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Nov 16, 2023·edited Nov 16, 2023

I’m surprised you haven’t tied this back to the Soviet Union, yet…

First, obviously, there’s Stalin’s dubiously successful environmental engineering projects contemporaneous with Faye Dunaway building the Los Angeles Aqueduct (“no more wire hangers!”).

As an aside, the political commentator Alice Caldwell-Kelly has joked about the need for a “Climate Stalin” to keep Capitalism from destroying humanity, though given the state of the Aral Sea I don’t know if that’s the best comparison to make here…

Second, there’s Armand Hammer’s own relationship with Stalin in the 1930s (the Hammer family being Ukrainian Jews), as well as the honestly hilarious circumstances of Armand Hammer getting sued by Occidental Petroleum over using his publicly traded company to found the Hammer museum.

Addendum: Armand Hammer founded the Hammer Museum and then died in 1990, and then the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Coincidence? Was this one man personally holding the Soviet Union together? Probably not, but the parallel chronology is striking nonetheless.

Third… well, apparently the Resnicks are also Ukrainian Jews? Because of course they are?

And, fourth, and finally, I think we can all agree that the Resnicks are playing an important societal role here; after all, without people like them and the late Eli Broad, how would the schoolchildren of Los Angeles County learn that paying Damien Hirst millions of dollars for a dead animal suspended in formaldehyde is a culturally important way to avoid paying taxes? Without billionaire art patrons, schoolchildren might come to the entirely mistaken conclusion that Late Capitalist contemporary art is some sort of a… scam!

(The way to tie this back to the Soviet Union might be the use of Social Realism and cultural exports like ballet to promote the legitimacy of the Marxism-Leninism, in contrast to, say, early Soviet Constructivism or, later, the Congress for Cultural Freedom.)

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Looking fwd to the movie Yasha. My hope is that you take up animal factory farming some day in this way. We could really use someone like you in that fight.

Marina Bolotnikova does some great work in that line

https://www.vox.com/authors/marina-bolotnikova

The animals in that industry have it hard.

I learnt a fun fact about one of my favorite songs “Man on the Box” by Alice in Chains last week. It is about the worldview of a doomed veal calf. I don’t know how people eat that shit. Talk about cruelty on steroids.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_in_the_Box

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Man I do hope you take up factory farming someday Yasha. This is such horseshit:

https://theintercept.com/2023/11/04/animal-rescue-wayne-hsiung-dxe/

wtf? I cannot believe they might actually send Wayne Hsiung to prison for doing something decent. This is like the witch-hunt against Dr. Caitlin Bernard. That is a very troubling precedent if it happens. And animal rights activists don’t do these things for publicity in the sleazy way-they do it to raise awareness and this is why these jerks are suppressing the story.

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