Friday book # 43: Lenin, the man behind the mask

Unlike most of my books, I can remember exactly where I read this week’s one, Ronald Clark’s 1988 biography of Lenin. It was in late 1989 or early 1990, when I was an infantry officer in the British army and my company had been sent to spend a week on ‘site guard’ at a depot somewhere in Germany. It wasn’t a particularly onerous duty. Apart from leading an occasional patrol around the perimeter, there wasn’t much for the officers to do, so I took Lenin along to while away the time. The available options for entertainment were a) read about Lenin or b) join the boys in watching the same German porn movies over and over again. Being a nerd, I chose Lenin, though it came with an interesting sound accompaniment from the video player in the room next door.


3 thoughts on “Friday book # 43: Lenin, the man behind the mask”

  1. As I remember, German porn movies, back in the day, were okay. They had a story line, characters, just like … well, like the movies. You could postpone educating yourself about the most famous Russian political tactics genius till your later years…


  2. Well, when I was in the Bundeswehr in 2003-2004, I borrowed my fairly modern (for the time) laptop to some of my comrades who drew up the short stick concerning weekend guard duties.

    When I got it back after the weekend, there was a new folder called “XXX” on it which featured some 10 GB of porn.

    Of our officers, one actually was a nerd who liked Magic the Gathering a lot (he was a funny guy overall, we once build him a cardboard M113 and he was running around in it shouting the german equivalent of “Weeee! Now I haz real armor!”) The others were more conventional.
    We got along pretty decently. On a semiregular basis, we played counterstrike, occassionally with officer participation. I believe that shooting your higher ups virtually had a good cathartic effect on things.


  3. 1) German porn from 1980-90s now is considered kinda “staple” and “classic”, with connosieurs collecting and discussing it high and wide. I dunno – it was well before my time.

    2) 2A.I.Schmelzer

    True – in the Army PCs are for porn, CS, HoMM3 and new movies. While in my time we were short on porn, there was no lack of movies. In fact it was encouraged by our Zampolits (“Deputy Officer on Political Information” – aka very watered down Commissar) to bring in new movies, which would be then shown on Sunday in the base’s House of Culture.

    3) As for your MtG story – no, nothing like that in the Army – the civilian life in say, Uni, is another matter.

    But here is another story, which might be considered as the ultimate form of the nerdness – or badassery:


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