Hacked by Russia: A True Confession

It is not from any desire to shock my fellow Orthosphereans, but merely in order to explain how, beginning as a bland and generically liberal person, I came finally to be associated with an ultra-right-wing website obviously controlled by the spuriously defunct KGB, that I make the following confession of my long history of seditious crimes and treacherous misdemeanors. The evidence against me is overwhelming.  Below is Exhibit No. 1.


Left: Yessen Zhazoursky, Dean of the School of Journalism, Moscow University; Right: Yours Truly (TFB),  Doctoral Candidate in Comparative Literature, UCLA.  (Fall 1986)

The location was a beach house on Old Malibu Road, with convenient access to the Pacific Ocean hence also to surreptitious traffic to and from casually surfacing Soviet submarines in Santa Monica Bay.  (See the recent Coen Brothers film Hail Caesar!) I call attention to a damning detail of the photograph.  Obviously the Dean and I are exchanging vital, secret information in the medium of coded inscriptions in a notebook that can be concealed in a jacket pocket.  The red stripes of my shirt might also be significant.  By the way, the affair had been organized by Pepperdine University, long known as a communist front.  Below, again, is Exhibit No. 2.


Left: Yours Truly (TFB); Right: “Ukrainian Poet” Boris Salinyek.  (Fall 1986)

This photograph comes from the same occasion described previously.  This was four years before the dissolution of the USSR, which means that Salinyek’s claim to be Ukrainian should be scrutinized.  (Probably he was a Rooshin pretendin’ to be Ukrainian; I’ll need to ask Senator Schumer about that when I confer with him next month in Pyongyang.) Remark Salinyek’s sly expression.  It is clear to me in retrospect that he had turned me (as they say) and that I was, from that moment forward, his puppet, and still am whether I know it or not.  (By the way, the meal included caviar and vodka, which are bad enough, but I believe also that several times during the evening I was served goblets full of fluoridated water from the kitchen tap.)

I could, if I wanted, offer exculpatory evidence on my own behalf.  Take the item below, for example, which, however, I omit to enter in evidence.  (Why would I want to defend myself when I’m so clearly guilty?)


Left: Yours Truly (TFB); Right: Kristina, House Bernadotte, Princess of Sweden.  (Spring 1983)

Sure, I exchanged words with a Swede. So what? As everyone knows, absolutely nothing ever happens in Sweden — and in any case the Princess is merely royalty, not a member of the Swedish government.

I come finally to the most damning and most recent item of all in my self-made case against me.  Below, again, is Exhibit No. 3.


Christmas Party, Bertonneau Residence, Oswego, NY.  (Winter 2015)

Rather than crowd the caption, I’ll dish up the details in commentary.  On the far left is Lazar S., Russian scholar and poet; Lazar is embracing his son, Max.  Next comes my friend Eric.  He is American, but he was born in Alaska, from where, as my astute readers probably know, you can see Russia.  To Eric’s right is Alla, Lazar’s wife and Max’s mother. Next is Natalya, St. Petersburg born and Eric’s wife.  Finally — Moi (TFB) and my wife Susan, about whom I have long harbored deep suspicions.  Not visible in the photograph are Kim Philby and Alger Hiss.

And if anyone were to ask me: No, I could never prove that none of this is not true.

This is Bertonneau saying, Dos vidanya.

PS. In the tags and categories I promised some Venusian Babes.  Here they are:


Being a Russian Agent has its Perks

19 thoughts on “Hacked by Russia: A True Confession

  1. Pingback: Hacked by Russia: A True Confession | @the_arv

  2. I should introduce you to my Russian “artist” friend, Alexei Antonov and his family. I have a daughter who was born in Alaska. You do the math.

    Btw, where are your hands in that last photo, Dr. B.? Thought so.

  3. Didn’t you get the message? We are no longer at war with East Asia. We are now at war with Oceania. Or did I get that backwards? Gosh, it’s so hard to keep up.

  4. I find the Hummel figurines in the first photography very problematic. Völkisch, if you know what I mean. Add the beer steins on the shelf above, and its just Wow!

    • You’ve probably read The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. Espionage and sedition entail weird mix-ups like the one that you observe. If my memory played me no tricks, the owner of the house would have been a Herr Mundt or perhaps a Frau Merkel.

  5. Pingback: Hacked by Russia: A True Confession | Reaction Times

  6. Basically it’s guilt by suspicion. I think that was a movie from the early 1990s with Robert DeNiro. On my phone I have an app that translates words into Russian so I hope I am not going to be hunted down.

    • It probably wouldn’t surprise you to know that he’s plain old “Vlad” to me. He visited Oswego not too long ago and, as we like to say, we got “hacked” together at Old City Hall, my favorite tavern.

  7. The real question is whether the Russians have meddled. Clearly there are connections. Don’t get me wrong, connections are pretty bad, but meddling, that I just can’t abide.

    • Total incoherence belongs essentially to the hacking meme, which is about as muddled as it can get. In fact, muddling seems to be the primary result of meddling. Our motto should be: No middling, unmuddled meddling theories!


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