Larry Danielson on Sochi and ‘The Monuments Men’

Russia's going to odd lengths to prove its not homophobic. (AP)
• February 7, 2014 10:41 am


When last we heard from my paleocon friend Larry Danielson,* he was griping about Hollywood's reboot of the Jack Ryan franchise. It was, he complained, entirely unfair to the Russians. Given his sensitivity to the treatment of our Muscovite "friends," I was curious to know what he made of all hubbub over the massive cluster that is the Sochi Games. So I dropped him a line!

Hey Larry. Tough couple weeks for the Putin regime, huh?

It's really something to watch the biased American media wield their pitchforks. Not surprising, of course: Putin is a stalwart defender of traditional ideas that they find repellent. So it's natural that they would try to tear him down.

Yeah, but the stories coming out of Sochi are really something else. Poisoned dogs, plumbing that doesn't work, humorous toilet configurations—I mean, we're talking about a $50 billion games and they couldn't even build jumps that keep skiers from getting hurt!

Should America really be so cocky? Remember the Salt Lake City games? There was bribery. There were cost overruns. Mormon fundamentalism. And I hear a lot about concerns of terrorism in Sochi. But which nation was the last to suffer a terrorist attack at the Olympics? America. Atlanta. 1996.

It's funny that everyone is making such a big deal about poisoning stray dogs. But does America really have any right to be upset by this slaughter? Do our shelters not kill dogs on a regular basis?

Furthermore, the imperialist notion that there is one correct way to use a toilet is pretty disgusting. Lots of nations make you dispose of toilet paper in a trash can instead of just flushing it down the toilet. The pampered ugly Americans currently mocking the hardworking people of Russia will be well served to get out of their comfort zone for a few days.

So, you have no problem with, say, spy cams in the toilets?

Yes, if there's one thing the west should be getting up in arms about it's the violation of privacy by the government. As Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald, America's greatest heroes, have shown, the NSA probably cares less for your privacy than Putin does.

I think it's odd that every time I point out that Russia is doing something terrible you take their side and say that America is worse.

I just find the Putin Pile-On is disgusting. Have you seen Google?

You mean the doodle?

Yes, the "doodle." That's one way to put it. Another, more accurate, way to put it would be the "slap in the face." As if America is any freer than Russia or any American company has the right to lecture Putin on human rights. I can't help having the feeling that quite a few people in the Western media aren't going to be fully satisfied unless a same-sex bobsled team starts getting it on at the finish line for their adoring cameras.

Hm. I think that's a bit much. I saw you at The Monuments Men, by the way. How do you keep getting into the critics' screenings?

I have my ways. I probably liked it a bit more than you did. However I was really annoyed by one thing you didn't get into in your review.

Let me guess: The encroaching Russian forces re-stealing artwork and sending it back to the motherland?

You know me too well.

And your issue was?

Did the Russian people not deserve some sort of spoils? They were the ones who won the war, after all. They were the ones who absorbed 20 million deaths on the eastern front. They were the ones who sapped the Nazis of their strength. They were the ones who endured rapes and murders and ruined cities.  The true heroes of World War II deserve better than being portrayed as common criminals. And that American flag…

You had a problem with the Americans leaving a flag at a site from which they recovered a cache of art?!

Typical American arrogance. The only thing we're truly exceptional at is showing off how insecure we are.

I do love these little chats. You going to see Robocop?

Don't even get me started.

*Again, folks: Not a real person.

Published under: Satire