Thursday, May 7, 2015

Putin's eyes and soul ... Memories from 70s Leningrad

"Если бы Гоголь жил при совке, Чичиков бы служил в КГБ. И копил бы не мертвые души, а чеки 'Березка'. Хотя думаю, Гоголь при совке ничего написать бы не успел. Володя с коллегами из 5-го управления быстро упрятали бы его в психушку или лагерь."
Жил-был в Питере мальчик Вовочка. Мать - уборщица, отец - вахтер, комната 20 м в коммуналке без ванной. Как это принято у пролетариев, детей воспитывала...
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  • John Brown I remember my time in Leningrad as a grad student 73-74. I had a deal with my good-hearted Soviet roommate from Vologda -- he'd cook delicious mushroom soup and I'd buy whiskey at the bereziozka (hard-currency stores). Returning to Russia in the late 90s, years after doing my soup-whiskey part of the bargain with my roommate (not exactly negotiations over nuclear missiles), I was exposed on Russian TV to V.V. Putin, and he instantly reminded me of the leather-jacketed guys "checking you out" as you were buying stuff with dollars in Brezhnev's USSR "forbidden stores" (except, supposedly, for foreigners). Pace GWB ("Bush, we all remember, looked into Putin's eyes early on and saw his soul, " these mid-level spooks never looked at you directly in the eyes -- and certainly had no "soul" to be seen.
    Opinion by Philip H. Gordon, E!Sharp (September/October...
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