Monday, August 23, 2010

The Cold Shoulder

Q: What do the Cold War and Breakups have in common?
A: Absolutely Everything.

Anyone who’s recently seen the cinematic travesty Salt knows that all kinds of breakups are hard—Angelina Jolie and her sleeper-agent buddies left the USSR years ago and still have strong feelings for Mother Russia.

This got me thinking—the Cold War era is long over, but the lessons that it taught us about “saying sayonara” are as relevant today as ever.

Breakups and the Cold War have EVERYTHING in common. They have different strategies. There are plenty of opportunities for passive (or active) aggression. Cubans gets involved and complicate things. I know you two are NOT JUST friends, Russia!

Most people know that the U.S. and Russia used to be in bed with each other during World War II. Then they had a messy breakup that is typically known as the Cold War due to the legions of Abominable Snowmen that Russia stationed on the ice-planet Hoth.

After several decades, Russia ran out of alimony and made up with the United States when it needed to borrow some cash for rent—they are now just good friends, although Russia acts awkward whenever the other members of NATO are around. They forgive, but they don’t forget.

As Teddy Roosevelt famously said, “The lessons of history help us re-write history until we win it. Look at Fox News!”

Here are some of the breakup techniques that were used throughout the separation:

The Iron Curtain: No returning calls. No returning emails. Be a brick wall to any confrontations that may occur.

Pro: Impenetrable defense!
Con: The kids get caught in the middle. (Kids: noun. Children. See also: Germany & Berlin)

Scorched Earth: Pictures get burned. Digital Photos get deleted. Teddy bears get drawn, quartered, and fed to Fluffy the Rottweiler.

Pro: It’s a great excuse to make fire. Burn baby Burn!
Con: There is probably money in the Valentines Day card that makes it into the pyre.

Arms Race: Going to the gym for 3 hours a day in post-breakup workout frenzy.

Pro: Check out these guns! I can kick your new hubby’s ass!
Con: Whoops. No I can’t.

The Nuclear Fallout: And you thought Scorched Earth was bad? This is also known as “mutually assured destruction”.

Pro: No one is going to make it through this breakup happy, dammit!
Con: Radioactive mutants.

Glasnost and Perestroika: This translates to “openness” and “restructuring”. Usually includes civilized conversations, honesty, and make-up sex.

Pro: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down those emotional walls and let me in!
Con: Makes for a decade of weak plots in action films.

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