December 20, 2006

East Maybe Doesn't Quite Meet West

East Maybe Doesn't Quite Meet West

The morning after our Russia show last week, we received a delightful email from Georgi Derluguian, one of the guests. It had all the humor and personality of his on-air presence, as well as smart observations about America:

Would you tell your boss that he and Cohen managed to bring out a Marxist in me? A whole hour devoted to adoration of one personality, as if more common Russian let alone Ukrainians and Armenians did not exist and everything was decided by the emotional attachments and beliefs? What struck me when first came to America was the absolutely peculiar genre of presidential histories. Coming to a country with such a strong and Puritanical civic religion from the joyous and cynical Eastern Europe was quite some experience. Oh, well, since we’ve spent so much time on the phone yesterday, at least, try reading my articles some during during the vacations. Just a few pages, will you? Otherwise I’d feel I have wasted half a day to realize once again that American intelligentsia was even more hopeless than Russian.

With proletarian greetings from Chicago!

Georgi

Georgi Derluguian, in an email to Open Source, 15 December 2006

We emailed back and forth a couple of times, and he then sent a little story from the Los Angeles Times that illustrates perfectly the gap between the Russian and American soul — and gives hope that it might be bridged.

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