Thursday, September 25, 2008

Freakonomics, or In Defense of Fair Trade

It occured to me recently that the Moscow bar scene is a perfect example of "race to the bottom," a trade theory usually applied to sweatshops. That is to say, competition between countries (the women attending the bar) over attracting investment (male attention) leads to the reduction of regulations (standards of social conduct). Ultimately, it is those who abandon all vestiges of dignity who survive.

This is not an uncommon scenario: You rock up to the bar with Lena and Katya from work and predictably, there are about 3 eligible bachelors in the place.

Sasha, Sasha and...Sasha

The female-male ratio standing at 25-1, the air is thick with tension. Women start nervously preening and bending their bodies with unnatural rigidity to display their sexual organs. Conditions are bad, but they're about to get much worse.

Enter topless go-go dancers, the match to the gasoline. When these lithe animals start shaking their ta-tas on the bar, you lean over to Katya and Lena to suggest "fuck this place, let's get the fuck out of here" only to find that they have taken to the dance floor. To keep up with the go-go dancers, they are doing some sort of freaky deaky kick dance.

When it becomes clear that the naked chicks are still recieving far more attention, rather than give up, Lena and Katya become more and more determined. By the time you finally drag them off of each other, they're already... doing THAT.

Throughout all of this, Dima continues calmly smoking his kalyan, bored, trying to watch football on the plasma screen.

The point is that in this economic model, no one wins: not the desparate chicks lezzing out on the dance floor, not the guys who have become dizzy and nauseated of women as if they ate too much sugar, and certainly not the MDBITs who go home to write about it in their blogs. However, with a little solidarity, some grassroots organizing, it can be overcome. Si se puede!