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Art in the Service of Color Revolution - Peter Myers Digest

(1) Soros Centers for Contemporary Art - Art in the Service of Color Revolution(2) Russians Wake Up to Trotskyist Culture War in the USA: America Repeats Russian Follies - Israel Shamir(1) Soros Centers for Contemporary Art - Art in the Service of Color RevolutionFirst, watch the video at Influencing Machine - An exhibition about the legacy of the Soros Center for Contemporary Artcurated by Aaron MoultonMarch 14 - April 27, 2019Galeria Nicodim, BucharestStrada B_icule_ti, nr. 29 013 193 Bucharest, Sector 1 751 150 705Luchezar Boyadjiev, Nina Czegledy, Ole Dammegård, Aleksandra Domanovi_, Constant Dullaart, Harun Farocki, Jakup Ferri, Andrea Fraser, Adrian Ghenie, Ferenc Gróf, Naomi Hennig, Mi Kafchin, Jon McNaughton, Yerbossyn Meldibekov, Suzanne Meszoly, Mike Z Morrell, Ciprian Mure_an, Lucia Nimcova, Oksana Pasaiko, REP Group, Joanne Richardson, _erban Savu, Keiko Sei, Sean Snyder, SOSka Group, János Sugár, Andrei Ujic_, Anetta Mona Chi_a & Lucia Tká_ová, Gulnara Kasmalieva & Muratbek Djumaliev 1Inspired by a True Story: What was the Network of Networks?Thirty years ago as the Soviet Union collapsed, the Open Society Institute, an unprecedented civil society initiative created by philanthropic activist George Soros, stepped in to facilitate vulnerable transition in most major cities throughout Eastern Europe and Central Asia. This non-governmental organization helped to implement a wide variety of neoliberal educational initiatives in areas such as public health and independent media that accelerated the path towards democracy and free-market thinking—ideals that were often incompatible with the previous system. One of the prolific ways this was done was by ushering in the most avant-garde program of contemporary art in human history in the form of the Soros Centers for Contemporary Art (SCCA), established in twenty major cities1 across the former bloc.1 Almaty, Belgrade, Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest, Chisinau, Kiev, Ljubljana, Moscow, Odessa, Prague, Riga, Sarajevo, Skopje, Sofia, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Warsaw, Vilnius, Zagreb.Arriving with a pedagogical evangelism for Western-style cultural production, the SCCA networks had operating budgets that asymmetrically dwarfed the pre-existing Artist Unions or state budgets for art.2 A new and superior art world appeared overnight. The centers set up a collaborative network within each major city and across the network as a whole: providing grant money, facilities, know-how, publishing, research databases of local artists for foreign curators and also infrastructure to cultivate off-shooting branches, events, education programs, etc. In places like Chisinau, Moldova the SCCA is credited with introducing the very idea of contemporary art as they would come to know it. The change has often been referred to as a "necessary upgrade" by former SCCA Chisinau director Octavian Esanu, who goes on to say it was "something happening across the newly independent  states like what the IMF was doing for these same economies." The result was in fact radically transformative.In addition to pioneering the internet in the form of hands-on education and first-time access, the OSI also, in certain cases, laid the fibre optic cables and created the satellite networks for the fastest public internets in the world.4 An entire ecology of media resources from OSI-funded TV stations, radio, newspapers and magazines were at the SCCA’s disposal to communicate the message, experiment with the medium, and have an unprecedented and hopefully irreversible reach of communication in places where the democratic voice of the people had historically been easily suppressed. Their presence reinvented hierarchies of quality and schools of thought through the institutionalization of culture. They invented the notion of the "cultural manager" and influenced the rise in curatorial practice as a watchdog in the field.Depending on the location, the SCCA program had a 5-10 year shelf-life. The latter years were referred to as the "Sunset Years" where as quickly and suddenly as they had come, they would exit. The network would downsize the budget annually with the notion that the centers would stand on their own through the knowledge and infrastructure they had acquired. And by then, a new generation of philanthropist would hopefully step in to take responsibility. The SCCA Zagreb or the SCCA Ljubljana, for example, successfully transitioned into independent operations and prospered to become the leading institutions of their art worlds. For others that was not the case. They shut down in slow motion, a shadow of their bombastic beginning. Art worlds would remain problematically divided in their wake. And now the SCCA’s histories are fast disappearing just like those they had stepped in to save.What is The Influencing Machine?The exhibition at Galeria Nicodim is as much about influence as it is an experiment in influencing. It is inspired by the SCCA network and reflects on the legacy anthropologically, turning the SCCA’s method in on itself. It employs a recursive format where form, function, meaning and interpretation are in a closed loop, a self-oiling machine, a meta-SCCA. It analyzes the SCCA’s practice of institutionalizing cultural networks and directionalizing cultural production—an invention of new patterns, practices and traditions that would fast become sacred. The exhibition includes iconic works, important themes, case studies, archival material and newly commissioned projects from international artists born out of this period or reflecting on it. The exhibition has five sections that lead the viewer through a spectrum of history, data, and aesthetics.Section 1: Cultural ExorcismThe Influencing Machine is introduced through archetypal remnants and specters of the fallen regime, the Closed Society in the face of Disaster Capitalism. Videograms of a Revolution (1993) from Harun Farocki and Andrei2 From the information I found the range across the SCCA during the prime years is from three to ten times the state budget.3 Octavian Esanu, "Art and Theory of Post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe - A Critical Anthology," Ed. Janevski, MoMA Primary Documents (2018)4 Jonathan Peizer, "The Dynamics of Technology for Social Change," IUniverse, 2005. Peizer observes that the Institute had "the unique opportunity and responsibility to change the world using new concepts in philanthropy and technology that were tested and deployed thanks to Soros' largess."Ujica sets the stage with the mythologically televised "People’s Revolution" in Bucharest in late December of 1989. Kazahkstani artist Yerbossyn Meldibekov’s monumental sculpture Gattamelata (2007) shows the direct-action glory of dethronement. The ousted leader is remembered only with a heraldic pose of taxidermied horse feet, the animal and its rider violently cut at the knee and gone without a trace. Aleksandra Domanovic has produced a new work based on her portrait series of Yugoslavia’s beloved Tito as a cipher in states of transition. For the exhibition she has merged her classic image of Tito with the iconic Otpor! Movement of Serbia’s "Bulldozer Revolution." A devil in the details becomes history’s ironic call-and-answer when we find First Lady Melanija Trump’s visage uncannily blurred into Tito’s own features. The "Tulip Revolution" in Bishkek is captured on camera and operatically synched with the tempestuous soundtrack of "Hall of the Mountain King" in Gulnara Kasmalieva & Muratbek Djumaliev’s frenzied film Revolution (2005), a movie that leaves you hungry for change now at any cost.Section 2: Conversion TherapyArt therapy and shock therapy intertwine with works that address a spectrum of Ostalgia, theories on forgetting and transitory aesthetics. Slovakian Lucia Nimcova’s hilarious masterpiece Exercise (2008) shows villagers in a reenactment of bodily memory, cathartically remembering the mandated exercising that occurred every morning until everything abruptly changed at the Fall of Communism. Labor and capital have a clear conversion value in Anetta Mona Chi_a & Lucia Tká_ová’s piece All Periods in Capital from 2007. The seminal book by Karl Marx has been filtered through the bean counter, each moment of punctuation converted into a small handmade black ball, more than 22,000 sentences of commodified ideology. The exchange rate for contemporary art and its importance to peasants is a dozen eggs or maybe a chicken. SOSka Group’s film Barter parodies the values of these cultural markets when they are displaced out of context.Some of the earliest SCCA Annual Exhibitions had an unprecedented understanding of weaponizing context for holistic purposes in the name of art.5 These actions, unlike any prior in the history of art, were done as a means to not only confront the past but exorcise it. This pattern of exhibitions ritualized a use of sacred heritage sites or suddenly demilitarized spaces in a manner akin to cultural voodoo.One such example is former SCCA Kiev curator Marta Kuzma’s controversial exhibition "Alchemic Surrender" from 1994 which took place on a naval base in the Crimean Sea aboard the live Battleship Slavutych. Consecrating acts of emasculation, transgression, capitulation and desecration gave new meaning to the notion of conversion therapy. Such exhibitions were radical intersections of Cold War ritual, spirituality, protest and cultural metabolization.Section 3: Pedagogical EvangelismWhen a scientific law is combined with the cause it provides predictions. When a scientific law is combined with the effect it provides explanations. In this sense, predictions and explanations are symmetrical and reversible through the logic of deduction. That leaves testing.65 Related Exhibitions: "State" Curated by Ivan Runkovskis, SCCA Riga (1994), "Alchemic Surrender" Curated by Marta Kuzma, SCCA Kiev/Crimea (1994), "Carbon Art" Curated by Octavian Esanu, SCCA Chisinau (1995), "Monument" Curated by Helena Demakova, SCCA Riga (1995), "Island" Curated by Slaven Tolj, SCCA Zagreb/Dubrovnik (1996)6 George Soros,"Fallibility, reflexivity, and the human uncertainty principle," Journal of Economic Methodology (2013), 20:4, 309-329This portion of The Influencing Machine is inspired by a genre of exhibitions7 from the earliest years across the network, exhibitions that can be credited with bringing the world the clearest and most advanced form of socially engaged practice. In particular is the revolutionary exhibition "Polyphony" from 1993 curated by Suzanne Meszoly, the pioneering architect of the entire SCCA network. Prolifically engaging non-sites across Budapest, artworks appropriated and invented a range of Situationist tactics by hacking all forms of media and communication as well as teaching DIY methodology. An important achievement was that many of these interventions would hopefully slip past the common viewer and not even be seen as art but more as medium as message as disruption. The curatorial statement says it would "offer the artists information on available technological and material possibilities for the production of radically new forms of art." This tactical media savvy could become useful tools in times of need.The Ukrainian collective REP Group (Revolutionary Experimental Space) was born directly out of the Orange Revolution in Kiev. The energy and theater of change there on the Maidan Square became a stage for multiple performative actions that were political and artistic. Next to professional protestors, a ragtag group of artists came to the frontlines to imagine a new language for Ukrainian art and culture, one born from within and not superimposed. They used the SCCA Kiev like a pressure cooker to evolve a project that was being born in that very moment, transforming daily, an avant-garde of survival. For over a decade REP Group have continued to shape their revolutionary expression through performance, interventions, archiving and neologizing refracted through the problematics of cultural colonialism stemming from initiatives like the SCCA itself. A newly commissioned monumental mural in their Patriotism style as well as a survey of their performative interventions will be on view.Section 4: Archival RitualsThe complexity of the world in which we live exceeds our capacity to comprehend it. Confronted by a reality of extreme complexity, we are obliged to resort to various methods of simplification: generalizations, dichotomies, metaphors, decision rules, and moral precepts, just to mention a few. These mental constructs take on a (subjective) existence of their own, further complicating the situation.8The SCCA Archive was the most important and first ritual that consecrated each center: to collect data on the lost histories of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. This paved the way for writing the story as it was happening during that transitional period of the 90s. This selective resource became the exclusive avenue through which foreign curators would gain an understanding of contemporary art in these previously hard-to-access art worlds.Half of these archives are currently inaccessible, disappeared or destroyed. As the harbinger of the internet with an obsessive archival impulse, today most of the SCCA websites no longer exist or are barely traceable in histories of the internet. In order to preserve these histories, The Influencing Machine uses the same approach the SCCA used to archive its networks of artists. A near complete archive is put forth here to allow a selective but broad view of the network’s Curriculum Vitae. It will have a collection of data pertaining to early programming histories including publications, open call announcements, documentation, films, reviews, and press releases that map the network. Focus is given to the anomalously advanced case study exhibitions referenced above that inspired the Conversion Therapy or Pedagogical Evangelism sections of The Influencing Machine.7 Related Exhibitions: "Nonexistant Art" Curated by Urmas Muru, SCCA Tallinn (1993), "Polyphony" Curated by Suzy Meszoly, SCCA Budapest (1993), "Orbis Fictus" Curated by Ludvík Hlavá_ek and Marta Smolíková, SCCA Prague (1994), "010101" Curated by Calin Dan, SCCA Bucharest (1994), "Geo-Geo" Curated by Janis Borgs, SCCA Riga (1995), "Mundane Language" Curated by Algis Lankelis, SCCA Vilnius (1995), "Pune Ochiul" Curated by Bradley J. Adams, SCCA Chisinau (1997),8 George Soros, "Fallibility, reflexivity, and the human uncertainty principle," Journal of Economic Methodology (2013), 20:4, 309-329Section 5: Summoning Soros RealismSocialist Realism was seen as the subservience of creative expression to aggrandize the dictator or the state’s message—a lobbying to control the transcendental aspirations of the nation, of the artist. This was embodied in classical paintings of the Dear Leader or the proud worker in the field. It was the aesthetics and materiality of the Closed Society.With Globalization and calls for an Open Society, a Good Samaritan came with the geostrategic zeal of a missionary, a mystic merchant offering an alternative form of aspiration to save the common man from subservience. Like a Big Brother, he directed them to the hopeful dreams of Magical Capitalism, a spiritualized alchemy of culture and finance. He worked across these lands to sow his seeds of enlightenment unconcerned with social consequences. He would take measures to assure that no one could have a greater philanthropic impact than him. In his native tongue of Esperanto his name meant "to soar". This man was George Soros.The final section of the exhibition will be a pantheon of portraits dedicated to this patron saint of the Open Society. These were each commissioned for the exhibition from some of the most important artists working today both in Romania and internationally such as Luchezar Boyadjiev, Adrian Ghenie, Naomi Hennig, Mi Kafchin, Jon McNaughton, and _erban Savu.Why Tell This Story Now in 2019?Because it is extremely intriguing. Because it fits neatly in a history between Abstract-Expressionism for the CIA and the Russian trolling of 2016. Because politics and perspectives around this have evolved in unforeseen ways from then to now. Because this isn’t about art nor was it ever. Because it’s the great Rorschach of our times. Because it is not a simple matter about good or evil even though we’re preconditioned to believe it is. Because perception management and consensus control is everything.Many of these SCCA art worlds, their histories and their influence have faded completely. The narrative has been historicized and controlled predominantly by devotees who were advocating it from within the network. The Influencing Machine offers a chance to think critically about cultural avant-gardes and influence, especially on this scale.The exhibition is a reflection of cultural practice in a mirror that has never seen itself. It is a celebration of the avant-garde in its most experimental form. It reveals contemporary art as a true battleground for beta-testing radical ideology, where the contemporary artist is an awakened activist, where institutional critique is a form of well-branded lobbying, and where avant-gardes can be scripted. It is a portrayal of perception, network and control.This is The Influencing Machine.Special thanks to Assistant Curator Nathalie Agostini who was essential to this project and establishing the archive.FOR PRESS INFORMATIONContact Aaron Moulton aaron@nicodimgallery.comEXHIBITION DETAILSThe Influencing Machine Curated by Aaron Moulton Assistant Curator: Nathalie Agostini March 14 - April 27, 2019ADDRESSGaleria Nicodim Strada B_icule_ti, nr. 29  013 193 Bucharest, RomaniaOPENING AND PANELA conversation with important voices from the early period of the SCCA will precede the opening starting at16:00.Participants include: Luchezar Boyadjiev, Calin Dan, Geert Lovink, and Aaron MoultonOpening Reception: Thursday, March 14, 18:00–22:00pm._For more information, contact: Strada B_icule_ti, nr. 29 013 193 Bucharest, Sector 1 751 150 705(2) Russians Wake Up to Trotskyist Culture War in the USA: America Repeats Russian Follies - Israel ShamirAmerica Repeats Russian FolliesBy Israel Shamir and soon on <> israelshamir.comRussians are amazed by the waves of madness washing over the United States. The recent riots, looting, destruction of memorials, hardball election politics and rumours of impending civil war do not fit the US image in Russian eyes. A Latin American country, say, Colombia or Guatemala, perhaps, but not the United States. The country they admired so much is no more, they say. They regret it instead of gloating, as you may expect.Far from feeling hostility, for many years (at least since the early sixties) Russians considered the US a model to follow. Nikita Khrushchev, the powerful ruler (1953-1964) who ditched Stalin and removed his remains from the Mausoleum on the Red Square, was fascinated with the US. He imported US corn (maize) and considered this American staple the key to Soviet prosperity. Those were the days Russia discovered jazz. The brightest young things of Russia aped American fashion, as recalled in the 2008 period piece <> Stilyagi (The Hipsters). Under Brezhnev’s ‘mature socialism’ this fascination with things American became more sedate, but it remained a strong element of counterculture, and it allowed for the quick surrender of the Soviet Union to the US in the Gorbachev era. Love of America remained a hallmark of Russian elites, but now it has been supplanted with bewilderment. They can’t possibly understand why this great civilization is committing suicide; but then, who does?Russians perceived the US as a dynamic and orderly society, allowing ample space for individualism, seeding its pop culture and making no ideological demands. This last quality was so attractive to Russians that they enshrined it in their new post-Soviet constitution. <> Article 13 states: Ideological plurality shall be recognized in the Russian Federation. No ideology may be instituted as a state-sponsored or mandatory ideology. Russians felt so strongly about this because even though their own ruling ideology had decayed and collapsed, they were still required to pay tribute to it for many decades. While writing a dissertation, a scientific or polemic article, the author was supposed to quote Marx, Lenin and a more recent Party document, and stress a continuity of his own ideas with the ideas of the founders. They did not believe it, but they reflexively repeated it by rote because it was expected of them. Ditching these ideological duties had a profoundly liberating effect on the people, and they naturally thought that following all American customs would lead them to American prosperity and freedom.Even then the new orthodoxy was already forming in the US, but it took a few years until an awareness of this change seeped into Russian minds. By 2010, the Russians were so free of ideological limitations that Westerners could no longer even grasp the shocking possibilities. Russians had become, and remained so until very recently, completely politically incorrect.At that time it was perfectly acceptable to advertise a flat for rent to ethnic Russians only; natives of Central Asia and Caucasus need not apply. Ads for employment would specify sex, age and height of the desired applicant, like "A female secretary age 21-33 height above 173 cm (5’7 feet) is wanted by a law firm". A philosopher might present arguments for slavery. Mass murder and ethnic cleansing weren’t beyond the pale to discuss. Africans could be described as 'monkeys', while Armenians and Georgians were 'greaseballs'. In the politically correct Soviet days such terms of endearment were totally unacceptable, but with the fall of the old ideology, everything became permissible.The very terms "Left" and "Right" have a totally different meaning in Russia and in the US. In Russia, the Left pushes for nationalization, for the expropriation of large enterprises and natural resources, for empowering workers and for raising the living standards of the working class. Its practical slogan is "Reverse Yeltsin’s privatisation, restore the Soviets". The American Left had similar ideas until it was revamped by Cultural Marxism into a minority cult for hipsters and severed its connection with the workers. The Russian Left is represented by the Communist Party (CPRF), the biggest opposition party in the Parliament, and by a few smaller communist parties. While the American Left is led by Jews, feminists, gays, some token "People of Colour", and fights discrimination by gender and race, the Russian Left is predominantly ethnic-Russian and fights for a massive redistribution of wealth and power from the oligarchs to the people.Only in the last ten years have Russians become aware of the new ideology practiced in the US. The demands of America's version of political correctness were too outlandish for them. 'Wokism' is unknown in Russia, except to tiny pockets of Moscow hipsters who are as foreign and strange to the average Russian as the Précieuses ridicules of Molière to his contemporaries. Russian hipsters attract more ridicule and derision than fear and hatred.However, there never was much for a moderate 'woke' person to complain about in Russia.Traditional feminism was never a problem there: the Soviets practiced equality between men and women. Women could vote from the earliest days of the revolution. There were female ambassadors and ministers, and female railway workers, too. Female managers and CEOs were not unusual, as you can see in this popular <> movie. Russian women worked just as hard as men, as depicted in <> The Girls. Russian women once envied the lifestyle of the American housewives of the 1950's who did not work and instead took care of home and family, but this luxury soon disappeared in the West as well.No one fought over abortion: Russia is very liberal from this point of view, and was so for many years, at least since 1956. Before the advent of family planning, abortions were extremely frequent; now they are less so, but they are legal and covered by social medicine.Jews weren’t a problem either, for the majority of Russian Jews had already emigrated to Israel or to America, while those that remained in Russia were the assimilated children of mixed marriages. After that the Russian Jewish Lobby disappeared (if it ever really existed). Jews were equal but not dominating. Russians weren’t indoctrinated in Holocaust dogma, so this was not an issue, either.There were no racial tensions; Russia had very few blacks, and they were extremely well treated. Famously, a black man imported by the innovator Tsar Peter I had a good career, married the daughter of a nobleman, and his descendant became a great Russian <> poet. There were slaves in Russia, but they were white. Russian serfs were integrated with the rest of the Russian people after their liberation in 1861. Anton Chekhov, the playwright, was the grandson of a serf. People with different ethnicities weren’t discriminated against historically. Tatar and Georgian, Ukrainian and Polish nobles were accepted equally at the Tsar’s Court, and later their representatives sat in Soviet parliament. So while Russians could never understand America's problem with race, they could always congratulate themselves for being cutting-edge progressives.US 'wokeness' is globalist, and is designed to undermine and supplant traditional cultures. However, it seemed at first to be an innocent fashion statement. Russia began to get used to the new crazy standards as though they were any other artefacts of America's McCulture.The first showdown was over gay pride. Homosexuality is not a part of Russian culture, as normal boy-to-girl sexual relations weren’t heavily restricted. There are fewer men than women of reproductive age and a man could usually find a wife. Homosexual relations were practiced in jails, not in schools. America's insistent promotion of homosexuality abroad, with its gay parades, gay marriages and gay adoptions brought the first major jarring note into what was once ideological harmony between Russia and the US. The first quarrel between Putin’s Russia and the US occurred on this ground. In Russia, gays are tolerated, not discriminated, but not celebrated, either; while the new 'woke' narrative demanded the glorification of homosexuality and would not accept anything less. Putin’s adamant refusal to accede to this demand bought him many brownie points in Russian public opinion, and started Russia's drift to ideological independence.The harder the Americans pushed an issue, the less the Russians wanted to embrace it. An attempt to import #MeToo into Russia was completely unsuccessful. The broad idea of harassment just doesn’t click in Russia. There were no witch-hunts like that of Weinstein, no show trials to entertain the masses. The campaign against males didn’t even register in the Russian conscience. Russian men are still kings to their women, and Russian women are supposed to cook and clean the house and attend to the children besides working a full time job. Men are supposed to pay the bills in the cafes and open doors for the ladies. Russian men are not ashamed but proud of their virility, and the English term "toxic masculinity" has no Russian counterpart.As time went by, the US mania of 'wokeness' has climbed to new heights. Cancel Culture and the destruction of monuments to great historical personalities look familiar to Russians. It appears that Russia and the US have developed in opposite directions, for the folly that Americans embrace today is the same folly Russians embraced and rejected a hundred years ago. After the Great Revolution of 1917, Russians also defaced and removed many memorials of its historical past, but those attacks against history did not last long, and the memorials have been restored back to their previous glory. Moreover, the post-Soviet Russians continued to erect new monuments to people who were disgraced and defeated. While American 'wokes' destroyed monuments to the Civil War generals who fought on the losing side, Russians erected memorials to Admiral Kolchak (who fought against the Reds and was defeated and executed by them), and to General Mannerheim (who fought against the Reds in the Civil War and against Russians in World War Two, but wisely made peace with Stalin). Statues of Tsars and Communist leaders embellish the squares and gardens of Russian cities.The <> witch-hunt formed against J.K. Rowling by the Trans Lobby echoes similar stories about Russian writers who were "debunked" and "disgraced" in the 1920's through the 1930's, though for different reasons. If you read <> The Master and Margarita, the novel by Michael Bulgakov, you will encounter the art critic, Latunsky, who hounded the politically-incorrect writer. ProletCult and NaPostu were names of some of the Russian 'woke' movements of that time, and many Russian writers came to grief for not conforming to their procrustean requirements.American Universities were the battlefield of the 'woke' culture war, where the defeated side has been defenestrated or at least forced to leave. Russians went through this stage too, 70 years ago, when Lysenko and Vavilov solved their differences by appealing to Stalin. Nowadays, Russians do not campaign against politically incorrect scientists. A Russian scientist may say and write whatever he wants. He will not lose his Nobel Prize like <> James Watson. No Russian scientist will be described as "disgraced", a "conspiracy monger", or that he has "lost credibility" as <> Dr Mikovitz was, though Russians recognise these terms as a feature of their long-gone past.Russians now argue over what period of Russian history corresponds to the present day America.The riots and race problems correspond to the latest Soviet period of Perestroika 1988-1990. Then there were riots in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Georgia. Armenians rioted in Qarabagh and Azeris in Baku and Sumgait. There were riots in Baltic states, and the security forces hesitated to interfere.The present attempt to rewrite American history by anti-colonising scholars resembles the 1986-1990 campaigns to completely rewrite Russian history. The Tsarist Empire was presented as the pinnacle of development, while Stalin besmirched as the destroyer of Russian culture.The advanced age of American candidates for Presidency resembles 1984-1986 of Russia, when three Soviet leaders of advanced age died in the course of three years. This parade of superannuated leaders was terminated by election of Gorbachev who was relatively young and able to speak without a prompter. Russians compare Biden with their <> Chernenko (76) who led Russia in 1984-1985.Witty Viktor Pelevin in his <> new novel suggests a different date:"Modern America is a Brezhnev-style Soviet Union circa 1979, with LGBT in the place of the <> Komsomol, corporate management in the place of the Communist Party, sexual repression in the place of sexual expression, and the dawn of socialism in the place of the death of socialism. However, there is a difference. One could escape Soviet Russia, but one can’t escape America (meaning its influence is global). In Soviet Russia, one could listen to the Voice of America, and there isn’t one now. Only three slightly-different Pravdas and one many-faced immortal Brezhnev, who fiercely fights with himself for the right to suck Bibi Netanyahu".The popular blogger Dmitri Olshanski disagrees. For him, America is like the Russia of the 1930's. He looks through recent American movies:"Biopic of the feminist icon Gloria Steinem… Two women at first do not get along, then they are friends, then they merge into one… Bassam Tariq tells the story of a Pakistani rapper taken down by a hereditary disease… the consequences of an environmental disaster caused by industrial pollution of local water with mercury. Feminism - Lesbianism - Greenpeace - Pakistani Migrants. It is not like Brezhnev’s Russia, where artists knew how to cheat censors and smuggle forbidden subjects; it is Soviets 1930s, when with increasing ferocity the unfortunate cinema-goer was overwhelmed by steel foundry, rough workers’ hands, plan fulfilment".Olshanski concludes with a call to vote for Trump, as "he is the only statesman able to block matriarchy, thirty-eight genders, canine language of triggers and privileges, dumping Shakespeare and Churchill off the ship of modernity"."Dump Pushkin overboard the modernity steamboat" was the <> slogan of Russian wokes in 1912.Apparently, some American follies remind Russia of 1912, of 1920, of 1935, of 1970s and 1980s. Being all lumped together, they show that Russia and the US learned a lot of each other, and not always the best things. But that is just human: we often adopt bad habits of our friends, and keep these habits even after parting company.