The Russian Doll in the title refers to the Netflix show not to the Matryoshka doll familiar to Westerners. I’ll come back to the program in a bit. But first, imagine a country divided into two halves – say Lemmings and Ostriches. The Lemmings think the Ostriches are stupid, while the Ostriches believe the Lemmings to be crazy. And they’re both right. They’ve been together for a long time. But the mutual intolerance has grown such that the only solution seems divorce.

But as in all divorces, the main impediment is the property settlement. Who gets the children is not much of a problem as the Lemmings don’t have any. They recruit from outside. Since the two groups each make up 50% of the population, you’d think splitting the goods would be pretty easy. Each should get half. But their property is so intermingled that it’s almost impossible to parse it. And then there’s the credit card debt. Despite their mutual animosity, they’ve shared cards and have a combined debt of far more than their annual incomes. And they continue to use up the red ink.

But their spending habits share only excess and the desire for new cell phones. The Ostriches want bigger and higher fences around their property. They like to hunt and buy guns. They are in favor of more spending on defense against a legion of external threats, while simultaneously wanting their taxes reduced.

The Lemmings see no need for increased defense spending as they see no external threats. They love taxes as long as they imposed fairly  – ie, on someone who makes more money than they do.

The Ostriches want to be left alone to continue to lead their lives with their proverbial heads in the proverbial sand. The Lemmings hate those at the top unless they are telling the Ostriches what to do as they believe that the Ostriches are too dimwitted to know what’s best for them. The Lemmings hate smoking tobacco, but love smoking marijuana. The worry about vaping in teen agers, or anyone else for that matter, but encourage pot smoking. What could go wrong from heating a weed to 2000 degrees and then inhaling the resultant smoke? I thought we already had that answer.

The Ostriches tend to be religious. The Lemmings have no use for religion unless it threatens to beat them up. It’s too unfashionable for them. They’ve substituted politics for religion and have even managed to convert a few religions to politics.  They abhor violence, especially when it comes at them. They also constantly and energetically express great concern for their fellow man, but only only in the aggregate. One on one they don’t like most people. They are like fighting bulls (bos taurus ibericus) – groups are OK, but individuals are targets. The reverse is true of the Ostriches who can’t stand whole bands of people whom they collectively find repellent, but they can interact amicably with most people individually.

The Lemmings care a lot about their looks which they furtively find infra dig. This facial and figure obsession explains their fascination with beautiful people whom they long to be like and to whom they concede brilliance of thought no matter how dim witted the beautiful people may be. It also explains their ritual mutilation of their eyelids at about age 30. They also hate, and I mean hate, anyone who does not share their likes and prejudices. The Ostriches are confused by the venom coming at them from a mammal. They don’t know how to respond, so some of them get really depressed and turn to fentanyl. The Lemmings prefer cocaine and mj.

Both groups don’t know very much about anything and are usually not capable of even simple logic. But the Ostriches don’t care or even know what they don’t know, while the Lemmings are convinced of their superior  knowledge about everything. They are more likely to have gone to an expensive college than their avian counterparts where they took courses in subjects that didn’t even exist a couple of generations ago and which convey no usable information. An interest in Western Civilization at even the junior college level will get you banned, if you’re lucky. If not, a brick will be thrown through your window. If you don’t study science, technology, or business you’ll waste your time. Well not entirely, the piece of paper you’re handed along with a huge debt may gain you entrance to the higher levels of Lemming society.

The Ostriches love hamburgers, hot dogs, french-fries, and food with a lot of added salt. The Lemmings think salt a white substance more deadly than anthrax- a devil’s plague. Or it would if they thought there there really  were a devil. In general, Lemmings are very health conscious and are concerned that their diet be healthy, organic, and free of genetically modified organisms. Their propensity for chic recreational drugs and alcohol tends to cancel any putative benefit gained by their ascetic eating habits and punishing exercise regimes .

The Lemmings have developed a loathing for standard pronouns and have invented a troop of new ones. It’s dangerous to speak or write anything as you may offend someone regardless of what you say. It’s likely that English may soon be a foreign language for Ostriches. The two groups are approaching the state described a century ago by George Bernard Shaw when he remarked that an Englishman could not open his mouth without immediately making another Englishman hate him. Another Lemming characteristic is that they seek to emulate Stalin by erasing the images of those who have fallen from favor.

The Ostriches are only dimly aware that the Lemmings control the media and the academy. This is because their focus tends to be on sports. They only pay attention to TV’s sports and weather coverage and fail to recognize that even here the Lemmings have the upper hand. As for college and university, they’re only interested in the athletic department and pay no attention to what goes on in a classroom as they don’t care. An Ostrich reacted to the statement that an unidentified person wished the chemistry department at a local institution of higher learning to be number one rather than the football team by vehemently declaring, “Well I don’t.”

Human beings have a deadly propensity to have a real lunatic start killing others whom the lunatics hate for some insane reason. Given the huge number of humans, if even one in a million (alas the number is far larger) is homicidal and crazy there will be 7,000 dangerous nut cases loose among both subspecies.  When an atrocity occurs, as it does with distressing regularity, the Lemmings will blame the Ostriches. The latter being by nature insecure will be hurt and not know how to respond. Eventually, they usually buy more ammunition.

So what’s all this got to do with Russian Doll? The Netflix show is apparently a big hit. It takes place in Crazytown, a city controlled by Lemmings. It’s a ripoff of Groundhog Day – without the skill and insight of the film. Instead of waking up to the same day over and over again, its protagonist Nadia dies at about the same time every day only to find herself in a bathroom in a friend’s apartment. The friend is hosting  Nadia’s 36th birthday party.

Nadia is an archetypical Lemming. Her friends conform to every one of the Lemming favorite behavior patterns, which means they’re all pretty weird. They speak in sentences comprised almost entirely of what once was considered profanity. She thinks she’s a good person, but later in the series she realizes that she’s really not so nice. The show’s main plot hinge is the discovery of another person who daily dies and reappears in his own bathroom. Alan, is an Ostrich who somehow had ended up in foreign territory.

Alan is completely at sea in Crazytown. He’s maced or pepper sprayed by two young Lemming females for walking too close to them on a city sidewalk. He hasn’t got a chance among the Lemmings. The rest of the show is not of concern here as it’s just another Netflix series. It’s utility lies in delineating all the essential characteristics of Lemmings over a relatively brief span. There are only eight episodes each lasting less than a half hour.

How are these two groups to separate? While their territory does overlap a bit, the Ostriches have most of the food growing territory. In a divorce the Lemmings might get all the cities and theaters, but they’d starve to death if the Ostriches denied them GMO free corn and kale. Then there’s the armed forces. Even if the Lemmings got half – that half would soon leave as the army, etc is made up almost entirely of Ostriches. I guess it’s a good thing that the world will soon end in a dozen years; we know this because the Lemmings have told us so. The two groups can likely stay together for that brief period like a marriage that endures until the children are grown. This short time between plenty and extinction can allow them a lot of steaks and milkshakes, not to mention kale, before the cockroaches and ants take over. It will also eliminate any worries about the future of social security, medicare, and their like. Lemmings of the world unit, you have nothing to lose but your brains.  The Ostriches are busy watching NFL reruns with the flag kneeling edited out.