Roger von Oech

Creative Think

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ann michael

Wow Roger - what a neat trip. You always go to all the best places!

I'm curious. If everyone knows Lenin wanted to be buried next to his mother, why don't they just move him now and let him have his wish?

cousin chris

thank you for taking me on this armchair trip to moscow... the one across the atlantic... not the one we often visit 2 1/2 hours south of here where the u of idaho is located... i look forward to the next postcard... you and wendy take the most wonderful/ interesting trips and i really appreciate your thorough research before you go and your great descriptions/ insights while you are there... love, cvb

Stephen Denny

"... Ukrainian construction workers who asked us how they could emigrate to the US... 'The USSR Is My Homeland' t-shirt... favorite Soviet leaders were Yuri Andropov and Leonid Brezhnev."

Longing for the good old days when the Sovs were the bullies of the east, but ready to emigrate to the States. It's good to be with a winner -- any winner -- apparently.

If you take a swing down to Beijing, you could catch a glimpse of Mao, who arguably killed over 70 million of his own people (during times of relative peace), so Stalin has competition in this category. But who's counting?

Travel safely (and bring back a few of those great Soviet T-shirts!)


Phenomenal! I love that when you see the world you take us with you ;-). Next trip we need to get you a video camera.

St. Basil's is spectacular but that poor architect ;-(. Glad you were able to meet a blog buddy while there.

Ann Handley

Roger -- Thanks for sharing! Fantastic photos. Your description of the Moscow Metro reminded me of my trip to Yerevan (Armenia) a few years ago.

Roger von Oech

Ann: About Lenin, it's my understanding that after his death there was an enormous outpouring from people who wanted to see his body. The other Soviet leaders recognized a great PR opportunity when they saw one and made him a permanent attraction!

Chris: Thanks for stopping by. One of these days I'll make it to Moscow, Idaho.

Stephen: I've been to China several times (Beijing once). You're right about Mao: some people put his victim total as high as 100,000,000 people, but your 70,000,000 seems about right. "The Great Leap Forward," "Cultural Revolution," and earlier doings may in fact give Mao that coveted #1 position. But since I'm in Russia, I thought I'd give Stalin the honor.

CK: That's it: YouTubing for CK!

Ann: I'd love to go to Armenia and the surrounding countries.

Carma Dutra

I love history and I too remember the words "We will bury you".

We can't rewrite history but I sure wish we would act on what we have learned from it. The collective "we" that is.

Good post. I agree you need to get us a Youtube snippet.

jeff hayas

Re: "We will bury you"
An American scholar of Russian Studies once explained to me that this famous Cold War quote was a literal but incorrect translation of an old Russian idiom. The correct non-literal translation is "we will outlive you". You can see how that meaning derives from the literal: participating in another's funeral or burial connoting a longer lifespan. The mistranslation is often presumed to have been intentional for its high propaganda value.

Charles Meyrick

Stephen: "who's counting?" can be exhaustively answered by consulting the Black Book of Communism, by Stéphane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panné, and Andrzej Paczkowski; though I suspect you are sufficiently well-informed on the topic, based on previous postings.
jeff: interesting observation and distinction. One wonders how often mistranslations exacerbate international tensions. Still, there was no doubting the USSR's hostile intent towards the West in general and the US in particular. And whether Khrushchev meant "we will outlast you", or "we will stand you up next to a shallow grave and shoot you in the back", the bottom line is this: he was wrong.

Valeria Maltoni

Fascinating, Roger. I agree with CK, let's take a came on the next trip. Visiting a city's metro can reveal a lot of things about the place.

Thank you for sharing your notes. I may not make it to Moscow in person so the virtual tour and narration are much appreciated.

Valeria Maltoni

Meant a video camera. Time to eat or I'm eating all words on your post ;-)

Design for MySpace

Russia is traditionally an economically weaker country. From that perspective how are you finding roger ?

Have they kept the body in open roger?


My grandparents went to Russia when it was still the Soviet Union. They loved the Hermitage, but I really know nothing else about what they did there. Saw some ballet, no doubt.
Tell Wendy I am wearing that same shirt she has on in the photo in that same color, I think! And thanks for that and for the thoughtful visit, Lisa


it's great that the russians are finally able to express their creative thinking... especially in an age of the internet ... there's now a site called where creatives can get together and share ideas. how cool?

Mary Frost

I would love to visit Russia more than anywhere else in the world but I'll never be allowed to. At least I can read blogs.

avent breast pump

I agree! You always have the best travels and your blog is so inspiring because you always put new unconventional posts.

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