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Press Review November 25, 2003
This Passport is Not Valid
By John Dolan Browse author Email
Page 2 of 2
If there's one thing I can't stand, it's an overstated private jet. A private jet should stand out, sure, but it shouldn't grab you by the lapels. And Roman's jet is just peachy-keen, like everything else about him from his "tawny stubble" to his "Burberry t-shirt and navy jacket." Passport's interviewer flew all the way out to Chukotka to find exactly the same story as in the Mary Dudley and Barbara Childs articles: as always, an oligarch's generosity has made everything fine for the former victims of "an uncaring government." Across the whole "Roman empire," from Chukotka to Chelsea, Roman's "largesse has...made him a hero." In fact, he is something of a local deity: "the people of Chukotka pray that he stays" and "don't care" about his "sinister image." [What sinister image is that, you may wonder? Don't even ask. Or rather, remember this: up until late 1999, no television station in Russian television even dared to show his photograph.] All that matters is that, thanks to the the oligarch, "wages and pensions are paid on time now."

Passport lets Abramovich make patently absurd comments like, "'I don't think I wanted to be a governor or ever would be,'" failing to inform its readers that one very good reason Abramovich scattered his "largesse" on Chukotka was the fact that governors, like Duma deputies, are immune to criminal prosecution.

Passport devotes an entire page to another example of "largesse": this year's "Trafalgar Ball," at which "some 250 expatriate and Russian guests" got dressed up celebrating "the naval victory of 1805." Which is significant, because the Battle of Trafalgar essentially marked the restoration of the reactoinaries over revolutionary France. The Ball, featuring toothy couples, candles and kilts, managed to raise $13,000 for disadvantaged children, or roughly $50 per plutocrat. They're just too giving for their own good.

Those of you who hate the eXile -- and we hear that there are one or two of you out there -- now have the alternative to the alternative, the glossy, sunny counter-revolution you've always been dreaming of, to make your colonial stay here as safe, dull and wonderful as a Passport to Paradise.

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Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
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eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

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Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...


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