The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." "...it is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32) akakyakakyevich@gmail.com

Saturday, September 04, 2004

WELL, CRUSH ME, I'M A GRAPE: Feliks Dzerzhinsky, the first head of the Soviet secret police, often wore a leather greatcoat whose sleeves he deliberately cut off at the middle of the forearm. An uninteresting sartorial factoid about Iron Feliks, you may argue, only proving that Communism and couture were enemies from the outset, which may be true but is not really my point. Dzerzhinsky chopped the sleeves off his coat for a reason. He did it to show his wrists, which were permanently scarred from the years he'd spent wearing manacles in the Tsar's prisons. It was his way of telling the cafe Communists who'd come back to Russia from their safe European exiles that he'd actually suffered for the cause, that he'd put his life on the line for the Revolution, as opposed to a great many who'd done nothing but talk a good fight. Dzerzhinsky came to mind earlier this week when many of the protestors arrested by the NYPD at the Republican convention complained bitterly about the unsanitary conditions they had been kept in. Indeed, here is a link to a British site that describes what happened to the protestors as a police atrocity. I used to worry about these people; their sudden emergence from the paranoid underground in Seattle gave me pause, to say the least; but if the revolution requires a hot shower and three square vegetarian meals a day then I don't think we have much to worry about from this crew. Remember, Stalin knew that there would never be a Bolshevik revolution in Germany when he saw the German communists, his fraternal comrades in worldwide socialist revolution, patiently lining up to buy their railway tickets like any other good law-abiding beerswilling bratwurst munching German bourgeois, or burger, as the case may be.
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