Heppy Fort ov Dzhuly is what I wish people when I feel like being ironic and sport my FOB accent.
But if there wasn’t a Fort ov Dzhuly, I wouldn’t have my ironic accent. Or my ironic keffyieh shirt. Or an American education, American job, or American anything. I’d probably just be sitting in Russia. I’d probably have a going-nowhere job and come home to tons of housework every night in my miniscule apartment that was 40 or 50 years old but still cost $80,000 or $100,000 ,which would take me about 30-40 years to accumulate on my average salary of $12,000. On the weekends, I’d watch Friends in Russian. Then I’d do it all again the next week. Maybe I’d have a small business, and then the mafia would come by and take some money every week to make sure I stayed in business.
If there was no Fort ov Dzhuly, Mr. B would be drafted into the Russian Army and beaten every couple days or so for dedovschina, hazing induction into the Russian army . Probably more so because he’s Jewish and Russians aren’t big fans of Jews in the army (or anywhere.) He might have risen to the top with his programming skills, as he has here. But it’s hard to break through unless you have a lot of money to bribe people. Talent isn’t recognized very well in Russia.
Most of this is, of course, owed more to our parents’ initiative than the creation of America, but what I’m saying is that, for immigrants, America is a godsend. And I am grateful. Thanks, TJ, G-Dub, Alex, and Ben and the rest. In honor, here’s a song from 1776, one of my favorite musicals.