Quoting Stalin

by Marinka on April 4, 2012

Last week I was talking to Mama about something and then out of the blue, in order to make her point, she quoted Stalin.

“Are you seriously quoting Stalin?” I asked her.

“I am,” Mama said. And then she explained that it was because on this particular issue he had a point, not that she was a fan of his or anything. Mama really disapproves of genocide and tried to instill the anti-genocide values in me as well.

I thought that it would make a good post. And then I promptly forgot what the quote was.

So I called Mama.

On her cell phone.

If you ever want to call my Mama on her cell phone, I recommend that you beat your head against the wall instead. Because she never picks up. Ever. And she hasn’t set her voice mail yet. Admittedly, she’s only had a cell phone for one decade, so fools rush in where angels fear to tread and all that. (That’s not the Stalin quote, by the way.)

After a few minutes, Papa called me back.

“You called?” he said.

“I did. But I called Mama because I have a question for her.”

“Ask me, I know everything.”

“She had a Stalin quote and I wanted to ask her what it was. I don’t think you’ll know it.”

“Stalin? Was it If there’s a person, there’s a problem. If there’s no person, there’s no problem.?”

“N-no. Although that is certainly catchy.”

“Was it no one is irreplaceable?”

“yes! How did you know?”

“Because I lived in Soviet Union. I know Stalin.”

And now you do too! Go ahead, quote some Stalin to friends and co-workers today. Everyone will have new-found respect and admiration for you. And if they don’t, they’re replaceable!

One year ago ...

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan April 4, 2012 at 11:24 am

“If there’s a person, there’s a problem. If there’s no person, there’s no problem.”

This is so appropos to my life right now it’s actually scary. I guess I need to replace some people.


Alina Adams April 4, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I bring you this from my own Mama: funny ,just yesterday your papa and I used both sayings. BTW- the first one about problem actually belongs to Ribakov- the writer of Children of Arbat — but really sounds like Stalin


April 4, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Now I will sound wise beyond my years at the next dinner party I attend. Thank you. And thank your parents.


April 4, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Funny , the only time I have heard the “irreplaceable” quote was at work.
*raised eyebrows*


April 4, 2012 at 10:07 pm

I felt this gorgeous day in NYC was incomplete. Quote some Stalin, here you go!


the mama bird diaries
April 4, 2012 at 10:49 pm

There are very few bloggers who can make Stalin funny. You are one of them.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes April 5, 2012 at 7:28 am

I’m putting that one on our office bulletin board.


April 5, 2012 at 11:36 am

I think that’s the motto of company I work for. And if you knew this company, you would know that makes perfect sense for them to be loving Stalin.


April 5, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Can’t wait to tell someone they’re replaceable!


dusty earth mother April 5, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Hmmm, I like both of these quotes. Does that mean I like Stalin? I hope not.


Hope April 5, 2012 at 8:50 pm

I’m in the same boat. Although “no one is irreplaceable” is kind of a bummer.


Dorothy April 5, 2012 at 9:18 pm

The first time someone said that to me at work, I was crushed. Then the more I thought about it, the more I realised he was right. So I took a vacation. 😀
Thanks Stalin.


deborah l quinn
April 6, 2012 at 12:27 am

You know, really, I think Stalin is under-valued in the “great quotes” arena. If I knew how to needlepoint, I would embroider that on a pillow and give it away. Don’t you think that sentiment would be a lovely gift for friends and co-workers? Maybe especially co-workers. A throw pillow with subtle hint of terror. What a great gift.


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