#41 | June 18 - July 1, 1998  smlogo.gif


In This Issue
Feature Story
Press Review
Death Porn
Kino Korner
Moscow Babylon



Dear [Sic],
It's four in the morning, the end of...well, I have to admit, it is May and not December, but that, of course, isn't Leonard's fault. My phrase composition unmistakeably identifies me as congenitally Russian, whereas the fact that I am compelled to express my flaccid imagination at an insignificant (sorry, Mark Ames) newspaper gives away the American experience of no matter how many years. Not to mention the fact that, having started with an implicit self-description, I have given somewhat of a license to a narrow-minded interpreter to say, "I think I know the chick who wrote this." So let's get to it.

What is Please Don't Feed the People a deliberation on? More or less nothing.It is a sorry excuse for an American pretend-to-be-journalist-but-really-come-to-russia-for-unprotected-promiscuous-lay who has nothing to say, to crap about the familiar American thematics. Actually, if one has enough patience and pathetically nothing to do (much like me in this pathetic late-night Cohen effort), one realises that the whole four columns with the quasi-politicisms pertaining to Lebed and his hapless campaign manager, Zhukov, Yeltzin and whoever else gets in the way, and complacent but louty intellectual remarks are nothing else but a prelude to a detailed narration dedicated to Mark Ames's flatulent activity on a given air flight.

Speaking of platitudes, precisely which of the sophisticted textual liaisons prompts the wonderful beginning of the 'Las Vegas' part of the article, "If you want to see The People in their unmediated, concentrated selves..."? And what is this intense, though still cliche hatred for the common man? We are all lucky that the author isn't very particular about keeping within the boarders of the style. Because were it otherwise, we would all have to endure the traditional Russian assurances of mutual respect at the end of the article, ti menya uvazhayesh?

Now I remember something in post-modern literary theory about the signified and the signifier and their unlimited chain, and that it is not what, but how one writes, etc. Yet I promise you, your articles is not what literary theory needs to be applied to. You do have to us discrimination against worn-out flabby stupidity (even if it is your own) and you do have to take at least minimal care when writing for a public (even if we are talking about the English-reading audience of Moscow). Do something to kick life into yourselves! Read a book, have passionate satisfying sex, as opposed to a 'vodka-stained anonymous sexual rapport', to paraphrase a friend of mine. Get the adolescently maximalist ideas about the difference between yourselves and the Moscow Times and Tribune out of your heads and make your paper readable. Of the above three newspapers you have the better chance, I'll give you that.

Actually, this is all I'm going to say for now. I hope this letter gets printed, not because I find it important but because I like seeing my sentences in print. See, I got the attitude down.

I thank you for your time.

Faithfully yours,
Lydia Stuart

Dear Lydia,
Some advice on the writing of poison-pen letters:
a) Don't quote crusty Jewish hippies.
b) Avoid having it read like a high school love letter.
c) If you're going to take that much time to try to sound clever-and it's obvious you agonized over this letter before you sent it-leave out the mistakes. Don't spell "borders" "boarders", don't say your "Your articles is," etc. You're spoiling the genre.
d) Don't make it in the recipient's best interests to publish the letter in full by being so long-winded and pompous that you make your enemies look good.
We're just trying to help.


Dear [Sic],
Does this warrant a t-shirt?
1) Yes, the Moscow Times is shite.
2) Yes, the Moscow Tribune is shite.
3) No, the Pointer Sisters didn't sing "Who's Zoomin Who." It was in fact Aretha Franklin.


Dear Martin,
Hey, we left out a pretty interesting postscript, didn't we? Yeah, come pick up your shirt. And bring two girls and a plate of jumbo shrimp.


Dear [Sic],
This is a reply to Edward Limonov ("We will eat you..."). Russian people today want quality. Russians want good cars, toilet paper, and good food.

Have some people forgotten the earlier system? Long queues, and to what? Soviet times for people meant mostly bread and potatoes on the table. Why forget this? Why make something nice out of something bad?

Russia was once the fifth strongest industrial nation in the world. This was before the revolution. The communistic period only created poverty in Russia. People today have a much better living than during the old system. Only destructive and lazy people say something else. Communist time was good for a few at the top but not for ordinary Russians.

Torsten Andersson

Dear Torsten,
Say what you like about Limonov, but he's one thing you're not: Russian. You don't think he knows what the communist system was like? The guy grew up in Kharkov, the asshole of the fucking universe, during the fifties. He was in jail and in mental hospitals. While your parents were driving you around in Volvo safety seats to pick up more herring-flavored baby food at the store, Limonov was stealing scraps from Moscow cafeterias to stay alive in winter. He now only knows how much communism sucks, he's made a living writing about it. That said, what the hell are you talking about? People today do not have a better living than under the old system. Russia is actually in the middle of the most pronounced depression any industrial state has seen this century. Some 25% of the workforce doesn't get paid on a regular basis. Did that happen under communism? Furthermore, whether or not Russia was rich under communism, it was at least a superpower. These days, the Russian army couldn't beat the West Indian cricket team. Can you imagine how that feels?

Oh, wait-you're Swedish. So you can imagine. Excuse us.


Just got some fresh eXile copies and saw in the answers to the readers that this was the last copy (Jonesing for a clue). I hope it is a bad joke. Other expat papers make me puke and feel the solidarity with the Russia for the Russians movement. Give them hell. (The only thing - Edichka-pedichka's writing is still the boring shit as it always was) Good luck. Would like to see an article on the gun laws.

Victor Pavlenkov.

Dear Vik,
Actually, you write a lot like Limonov. Editchka, is that you?! You nut! Hey, if you want that [sic] T-shirt, why not just call us and ask, huh?

Safe [sic]s

Dear Editor,
Is it true that there are many sexual diseases in Moscow, and should I be careful?


Dear Fritz,
No, it's a lie.

smashing shite

Dear Calendar Editor,
Taking your advice, as you are considered the "hip" "alternative" paper in Moscow, I and two friends went to go see the royally overpriced Smashing Pumpkins show last week at DK Gorbunova. You guys suck. That show was the worst piece of crap I've seen here in Moscow since... the Henry Rollins show, which you guys also sponsored.

I get the score now. You guys blow some shite new wave band, and in return, you get to put your stupid eXile poster up on some insignificant part of the balcony railing. That's what I call shameless. You guys are supposed to call a spade a spade, and in my opinion, you guys cheated your readers in spades.

Jens Jergensen

Dear Jens,
You're absolutely right, and we apologize. We suck. As part of our atonement, we'll allow you to shave our heads and paint our fingernails black. And we'll even hire a pouty Asian-American to make appearances with us. Satisfied?

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