Friday, March 30, 2012

Kremlin Kids Gone Wild!

Life is not easy for the offspring of dictators. Look at Gaddafi’s kids, who are either dead, in prison or in exile. Bashar al-Assad would have been an ophthalmologist if his elder brother hadn’t died. But now he has to kill thousands or be killed himself. Even Kim Jong-un, allegedly the supreme overlord of 24 million North Koreans looks vaguely terrified by the awesome responsibility of carrying on the family tradition of EVIL.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Requiem For A Hitler

The first time I saw Alexander Shishkin, the greatest Adolf Hitler lookalike in the history of the planet, I was in awe. This tall, cadaverous man didn’t just look like Hitler, he looked like a Hitler that had died and been dug up again. It was eerie: the sunken cheekbones, the severe parting and of course the black moustache were almost enough to persuade you that Hitler was indeed back from the dead.

Friday, March 16, 2012

World Goes Crazy, Gorilla Makes Break for Freedom

The world, friends, is a preposterous place. I thought that this week when, intending to write a newsy column, I started perusing headlines. Very soon my head was aching from all the absurdity and violence.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Russian and American Crime

Sometimes I wonder if a nation’s crime, like its cuisine, can tell us something about its character. When I was first exposed to Russian crime in the 1990s in the Death Porn section of the eXile newspaper, it certainly seemed to have a unique flavor. There was a heavy emphasis on vodka, businessmen getting shot in the pod’yezd, provincial misery, child victims, corrupt cops, and lots of Really Stupid Criminals.