29 April 2008

MTBE to go on hiatus; retirement possibly near.

Moscow City Archives

I admit it: MTBE has been on the decline of late. I have had ideas for a number of thoughtful posts and even started writing a few of them. These unfinished posts include:

1. The just-passed anniversary of the 1966 Tashkent earthquake and the demise of “Friendship of the Peoples,” as marked by the removal of internationalist monuments from Tashkent’s city center.

2. Three views of the 1960s. A synthetic review of Carl Oglesby’s new memoir Ravens in the Storm: A Personal History of the 1960s Antiwar Movement; Harvey Pekar, Gary Dumm and Paul Buhle's graphic history Students for a Democratic Society; and Roger Simon’s The Big Fix (1973) (the first of his Moses Wine detective series, featuring a former student radical slipping into the role of a private dick).

3. New Amsterdam and the televised white liberal dude traveling through a cleaned-up version of American history (with comparisons to Quantum Leap).

4. Moscow's Fotobiennale and the mysteries of Soviet color photography.

5. Personal notes on my landlord’s monthly visit to pick up the rent, inspect my personal belongings, and explain American imperialism all over 1.5 cups of tea.
But really after spending all day, every day digging through folders and microfilm in buildings like the one pictured above, I just don’t have it in me. Plus, I’ve been busy preparing for the visits of some friends and family, coordinating and planning trips to Petersburg and Kiev.

In sum, MTBE has been shifted to the back burner and I can’t foresee when I will have time to finish any of the aforementioned posts, much less dream up new ones.

So for the next two months before I leave, expect a few photos uploaded now and then, but probably not much more than that. I mean, unless I have a really eventful visit to the FSB archive or something.

Oh, and here's a last little bit of internationalism in Moscow (albeit imported), from the Fotobiennale:

Mario Giacomelli, from the Calabria/Calabre series.


Anonymous said...

Damn! I just found MTBE a few weeks ago and now this. Speaking from personal experience I can confirm that retirement is nice--learn an instrument! Take up snooker! Enroll in a pastry-making course! But I'll miss the blog posts.

Anonymous said...

Nooo.. ?

I have perused a bazillion blogs and yours is one of the only couple few with qualities I appreciate so much I put them on my own mini blogroll on my (mostly non) blog. And yours is one of the best of those.

in the 'people' section:

If you'll be disappearing, thanks for doing it is as long as you have.

kg said...

All those embryonic posts sound fascinating! If your readership gets to vote (though blogs are rarely democracies), I would particularly like to read where you're going with 2, 3, and 5. And also - do they really let people go to the FSB archives? Who do you have to be?
In the meantime, have fun in your travels!

Jeff said...

I, too, will miss a resularly updated MTBE. Please post when you can and enjoy your last few months B MOCKBE.

BusterPh.D.Candidate said...

Aww, you guys are too kind.

I will be posting sporadically (for instance sometime this week I'll put up something on my weekend in Piter) and maybe reinvent myself/this blog when I land in the US to reconquer that continent. So fear not, some form of this MTBE drivel will continue to spill out!