Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible The Surreal Heart of the New Russia review ô 103

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Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible The Surreal Heart of the New Russia review ô 103 · In the new Russia even dictatorship is a reality showProfessional killers with the souls of artists would be theater directors turned Kremlin puppet masters suicidal supermodels Hell’s Angels whoIn the new Russia even dictatorship is a reality showProfessional killers with the souls of artists would be theater directors turned Kremlin puppet masters suicidal supermodels Hell’s Angels who hallucinate themselves as holy warriors and oligarch revolutionaries welcome to the glittering surreal heart of twenty first century Russia I. Russia is an enigma For the last over a century it has been under some form of autocratic control first with the Tsars then the communists and after a brief dabble with democracy now has an elective dictatorship under Putin Each time a new Russian doll is revealed it is a intense form of what they have always had It is into this new Russia that Pomerantsev a British TV producer with Russia parents stepsThe Russian TV industry is booming having removed the shackles of communist propaganda they now have freedom to experiment with new shows to entertain and captivate the masses But there is still control; the Russian media machine has tentacles running deep into the TV industry as he discovers when he attends meeting in smoky rooms where he is told exactly what he can and cannot show and always to have positive storiesAs he travels through this new surreal Russia he meets all manner of bizarre people There are the oligarchs as you would expect professional mistresses stunning supermodels driven to suicide by the latest self help cults hell angels who think they are holy warriors and hoodlums who now make hit TV series with real guns and blood in the action scenes These changes reflect the country now; the ebb and flow of ideologies are refracted from the splinters left after communism perestroika the financial shock therapy the rise of the oligarchs to the present virtual democracy that they have now There are tales of the way that the Kremlin asserts its control of the public too; Yana Yakovleva was a business woman who had been importing cleaning chemicals for years until one day her life is turned upside down after her arrest as the authorities deem these to be narcotics now She fought back but many languishing in the prisons have very little chance against the false charges and corrupt officialsLike a shot of neat vodka it’s a powerful book and chilling too; Pomerantsev has brushed aside some of the mysticism surrounding modern Russia and has shown us what is going on The way reality can be blurred and distorted by the autocrats in charge is uite shocking as well This fragmentation is not just Putin’s doing but a result of the instability of the Russian state post communism There reach is huge too; with London now home to a number of the Russian ultra rich they are not afraid to dispense their own form of justice in the UK including murderWell worth reading for anyone with an interest in modern Russia

Peter Pomerantsev ´ 3 summary

T is a world erupting with new money and new power changing so fast it breaks all sense of reality home to a form of dictatorship far subtler than twentieth century strains that is rapidly rising to challenge the WestWhen British producer Peter Pomerantsev plunges into the booming Russian TV industry he gains access to every nook and cor. view spoiler Bettie's Books hide spoiler

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Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible The Surreal Heart of the New RussiaRupt cranny of the country He is brought to smoky rooms for meetings with propaganda gurus running the nerve center of the Russian media machine and visits Siberian mafia towns and the salons of the international super rich in London and the US As the Putin regime becomes aggressive Pomerantsev finds himself drawn further into the system. For the reader that chooses his writing on the elegance of its phrasing the precision of its language maybe this isn't a great book Even for the reader who just wants a lively narrative venture maybe this isn't the book In fact I read an Advance copy unadorned by notes or index though complete with typos and awkward grammar at pointsBut for the reader whose idea of Writing consists of witnessing the author engaged in a death struggle with his themes perhaps even not knowing what a given theme might be called watching the elements of a million unrelated threads weave themselves into a worldview and a record of a time and place Pomerantsev's Nothing Is True is a miraculous if unwieldy construction And something not to be missedNo plot of course a parade of characters that are perhaps not even real people but what stunning atmospherics the vibe of a vast dystopian novel put into terms that are disconcertingly for realIt is Pomerantsev's thesis one of many that Russians were privy to a kind of inside track to Millennial Insanity long before the turn of the century or anything historical iconic like the Internet or the world polarization of the 9 11 disaster His book reads a little like the wry multi voices of TS Elliot another chronicler of ruined empire and conseuent diasporaAnd as Russia can now be anywhere as much in Paris or New York with the waves of outbound travelers Pomerantsev finds London to be the exile of choice the most compelling illustration of the New Moscow and what has become of his country his culture Past the bouncers outside and the girls smoking long skinny cigarettes past the tinted glass doors There are three floors One floor is 'Asian' all black walls and plates Another floor is 'Italian' with domino tiled floors and a faux thatched cottage in the corner Downstairs is the bar cum club in the style of a library in an English country house with wooden bookshelves and rows of hard cover books a series of uotes of references wrapped in a tinted window void shorn of their original memories and meanings but so much colder and distant that the accessible colorful pastiche of somewhere like Las Vegas This had always been the style and mood in the 'elite' 'VIP' places in Moscow all along the Rublevka and in the Garden Ring where the just made rich exist in a great void where they can buy anything but nothing means anything because all of the old orders of meaning are gone Here objects become unconnected to any binding force Old Masters and English Boarding Schools and Faberge eggs all floating suspended in a culture of zero gravityBut now it's not just Moscow any where this style resonates Over in Bernie Arnaut's Bulgari Hotel on the corner of Hyde Park the most expensive hotel in London rooms start at ₤850 a night the penthouse is ₤14000 the floors are black granite and the walls are black glass with older men and younger women in the blackness hard scowling and sparkling The lost in new wealth world of Moscow rises and blends with the sudden global money from all the emerging expanding new economies And the Russians are the pace setters Because they've been perfecting this for just a few years longer because the learning curve was so much harder and faster when one Soviet world disappeared and they were all shot into cold space They became post Soviet a breath before the whole world went post everything Post national and post west and post Bretton Woods and post whatever else The Gagarins of the culture of zero gravityPomerantsev doesn't set up models or hypotheses about the concept of Russia; he gets out the shovel and finds where the bodies are buried Describing as he goes the layers of mystification and disorientation as the truth is disinterred Bitter rueful yes and no conclusion to ruin the macabre scenery; Nothing Is True is a picaresue without a center a grim account of lost souls