMBOLS! THE PROPAGANDA!
The communist propaganda machine rivaled only the Nazis as the greatest lie department since FOX News. No offense Middle Eastern Fundamentalist Clerics. Your propaganda is amazing as well, but it’s strictly religious fodder. This is about politics after all, and our government has a very strict “separation of church and state” policy. Isn’t that right, pledge of allegiance?
Russians are fucking HUGE!
The Soviets had the hammer (like an evil Thor!), the sickle (like an evil Grim reaper!), and there was a lot of red (like an evil the Chicago Bulls!). Only the Decepticons had a more recognizable symbol (with equally confusing language) in the 1980s. They were everywhere, and they were coming for you!
It also forced our propaganda to step its game up. Our crack team of borderline racist poster makers was dormant since WWII, but man oh man, we came roaring back for the Soviets.
5. We Handled Our Shit Way More Professionally
I’ll be the first to admit that I have a drinking game centered on the terror alert color system. But in all fairness, I’m not drinking out of terror, I’m getting shit-housed over sensationalism. The Cold War media, from the trials and blacklists, to the general nuclear fears, was so much crazier than anything we have now. I mean, consider this: back in the day we caught a commie and goddammnit that commie stood trial. He was made an example of. Hell, we did it with the Nazis too. Nowadays, we just bomb people with robot jets or machine gun the shit out of them and sweep it under the carpet. Bin Laden is a perfect example.
Bin Laden. Pictured above swaggering about in a cowboy hat.
We caught Cobra Fucking Commander. We caught the goddamned boogeyman, for Christ’s sake. Did we pop him on trial and show anyone else with a lot of balls and a cave what we do with terrorists? Hell no. We shot him and threw him in the ocean. In the ocean! Imagine if we finally caught Bigfoot (that smarmy, elusive jerkoff) and just shot him and threw him in the drink? Shenanigans.
6. THE LEADERSHIP
I’ll never forget when Leslie Nielson single-handedly ended the Cold War by wiping the birthmark off of Gorbachev’s head…or so I thought.
I knew it.
Gorbachev was but a cog in the machine. A couple of guys would come and go, but then there was Putin. Vladimir Putin, the shirtless, horse riding, former KGB, Anderson Cooper looking, silver-fox that was ready to snatch up the leadership and take center stage. Putin took the stage for 8 years, and then went away, but he’s back now; and if anyone is going to reignite the Cold War, it’s him.
En route to Joe Biden’s house.
Let’s get back to The Olympics. An event so large that Putin decided to host it at the Russian equivalent of a Sandals resort. Location aside, Putin is dropping not so sudden hints as well as stating, “This theory and its practice were aimed at restraining the development of the Soviet Union … what we see now are echoes of this containment theory. This, unfortunately, has also applied to the Olympic project.” It’s like when a wrestler cuts an innuendo-laden promo and you just know that he’s gonna do some shady shit the next match he has.
Disclaimer: I don’t actually want the Cold War back, I just really like when guys like Chuck Norris fight Russian militants.