In the style of Po-210

For seriousness on Litvinenko, visit Sean Guillory

A lot of the little we know of the Litvinenko murder comes from British tabloids, and what seeps through clearer channels, tastes tabloid, so the whole affair feels morosely grotesque to darkly absurd.

A certain Prof. Scaramella, an expert on poisons from Milan, is involved, lending the tale a Medician flavor. “Polonium” sounds exactly the same as “Polonius” in Russian… I’m reminded of a Conan Doyle story in which an ill-meaning expert on exotic diseases tries to infect Sherlock Holmes with a deadly strain by sending him a little box with a hidden spring that would fatally scratch the detective’s hands.

I don’t remember if I’ve ever had this sense of global absurdity before. The fact that it’s Dec. 15 and there’s still no snow on the ground in Moscow only makes things worse. It just can’t be. You must be joking.

One comment

  1. Yes, it’s a very odd winter so far. The Litvinenko affair is like something out of James Bond. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rosa Klebb and SMERSH were involved. But tabloid attention here has now moved to the serial killings in Ipswich. It seems Jack the Ripper has returned to haunt us too.

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