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The Last Word

Victor Shenderovich talks to Alexander Mikhailov
Victor Shenderovich writer, TV host, journalist, theater actor, and political critic has the last word this month and says nothing about politics. He won his wide popularity after the television programme Kukly on NTV. At the moment he is pursuing his literary career and hosting the radio programme, Plavleniy Syrok, on Ekho Moskvy.

Sometimes football may appear better than a theater play.
Photos by Ruslan Sergeev

What is your favourite activity of all the things you do?

I do like them all; otherwise I wouldnt do any of them. As a journalist and a publicist, the most important thing I do is my radio program. It is a complex of satirical and political comments. I do that with my friends on Ekho Moskvy. I write, and I like writing, about things that have nothing to do with politics. The latest book that I published is called Raisin from a Cake. It is a book of little stories and essays about life in the USSR. They are funny, kind and about every one of us who lived in that time and may remember it. As a modern writer, I do a lot on the internet. And I think that the internet has to be for the individual, rather than the individual for the internet.

Do you think the internet will all the prehistoric sources of information?

I dont think so, but one has to be careful not to wake up and find yourself attached to a machine. I feel sorry for the whole generation who will not read at all. It is a pitiful sight. When you read a book, it is more of a ritual than simply getting the information as you do with a computer? A book is also an object. A newly-published book smells good; it is a pleasure to hold it in the hands. Reading is a very intimate process. But by virtue of the internet, a person is open to the world and the world is opened up. It is an absolutely different feeling, a new measure of exposure. That is why I think all the predictions of the fantasy writers are true, at least if globalization carries on at its current pace. If we calculate the number of inventions humanity made in the 20th century, we could be frightened. Wild progress acceleration! Some three hundred years ago, one could be burnt at the stake for proclaiming a heliocentric solar system. A century ago radio, had not been invented. But we have to understand that human nature is unchangeable. It has the same problems as it did in Socrates time.

You are being pessimistic. Is there anything that would make you happy?

A lot of things. I like traveling. I write, and this makes me happy. I like watching football.

That is interesting. I know you like football and write about it, why?

I watch football, mainly the English championship; occasionally the German and Italian ones. The English championship is real football. Sometimes it is better than any theater play. A game can be a real drama. And all the colors of human nature are concentrated in a fanciful dance. Football is an example of an honest play. And honesty is the most valuable thing in the world: whether to oneself or to other people.

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