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Feature Story April 7, 2006
 
59 Reasons Not to Kill Yourself!
 
Page 2 of 2
 

2. Two week nation-wide zapoi after New Year's

Sure other countries have two-week long vacations, but where else can you count on the entire country to get wast­ed during it? Besides, the New Year's holidays in Russia mean that everyone's going to be broke until mid-February, when they finally get a full pay-check again. There's nothing like a collective binge followed by a month of regret to make you feel like part of a community!

Aggravating factor: It's the punishing zapoi from New Year's that leads you to want to kill yourself in the first place.

3. Moscow again one of the world's most expen­sive cities

There's got to be nothing more pleas­ing than sitting back and watching your privatized apartment's value soar to insane price levels. Shit, property values doubled just last year alone. And don't tell us that in the back of the Russian mind, they're not thinking, "and I didn't even pay for it." If you live, you will likely become a millionaire -- even if all you own is a two-room apartment in Vykhino.

4. Short life expectancy

No matter how grim things seem to you these days, even if you see a noose every time you notice a power cord, just remember: you're not going to live very long anyway. By the time most guys seriously start considering suicide, they're... what, 16,17? Hell, that means they're already almost a third through life. The calculus is a little trickier for women, of course -- and in fact, there's a good argument that Russia's women should start killing themselves in larger numbers, but that's a different article -- still, the fact is Russian men dominate the suicide statistics. Just keep a stiff upper lip and remember, you'll be out of your suffering soon enough. 59 years to be exact.

Aggravating factor: life expectancy's on the rise.

5. Over-the-counter anti-depressants

Gloomy? No need to be. Just head on over to any apteka and in a chipper voice say the magic word. Cipramil. Yeah it's a bit on the expensive side and at $50 for a month's supply will take a big chunk out of your budget, but this fast-acting SSRI will get you up and run­ning carefree faster than you can say ya hochu ubit sebya. And best of all, the pharmacist won't annoy you for a pre­scription and you can double or triple the dose without having to endure the guilt of breaking your doctor's orders.

6. Might be another Cold War

With Russia increasingly at odds with the US, the chances are another Cold War-like confrontation are definitely peaking. Finally, Russia's young popula­tion will have a mission -- to be noticed by the West for villainy. Getting ignored was too humiliating, but now, with the US and the EU questioning their relation­ship with Russia, you can not only relish in the spotlight, you can also denounce their double-standards and explain to outsiders, if given the chance, that Russians have their own way of doing things and don't need to be lectured by the West.

Aggravating factor: Bush seems to be willing to accept any Russian indig­nity. Nothing will make him turn against Russia. He does it just to annoy you, clearly.

7. Average murder sen­tence is 7 years

If you're actually caught, Russians have it pretty good when it comes to vio­lent crime sentencing. And you're won­dering why their prison suicide rates are some of the lowest in the world. If you're pissed of at your boss, your wife, your kids, whoever, don't let The Law stay your hand. Psychologists agree that in the long run, not acting out your desires will lead to depression. Kill whoever you think deserves it, chances are you'll get out in 5 and the problems you had before won't be there to bother you anymore. No person, no problem, as the feller said.

8. To drive your kid crazy

If you kill yourself now, who's going to constantly harass your child? Who'll tell her that she should've had an abor­tion? Who'll yell over and over that she's killing her mother, that you've sacrificed everything for her and that she's an ingrate who you should have been dropped off in an orphanage? But words are only so effective, and your actions will speak even louder. Lecture them about how you're not running a brothel every time she comes home after midnight, no matter how old she is. When she's married, claim health issues and move in to her apartment, filling the medicine cabinet with strange herbal extracts and the fridge with pick­led herring and dill. If that's not reason enough to live, you can always lose your dentures somewhere in the apartment, and then mobilize the household to find them. Also, while you're alive you can pass on all of your superstitions and prejudices. Don't let them die with you!

9. Working on your Moskvich

You won't have to look at the flushed face of your drunken wife and you won't be hassled for money by your druggie son. In fact, you'll be free of all your domestic problems 'cuz springtime is here! That means you can spend all your free time (between work and getting total­ly fucking shitfaced right before bedtime) under the hood of your first love: your rusted-red Moskvich. So grab the scotch tape, some wires, clothes pins and a crescent wrench, and get to workin'. You can't just abandon your baby, after all.

10. You will not want to miss seeing how the US administration complete­ ly fucks up the Iran/Iraq

For years you had to endure the humiliation of seeing your country's imperial glory go down first in Afghanistan, then in Eastern Europe, and then finally within Russia itself. Now, after 25 bad years, it's Russia's turn for a heapin helpin' of schadenfreude. And you want to off yourself? Just when you can sit back, flip on the TV news, and watch America get ground into shawar-ma meat in Iraq? Moreover, recent evi­dence that Russian agents gave the Americans' warplans to Saddam means that you, as a Russian, really can savor the defeat of the US as something your country helped bring about. Killing your­self now would be as crazy as spending 2 hours getting to know a whore, then sending her home just as she mouth-applies your condom. They payoff is coming, just wait a little more.

Aggravating factor: Powerful American analysts claim that for the first time since the 1940s, America can now successfully launch a nuclear first-strike against Russia and completely destroy Russia's nuclear forces before it can retaliate.

11. Global warming

Russians are always complaining that this particular winter, no matter what winter it is, is always colder and longer than the preceding winter -- or else it's much warmer and much shorter than winters used to be. Now, with global warming on the rise, paradoxically enough Russian winters should even out. Or will they? It depends on who you trust -- Argumenty i Fakty, or KP. Also, the chance to talk about global warming in a pedantic manner is a pleasure you shouldn't deny yourself, one that will last for years and years.

Aggravating factor: global warming is another liberal hoax.

12. Weekends at the dacha

Starting from the moment you dust off the wooden bench on the overcrowd­ed Friday afternoon elektrichka and squeeze next to a semi-employed unshaven man whose burps carry a hint of Russky Les eau d' cologne, your dacha experience is sacred. Remember painting the fence surrounding your six sotki in a porfyezrf-green shade of paint that you managed to secure direct from the factory for just four dollars a gallon? Then there's the swimming hole where you and your neighbors gather to cool off and collect leeches for medicinal pur­poses, to say nothing of the joy of cut­ting the tall grass with a scythe, tinkering with various discarded machinery in your yard, digging "ekologicheskye chisty" potatoes on your garden plot and preparing shashlyk from semi-rancid meat in the summer twilight. As for the mosquitoes -- they're not so bad, not like the mosquitoes they have in Siberia!

13. It's a decision you should only make while sober

Killing yourself is a decision that you'll have to live with for the rest of your life, and it should be done with a clear head. In as much as the majority of Russia's non-army related suicides are done when drunk or on some other drug, this one simple step will save thousands of lives a year! The motto: "Don't drink and die."

Aggravating factor: If you're miserable when you're drunk, think of how much worse life seems when you're sober.

14. Sushi delivery

When you're feeling down, that there's nothing left to keep you going, just remember: tuna, salmon and selyo-dka sushi and California rolls are only a phone call away! Take heart from your favorite comfort food delivered directly to your door. This is what heaven must be like -- so why kill yourself? To leave sushi paradise?

Aggravating factor: You've already contracted worms twice from cheap sushi, which may in fact be dyed haddock.

15. Russia's empire is just coming back

Yanukovich's party just won and Russia's geo-political clout is return-ing.They like you, they really like you! That's what Russians should be thinking after millions of Ukrainians cast their ballots for the Party of the Regions last month. The days of colored revolutions are over and Russia's looking pretty sexy in its Bosco di Ciliegi duds. Russia's made its pitch to hugely impor­tant strategic regions like Moldova and Uzbekistan and guess what? They're buying! With Russian influence expand­ing almost daily, now's no time to off yourself. At least wait it out until a new, all-authoritarian dream-team of CIS countries reconstitutes itself with Russia at its head. Today, Uzbekistan; tomorrow, the world!

Aggravating factor: Lukaschenko's looking pretty pale and weak these days

16. Mayonnaise

Mayo, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways: you can be made out of olive oil or sunflower seed oil... you turn slightly yellow in the sun... you can accompany everything from Caesar sal­ads to spaghetti Bolognese... you repre­sent the primary flavor in every single facet of Russia's rich culinary tapestry... you don't spoil when refrigerated... you go great with dill.. you can even be put on Nachos.. you rhyme with salad days...

17. Russia's a G8 member

Russia's a card-holding member of the Group of Eight leading industrial dem-hem, herr... democ-hhheehh, humm, khruuuukhhh. 'Suze us, seems to be something caught in our throat. A little water oughta do the trick. One second... Hoo-ehh, haukh... democra-hhhemm, hoo, ha. Right, well, ehm, what we're try­ ing to say is that all these really strong and important countries with developed economies get invited to this totally kickin' party every year and Russia's on the guest list. You get to watch your leader take photo opportunities as a bonafide mem­ber of this elite club. Be proud!

18. First's feis kontrol's easing up

No, seriously! Last week an eXile staffer got in without the slightest movement on the part of the okhranik. There wasn't even a hint of a blocking gesture on the okhranik's part as our boy sailed thru. And if we're getting in, that means everyone's got a chance. So dry those cryin' eyes and head towards the velvet ropes...

Aggravating factor: If they're letting us in to First, is it worth it? All we have to do is get denied at Diaghlev to get suicidal again.

19. To get your pension

Pensions might not be much, but they're growing every year and, more importantly, they're free! How could you possibly pass up on the opportunity to get free money? The average pension's already at 2533 rubles and you can expect some significant increases ahead of the 2008 elections. With any luck, pension growth will outstrip the rising cost of living... but there's only one way to find out. Tough it out! To kill yourself before collecting that free money would be.murder!

20. Someone else will pocket them money from selling your kidney

With Moscow's increasingly efficient ambulance system, there's a good chance that if you kill yourself, they'll be able to get your kidneys on ice before they've failed. This is particularly dan­gerous for those of you who opt for killing yourself by hanging, slitting your wrists or jumping off a bridge. (Those of you who are considering ODing can skip to the next reason.) Once your kidney's been salvaged, it'll fetch up to $50,000 on the black market. Just the thought of someone else profiting off of your body like that should be enough to keep you from doing the deed.

Aggravating factor: You already sold one kidney, and biology dictates you can't sell the other -- so why go on?

21. There are still short cuts waiting to be discov­ered

Sure, you've been a cab driver all your life, learning the ins and outs of Moscow's streets, how to avoid traffic and beat the system. Yeah, you're pretty good at what you do -- and even when you get stuck somewhere, you can always tell your passenger "it would have been even worse if we took the route you suggested." But who knows ifthere's a pereulok or two out there lurking, just waiting for you to find it. And if there is out there, just imagine the joy you'll experience when you pick up your first foreigner after discovering that way to pass by a knot of traffic.

Aggravating factor: GPS systems in cars are giving an unfair advantage to ignorant people.

22. IKEA

That's right, you just need to open yourself to the transformative power of Ikea on the Russian psyche. Russia's sal­vation lies in reasonably priced, unstained Swedish furniture produced by near-slave-wage labor. But don't believe us, believe the Moscow Times. Ikea's back advertising in Moscow's English-language Paper of Record, and with that come the glowing articles. In a recent article titled "6 Years On, IKEA Still Waits Profit," we learned that Ikea hasn't made a dime in Russia, yet keeps investing in the spirit of absolute selflessness. Kinda like the eXile. "We believe in Russia," gen­eral director Per Kaufman told the Times last week, confirming what longtime Times readers have long suspected: that Ikea's motivations are purely altruistic. They're in it for you, friends. Now go buy yourselves some shelving units and assemble them with relish! Think about it -- if you die, you can't shop for useless IKEA kitchenwares. The company is tak­ing a hit to improve your life -- whattaya gonna do, throw it all away?

23. Sheremetyevo III

You've already exhausted your lec­tures about how Domodedevo is now a "world-class airport" that's no worse than those in Hong Kong or London. But the really big fish is waiting. They just announced the ground-breaking for Sheremetovo III, and this time we've got a feeling it's for real! Even the thought of such amenities as skyways directly from the gate to the plane has us feeling like there's hope for Russia yet. Combine that with the rail link that they swear is on the way, and just think of how European Russia will seem!

Aggravating factor: They've been promising this airport for over 10 years now. Same with the rail link. You may die of natural causes before it gets built.

24. There might be something good at the end of a line

Think of all the lines you'd be forgoing if you offed yourself. Close your eyes and imagine a crowd of people pushing towards a kiosk inside Moskva Univermag. What are they queuing for? It's got to be good if there're middle-aged women coming out of nowhere and say­ing, "Molodoi chelovek, I already reserved my place here! Just ask that fellow in the red coat." Don't resist the urge! Push your way into a decent position and tap the shoulder of the person in front of you. Ask them what's at the front of the line. If they don't know, even better... that means it's got to be a bargain! Something everyone wants, and you'll have!

Aggravating factor: Lines today are nothing like they were ten, twenty years ago. Fact is, in another 10 years, there may not be another decent line left in Moscow.

25. Wait till they build the Russia Tower

Jumping might seem like a good way to go, but why settle for one of Moscow's stumpy 40 story buildings? Especially when Luzhkov's planning on putting up a 600-meter building that'll dwarf the Empire State! Even the Federation Tower, set to be the highest building in Europe when completed in 2008, will fall under the Russia Tower's long shadow. Leaping from its observation deck will not only ensure that you'll make the Yahoo! newswire, it'll give you a chance to draw attention to one of Russia's great achievements! That'll give you plenty to think about on your way down.

Aggravating factor: You just know that there'll be some kind of face control keeping people like you from getting up into the observation deck.

26. No-one will notice

Everyone knows that people commit suicide to get some attention; this is especially relevant for you Russian chicks out there. But take a good look around you. Have you seen the amount of snapper crawling on the streets? Trust us, no one will notice you're gone. If you die, a thousand hot dyevs are just wait­ing to take your place. Don't be a suicide statistic -- instead, be a chlamydia statis­tic. Stay alive, and come home with us.

Aggravating factor: you've already gone home once with an eXile editor

27. Russia's the envy of Moldova

Anytime you start wallowing in self-pity, just remember that everyone else in the CIS (with the exception of a few wacky Ukrainian nationalists in Lviv) dreams of getting a burgundy Russian passport. To them, the ruble is like the Swiss Franc. They all wish their lives were as comfort­able as yours. So when you start thinking that Russia's ghetto and it ain't worth it, break out the World Bank's poverty statis­tics and remember that 74% of Tajiks are living on $2.15 a day or less.

Aggravating factor: 74% of the time, you live on even less.

28.You'll become a ded one day, too

Yes army hazing is horrible thing to go through. But think of it, one day, if you survive or are not seriously mutilated, you won't be newbie anymore and will be able to inflict a world of pain on whomev­er you wish. Let your imagination soar. Think of it, in less than a year you'll be able to tie a guy's head to a urinal such that his mouth faces away from the wall, then have the entire barracks piss into his mouth. If that's not something to live for, then fella, you better have your head checked. And your mouth.

Aggravating factor: The real ques­tion is, how to keep from killing yourself in the first year.

29. The worst is behind

One of the manifold things you've got to thank President Putin for is the sta­bility he's brought to this great power. The wild ride of the 90s is over and, if you've made it this far, while not stick it out a bit longer? Trust us, things are dif­ferent now! Go ahead, open a bank account at any one of dozens of rep­utable banks, invest in the stock market, start a business! Take out a loan and buy an apartment. It's safe, we swear! The 90s are over, baby!

30. If you fuck up and end up in a Russian hospital, you're in a world of pain

Just hope you got the bribe funds necessary for proper treatment. Cuz if you don't, you're fucked. The filthy con­ditions and snide remarks you'll get from the hospital staff will surely lead to long and depressing stay that you probably won't survive. Better not to even try.

31. Airport security is better, so you might not get on the plane

Gone are the days when a 1000 ruble noted offered to airport security could ensure you'd board a domestic flight... and then scatter its pieces over a 50 km radius in the Tula oblast. Security on domestic flights has gotten serious these days, including what might be the world's only full-body walk-in scanner at Domodedovo. So, black widows, beware! Suicide ain't as easy as it looks!

32. United Russia wants 30 million members by 2008.

Putin wants his bitch party ranks to swell to gargantuan proportions. He's never going to achieve a 3,000% jump in less than two years if Russia's voter base keeps slicing its veins. Put the knife down, get out of the tub, and get thee to the nearest Edinstvo Party affiliate.

Aggravating factor: You were already a member of Our Home is Russia and Fatherland.

33. Because the Japanese do it better

For the past few decades the Japanese have been raising the bar on suicide efficiency. It's in their workaholic samurai blood. Apparently, now they're doing "group suicides" and they've almost come close to perfecting it. It works like this: people connect on the internet and meet likeminded individuals with the same suicided interests. They cluster together, talk about their angst, dispel each other's fear of death and in a few weeks, wham, another dozen gone, just like that. It's just too humiliating to think about it - Russians are too lazy and disorganized for something that impressive. Oh well.

34. Because Putin's anxious about the demographic situation

The Russian population is on a fast decline. For the past decade the number of deaths has been increasing, while the number of births decreasing. Putin personally called on the Russian people be fruitful, multiply and not die early. Putin needs you. Have you done your civic duty? Aggravating factor: if you are a pensioner, you can't positively contribute anyway. If you're a drunk, you're also impotent. So.heck, you might as well end it anyway.

35. They treat your body like shit in the morgue/steal your golden teeth

If you off yourself, even while your body is cooling off on the slab those underpaid morgue workers will toss your corpse around with less dignity than they give a sack of onions. And that's just not right. Plus, don't forget that these guys are underpaid and will start ripping out that set of prized gold teeth you splurged on five years ago before they even begin to identify you. You oughtta put this day off. Aggravating factor: Turns out that those crowns aren't made of real gold after all.

36. Abkhazia wants to become part of Russia

We know that Sochi's got fantastic pebble beaches with an impressive amount of Soviet industrial debris and concrete pipelines scattered along its fabled coastline. But it's nothing compared to the shell-pocked debris along Abkhazia's coastline! After all, Sukhumi is the crown jewel of the Black Sea, in its day no worse than Cote d'Azur, while Gagra is also paradise. Moreover, Sochi is just too expensive now - but Abkhazia is affordable. Think about all the abandoned military hardware you're likely to find during romantic strolls down the beach. Now that Abkhazia is poised to join up with Russia, going there will be cheaper and easier than ever.

Aggravating factor: you might step on a landmine there.

37. Russian film industry

With films like "Devyataya Rota" and "Zhest" (see review, page #18), you know Russian cinematography is poised to finally get the credit it deserves. You'll be finally able to say u nas ne huzhe and the world will agree that the Russians are get­ting better at making B-rated imitations of Hollywood schlock. Oh, and there's this new Matrix-inspired film coming out two months from now. You won't want to miss the experience of watching it, and thinking to yourself, "If a Westerner saw this, he'd respect Russia more." Come on, you can stick it out a few months more!

38. Lottery tickets from Sberbank

Next time you don't have exact change when you're paying your ever-increasing gas and electricity bills -- and who ever does? -- you might be offered a golden opportunity. That's right, folks, Russia's the land of get-rich-quick, and you can accomplish that even when pay­ing your bills. When the teller rounds up your bill to include a few state scratch tickets, you just might win a new Devyatka, oodles of rubles or even a free Stanley shkaf! The fact that we don't know anyone who has ever won any­thing more than three free lottery tickets from these lottery tickets can only mean that you're that much more likely to win! The odds are bound to turn!

39. Suicide is so Finno-Urgic

For ages the Finns have been gold medalists in suicide, and had the whole Russian population sneering at them for it. If it's so much better over there, why are you all so depressed, huh? Now that Russia is leaving the Finno-Urgs in the dust, it's time to ask your­selves -- do you want to be known as chukhontsi-wannabes? No, you don't. Better to imitate some other culture, like France or Italy.

Aggravating factor: The Lithuanians are ranked #1 in the world suicide com­petition, and clearly it's because they're anti-Russian. The only way to defeat them is to kill yourself.

40. Average life expectan­cy rose to 59.

That's a whole new record for Russia and a whole 59 years to live.

Aggravating factor: Is that a good thing?

41. Goryachie putyovki

If the last few months of cold, grey Moscow weather have you entertaining thoughts of suicide, there's a way out! Just pick up a copy of Otdykh magazine outside of any metro station and let your fantasies run away with you! Only $300 for a vacation at a three-star hotel in Hurghada? What a bargain! Add the cost of a five-liter bottle of Johnny Walker Red in duty-free and we're talk­ing dream-vacation! You'll be wasted from the time the charter flight leaves the gate to the moment you get home, but at least you'll have a tan to remind you that there's a whole world of over­built beach resorts just waiting to be visited for next to nothing!

42. The new Lada redesign

It's been about two decades since LadaVaz came out with a new model, but what most people don't know is that LadaVaz has been inviting a steady stream of Evropean car designers to throw some ideas around for an ambi­tious expanded Lada line for 2008. Here are just a few of the models ready to be put out on the market in in the next two years. 1) One thing that has been miss­ing from Russia's automotive industry is a flashy sports car. The Lada Roadster Convertible will fill that hole and will be based on the 1981 design of DeLorean. 2) Although the Neva is a practical 4X4 option, Russians require something a lit­tle flashier to go along with their new eXtreme conspicuous consumption. The open-top Lada Mangler will meet that demand and will be based on the 1982 Jeep Wrangler model. 3) The Lada Minivan will be a practical solution for the Russia's expected population surge. It will be a close twin of the 1984 Toyota Van. All new LadaVaz models will have an AM/FM radio and rear window defrosters as standard options. Now isn't that worth sticking around a couple more years for?

Aggravating factor: as the owner of a Lada, you can answer "no, it's not worth it"

43. Incoming calls set to become free

Right now Russia has some of the highest cellular phone rates in the world -- and is that not reason enough die? (Or to be proud?) But MTS and MegaFon, Russia's two largest cellular service providers, promised to do all they can to lower their costs and pass on their savings on to the consumer. They are ambitiously hoping to replace their human switchboard operators with a fully automated system by the end of 2008 -- a move that would cut more than 1 million industry jobs. As a result, both carriers have announced that start­ing December 31st, 2008, all incoming calls will most probably be free. Imagine that: free incoming calls. You can just talk and talk and talk for as long as you want.Free! It's like the golden fish himself granted you that wish!

44. Moscow is the Third Rome

Russia is a unique culture and civi­lization, far more spiritual than the ratio­nal, logical West. While Rome has fallen into spiritual decay, and Constantinople is Muslim, all that remains for Christian civilization is Moscow -- the Third Rome. And really, if you live in the Third Rome, it's not like you can go out and commit a sin as grave as suicide. That would be like triple-blasphemy! Besides, if you're spiritual, you should be able to get over your depression.

Aggravating Factor: The Russian Orthodox Church is the country's largest importer of alcohol and ciga­rettes -- the two things that ensure you will die young.

45. To see how Putin extends his authority beyond the 8-year maxi­mum.

Here at the eXile office, we've got a hefty pool building up. Jake's got his college fund on the line, while Mark got his property in Laos riding on this one, even Salnikov's got one of his cheaper Moscow properties in there. The ques­tion is, how is that man going to stay in vlast'? A sudden terrorist threat? A civil war? Maybe just a war? But with who? Stick around for the exciting conclusion.

46. Oil's over 60 bucks a barrel

See, there is something that you can be patriotic about. Fuck infrastructure and investment and all that other rub­bish like healthcare and education. You've got to spend those petro dollars, er rubles, on something that'll bring back that patriotic feeling. You know what we're talking about. Funnel that cash into military spending and Russia's Cold War glory days will come faster than you can say "May Day Parade." All you need are a few more aircraft carriers (to add to the lone remaining one) and a cool new missile defense system with a patriotic name, and you're golden.

47. Economic growth

Just think Reagonomics. With all this massive wealth accumulating in the hands of a small elite, it's bound to eventually spill over one day and fall into your pockets. Look all the good it did for America.

Aggravating factor: the wealthier the elite gets, the more expensive every­thing gets

48. Nazareth

Where else can you hear them belt out classics like "Hair of the Dog" and "Holy Roller" in a stadium venue...except in places like Chelyabinsk or Tomsk, where Nazareth are treated like veritable Rawq Gods! But if you die...if you kill yourself, you're leaving Nazareth that much more naked in this world. Remember, even with their continued stadium-sellout popularity in rural Russia, Nazareth hasn't had a recording contract since the early 80s. If you fall off the fan club list, the dream that is Nazareth may die with you. Not only that, think of all the kick-ass Nazareth shows you won't be able to see if you die!

Aggravating factor: Ever since drummer Daryl Sweet died in 1999, the band just hasn't been the same.

49. Who's going to beat your wife/husband

Domestic abuse is Russia's national pastime. Check the facts: just over half of Russian men beat their wives and about a third of Russian men have been beaten by their wives. 7% of Russian women don't know why they beat their husbands - they just do it. Russians know better than anyone that a good periodic pimp-slappin is healthy for mind and body - if not theirs, then yours. Question is, if you off yourself, who's going to beat your spouse? Your sense of responsibility should keep you from abandoning him or her to the violent whims of some other miserable drunk, who may not know the difference between a love-nip on the eye and a hammer to the back of the head. It's tricky, after all.

Aggravating factor: If you're the one getting beaten - especially if you're a man - then, well, yeah, what can we say? Wanna buy some eXile insurance?

50. There aren't 70 virgins waiting, but there are 70 in your khrushov-ka dvor

You ain't Muslim, so you gotta get your virgins in this life and not in the hereafter. Everybody knows that we've announced snapper season, so it's time to get the eXile snapper-hunting license and get to work in seducing these dyevs. Your apartment block -- or block of apartments -- is packed full of 11-and 12-year-old virgins, just waiting to be molested in the elevator, or else dur­ing a zapoi at your neighbor's.

Aggravating factor: You are female virgin.

51. Easy consumer credit!

Join the American dream, man, and get one of those new Ladas coming out. Or if that's too much, then take out a loan to buy yourself an Indesit washing machine and Tefal juicer. Once you taste the joys of credit, then roll it over, baby, and line up for the Lada Roadster Convertible. Chicks will find you irre­sistible! Remember, there's no 10% credit deals in the afterlife.

Aggravating factor: You've already taken out all the credit you can, and now the banks are starting to repossess.

52. Nochnoi Dozor III

When this film comes out sometime in the next few years, it will be the first Russian film trilogy. Take that Alien! How'dya like them apples, Lethal Weapon! Eat this, Terminator! Make room for Nochnoi Dozor! There'll more special effects, more CGI, more vampire bloodlet­ting good vs. evil action where that came from suckass. This kind of progress really does show that there is nothing special about the Americans. Moreover, it's pretty much guaranteed to run in American the­aters, meaning you'll get weeks, if not months of TV news coverage in Moscow about how the film is being shown in American theaters -- which is as powerful a mood-lifter as any drug.

53. Jewish influence waning

Jews ran Russia into the ground in the 1990s. It seemed that Russia would never again regain control of its own des­tiny. Then Putin came to power, and sud­denly where are those Jewish oligarchs, the Berezovsky, Gusinsky, Khodorkovsky and others either jailed or exiled? They've been dealt a swift and crushing blow! Now that Russia is back in Russia's hands, things can only improve.

Aggravating factor: Alfa Bank; Roman Abramovich; Mikhail Fradkov.

54. Olympics in Sochi

Hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia's warmest city should make you feel all tingly inside. We're not going to entertain the option of Russia not get­ting the Olympic nod (a result that would no doubt lead to suicide en mass) because it's impossible. Where'd every­one want to be in Turin? The Russia House! Sure, part of that was about a chance to party with planes full of Ukrainian models flown in for the occa­sion and to eat banned beluga caviar by the spoonful, but it was also about Russia's culture and style. If you were proud of how the Russia House domi­nated European reports, then just stick it out to 2014, when Russia Country will really show the West who's cultured.

55. Ruble's gaining ground on dollar

No more being restricted to budget vacations in Egypt and Turkey. With the strong ruble, this is the time to do that tour of America you've always dreamed of. You can lounge at Miami Beach and show off your buying power to all your Jewish emigre friends.

Aggravating factor: You're repeated­ly denied a US visa.

56. It's a multipolar world after all

A cursory look at some of Moscow's recent guests is proof that the world's geopolitical map is shifting in Russia's favor! Esteemed visitors from Hamas' Khaled Mashaal to the Myanmar's General Maung Aye have been getting red carpet treatment at Vnukovo, prov­ing Russia's relevant again. Add to this the vaunted alliance between Russia, China and India, which really had America quaking in its boots, and you've got a world-changing event that no fool would possibly miss.

Aggravating factor: You can't help but think that all Chinese are funny-looking monkeys, and Indians are dirty, so it's hard to get excited by the alliance. Couldn't Russia form an alliance with France, England and Italy?

57. Night Flight

Every good B-crime-movie in Hollywood has a villain's lair packed full of hot, available chicks. If you've ever wanted to be like Christopher Walken in The King of New York, then in Moscow you can: just spend an evening at Night Flight. There is no place like it in the world. Tall, gorgeous, elegant statues crowd around you for the simple reason that they want your cash -- and what better reason could you possibly ask for? Believe you us, there is no place like this in the West -- nothing even close for the babe-factor, gawk-factor, and for the simple pleasure of having stunning chicks fawn all over you.

Aggravating factor: Of course, if you don't have the 30 bucks for the cover, and the 300 for the girl, well, then yeah, maybe you should swan dive off your paneli balcony.

58. You won't see the eXile get closed down

For over nine fucking years, you've been waiting for the Russian authorities to wake up, act like the authoritarians they're supposed to be, and once and for all shut this goddamn newspaper down. Imagine if you threw yourself under a KamAZ, and the last Death Porn they ever print is about your stupid death...complete with close-up photos. You can't miss the one event everyone in this town has been..not so much dying to see, cuz that's what you're not supposed to do.but "waiting to see."

Aggravating factor: There's nothing the editorial staff of the eXile would like more than to see their newspaper shut down. That way they could go unem­ployed and it wouldn't technically be their fault. So if you don't kill yourself before, you'd definitely have to kill your­self afterwards, especially if the editors become free speech martyrs.

59. Giving Westerners long pedantic harangues

You've been reading up on the way things REALLY are in the West for years now, culling articles from Komsomolskaya Pravda, Moskovsky Komsomolets, and other key sources. But you still haven't been able to corner a Westerner yet to tell him exactly how things are run in the West, why they are run the way they are. More important, you haven't been able to explain to any American or Brit yet how English is a "simple" language that is "rational" but not expressive like Russian, which has so many nuances. You know this because you've read about it -- and in any event, everyone knows this to be true. Except those Westerners. If you can just get an audience with them, you'd make them see how well you understand things.

Aggravating Factor: You don't speak any English, and the three or four Westerners you've so far come across didn't speak any Russian. What's the point of sticking around in this life to engage in long, pedantic harangues over a range of important topics, if not a single word you utter is understood?


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