Self-Inflicted Torture

 Posted by on 26 August 2006 at 7:11 pm  Uncategorized
Aug 262006

I’m currently watching that horrible bit of Soviet propaganda, Mission to Moscow. I’ve watched less than 20 minutes, but it’s already far worse than Song of Russia ever aspired to be. At least the basic plot of Song of Russia revolved around an apolitical love story. Mission to Moscow has no such redeeming neutral qualities. Perhaps most offensive of all, Joseph Davies loudly proclaims his determination to judge Soviet Russia objectivity every few minutes — even though the film is already revoltingly pro-Soviet.

Oh, and I’m watching this movie as my break after a grueling two hours paring down the second section of Kant’s Groundwork into a form suitable for my students.

Yes, I am a philosophical masochist.

Update #1: Oh dear God. The Davies just arrived in Russia. The train station is overflowing with delicious foods… and equality of the sexes!

Update #2: Oh, those industrious Soviet workers undermined by evil saboteurs!

Update #3: Yes, Yes! Let’s trust the Soviets not to bug the American Embassy! They’d have the right to listen in if they pleased. And America has no private business whatsoever to conduct in Russia! (Really, I’m not exaggerating. Those were the claims made by Davies when confronted with the revelation of Soviet bugging of another embassy.)

Update #4: Wow, the workers even have time to learn excellent English in night classes. They are just so friendly and happy too. Those Soviets just aren’t terribly different from Americans — except slightly superior in all ways. Oh, and Americans sure are stupid about Russia, caught up as they are in their myriad misconceptions.

Update #5: Oh, and let’s just ignore that whole small matter of the Nazi-Soviet Pact.

Update #6: Hooray! A defense of Stalin’s purges! (Every time I think it can’t get any worse, it does!)

Update #7: Davies speaking to Stalin, “I believe, sir, that history will record you as a great builder for the benefit of mankind.” Stalin is humble in response, attributing his successes to the original plans of Lenin as carried out by the people.

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