Some at the Moscow Times are, like me, fascinated by the dizzying highs of Moscow at play. The holiday season brings in a special wave of short bus-riding elitny ridiculousness: corporate parties. Since it's already mid-December, people have left for the holidays and no one is paying attention to what's going in the paper anyway, I was able to make my debut as an authoritative nightlife anthropologist correspondent.
"Companies skimp on health benefits, toilet paper and coffee creamer for an entire year for the ultimate holiday blow-out," nightlife blogger Moscow Doesn't Believe in Tears, or MDBIT, said in an e-mail interview. She declined to give her real name because she said a corporation owns her and could easily withhold her lunchtime blogging privileges.For the record, it was a Facebook, not email, interview, but the AP style guide doesn’t yet accommodate that medium.
Companies are also willing to pay top dollar to bring a famous face to a party. "They don't do much more besides smile confusedly and pose for photo ops," the nightlife blogger, MDBIT, said in e-mailed comments.
"Remember Gwyneth Paltrow? Academy Award-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow? Martini paid to have her in a cage at one of its parties" MDBIT wrote. "If Moscow history has taught us anything, it's that anyone can be bought."
"The presence of a celebrity validates the affair under the principle that if you throw enough money at something, it becomes truth," MDBIT wrote. "Also, it's a middle finger to the rest of civilization: 'We OWN you, bitches!'"
The big news of this season is that Oleg Deripaska rented Rihanna for a Russian Aluminum party, and invited fellow brazillionaire Roman Abramovich. Actually, Tvoi Den put it better: “Deripaska Gives Black Woman as Present to Abramovich for $500,000.” Ah, oligarch love.
Back on earth, corporate parties are less about human trafficking, more about scamming halyava (free shit), especially alcohol. I am told it is the case with corporate parties the world over, but for reals, everyone at my corporate party was dry-hump-the-secretary, put-on-an-afro-and-pull-a-nylon-over-your-head-“Look-I’m-black”-dance drunk.
Here are some poor Russian’s corporate party photos, because I didn't take any of my own. But it looked pretty much the same, down to Igor filming it all for Monday morning retribution.
Photos: Tden.ru, picasaweb.google.com/Filimonenkow