Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Russians

Whoa all this talk of Russians everywhere. All oligarchs and spies and ambassadors and collusion with our ridiculous President and his multitudinous slavering acolytes. I can hardly keep up with it. My head is spinning. What happened to the Russia of Tolstoy? What happened to the Russia of Stravinsky? What about the Russia that brought us Chagall and Kandinsky? Yes, there have always been manipulative tyrants and credulous, self-destructive masses in Russia, almost as many credulous, self-destructive masses as we have now here in America, but you gotta keep your culture going. 

Artists are my people!

So I went to see a Russian Ballet, by an all Russian Ballet Company, The Eifman Ballet. I went to see Red Giselle.

I will not judge a whole people on their heartless leader and their dark rooms of hackers assiduously fudging the tiny slice of democracy we have left in America. I won't judge them on their B-movie villains, deplorable social policy, or all the mad ways they keep showing up on our front pages. I refuse to judge them on a tiny elite strangling a cowed country and crying out that they, they are Russia.

They aren't Russia.

No, I will judge Russia as they should be judged, by old and gracious standards. I will judge them on how good a ballet they can put on.

So bold of heart I went off in the late Spring rainstorms of Minnesota to see their mighty ballet.

And it was no good. No good at all. It was, all told, a terrible ballet in nearly every way. It was the single worst ballet I have ever seen in my life.

Ah well, as they say in Russia:

Беда́ никогда́ не прихо́дит одна́.

Trouble never comes alone. 


  1. Yeesh, I came here because I'm moving my blog--I don't know where--and I wanted to see what a Blogger blog looked like and I remembered yours (I forgot it for a while) and I was just going to look at it with new eyes, but I got totally distracted by reading all your posts! Ack, you're not helping!

    But I wanted to say:
    - Have you read A Gentleman From Moscow? (second book ever I started to read again right after I finished it)
    - I read the sidebar! Always.
    -LOVED your post about spring turning into summer and the squirrels swearing
    -I wish you would write a book
    -The post about how liberal you are made me laugh. I loved the hood part.
    -Maybe because you're here, I will choose Blogger.

    Kim (grape's friend)

    1. Er. you do seem to forget this and then come back as a sort of routine if I recall, which is better than just forgetting it I suppose, so I'll take it.

      Yes, I try to be extremely unhelpful, with mixed success!

      No, I haven't read it but will look into it.

      You do? I'm afraid it goes through long periods of neglect so I'll try to keep that in mind.

      I'm glad. I'm not sure that squirrels do anything BUT swear, yet I maintain a cautious fondness for them.

      I wish I would too! I write imaginary rejected letters to publishers all the time! I'm waiting for one of them to publish a book of mine spontaneously!

      I'm glad you liked the hood thing. I thought it was an almost off kilter analogy and am relieved that, as I secretly hoped, the "hood" part saved it.

      My long thoughts on blogging and even Blogger would fill several blog post, well, and after 1600 of them or so, probably have, none of them helpful. I will say this: Blogger generally works and, outside of a small non required fee for a domain name, is free, and that's enough of a recommendation for me. It connects hideously to anything that might bring readers to it, but really, I find the Internet isn't keenly searching out blogs, to say the least, so what's the difference.

      I wish you good luck and will look for your blog.

      Thank you so much for telling me what you liked here. It was a treat!

  2. I made my blog private, so you won't find it. For now, it's just for me.
    I do tend to come back and forth to your blog, and I'm always glad when I get back.
    ooh, just saw "Wodehouse" in the archive. Wonder if it's PG or Archer's valet? Either way, gotta read it. I'm off! *zoom*

    1. Oh, okay, I won't read your blog, which I should be able to manage if I'm not rushed :-)


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