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Monday, March 26, 2007

The Propaganda from Russia Blog Continues Apace

Despite the fact that she banned him from submitting comments to this blog for his personally abusive remarks (until he apologized), Charles Ganske of Russia Blog continues to do so, in a harassing manner. Naturally, these comments will not appear in the comments section, and usually they are so devoid of substance as to be unworthy of notice, but recently he left one which is rather enlightening to review. He stated:

Here is a photo of my recent visit to Moscow, where I regularly enjoyed granulated powdered sugar in my tea.
This harkens back to a comment La Russophobe made back in April of last year, in this blog's first month of existence. LR remarked upon a photograph of a cake appearing in Russia Blog that powdered sugar was rather diffcult to come by in Russia, especially in the "provinces" outside Moscow and St. Petersburg, and that when you could get it the product was inferior to the Western variant. Russia Blog claimed it was common and just as good as that in the West, whereupon LR challenged RB to "name a single Russian city outside Moscow where they'd been able to buy powdered sugar." Nearly a year has passed since then, and Russia Blog still hasn't even attempted to rise to LR's challenge.

As indicated in LR's post, at the time of the original powdered sugar discussion, Ganske admitted that even though he was the editor of a Russia blog he had never been to Russia once in his whole life -- so obviously, he was in no position to know whether powdered sugar could be purchased in province shops easily or not, much less how it tasted. Instead, he was relying blindly on the statements of his boss Yuri Mamchur, without demanding that Yuri give any specifics about where he'd been able to purchase powdered sugar or when. Apparently, now that he's made his first visit, he considers himself an expert.

Now, let's leave aside the fact that the photo is from a post in January, hardly recent. Let's leave aside the fact that it doesn't show Ganske enjoying any kind of sugar, much less powdered (asking the editors of Russia Blog for anything like journalism or actual evidence is simply a waste of time). Let's leave aside the fact that he apparently means "powdered granulated" not "granulated powdered" since the latter would be an oxymoron (asking them to write well is an even more fruitless endeavor). And let's leave aside that dissolving powdered sugar in tea has nothing to do with eating it raw.

Let's focus instead on three basic points: (a) LR's challenge had to do with cities outside of Moscow, not Moscow. Apparently, Ganske did not spend enough time in Russia to find out that people in Moscow live rather differently, and that how they live has nothing to do with how real Russian people live. (b) LR didn't say it's impossible to get hold of powdered sugar, she said that in her experience it's very hard for ordinary people to buy it in shops (in other words, what's made is generally taken up by factories for commercial use). Ganske may be oblivious to the fact that a person with a blender can make powdered sugar from granulated sugar quite easily (as he's oblivious of just about everything) -- meaning that just because you're served some doesn't necessarily mean it was bought in a store. His comment doesn't say a word about purchasing powdered sugar in shop (much less where, when, who, how). (c) LR also said that when you can get powdered sugar in Russia, it's inferior to the Western variant. Ganske ignores this too.

Do you notice, dear reader, how Ganske studiously avoids all these points, preferring instead to invent his own idea of what LR said and attack that instead? That's classic Soviet propaganda at work. Do you also notice how he's still obsessed with this idea after one year? Bizarre, isn't it? Especially since he chose to totally ignore LR's challenge all this time. Did it really take that long for him to come up with this feeble response? Is Russia Blog really that desperate to find some sort of mistake by this blog they can attack?


Anonymous said...

I looked at the photo and to be honest it looks very odd. The lighting is wrong, the proportions are off, and the shadows are perplexing. And, his feet are not even sinking into the snow. To me, it looks more like a Photoshop composition than a real photo :-)

Andy said...

This old chestnut again?

I thought I'd commented on this at the time, over at Russia Blog, but I can't seem to find it now. (Probably I re-read what I wrote and decided it was too absurd a discussion to get involved in).

Anyway, for the record, I was able to buy powdered sugar (icing sugar, in 'proper' English) in Irkutsk, which is a fair way away from Moscow.

Anonymous said...

I suppose you can get ANYTHING at Ramstor... but what do you do in Nizhny Tagil?

I think you can somehow make a suitable substitution by recycling the marzipan off old cakes which will probably remain "fresh" through the next ice age (where "fresh" approximates their initial appearance and texture)

La Russophobe said...


The English langauge is a joint stock company . . . and Americans own most of the shares!

Interesting info on powdered sugar. I had no idea you were a baker! Tell me the name of the shop, please, and when this purchase was made. Did you see it in many different shops, or only one?

Do you have any reason to believe that your purchase was anything other than a freak occurrence? I once bought peanut butter in a kiosk in E-burg, but I didn't manage it often.

And what did you think of the quality?

ANON: Recyclying marzipan! LOL!! Now THAT is a classic Russian idea!