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English / 12.06.2019 / 1509

Rule of Thumb

Nikolay Mokhov, author from the Dark Side of Business

For many years, we on the Dark Side have been repeating the same advice to our female readers: if you want to woo a man, just give him the scarcest commodity of the modern world – a compliment. The ladies nod in response. They tense their facial muscles and hiss something approving through their teeth, but they can never keep it up. Invariably they end up flinging mud and criticism at their beloved, and with passion at that. And then these fair ladies stroll through their respective cities and see a striking picture:

love can exist in personal relationships, it can exist in business, and it can exist at any point of contact between you and the world

A beautiful, handsome fellow. And by his side, a fat, ugly, short…

“But what about me?” the reader bawls, sniffling. “I tried so hard! I worked out my butt at the gym, I went on a diet, I posted pretty pictures on Instagram. I shared suuuuuch smart thoughts on there…”

What was that Russian song?

“Under the pine tree, chewing a blade of grass. Why was it his path that I chose to cross? He's on a date now, with another girl…”

One beautiful evening on Cyprus, a self-proclaimed “psychologist” (for lack of a better word) friend of mine declared to me:

“I can’t give the gift of love. I don’t know what that means. And I don’t want to know.”

As my sexist friends and I like to joke:

“Chicks aren’t dumb because they’re dumb, they’re dumb because they’re chicks.”

But we say that out of love. And you know, there are men who are dumber than that “psychologist”… Really, I’m the most consistent feminist there is. I firmly believe all my girlfriends are geniuses, each in their own right, and each unique. Like that line from a Russian poem:

“...God doesn’t repeat his mistakes…”

This knowledge gives me confidence that my next girlfriend, too, will be genius and unique. Maybe even in love. But that is, alas, a rarity…

Because I know why there’s such trouble with compliments, both for men and for women. I even got the idea to organize an evening of compliments. The people in that company had just recently met. They’d spent a couple days together in the same villa. They demanded I give them a lecture, about love, naturally.

“What good will a lecture do for you, especially a lecture from me… I don’t know anything about love… Let’s do something else… We’ll play a game. Here are the rules: everyone get into pairs, one guy and one girl, and you each have to give a complement to the other person. ”

It was a sorry sight...



The Student

I’m watching time grinding big businesses to dust. Some of them I know quite well. Just yesterday, their owners used to think they were rich. Today they find out: a couple more months of quarantine and only dust will remain of all their treasures. And not golden dust — gray dust. Tomorrow, those who used to be held up as an example to all will be forgotten. New heroes will appear. Looking at these stories, I remember the words of my Teacher:

Read more...

Leonardo’s Notes

“The problem is, Nikolai, that you never finish anything you start. You don’t even have a degree,” my girlfriend scolded me. We were on the subway.
She had just received some money to make a website, where she would eventually put up some boring local news. The site had dramatically less subscribers than even her Facebook page. In a couple years, the project went bankrupt. But she never lost her faith in the magical formula:

“You need closure. Every beginning has an end…”

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How Fair Ladies Rule

“What is power? Who needs it?” a pretty girl asked me. It was a difficult question. Talking to a beautiful woman, you want to say something funny, something light-hearted. You want to tell a joke. But talking about power you’re one step away from seeming boring. Can I avoid this fate? I’m afraid no. I’ll have to write my answer, at the risk of being perceived as dull. Well, what else can I do? Maybe at least She’ll read it..?

Read more...

Brasileiro. Chapter II

Part I. Vaeroy
Chapter II. The travelers’ club

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