Thursday, July 1, 2010

Russian Spies, and American Pop Culture

The Russian 11 has been a funny diversion on the daily news this week. Mowscow Center's inability to understand American culture continues to astound, but perhaps this inability is bureaucratically useful. Russia's political elites probably relate more to the mafia's secretiveness than the academia's openness.

Looking at the pictures of Anna Chapman, I was struck by a thought: It will be deliciously ironic, if Ms Chapman wins her trial, and then promptly becomes a media personality. She and her cohorts will get book deals, appear in reality TV competitions, commentate on CNN and Fox News, and maybe even start their own training school/consultancy on the Beltway circuit. This espionage arrest may be the biggest break of their lives, second only to getting assigned to the US. Christopher Mestos may well regret his bail-jumping in Cyprus.

SVR employees will fight for an American assignment, if only they can replicate the celebrity status that the Russian 11 are now enjoying. Being a foreign spy in America is now another path to Hollywood.

PS: I want to clarify that, even if Chapman, et al, got convicted, they may still have a celebrity career.  In fact, as known media personalities and registered foreign agents, they might get more recruiting leads/volunteers from their elevated social status.  So, like the Chinese idiom, this arrest may be the lost horse [apparent mishap] that is a blessing in disguise.  And I added links and labels.

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