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Preview: Moscow Through Brown Eyes

Moscow Through Brown Eyes



Notes on dead people, dying ideas, and horrible rap.



Updated: 2017-10-07T07:34:34.673-04:00

 



Old MTBE Post up at Matador Abroad

2009-08-02T13:00:18.204-04:00

Check it out and see what the world-traveling set thinks about it.



A Good Run

2011-07-29T16:36:27.801-04:00

After 22 months, 30,000+ visitors from six out of seven continents, and 240-something posts, MTBE died. Those waiting for the resurrection should have known that I don't believe in resurrection. But in reincarnation.



Al Jazeera's People and Power Presents Black Russian

2009-03-31T19:47:58.533-04:00

It's a little too sensationalistic for my taste and I could nitpick a number of points, but I AM ON BLOG BREAK.(h/t to anonymous)



Nice Jewish Girl Falls in Love with Indian Dentist, Leads South American Country

2009-03-30T11:00:14.998-04:00

After a long life committed to social justice, Janet Jagan has passed. From the NYT:Born Janet Rosenberg in 1920, she was a student nurse at Cook County Hospital when she met Cheddi Jagan, a dentistry student at Northwestern University and the eldest of 11 children of an Indo-Guyanese family of sugar cane workers. His grandparents had arrived in British Guiana from India as indentured



Dry Spell

2009-03-29T15:31:47.378-04:00

I've hit one.Looking for things that are haunting, inspiring, bizarre and refreshing.Music, art, holes in the wall, the unexpected.MTBE is on pause, pending results.



Russian Rap Friday: Optik Russia Presents New Russian Standard

2009-03-27T00:01:00.319-04:00

Taking the aggressiveness of Onyx and sprinkling in a bit of Wu-Tang ensemble myth-making, German label Optik Russia ups the ante with New Russian Standard:



South Texas Vacation Notes

2009-03-25T17:26:29.821-04:00

1. My friend says, "Let's go get some breakfast tacos!" He means to take me here:2. My untrained, picked-up-here-and-there Spanish does fine here when it comes to ordering two different types of tacos and it even works when I have to make a substitution because they ran out of chorizo.3. Later on the same day, said Spanish (in)competency does not cut the mustard when I have to run into a gas



Russian Rap Friday: Noize MC

2009-03-20T00:01:01.062-04:00

He's kinda obvious, but likable all the same:And live, indy-rock style, near Arbat:



Ethnic Violence in Russia: 2008 Numbers by Reader Request

2009-03-18T22:58:04.070-04:00

A reader writes in:...for my undergrad thesis I am doing foreign migration's influences on hate groups in Russia. I am going to make a chart, but I cannot find the number injured or the number killed, and/or the total for 2008. Usually the SOVA center published yearly stats, but I can't find them anywhere on the site. I would like to use this source because all of my other stats come from SOVA as



Tajikistan in Crisis: On the Ground Reporting

2009-03-17T10:43:24.815-04:00

Journalist Ilan Greenberg and photographer Carolyn Drake are in the middle of a series of reports from Tajikistan over at Untold Stories.The first report on life in and around Dushanbe is mix of typical dire-situationist journalism with touristy-impressionism:The countryside is wracked by devastating problems – from catastrophic water and energy shortages to rampant child labor practices in the



"A Source of Endless Grotesqueness": James Purdy Dead

2009-03-15T01:57:19.795-04:00

A peculiar man with a curious heart, James Purdy could write.Here's a typical little selection from In a Shallow Grave (1975), an untidy exposition of sickness, loathing, corporeality and love:He shook so with sobs then and he was laying across me like I was his last refuge that for a minute I did not realize what was happening. For the first time since I had been ruined and stained like



Russian Rap Friday: Black Cost, Al Nasr, BK & Arlan

2009-03-13T00:01:00.223-04:00

Жаман емес:Straight out of Kazakhstan with a laid-back rap, both in Kazakh and in Russian.



Eastern European Cinema, 1942-2007

2009-03-12T14:54:00.956-04:00

A limited survey in haiku form.Hungary 1942: Men on the MountainDirector: István SzotsDramatizing landenclosure in Hungary.God will not save us.Hungary 1979: Angi VeraDirector: Pál GáborEvery poor soulhas a birthday. Even thesoul-less party hack.Czechifornia* 1981: Cutter's WayDirector: Ivan PasserOne eye, one arm andon one leg John Heard bounces.Jeff Bridges' bare chest.Romania 2007: 4 Months,



Russian Rap Comes Early!: When Academia Meets Hip Hop...

2009-03-10T17:36:34.119-04:00

I've set aside Fridays to exhibit Russian rap, but some things cannot wait until their appointed day of the week:Philologists represent! It's all a play off of this (which I can't be bothered to paste in, because it simply isn't worth it).(Via.)



"That’s how the Russian mafia helped us get our wages": Gastarbeiter Notes

2009-03-10T14:01:44.931-04:00

Sean's Russia Blog brought my attention to the published excerpts of an Uzbek worker's diary on OpenDemocracy. Sean highlighted some passages that typify the dangers faced by migrant laborers. The nuts and bolts of the informal economy in Russia are just as fascinating:21 September 2004. Moscow. Kurkino.We did finally get paid for our work. But only because we turned to Viktor Petrovich for help



How Rarefied Have I Become? A Poll and a Bleg

2009-03-08T00:23:29.364-05:00

Over the past few months, I've been working on figuring out (1) how to craft a dissertation that is approximately readable and (2) how to devise a pitch to sell my work to folks when I hit the job market next year.One attempted solution has been to sprinkle into the writing connections between the fairly unknown protagonists of my tale of interwar anticolonialism and some more widely-recognized



Russian Rap Friday: "I'm Country" by Hooligan

2009-03-06T00:28:10.363-05:00

Bubba Sparxxx, watch out. Cause country rap just got a new voice.Hooligan reps provincial Kazakhstan in this masterful ode to his peripheral roots, «Я провинциален» ("I'm Country").



People All Over the World: Join the Global Blackface Game

2009-03-05T09:26:30.029-05:00

Now, it's sad, but after the Obama victory I basically expected a few retrograde Americans to do idiotic racist kee-rap like this:(Via.)But I just didn't see the global legs on the blackface resurgence.Behold:Italy(Via.)Slovenia(Via.)Japan(Via.)More innocuously, the Obama roll:(Last two, via.)Paste links to more evidence of the global blackface resurgence in comments, if you got 'em.



Harper's Index on Russia: Once Abundant Cinemas and the Magic Number 37

2009-03-04T11:26:19.063-05:00

The famous Harper's Index is now available and searchable online.Here's some selected Russia facts from the past few decades, indicative both of trends in Russia and of American interest in Russia:3/84Movie theaters in the United States: 16,901In the Soviet Union: 144,10010/84Price of a Jane Fonda workout videocassette on the black market in Moscow: $3702/86Students in the United States who are



Juked Stats or a Clean Drop? Ethnic Violence in Russia, February 2009

2009-03-03T17:17:48.523-05:00

SOVA Center has just released its report on hate crimes in Russia in February 2009. The results are somewhat of shocker. Last month, 26 people were victims of racist attacks; two of these victims died.This represents a considerable decrease. For comparison, in January, 39 people were attacked, including fourteen murders. In February of 2008, 71 people were attacked and 18 of whom were



Russia's Performed Everywhere: A Weekend Trip to Jersey

2009-03-04T00:16:07.636-05:00

The specimen under examination surely hasn’t traversed the Atlantic since 1992. Long thinning locks, well-trimmed beard, matching brown corduroy slacks and jacket encased in an ankle-length wool coat with salt-and-pepper fur trim that matches his hair. He strides onto the train with a thirty-something woman on his arm. After efficiently depositing his companion on an empty seat, he leans over



Sunday Reading Notes and a Challenge to MTBE Readers

2009-03-02T09:11:53.534-05:00

It was a hot, muggy summer day as MasterGote and I motored up through Staten Island. A small pile of canine massed himself upon my lap, absent-mindedly licking the salt from my arm now and then to punctuate MG’s queries about my dissertation. Responding to my whining about trying to find a satisfying means of organizing my findings, MG asked:“Have you read Martin Jay’s The Dialectical



Russian Rap Friday: Ondar Reps the Far East and the Legacy of Yul Brynner

2009-02-27T00:08:29.271-05:00

The graffiti reads: "I've conquered the world!" True enough.I especially appreciate Ondar's class act of tipping his hat to the last Siberian of Mongolian extraction to take over the (entertainment) world.[Best part at 4.45-6.10: discussion of "earning" a Cossack scalp lock; then Yul fights Tony Curtis.][Like all good Russian men, Yul evinces passionate feelings for music, horses, women, freedom,



Threats to SOVA's Aleksandr Verkhovsky: HRW Demands Protection

2009-02-26T13:34:23.154-05:00

Followers of this blog should know how indispensable is the human rights work of SOVA for monitoring the developments of xenophobia and racism in Russia.They should also know that this work comes at a human price of threats of violence and harassment. Today Human Rights Watch has released a call for the Russian government to protect the organization and its workers, following a recent attempted



Fashion, Masculinity and Anti-Imperialist Protest

2009-02-24T22:55:34.280-05:00

G8 Summit Protester(Genoa, July 2001)[Photo: Paul Mattsson. Via.]League Against Imperialism Congress Delegates(Brussels, February 1927)[Photos: Modern Review (Calcutta), May 1927][Clockwise from upper-left: Lamine Senghor, Virendranath Chattopadhyaya, Lu Tsung Lin, Jawaharlal Nehru]