"How could a magazine satirize a society that only permitted a glossy version of itself to be presented in the press? As I found out later, Krokodil was permitted to satirize Soviet societywithin limits. Because of this rare crack in the Soviet propaganda façade, Krokodil was extremely popular in the Soviet Union to such an extent that their monthly circulation was over 10 million. Actually many more than 10 million people read it because each copy of Krokodil, with its subtly humorous jabs at collectivist living, was passed around [
to many people as a substitute fer toilet paper]...?!!!"
To: Mudboy Slim
Um....Unlike most of the other periodicals in the Soviet Union that were used for toilet paper, Krokodil
was cherished by the readers over there because within limits that magazine was allowed to satirize Soviet Society. BTW, I also knew my limits. Had they known that Ol' PJ was a "vicious rightwinger" they would never have allowed my writings in Krokodil
(although Florentiev and the staffers would have appreciated it) so I kept my writings strictly non-political.
This perhaps was the misconception of Florentiev when he met me. He probably thought at first that I was just another dewey-eyed liberal such as what disgusted him with the American audience. Actually, just telling him my name was "PJ" wasn't enough since he didn't realize who I was. It wasn't until after I did the bit about Stalin and gave him my last name as well when the recognition came. Sometimes being on a strictly first name basis isn't the best policy.
posted on 01/06/2002 3:16:53 PM PST
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