Poshlost, Hermitage, and Surrender Leaflets

(Hmm, no wonder all those Iraqi soldiers are surrendering: who could resist a surrender leaflet offer like this?)

Light blogging volume right now, because I’m really busy working on Whyblog.org (now with blog!) while simultaneously following all the war coverage, but I’ll break the silence long enough to say that jh3k is back with a new domain, since the old one seems to have turned into a bad porn site. Welcome back, Jim. Good to have you among us once again.

Speaking of porn, you might be interested to know what “poshlost” means in the Nabokov context. I think the Russians use it to mean “kitsch.”

And speaking of Russians, Amy and I just watched Alexander Sokurov’s Russian Ark at The Charles. What a strange, surreal, yet wonderfully engaging panorama of Russian history, travelling through the chambers and halls of The Hermitage, that palace-museum which preserves within its walls the legacy of the Tzars. The narrator’s viewpoint sweeps through time as smoothly as it flies through rooms, accompanied by a European co-narrator from the 1800s, as they jump between Tzarist Russia and present-day St. Petersburg. All in one smooth, single shot.

Okay, that’s it for now. Dos vedanya!