Connect with us

Latest

Staff Picks

Satire

Masha Gessen’s unpredictable spelling tea leaves

How name games became Masha Gessen’s new way of undertaking Russian political analysis.

Dmitry Babich

Published

on

1,274 Views

Masha Gessen, the ultimate nemesis of Russian authoritarianism, the time-tested Valkyrie of anti-Putin struggle, has just tested a new verbal weapon. The impact of that weapon’s use on the Russia-writing community may be as unpredictable as Putin is in Masha’s imagination.

In her article for the once intellectual magazine The New Yorker, Masha tried to analyze the appointment of Putin’s new head of administration, Anton Vayno.

Having toyed with the idea that Vayno’s appointment could mean a crackdown on Russian opposition before the Duma election (Masha had predicted dozens of such never-happening crackdowns during her twenty years in Russia) or an “all-out war with Ukraine” (for anyone knowing Masha this is actually a very optimistic forecast on her part) – so, having toyed with all of these standard “crackdowns” and “invasions”, Masha decided to turn to linguistic tea leaves. Her discovery was explosive.

Here is what she wrote, at the top of her inspiration:

“A final fact about Vayno is that the letters of his last name can spell voyna, the Russian word for war. Is this the message that Putin is sending?”

Indeed, is this THE message? Having embarked on the slippery road of guessing the elite’s intentions by the names of its chosen authors (Masha is analysing Vayno’s book in her article), we can make astounding revelations.

Let’s take the name of The Washington Post’s longtime opinion editor, Fred Hiatt. The letters of his name can spell “Fear and Hate.” Is this the message which The Washington Post is sending to Russia? Judging by the WaPo’s jingoist editorials on Russian themes (“Mr. Putin Means War,” “Stop Russia’s Dangerous Moves”) this is precisely THE message.  And Mr. Hiatt’s appointment becomes not just one more promotion of a Russophobic liar with a penchant for reporting on his own colleagues (remember Mr. Hiatt’s publicly exposing his colleague Fareed Zakaria for some mistakes in Zakaria’s writings). Add some of Masha’s word magic to Hiatt’s militarism and bigotry – and we have a deeply symbolic move on the part of The Washington Post’s editors.

Some of the Russia-bashing authors like to write in pairs, like Owen Mathews and Anna Nemtsova, Clifford Gaddy and Fiona Hill. Finding out what combinations of their names could spell out for Russia’s relations with the West – that can be a fascinating game, worthy of Masha Gessen’s wit and profound knowledge of Russian realities.

This game can be not a bit less serious, than, say, Fiona Hill’s interviews to Le Figaro, where she suspects Putin of “not stopping with the conquest of Ukraine.” If Le Figaro can publish such “analysis” from Fiona Hill, why can’t we play with some of the names of the Western writers on Russian topics? 

What if we combine Edward Lucas (a British author who recently “discovered” Donald Trump’s huge Russian funds) and Richard Pipes (a historian, whom even his Harvard colleagues call “a Russophobe”). Edward Lucas + Richard Pipes = Mad Ed Likes War Rides. Why not? If Putin’s Vayno can, in Masha’s view, mean “voyna” (war), then Ed and Dick do not just MEAN war, they actually MAKE it by their writings on Russia.    

And what if we combine Fareed Zakaria and Owen Mathews? Zakaria, who  used his position of the invited moderator at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum in order to look for the much coveted “proof” of Putin’s “admiration” for Trump (Zakaria failed with that task for the lack of the aforementioned admiration) – Fareed Zakaria  certainly deserves a prominent position in Masha’s spelling research. Owen Mathews, who wrote that Putin was to blame for the terrorist acts that took place in Moscow in the 2000s, is also an indispensable figure here, just like Americans are an indispensable nation in Obama’s view. So, Fareed Zakaria + Owen Mathews = Read Zach’s Own Self-Made News.   

Timothy Snyder, who wrote that Europeans should learn democracy from the new fascist regime in Kiev, could make a nice triple with Svante Cornell (incredible lies on Russia’s “aggression” against Georgia) and Andrew Kuchins (who once wrote a fictitious article on “Putin’s coup”). So, Timothy Snyder + Svante Cornell and Andrew Kuchins = Mothy Science and Team Lies. Pretty much sums up these guys’ activities!

But what about Masha’s initial supposition that Anton Vayno’s second name could spell as “voyna”? In fact, together with his first name, Anton, the whole thing could read as “No to Voyna!” (No to War!). Did you give it a thought Masha? Oh, you better don’t . This is NOT the message that the modern The New Yorker and the once glorious The Washington Post would like to carry. Not only to Russia, but also to Iraq, Libya, Syria and many other countries.   

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Latest

James Woods Suspended From Twitter Over Satirical Meme That Could “Impact An Election”

James Woods crushes Jack Dorsey: “You are a coward, @Jack.”

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

Via Zerohedge


Outspoken conservative actor James Woods was suspended from posting to Twitter over a two-month-old satirical meme which very clearly parodies a Democratic advertisement campaign. While the actor’s tweets are still visible, he is unable to post new content.

The offending tweet from July 20, features three millennial-aged men with “nu-male smiles” and text that reads “We’re making a Woman’s Vote Worth more by staying home.” Above it, Woods writes “Pretty scary that there is a distinct possibility this could be real. Not likely, but in this day and age of absolute liberal insanity, it is at least possible.”

According to screenshots provided by an associate of Woods’, Twitter directed the actor to delete the post on the grounds that it contained “text and imagery that has the potential to be misleading in a way that could impact an election.

In other words, James Woods, who has approximately 1.72 million followers, was suspended because liberals who don’t identify as women might actually take the meme seriously and not vote. 

In a statement released through associate Sara Miller, Woods said “You are a coward, @Jack,” referring to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. “There is no free speech for Conservatives on @Twitter.

Earlier this month, Woods opined on the mass-platform ban of Alex Jones, tweeting: ““I’ve never read Alex Jones nor watched any of his video presence on the internet. A friend told me he was an extremist. Believe me that I know nothing about him. That said, I think banning him from the internet is a slippery slope. This is the beginning of real fascism. Trust me.”

Nu-males everywhere non-threateningly smirk at Woods’ bad fortune…

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Another witness named by Ford becomes third person to deny being at party

A woman believed to have been one of five people at a party 35 years ago where Ford claims she was assaulted by Kavanaugh is now the fourth person to deny being at any such party.

The Duran

Published

on

Via The Washington Examiner


A witness, reportedly named by Christine Blasey Ford as one of the people at the high school party where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh allegedly sexually assaulted her, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Saturday she was not there.

The attorney for Leland Ingham Keyser told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Keyser does not remember being at the party Ford described as the location of the alleged assault.

“Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford,” Keyser said in the statement. CNN reported Keyser is a lifelong friend of Ford’s.

Keyser, whom the New York Times reported is one of the people Ford named as being in attendance at the party, is the third witness who has denied knowing about the alleged assault. Mark Judge and Patrick Smyth said earlier this week they did not remember the party in question.

Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s allegation.

The news comes after Ford, through her attorneys, tentatively agreed to testify on Thursday, after days of negotiations over the timing and conditions of her

Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, had repeatedly extended deadlines set for Ford’s team on the decision, including three on Friday and one at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Grassley threatened to proceed with a committee vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination Monday if he did not hear from Ford.

“Five times now we [have] granted extension for Dr Ford to decide if she wants to proceed [with] her desire stated one [week] ago that she wants to tell senate her story,” Grassley tweeted Friday. “Dr Ford if u changed ur mind say so so we can move on I want to hear ur testimony. Come to us or we to u.”

The extended discussions have been labeled a delaying tactic by some Republicans.

Ford’s attorneys and Grassley’s aides will reportedly continue negotiations Sunday on the details of the conditions of Ford’s testimony, per the New York Times.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Was NYT Story About Rosenstein ‘Coup Attempt’ A Setup?

The New York Times is reporting that Rod Rosenstein pushed a plan to record President Trump and invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

Published

on

Via Zerohedge


Is the FBI trying to goad President Trump into firing the man in charge of supervising the Mueller probe? That’s what Sean Hannity and a handful of  Trump’s Congressional allies think.

According to a report in Politico, Republicans in Congress are approaching a story about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein attempting to organize a palace coup with extreme caution, despite having twice nearly gathered the votes to remove him in the recent past.

On Friday, the NYT reported a bombshell story alleging that Rosenstein had tried to recruit administration officials to secretly tape conversations with the president in order to help justify removing Trump under the 25th amendment. Rosenstein vehemently denied the story, which was largely based on confidential memos written by former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. And others who were reportedly in attendance at meeting between McCabe and Rosenstein said the Deputy AG was being “sarcastic” when he suggested that the president be taped.

Meanwhile, Trump allies including Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan and Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz are saying that the story should be treated with suspicion. Jordan and Freedom Caucus leader Mark Meadows once filed articles of impeachment against Rosenstein. But now, both Meadows and Jordan intend to proceed with caution, telling Politico that he would like to see the memos that the story was based on.

House Freedom Caucus leaders Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan, who led a charge to impeach Rosenstein this summer, have said they want to hear from Rosenstein and see documents allegedly describing the comments before they decide what to do.That’s awarded Rosenstein a courtesy they’ve never given him in the past.

“I think Rod needs to come before Congress this week and explain under oath what exactly he said and didn’t say,” Meadows said at the Values Voters Summit Saturday.

The newfound hesitation to oust Rosenstein highlights a cautious approach Trump allies have adopted as the Republican party barrels toward a potential bloodbath in the midterms. Some Republicans fear Trump firing Rosenstein now would only further energize Democrats making the case to voters that the president is corrupt and needs to be reined in by a Democratic House.

[…]

In a Friday interview, Jordan, one of Rosenstein’s fiercest critics in Congress, sidestepped questions about whether the House should revisit Rosenstein’s impeachment or try to hold him in contempt of Congress. Rather, he said, a more focused push to obtain sensitive documents from the Justice Department — which Trump’s allies say would expose anti-Trump bias and corruption the FBI — is the most urgent priority.

“I want to see those memos and evaluate them,” said Jordan, who has clashed publicly with Rosenstein over access to documents and accused him of threatening House Intelligence Committee staffers, an allegation Rosenstein denied.

Politico cites two possible explanations for lawmakers’ hesitation: Republicans are running out of time before members devote themselves full-time to their reelection campaigns. Republicans are worried that the story could have been intentionally planted to provoke Rosenstein’s firing in order to improve Democrats’ chances of retaking the Senate AND the House (Trump actively moving to crush the Mueller probe would be quite the propaganda win for the Dems).

Sean Hannity took this latter theory a step further during his show on Friday evening, where he urged Trump not to fire Rosie and instead insisted that the story could have been a “trap”. He added that he had been told by “multiple sources” that the story was planted by unspecified “enemies of Trump.”

“I have a message for the president tonight,” Hannity said Friday night. “Under zero circumstances should the president fire anybody…the president needs to know it is all a setup.”

Still, a handful of conservative commentators, including Laura Ingraham, urged Trump to fire Rosenstein immediately. And for Trump’s part, he hinted at a rally Friday night in Missouri that he planned to “get rid” of the “lingering stench” at the DOJ, which many interpreted as a hint that his firing is imminent.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending