Don't have an Account?
253. Making Peace with Russia
The late Boris Nyof is becoming a nonperson.
was president of Akmenistan, a tiny but oil-rich
near Russia. The new president, Ivan Gurba, has
all media use of Nyof’s name. Gurba has
all the photos, posters, and statues of Nyof.
the capital city, Gurba has ordered the destruction
a stainless steel spire honoring Nyof. Gurba shut
the spire's floodlights and mechanisms.
“From the steel,
will build a Museum of Peace,” said Gurba.
100-foot-tall spire was brilliantly lit every night for
last 10 years. At its top was a
of Nyof’s head, 16 feet in diameter. The
made a complete revolution every 59 minutes. Then
paused for one minute, while flames shot out
Nyof’s mouth, accompanied by the roar of a
Every day at noon, “Nyof” gave a three-minute
talking about what a great president he had
. There was a different speech for each day
the year. Every January 18, for example, Nyof
about how he had paved all of Akmenistan’s
roads—by himself. Every July 3, he described how
had invented the Internet.
As president, Nyof actually
renamed the days of the week after his
, and the sun and moon after his parents.
had banned marriage. Instead, couples in love signed
-year “Friendship” contracts, renewable yearly—if both “friends” agreed.
thought Nyof was a little weird, they liked
for boldly standing up to occasional threats from
. Now that he was gone, Russia seemed more
on acquiring Akmenistan’s oil—one way or another. Gurba
that he might help prevent a Russian invasion
removing all traces of Nyof and by building
Museum of Peace.