OBSERVER 4.1 A Journal of Free Voices 500 A Window to the South E-1-0 Nov. 1, 1974 The Observer goes to the Soviet Union Or how I survived three weeks in the USSR with the editor of Human Events Follows a report from Observer co-editor Molly Ivins, who has been traipsing through the Soviet Union with 11 other American journalists. She was on a cultural exchange program \(and would like the U.S. State Department and something called the American Council of Young Moscow, U.S.S.R. I had intended to make this a funny article. Since my expertise in the field of Soviet-American relations is even more limited than my expertise on the woolly-bucket bumelia, I figured a jolly travelogue in the style of Mark Twain would be about the best I could do for you readers. Unfortunately, although the Soves have their comic moments, the situation on the whole is not droll. Less than two minutes after I had arrived in my hotel room in Moscow, there was a knock at the door. I opened it and in trooped three men dressed like electricians. They all carried little black boxes full of electrical equipment and had screwdrivers and other tools slung on their work belts. They looked quite as startled to see me as I was to see them. They indicated that they were there to turn on the television set. They then proceeded to beaver about for five minutes as though they were having a Chinese fire drill. After considerable futzing around, they deduced that the best way to get the tube to work was to plug it in. Then, with much bowing and smiling on their part and much bowing and smiling on my part, they departed. The longer I stay in the Soviet Union, the more significant I find that episode. In
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