Notes from Far Muscovy

Justin E. H. Smith in his personal blog:

JustinI dreamt last night that I was sharing a taxi with Putin from Moscow to Sheremetyevo airport. He was being very friendly and I could tell he liked me. I felt like a coward and a moral cretin for not saying anything critical that would cause him to not like me, and at the same time I kept trying to convince myself that there were strong pragmatic reasons for maintaining good relations, at least for now, as this would enable me to eventually write more revealingly about him. I knew this was bullshit, however, and that I was really just a grovelling sycophantic underling who craved the approval of people in power. Then we got into a massive traffic jam, and I was so filled with self-hatred and dread that I woke up.

In real life I had shared a taxi from Moscow to Sheremetyevo, earlier that same day, with a kind, gentle, architect from Berlin. By 'architect' I mean one of those people from Berlin who talks about 'space' a lot and who participates in panels with philosophers. He has probably never built any buildings, but nor has he blown any up, which is why I am wondering why he got replaced by Putin in my dream.

We had been, earlier in the day, on a panel in front of a few hundred people and a number of angry journalists. We were a motley crew of philosophers and political activists, and to be perfectly honest my reason for accepting the invitation was somewhat disingenuous: it meant an opportunity to go back to Russia after what seems like a lifetime away.

More here.