From the deranged fan-mail bin: Russia is “the path of least resistance”? Um. Ok.

Hokay, so my new blogging policy generally involves Not Encouraging The Weirdos.

I think it’s a good blogging policy. Certainly, it is sane. Some might even use the word “mature” in describing it.

However, every once in a while, I get so irked by particular commentary sent my way (usually from some bizarre e-mail address, most likely set up solely for the purposes of harassing bloggers), that if I DON’T scream about it up and down the internet, steam will come out of my ears and cover my colleagues in third-degree burns. Or something.

Anyway, this troll emerged from underneath some particularly rusty and Gothic-looking bridge, to inform me that “it’s no wonder why [I] moved to Russia. For “writers” like [me], Russia is the path of least resistance.”

The troll went on to say that “much like the sex-tourists [I] lampoon, [I am] someone who couldn’t be successful while living in Western civilization.”

“Good luck with your little life,” the troll concluded, possibly to the sound of dramatic organ music playing in the background.

You know, the paper celebrated its 80th anniversary this week – while acknowledging its checkered, Stalinist past – and I also had two freaking teeth taken out this morning (my teeth need to become stars in their own graphic, horrifying essay – and one of these days, they will), so I am very tired, and am in no mood for this. Like, I can’t even make a joke that is suitably caustic and, at the same time, self-deprecating enough – because too many of my brain cells are engaged elsewhere, with more noble tasks, such composing and deleting angry e-mails to people who decided that they were too busy and important to come to our anniversary debate on media freedom in Russia (which turned out to be quite good) and succouring my vast armies of honey bees.

So I’ll just roll my eyes. Somewhere in Moscow, as the day winds down, as the metro begins to fill up again with innumerable amounts of people, as people continue posting photoshopped images of Luzhkov in their LiveJournal blog, as cars honk all around Sadovoye Koltso and people laugh about this bullshit in bars, I am rolling my eyes.

I’m also thinking that the troll has some experience in sex tourism, judging by the rest of his magnum opus. I do naturally apologize for hurting the delicate fee-fees of sex tourists everywhere.

7 thoughts on “From the deranged fan-mail bin: Russia is “the path of least resistance”? Um. Ok.

  1. You’re good at what you do (and you know that), so keep up the good work. Just discovered your writings a few weeks ago (your bashing of Camille Paglia’s views on Lady Gaga were hilarious and spot-on). Love your acerbic wit and your salient mind.

    – A fan from Malaysia.

  2. That’s just plain stupid (what that person wrote to you, I mean). I love Russia, and I think I’d like to live in Russia (probably for an unspecified but finite period of time), but from what I know, I’d never call living in Russia easy.

  3. You know, I don’t think that Russia is this Awfully Hard Place To Live – not for a person like me, anyway (for one thing, I don’t get to live in any sort of expat bubble, which can be a lonely and alienating experience – having lived that way in Amman, I realized that it’s not for me). But I think it’s certainly a tough environment for a writer and a journalist. Tough but interesting. Which is why I think that I am in exactly the right place, and at the right time. So when someone tells me “well, you just couldn’t cut it in the West, you worthless piece of crap” I’m sort of… surprised? As much as one can be surprised about someone who’s trolling, I guess.

  4. I was wondering who was going to keep the honey fairs going upon Luzhkov’s demise. So glad that you’ve taken up succoring honey bees!

  5. Jeez; where does Andy Potts come from (author of the MN piece on Putin’s birthday calendar)? “…little about these girls is left to the imagination”? Really? EVERYTHING about these girls is left to the imagination; in some cases they could not be more decently covered if they were wearing tight jeans. You can see girls wearing less in the underwear section of any department-store retail catalogue, and I’ve yet to see any of them rate the breathless coverage and feminist fury this calendar has attracted.

    All of which, naturally, will have the effect of making people purchase it who would otherwise not be interested; because they are opposed to the “patriarchal abusers of women” rhetoric it has generated, because it has become symbolic of the controversy itself, or just out of curiosity to see what all the fuss is about.

    Suggesting you “just couldn’t cut it in the West” is comical – one of those insults that says more about its author than its target. There are people gainfully employed in Western countries who barely have two firing neurons to rub together – have even been known to make it all the way to President in at least one case. I don’t expect you were too hurt by it – an insult from a fool is a compliment.

  6. Andy’s from Sunderland!

    I think it all depends on context. One of the models for the original calendar, Lena, has already done other modeling work – and obviously, these photos are very tame compared to the stuff that’s out there. But throw “Moscow State journalism students” in the mix, add “Putin” – and the perspective shifts. It’s like if someone did a “Duke English majors for Putin” calendar now – because of people’s different expectations for this group of people, it would be shocking. Or how about if I wear a lace teddy and participate in a “the foreign press takes it off for Putin” photo shoot – the minute people realize that “hey, she works for this and that paper and she’s stripping for Putin” they’ll be all WTF.

    It’s both expectations for women in a certain profession, as well as expectations for members of the press that are at work here. The former is more dangerous than the latter, imho. I think professional women should be able to pose however the hell they want, for what it’s worth. But we also believe that the press must question power – not lie down for daddy -hence the shock.

    Of course, plenty of people have reacted negatively to the second calendar as well, so there’s really a lively debate going.

    I also think that a lot of the responses to both calendars have been decidedly anti-feminist. When you have a bunch of people yelling “whores! Whores!” – how is that feminist? I question these girls’ tactics, personally, I’d never call them “whores”. That’s incredibly cheap and it takes away from the real issues surrounding this calendar, imho.

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