This story is giving me a headache. Being a Russian, of course, I generally tend to jump in defense of all things Russian – “Oh yeah, well they killed my granny! So bomb them” – basically confirming the stereotype of a nationalist of the worst kind. But this story is ridiculous, especially when Huffington Post get its manicured and thoroughly lotioned hands on it:
Whether or not the 11 alleged Russian spies arrested this week ever succeeded at the task of espionage, they certainly did manage to pull off the trick of passing for run of the mill, mundane Americans.
The Los Angeles Times perhaps best captured the banality of the alleged spy ring’s lives when it wrote: “The group led mundane lives far from the James Bond image. Instead of car chases and shootouts, they paid taxes, haggled over mortgages, and struggled to remember computer passwords.”
Not surprisingly, neighbors and co-workers of those charged were shocked to learn the news. After all, some of them were, as one neighbor of the ‘Murphys’ of Montclair, NJ, put it, the “suburbs personified.”
Wow, talk about affected writing. I’m yet to see what exactly constitutes spying in their case – asking people around about US policies and making friends/networking is spying now? But the best part, of course, is HP masterful and subtle portraits of these alleged spies (in the article linked) – my favorite part is “Interesting Fact” section and the sorts of things they think are interesting. Example:
“Often seen picking up his daughters from the school bus”? Oh no! What a giveaway, amateur! And “often seen” by whom exactly? American spies? I knew the world of spying wasn’t the same after the Cold War, but this is really lame.
Agent 1: “Wilco, The Father is moving in the direction of the school bus” [Camera Shutter Sounds]
Agent 2: [Pretending to mow lawn] “Copy that, Roger. Interception bicycle agent informed.”
Agent 3: [Leaning closer to sophisticated equipment in the bushes] “Audio signal established.”
Agent 4: [Headquarters] “Make sure you record everything, he might be gathering information about our school bus system.”
You know what, America? INTERESTING FACT: This is moronic!