The Early Days of a Better Nation

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Post-modern post-Soviet fun

I'm adding the eXile to my sidebar links. It's, as far as I can make out, a Moscow English-language listings mag, that runs the sort of gonzo journalism that is laugh out loud funny, kind of like P. J. O'Rourke but without the PC liberal piety. (I am not being ironic.) It makes you realise how pathetically limited our journalism, however alternative, really is. It's the sort of stuff that makes you wonder why you bother writing science fiction, when there's a vast dystopian anarcho-Stalinist bad-acid flashback fast-forward experiment going on on a few thousand kilometres away, and I don't mean America.

You can read about young Russians flipping burgers in the USA, nice Russki girls falling for American creeps, and the true (or completely fictitious, but, Karl H. Marx on a bicycle, it's good fiction) nature of the Russian far left:

The abbreviated name of our organization, VLKSM, stands for the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League. Pre-1991, that was the name of the mammoth shite conglomeration every Soviet citizen of a certain age had to be a member of and which served as a fucking hotbed of anti-Communist propaganda and a fucking hornets' nest of future New Russian motherfuckers in the perestroika years. Inherent in the purified VLKSM of today is a certain organizational disproportion. The guys who drink (some are even so hip as to take barbiturates with their alcohol) and, in general, are fun to spend time with and hold the most bizarre and reactionary views, whereas the true Marxist-Leninists are teetotalers, don't smoke, and, frankly, I don't understand how they propagate. Parthenogenesis? Therefore Denis (the Red Brigades buff) and I have to drink with the right-wingers and think with the left-wingers, which is kind of embarrassing and not entirely politically correct, if you ask me.


Pasha, 34, and his close co-worker, ex-anarchist Dima Kostenko, 30, can boast an army of some 200 scattered throughout Russia, and they have been editing that pain in everybody's ass-the newspaper Bumbarash-2017-for years now.

Bumbarash is a character in a 1930s novel by the heroic Arkady Gaidar (grandfather of pig Yegor Gaidar)-a brave Red Army soldier with a somewhat naive, primeval perception of things around him, a kind of Commie Holden Caulfield. "We are all Bumbarashes now," said Pasha when launching the newspaper some years ago, correctly implying that nobody in the far Left now really understands what the fuck the situation in this country is all about. 2017, on the other hand, is the tentative date for which the next Great October Socialist Revolution is scheduled. Bumbarash is the hip Communist publication, featuring stuff such as a picture of Pol Pot with the caption "The Greatest Humanist of the 20th Century," ads reading "A Molotov Cocktail Will Help You Get Through The Day" or "The Magical World of Class Struggle-Discover It for Yourself!", instructions on how to "break OMON chains using trucks with the tires set on fire," and praise for Lavrenty Beria's spotless ethics and conjugal fidelity. That's postmodernism for you.

How can anything the Western far left has to offer compete with that?


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