20 thoughts on “Possibly my two favourite photos from the year 2011

  1. Ah, beautiful, both! I actually squealed at the second photo. Quite an intelligent expression on the little guy. Happy New Year to all of you!

  2. So you got married and had a baby in the same year that you decided to stop paying your student loans. Good for you! Most of us don’t have that option. I will never have a family. I will never have a child. I will be in debt until I am in my sixties at least.

    People like you, who think they can have it all, are the ones driving our interests up. Call me bitter? Yes. I AM bitter.

    How much did that wedding dress cost? What about the jewelry? How much did you spend on hospital bills for your child? Why do you think you have THE RIGHT, the GALL to live your life as though you don’t have financial responsibilities, huh? I really do want to know. Doubt you will publish this comment too. If I know anythign about people like you is that you people are cowards.

    It’s much harder to face the truth, as I once did.

    Signed,
    Will never get out of debt alive. But at least I’m not a thief like you.

  3. Camille, yours is one of the saddest comments I have received since going public with this issue. It’s right up there with the comment from the man whose brother committed suicide after taking out student loans.

    Please re-read what you wrote here. Have the lenders truly convinced you that you have no right to have a family? What are you – their serf? What do you define yourself as? Are you a person? Or are you a machine whose value is solely dependent on feeding money into a predatory and unethical system?

    We all have financial responsibilities. My greatest responsibility right now is to my child – and to my own health. This is why I am in such a terrible predicament with my student loans. Thieves make cold, calculating decisions to steal. Student debtors sign on the dotted line because we *know* that most of us will never have a career if we don’t have an education. Though to be perfectly honest, Robin Hood is looking more and more sympathetic these days. If you’re living in a broken society, you go beyond that society’s bounds. I didn’t know as much when I was a teen – but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a right to wake up now, today, when so much is on the line.

    To answer your questions: My wedding dress cost around 80 bucks or so. The jewelry was vintage – it belonged to my great aunt. In fact, our wedding cost my husband and I virtually nothing. We had a civil ceremony I wrote about here, the reception we held at a theater both of us have worked at, so it was free, and the church ceremony we held later was also completely free at the church we attend. Likewise, I gave birth for free at a state hospital in Russia and wrote about it here – if you want to take a look. Sure enough, we had the right, the gall, even, to make a public commitment to each other and to bring a new person into this world. And we are not your enemy. People like us should be on the same side.

    Please think about that.

  4. Shame on you “Never Get Out of Debt”. The thieves and culprits are the fat-cat bankers living the high life while making you think that the basic rights of every American–to live a happy prosperous life–should not apply to you or to Natalie. To chastise Natalie for “the GALL to live (her) life . . .!?!? Perhaps if Newt Gingrich claimed ‘Droit du seigneur’ first, would Natalie then have the right to get married and bear children? Or, would you prefer Natalie’s children (or mine) not be fed so that we can pay and pay on student loans that are structured so that they will never be paid off? “If (they) be like to die (they) had better do it and decrease the surplus population.”

    Natalie, I apologize for posting this rant on your page, but the basis of Camile’s disparagement is truly beyond the pale.

    Congratulations; I hope your marriage and your children bring you the happiness you deserve. These are amongst all of our basic human rights.

  5. Boy, Camille, are you ever a fucking piece of work. Most decent people would look upon these pictures and see a happy family – albeit one whose financial future is threatened by a completely unregulated and out-of-control industry. What the hell do you see? Oh my God! The bride’s necklace! How much did it cost?!

    The fact that you are also a victim of student debt yet attack other victims means that you are nothing better than a very well-trained dog. Congratulations. You serve your masters well. Or do you? Most idiots out there have a basic clue – people have a goddamn right to start a family. YOU have a goddamn right to start a family. If you ever wake up long enough to realize it.

    Nat, you’re too nice to this scum. They’ll have you defending your right to buy food next.

  6. Camille may be a troll, certainly right wing, possibly working for banks.

    In simplest terms, it is Camille who is the coward and thief. A coward because she’s willing to sacrifice her life for exploitative forces rather than fight back. And a thief, since she is willing to steal joy, her own and others, for the sake of feeding financial parasites. Frankly, her pitiless, aggressive, and misogynistic comments border on fascism.

    I’m so happy that Natalia and her family chose life and joy over the mortifying misery of oppression. It is the only way forward. I hope that Natalia goes further to extensively criticize the entire system of debt based education. These debts are toxic (unpayable), odious (unjust), and fraudulent (invalid). They are the result of decades of privatization and financialization and they must be completely rejected. Governments around the world must recognize free public education at all levels as right and public investment which makes societies strong and free.

    Congratulations to you Natalia!

  7. I think free public education is one of those things the Soviets got right. Didn’t mean they got it right exactly – but there are some things we can certainly learn from them.

    Today, the corporatized system in the United States sells almost everyone short, meanwhile. We need to change it – but first we must change our values.

  8. Seems to be a lot of hate over your excellent student loan piece, but where in that piece did you say that you weren’t paying, will not pay? I guess I missed that somewhere. So are you a thief or undeserving, because you have been paying the minimum balance? Maybe it’s because you have sacrificed something so that you could pay on your loans? Or maybe it’s because you dared expose the student loan scheme for what it is that makes you a bitch and a traitor. I just don’t get the people who rage at you and defend the very system that enslaves them. It’s a lot like the “Obama care” drivel, people whine about. I hear so many say “I don’t want people that don’t work, to get free health care!” That’s funny because they already do under Medicaid. Or how about the inmates in our prisons that get full medical treatment for free? Or the illegal aliens that get it? What is it that makes the “average Joe” who can’t afford to pay for health insurance, defend the very same piratical insurance system? Natalia, I hope that this new year brings you much happiness, and success, I love reading your blog, and your various stories and editorial pieces. I also hope that some how you can get out of the economic funk and afford to continue paying your loans without sacrificing the needs of your family. You are not alone in this

  9. I don’t have the money to make payments to Sallie Mae. Deferments and forebearances are scams that send you deeper into debt. I’d rather settle with a collection agency for a lump sum. If that makes me a thief, so be it.

    And thank you for your good wishes.

  10. That is a pretty amazing year. May 2012 be even better xxxxx

    Have you got any more CiF pieces coming soon, I do enjoy those.

  11. good lord. Camille is almost a parody of herself. I can’t help but wonder if the comment is an over-the-top sendup of previous comments along the lines of “you irresponsible hussy”. Much love to you and Lyosha and Little Buddy, and may your new year be filled with heat and water!

  12. I don’t need to be a told how to feel about debt. I practice a little something called fiscal responsibility, something the owner of this blog and her friends never heard of. I’m not surprised the owner of this blog is originally from Russia. They never had respect for private property in Russia and under their new leaders, they have become a nation of thieves who practice theft out in the open.

    Nobody owns me. I choose to honor my agreements – honor, another little thing none of you have ever heard of.

    When you say you can’t afford Sallie Mae, people have a right to ask why you think you can afford a wedding. And children. I don’t buy this “we only spent 80 dollars” lie for a minute. I don’t buy that the birth of the child was free. This is someone with a Duke education and Dukies are used to the best things in life. Natalia Antonova may have fooled some people with her martyr act, but I smell a rat.

    i don’t like being in debt as much as the next person. Do you think it’s easy, realizing that your dreams will always be out of reach? I could never attend a place like Duke to begin with, but if I had the chance the owner of this blog did, I would not have wasted my opportunity. I would be in a lucrative career right now.

  13. Huh. And here I thought that the “fiscally responsible” thing according to blowhards like you, Camille, was not getting into so much debt in the first place. Physician, heal thyself. Not only are you an asshole, you’re also a dimwitted, boring kind of asshole. “Russia is a nation of thieves.” Really. As opposed to what? America? Where the Congress cheers on the thieves on Wall Street while people are getting evicted from their homes? Wake up and smell the bullshit, honey.

    And now a Duke education is a magical forcefield against all trouble. Good to know.

    Dumbass.

  14. There are none so spiteful, malicious, and malevolent as the self-righteous. Nor so dense to timing, context, and purpose.
    Your two photos are a wonderful way to celebrate your life the past year, Nat. Life wins.

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