Russia is Snob Nation
A recent item in the New Yorker magazine reveals Russia descending to yet another new low. It discusses the latest venture of the Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov, who has chosen to invest vast sums in American, rather than Russian, professional basketball. It is a magazine called Snob that the New Yorker describes as looking “like a cross between Tatler and The New York Review of Books, printed on the kind of paper stock usually reserved for royal invitations” with “an alarming cover price of eight dollars.” The New Yorker attended its opening night in New York City, and described it as follows:
A launch party was held the other night to celebrate the magazine’s American début, at 200 Eleventh Avenue, the not yet completed residential tower designed by Annabelle Selldorf, in a penthouse apartment that was rumored to belong to Nicole Kidman. Perhaps twice as many guests had come as Kidman might ever be advised to invite, and as a result the party brought to mind Thackeray’s characterization of the festivities offered by the Party-giving Snob: “Good Heavens! What do people mean by going there? What is done there, that everybody throngs into those three little rooms? Was the Black Hole considered to be an agreeable réunion, that Britons in the dog-days here seek to imitate it?” Most of the throng were not just thinking in Russian but also speaking in Russian, shouting in Russian, elbowing in Russian, snaring the last piece of truffle-grilled cheese from the waiter’s decimated tray in Russian, and trying to squeeze their way to the bar for a cocktail in Russian.
In other words, the guests behaved like apes. Violent, dangerous, smelly apes, and made one want to flee. Some guests are named:
There were various international Russians of prominence as well, including Alexander Melamid and Vitaly Komar, the artists; Keith Gessen, the novelist; Anastasia Kuznetsova, the model; and Aliona Doletskaya, the former editor of Russian Vogue.
Do you notice, dear reader, how after each name, supposedly of a person of “international prominence,” the New Yorker found it necessary to explain who the person actually is, assuming (correctly) that you’d never have heard of them?
Delving into the Russian rag’s name, the New Yorker reports:
Vladimir Yakovlev, who founded the Russian newspaper Kommersant and is the editor-in-chief of Snob, said that the magazine’s name has different connotations for a person who thinks in Russian than it does for one who thinks in English. “In Russian, it is a little bit softer than it is in English,” said Yakovlev, who was wearing a slim suit and fashionable glasses. “It is not a compliment; on the other hand, it is not an insult. We think there is a little bit of snob in each of us, though most of us would not like to admit it.”
It really doesn’t get much more embarrassing for a country than this. Russia presents itself to the world as a laughingstock, and one prepared to punch you in the face if you dare to laugh. It appears for all the world to be a mafia state at every level, undeserving of being taken seriously by the civilized world and uninterested in changing that fact.