Sergey Kuznetsov (skuzn) wrote,
Sergey Kuznetsov
skuzn

Как я работал колумнистом

Вчера ночью позвонил мой агент и попросил написать колнку для New York Times. В ближайшие два часа. Очень давно я не работал журналистом с жесткими дедлайнами, но это было не то предложение, от которого отказываются.
Колонку я написал, в редакции ее сократили раза в полтора, но в отличие от давней истории с Wired не исказили ни одной мысли и не выкинули ни одного важного для меня абзаца. Правда, потом пришлось сократить еще строк двадцать и тут уже кое-что попало под раздачу.
Короче, вот колонка, а под катом - более полная версия под оригинальным названием, снятым уже совсем в последний момент.
По большому счету, по-русски я бы сказал примерно то же самое, возможно, с меньшим количеством культурологических подробностей.

Moscow Red LIne
By Sergei Kuznetsov
MOSCOW
EVERY time some disaster hits the
Moscow subway, I remember that
Soviet propaganda used to call
this the most beautiful subway in the
world.
Incredibly, in this one case, it wasn't
lying: Downtown Moscow subway sta-
tions are marble palaces with pillars,
mosaics and statues of happy swim-
mers and oarswomen.
Despite all this decoration, I was rath-
er afraid of the subway as a child. I felt
that there was some hidden terror in the
gap between the sparkling marble sta-
tions and the dark noisy tunnels with
their all-too obvious symbolism. Most of
my life has been spent along the same
subway line. Its official name is Frun-
zenskaya, but since Muscovites nick-
name their subway lines according to
their color on the map, everybody just
calls it Red Line.
I still live on this same line. This
morning when I made my way to the
nearest station, Park Kultury, I heard si-
rens and saw fire trucks, ambulances
and police cars near the entrance.
"What the hell is that?" my wife
asked. I got my iPhone and read the
news.
"It's an explosion at the Lubyankya
station," I told her. "Forty minutes ago,
at 8 a.m."
"We must have had a second one,"
she said, "right here."
She was right: after five minutes, the
news agencies reported that there had
been an explosion inside Park Kultury.
Moscow, understandably, was in a
panic. Monday was the first day after
spring break. The Beslan school hos-
tage crisis of 2004 took place on the first
day after summer vacation.
And out of the panic came conspiracy
theories. It was said that Prime Min-
ister Vladimir Putin was beginning his
campaign for next the next presidential
election. After all, his rise to power in
1999 began with his fierce response to a
series of explosions that destroyed sev-
eral Moscow apartment buildings. Oth-
ers thought that the explosions had
been set by Mr. Putin's foes, claiming
that they were using a terrorist attack
to rock the boat. The majority blamed
Chechens and Islamic terrorists.
In addition to the political conspiracy
theories, the explosions carried symbol-
ic force: the first station to be bombed
was near the F.S.B. (ex-K.G.B.) build-
ing. The name "Lubyanka" is an in-
formal term for Russian state security
and the symbol of Soviet state terror.
So, to blast Lubyanka could represent
symbolic revenge, like the 9/11 attack to
World Trade Center.
I don't know why nobody has thus far
pointed out that Park Kultury - the
Park of Culture and Recreation - is a
symbol of the Grand Totalitarian Style,
the expansive and almost joyous aes-
thetic of Stalin's era, represented by
those statues of happy swimmers and
oarswoman in the station.
Park Kultury and Lubyanka are two
sides of the Soviet epoch. The contrast
between them represents a kind of the
gap between the sparkling marble sta-
tion and dark underground tunnels that
frightened me so many years ago.
Of course, this analogy is the same
rubbish as most conspiracy theories.
I am writing about the history of the
Moscow subway, about my childhood
memories, about two sides of the Soviet
epoch just because I don't want to think
about the dead and injured, about their
loved ones, their families.
These are the first reactions to the
unbearable: close your eyes, don't think
about the victims. Just blame someone,
declare your innocence, create a theory,
write a column.
In the end, nobody knows who is re-
sponsible for this attack. They have sim-
ply reminded Muscovites: Evil exists,
and horror is always right beside you.
Tomorrow, we will wake up and live
with these truths. At least, until we for-
get them again, as we have many times
before. $b
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