“Please don’t repeat under any circumstances!” warns Russian free climber Tyomka Pirniazov who scaled Soviet star monument atop the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building in Moscow. “This star is very interesting due to that fact, that only birds and builders sat on it.” And now, Tyomka, almost 600 feet up, a camera clenched in his teeth. That’s what he does. That’s what Russians do, you see, when they’re not driving through walls of fire or jumping in hordes off bridges. Damn crazies, all of ’em. What? Pardon me if I rather encourage the stereotype of their chronic daredevilism than The New York Times promoted “Russian mind-set” of criminality, because, see every immigrant in Brighton Beach is a victim of the oppressive Soviet regime and if you’re not “scamming the system” or the government, you’re “looked upon as a patsy.” Oh, fuck you.
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