If you come in my cage I'll eat you too!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The book " The Forsaken" has given me the chuckles all day

It's a document to the experience of American Communists and trade unionists who flocked to Stalinist Russia during the Depression. There many of them found things were not at all to their liking and tried to leave. Stalin, of course, fearing that they might come back to America and spill the beans about his operation, threw their ungrateful commie asses in the gulag and even executed some of them. Suckers! Hoisted on their own petards.

Ha ha ha. Just when things begin to get you down, you read something as funny as this and it cheers you right up.

Paul Robeson is part of the story. He smuggled a relative out real quick like, but remained silent about Stalin's mounting atrocities even though Stalin was arresting and executing Robeson's intellectual buddies. The dream dies hard. I still love Paul, especially in that movie about the Welsh coal miners.


At 6:17 PM , Blogger staghounds said...

Surprise, Comrade!

At 9:15 PM , Blogger ricpic said...

Back in the thirties anybody who claimed to be an intellectual had to be a communist. And this was especially true of New York's "starving artists." Anyway, to cut to the chase, a bunch of these not really starving artists, who would one day be quite famous, were sitting around and moaning to each other about how hard it was to make ends meet, coupled with how unappreciated they were by the common herd. At which point Arshile Gorki (who would go on to gain great fame but was an immigrant who had come from Armenia S.S.R., where people really were starving) got up and roared, "Nineteen miserable years have I lived in America!" Which cracked the others up because they all knew deep down what B.S. their bitching was. True story and part of the legend of the first generation Abstract Expressionists (Jackson Pollack, Willem deKooning and, of course, Gorki).


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