By Eric Campbell
Award-winning overseas correspondent Eric Campbell has been stoned by way of fundamentalists, captured via US specific Forces, arrested in Serbia and threatened with expulsion from China. He′s negotiated courting rituals in Moscow, shared a home with a charismatic mercenary in Kabul and brought up smoking at gunpoint in Kosovo. In 2003 in Iraq he used to be injured in a suicide bombing which killed his colleague, cameraman Paul Moran. through turns provocative and thoughtful, ABSURDISTAN is a memoir approximately juggling life, love and fatherhood whereas reporting from probably the most dysfunctional locations on the earth.
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Their clan leaders and Shamanist holy men were hanged or shot en masse. To maintain the herds, the Communists soon had no choice but to send some of the Nentsi back onto the tundra to graze the reindeer. They divided them into work units, which gradually melded into the old clan system. For many Nentsi involved with migrating herds across the peninsula, life continued much as it always had. And Timofei did not want Western companies coming in with big money to change things. ‘They will take all the gas and leave all their rubbish,’ he said.
Siberian matchstick makers were taking home cartons of matches in lieu of wages, tyre makers were wheeling out car tyres at the end of each month, and children’s toy makers were being paid in plastic animals. I once saw a group of men standing in the snow holding up bath towels with Hawaiian beach scenes. If workers were lucky, they could sell enough of the goods their factories produced to get drunk. On a really good day, they could feed their families as well. The further you went from Moscow, the bleaker life became.
I can’t say how all the miners will vote, but most of them will be supporting Communists. They are promising better and we lived better under Communism than now. ’ We left them working to begin our journey back to the surface. By the time we reached the lift, our faces were black from coal dust. Most miners were invalids by the age of 50. For a brief time, in the 1970s and early ‘80s, they had been among the highest paid workers in the Soviet Union. The state gave them bonuses to live here and flew them south each year for holidays in the sun.