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Mister Twister


The story about Trump not having anywhere to stay at the G-20 meeting is hilarious to me because given what an unreconstructed racist our dear leader is, it is surprisingly close to the plot of the 1963 Soviet animated propaganda film “Mister Twister,” about a wealthy American capitalist who is outraged that he has to stay in the same hotel as people of color when he visits the Soviet Union.

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  • rudolf schnaubelt

    Thanks for this.

  • bassopotamus

    I think my favorite part of this is that trump allegedly knows the hotel biz

    • catbirdman

      Just like he knows the casino biz. (Perhaps Native Americans could give him a short course on how to turn a profit in that challenging arena!)

    • he knows the “hey, wanna put a sign on your building?” biz

      • He knows the “hey, wanna launder your money through my casinos and hotels?” biz.

  • Possibly inspired by Castro staying at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem in 1960.

    • humanoidpanda

      Nah, the cartoon is based on a 1932 book. The author, Samuel Marshak , was an interesting figure: a modernist poet who switched to children’s books and Shakeaspeare translations to survive

  • MikeG

    The supposedly greatest hotelier in the universe (in his own mind), and he obviously never paid any attention or asked his staff any questions about the hotel accommodations.

  • LeeEsq

    Meanwhile, the Soviets were happily persecuting their Jews. They were freaking hypocrites of the highest order.

    • The Realist

      And some of their other cartoons were uh, “problematic” about race as some people like to say:

      (and for the love of God, don’t read the comments about this from the Russians about why this is totally OK unless you want to induce severe cringe)


      • LeeEsq

        Exactly. Soviet and other Communist nation propaganda about how racially egalitarian and feminist they were was always a freaking big package of lies used to badger the United States and other Western democracies. They were trolling. These were some of the most bigoted places on the planet and nearly all of them had several minority groups facing discrimination and persecution. Jews and Roma in Eastern Europe with the addition of Albanians in Yugoslavia, Tibetans and others in China, etc. Most of these countries while officially feminist were really misogynist and patriarchal as hell. Ostensibly conservative parties that believed in traditional values in the West were better at women’s issues and promoting female politicians than the Communist parties. LGBT rights also lagged in Communist countries.

        • The Realist

          To be fair the Soviets were good on women’s issues early on–they legalized abortion, divorce, campaigned for literacy for women, etc. under Lenin and in the 1920s. It was when Stalin came to power that many of these gains were reversed and a more conservative line on gender instituted (notice you’ll never see any women in leadership positions sitting atop Lenin’s Masoleum in the old movies of the October Revolution parades, not even in the 1980s!)

          Also, Lenin made a dozen recordings of phonograph recordings on various subjects he wanted distributed as propaganda to the peasants. One such recording dealt with the subject of antisemitism which he condemned in no uncertain terms. You’ll never guess who decided against releasing the one about antisemitism.


          • bw

            Things were much better for Jews in the early USSR than they were under most of the czars. Not to say they were great, but certainly better against the baseline of “every decade or so we’re just gonna have this huge party of raping and murdering Jews everywhere”.

        • wjts

          This is bullshit. I know for a fact that there was absolutely no racism in the Soviet Union and I know this because I’m a liberal and Otto has said many times that this is something that all liberals believe.

        • nemdam

          I dunno. I’ve been told if we focus only on class, then all gender, racial, and religious inequalities will all also be taken care of. Ya know, trickle-down social justice.

          • Davis X. Machina

            They’re just epiphenomena of the prevailing finance-capitalist mode of production.

            Check the preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Social Democracy for details

          • “trickle-down social justice”

            The perfect phrase…

        • wengler

          Ostensibly conservative parties that believed in traditional values in
          the West were better at women’s issues and promoting female politicians
          than the Communist parties.

          The Soviet Union of the Brezhnev era was a quite conservative place. The problem with women in the Soviet Union is they were required to work outside the home while also expected to fulfill a traditional gender role inside the home.

          • Rugosa

            This is different from the current state of affairs in the US how?

            • humanoidpanda

              1. Soviet homes didn’t have many appliances.
              2. Lines.
              3. There are gradations in everything and American men do much more
              around house than Soviet men

        • woodrowfan

          There were some real horror stories from African students who went to college in the USSR and ran into real everyday Russians.

          Not that that didn’t happen to foreign students in the US too. A local woman who was a Freedom Rider in the early 60s was in a group that avoided being lynched by the Klan by convincing them that a Pakistani student who was with them was really an diplomat from India and killing a diplomat would bring the Feds down there in a hurry. Since we’re discussing prejudice I should note that the Pakistani HATED being called an Indian.

    • A) Yes, the Soviets were hypocrites on race

      B) The Soviets were no more hypocrites than the Americans or Israelis, nor are they more hypocritical than those nations today.

    • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

      Never forget that for centuries the Russians were universally acknowledged as the world’s biggest anti-Semites, until the ’30s when the Germans were like “hold my Bier.”

      • Arcadia Berger


      • Abigail Nussbaum

        There’s a reason why my ancestors on my mother’s side, who came from Belarus, left Europe in the early 20th century for America, and are now a large clan, while my ancestors on my father’s side, who lived in Germany and Poland, stayed put, and were pretty much all murdered except for the ones who got out in the mid-30s.

        • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

          Glad they got out. My grandfather was from Germany, moved to the Netherlands with his brother when things started getting hot, then escaped the German invasion by the skin of his teeth (in a rowboat!). His brother and their family were not so lucky.

          Amazingly, he had a sister who after the war MOVED BACK to Germany and lived the rest of her life there…

          • My German grandfather was the sole survivor of his family by virtue of being sent to a British boarding school just before the Nazis started cracking down.

        • bw

          My great-great grandmother and and great-great-grandfather were born in two Ukrainian towns that were just across the border from one another – she in the Russian Empire and he in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They married and lived on the Austrian side of the border, but immigrated with her whole immediate family in 1900 – all of them Russian citizens. His brothers and his three sisters stayed in Austria-Hungary (later becoming citizens of an independent Poland) and it appears that all of their children were likely murdered in 1941-1942.

          It just occurred to me that had my great-great-grandmother’s family been born 1 mile to the west on the Austrian side of the border, there would have been a much better chance that nobody would have immigrated, and I wouldn’t exist.

      • wengler

        There was a huge pogrom of Jews during the Russian Civil War principally conducted by the White forces in the South. The Bolsheviks(and Makhno’s Anarchists) put an end to it.

    • wengler

      Yeah, official anti-Semitism came back under Stalin, but Jews weren’t the bottom of the barrel by far in the Soviet Union. Central Asians and Chechens were probably on the lowest rung. There’s actually a good discussion of Soviet race order in a book I read once about a black guy from Detroit that immigrated to the Soviet Union. He attributed the rise in anti-Semitism to Jews fleeing from Moscow in the fall of 1941.

      • woodrowfan

        “He attributed the rise in anti-Semitism to Jews fleeing from Moscow in the fall of 1941.


        • BiloSagdiyev

          The time had come to defend Mother Russia? The Nazis were getting very close.

        • humanoidpanda

          Because there was a whole myth about Jews spending the war in Tashkent while others were bleeding. Problem is that the only reason the myth took hold is antisemtism

  • MacK

    The clear inference is either the White House Travel office is out of the loop, or Trump was not planning to attend and changed his mind.

    • sam

      The state department is supposed to handle travel arrangements for trips like this. Of course, the state dept staff currently consists entirely of Tillerson, a few janitors, and some tumbleweeds.

      Apparently Tillerson didn’t have a hotel on one of his recent trips either.

      • efgoldman

        Of course, the state dept staff currently consists entirely of Tillerson, a few janitors, and some tumbleweeds.

        Somebody should have told president Bannonazi that the people who worked in the various now-empty offices, desks and chairs in the WH and various departments actually had fucking jobs to do!

        [In my mind’s eye. I’m seeing the oval office, and president Orange Julius sitting in one of those really ugly chairs next to an end table with a phone on it, furiously dialing – yes, dialing – down a list of hotels.
        Collect, of course.
        So much competence. So much winning; he was right – I am tired of it.]


        • Davis X. Machina

          A visit to Priceline, or Hotels.com, is probably beyond his competence…

          • demz taters

            It’s actually against federal travel regulations to use these sites. That’s still no excuse for this kind of incompetence.

            • We wouldn’t want Trump to violate one of those, imagine the appearance of impropriety. What would Cillizza say?

    • gyrfalcon

      Or that he figured he could always just crash on Putin’s couch.

    • The clear inference is either the White House Travel office is out of the loop

      Killary strikes again! LOCK HER UP!!!

    • Ahuitzotl

      under Trump,. there.is.no.loop

  • reattmore

    And she brought forth her president, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

  • nemdam

    Am I the only one who thinks there’s more to this story than the WH simply not booking a hotel in time? It feels like the luxury hotels in Hamberg “colluded” to not have a room for Trump. Then again, Trump’s Razor says they simply forgot, so I guess either is possible.

    • N__B

      I expect that Trump was worried about security, because he’s been hearing more and more about the Hamburgler.

      • joel_hanes

        He wanted the parallel to Kennedy in Berlin

        But he became confused when his line was
        “Ich bin ein Hamburger”
        so they didn’t go with that one

    • MikeG

      Maybe they didn’t want Trump’s hookers peeing on their beds.

      • wjts

        A sort of “I called the doctor and the doctor said,’No more hookers peeing on the bed!'” thing?

  • Bri2k

    One part of this story that makes me smile is that the place Trump was staying was close enough to the street that protesters kept Melanoma from attending planned events with the other G20 leaders’ spouses. I heard the luncheon was especially nice too.

  • BiloSagdiyev

    I heard the White House refused to pay a mattress damage deposit.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      do you think “rubber sheets” would work as a re-write of the old country classic “satin sheets”?

      “rubber sheets to pee on, an-droid to tweet on, still I’m not happy can’t you see”

    • I heard that too.

  • Somehow it puts me in mind of my hands-down favorite Christmas carol refrain. The tune’s terrific, too. (Collected by William Sandys.)

    When Caesar Augustus had rais’d a taxation,
    He assest all the people that dwelt in the nation;
    The Jews at that time being under Rome’s sway
    Appear’d in the city their tribute to pay;
    When Joseph and Mary, who from David did spring,
    Went up to the city of David their King,
    And there being enter’d cold welcome they find,
    From the rich to the poor they are mostly unkind.

    They sought entertainment, but none could they find.
    Great numbers of strangers had fillèd the inn;
    They knockèd and callèd all this at the door,
    But found not a friend where kind they had store;
    Their kindred accounted they were come too soon,
    Too late, said the innkeeper, here is no room.
    Amongst strangers and kinsfolk cold welcome they find,
    From the rich to the poor they are mostly unkind.

    Good Joseph was troubled, but most for his dear,
    For her blessèd burden whose time now drew near;
    His heart with true sorrow was sorely afflicted
    That his Virgin Spouse was so rudely neglected:
    He could get no houseroom, who houses did frame,
    But Joseph and Mary must go as they came;
    For little is the favour the poor man can find,
    From the rich to the poor they are mostly unkind.

    Whilst the great and the wealthy do frolic in hall,
    Possess all the groundrooms and chambers and all;
    Whilst Joseph and Mary thrust into a stable
    In Bethlehem city, ground inhospitable;
    And with their mean lodging contended they be,
    For the minds of the just with their fortunes agree,
    They bear all affronts with their meekness of mind,
    And be not offended tho’ the rich be unkind.

    No sooner was man betray’d into evil,
    By the subtilty of Old Satan the Devil,
    But God made a promise that the woman’s seed,
    In Jury now born, should bruise Satan’s head.
    O Bethlehem, Bethlehem, welcome this stranger
    That was born in a stable and laid in a manger,
    For he is a Physician to heal all our smarts —
    Come welcome sweet Jesus, and lodge in our hearts.

    And a Merry War on Xmas to you, too, comrade!

    • joel_hanes

      I’ve made a couple attempts, and I haven’t found a performance of that carol anywhere on youtube.
      Do you have a pointer to a sound recording of any kind ?

      • Alas, no. I learned it from the Oxford Book of Carols and have never heard it except in my own voice (to a sound recording of which, if one existed, you would not appreciate a pointer).

  • reattmore

    Maybe the staffers responsible for such things just assumed that he would stay at the Trump Hamburg

  • randykhan

    I’m waiting for the explanation that they thought the Obama Administration had taken care of it.

  • dcrefugee

    I just find this to be a weird story. I know enough about the U.S. Secret Service to say with some confidence they need to know the location and accommodations for an event like this weeks in advance. How did they make appropriate preparations? Either lack of a preferred hotel reservation was a known problem with an agreed-upon solution and the USSS had nominal lead time for preparations, or it didn’t. Bottom line is Trump’s Razor: the stupidest possibility. Which is that no single person in the White House is responsible for his schedule/travel arrangements.

    • Which is that no single person in the White House is responsible for his schedule/travel arrangements

      No problem; there’s an office in the Kremlin for that.

  • Cheap Wino

    The Three Stooges administration in action again. Trump is an incompetent buffoon and thus what positions that have been staffed have been filled by only the best incompetents and buffoons. #StupidestPresidentEver

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