Skip to comments.I Was a Commie Writer (My Experiences As American Correspondent For Krokodil Magazine In USSR)
Posted on 01/06/2002 1:57:16 PM PST by PJ-Comix
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"...the humor magazine Pikker, which throughout its existence since 1957 up to early 90s..."
A prize oxymoron, as someone (not I) might also have said of its sister magazine, Soviet Woman.
In the mid-1970s I was involved with a US company that imported Soviet films. For one of the major films (Oblamov, one of the few exported to the States in those years) the Soviets sent the entire cast and the director (Nikita Mikahlkov who later won an Oscar for Burnt by the Sun) to NYC for the premiere. The movie stars (famous in the USSR) and the great director were accompanied by KGB watchers who were much more powerful than the guy you describe. The stars and Nikita were put up in a 4th rate Manhattan hotel and when they asked for permission to attend a Broadway show permission was denied; they had to sit in their rooms like prisoners.
I was present at a luncheon at a swank NY restaurant and the most nervous moment for the watchers was after the lunch, getting their wards into the cars. They were afraid their captives might make a run for it.
It was a rotten system and shame on those Americans who were put out by Leonid Florentiev's comments.
Here's a link to a site selling everything under the sun.
Yeah, that KGB watcher looked so out of place on the stage I was surprised that the American audience, dopey as they were, couldn't catch that. Also during the conference afterwards, he stood grimly off to the side and took no part in the conversations. I have to give him credit for immaculate grooming however. No sloppy Soviet clothes for him. He was dressed like a successful western businessman.
My dad runs a business in Russia. I'll forward him your story...it's great!
Back in the late 70s, some Soviet journalists showed up at my college (Fordham University) ostensibly to interview American college students. I think the real purpose of the exercise was to show how ignorant American college students were. The journalists first asked us to name any cities in the Soviet Union. My classmates came up with Moscow and Leningrad, but then there was an awkward pause as they struggled to think of another one. Then one of them hesitantly said St. Petersburg -- the old name for Leningrad. I winced as the journalists exchanged bemused smiles.
Next they asked us to list the names of major Russian writers. We identified Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, then there was another awkward pause. The Soviet journalists were having a hard time containing their amusement. The "interview" was going even better than they anticipated. At this point, I had a moment of inspiration. I raised my hand and mentioned Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Their smiles immediately vanished. Then I asked the guy with the tape recorder if he had any idea when The Gulag Archipelago would be published in the Soviet Union. The interview abruptly ended.
Sounds like a Clinton press conference. Bravo, WW. (^:
Then one of them hesitantly said St. Petersburg -- the old name for Leningrad.
Another Russian Joke, circa 1990:
An old Russian man is getting ready to retire. He goes to pension office to prepare his claim.
Grey Bureaucrat: Comrade, where were you born?
Old Russian: St. Petersburg.
Grey Bureaucrat: Where did you grow up?
GB: Where did you live as an adult?
GB: Where do you wish to live when you retire?
OR: St. Petersburg.
BTW, it's St. Petersburg Today!
Found this link through Newsbusters. Excellent reading even if several years old.
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