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I Address the Complaints of My Cold War Reenacting Society

Alex Schmidt




Hi everyone,

It's come to my attention that there have been a lot of complaints about how this historical reenactment society does its business. Instead of arranging another Dueling War Rooms meeting-cum-reenactment in Kevin's basement, I'm using the listserv to address the following issues:

-We are a progressive reenacting group. This has been clear from Day One (when we reenacted the Potsdam Conference). If you want to be a Farb, go reenact Red Dawn.

-We are a Cold War reenacting group. With the exception of certain CIA Black Ops missions in Central America, we will never reenact actual combat from Korea, Vietnam, or the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, because doing so would make us a Hot War reenacting group.

-I am the Leonid Brezhnev reenactor. This is not up for debate. I know I've been doing it for a long time, but he was in power for a long time. Believe me, I'd much rather leapfrog from being a Civilian reenactor to being the Gerald Ford reenactor to being a Solidarity Trade Unionist reenactor and so on. Taking responsibility for my role and for this group does not mean "Alex is on some kind of power trip" (also Jeff, please don't "Reply All" to listserv e-mails when it's not pertinent to everyone).

-We cannot allow any romantic entanglements between members of opposing blocs, with the sole exception of brief flings between spy reenactors sent on missions to seduce enemy agents for information. This rule is in place to simulate the tensions of the pre-perestroika global schism, so there is no reason to speculate about my supposed "hang-ups".

-Civilian reenactors may not use text messaging (!) to find out what's happening at the Missile Launch Control Center. Civilians had little to no accurate information about the atomic chess match going on between the superpowers, and simulating that ignorance is what makes these living histories fun!

-A lot of people actually thought our recent Space Race reenactment was fun. Anyone who thought it was "lame" should consider how much they personally supported our Borscht-N-Baloney Fun-Raiser Cook Off (model rockets cost money, people!) and whether they withheld their perfectly able pet from our Launch Party (one spacesuit-less Jack Russell terrier, and no monkeys whatsoever, just doesn't cut it). The more you put into this group, the more you will get out of it.

-Not everyone in our Gulag Archipelago reenactment gets to be the Solzhenitsyn reenactor. Some of you are just rock-breakers. Too bad.

-Finally and most importantly, I know certain members of our Society plan to "defect" to the SoCal USA-USSR Bloc Party. I must remind every one of you that we are fundamentally ideologically different from the SCUUBP, and these differences cannot be diplomatically resolved. Our Southern California Cold War Historical Reenactment Society is the only organization dedicated to properly depicting the great political, economic, and cultural struggle between superpowers of the twentieth century. Anyone sympathetic to the SCUUBP's cause should consider "purging" themselves from ours.

Sorry for the long e-mail, don't mean to be a shoe-slammer about this :-)  Our next event is on Sunday at Carol's house in Thousand Oaks. We're doing a SALT 1 Negotiations reenactment, remember to BYOB, and please make sure all snacks are both period-appropriate and gluten-free.


Alex Schmidt/"Leonid Brezhnev"






Alex Schmidt was hit by a lot of snowballs as a child, because he was tall and slow. However, through his perseverance, dedication, and unshakeable will, he has grown taller and slower every day since. He lives on the Internet at

A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure. - Henry David Thoreau


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