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Victor Rothschild Rothschild

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"... I am not, and never have been, a Soviet agent."
--
Letter to newspapers, 1986

 
Victor Rothschild Rothschild

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For years you'd sit there waiting for the telephone to ring, and then when they'd cut off the telephone, you'd have to tramp out to the call box over the road. "I've already put two shilling pieces in." That used to go on all the time, phoning the agent. "When's he coming back from lunch? Well, would you tell him I called? Bruce Robinson. No, Bruce. B-R-U-C-E." I used to get that. I was at some crummy party somewhere, and here's my agent talking, and he says, "So, what do you do?" I said, "You're my agent!" I'll never forget him saying that.

 
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"I am on the anti-imperialist left." The Stalinist left? "I wouldn't define it that way because of the pejoratives loaded around it; that would be making a rod for your own back. If you are asking did I support the Soviet Union, yes I did. Yes, I did support the Soviet Union, and I think the disappearance of the Soviet Union is the biggest catastrophe of my life. If there was a Soviet Union today, we would not be having this conversation about plunging into a new war in the Middle East, and the US would not be rampaging around the globe."

 
George Galloway
 

About three decades ago, when I needed to purchase some office equipment, chiefly steel filing cabinets, I was amused by a firm whose computer, having been informed that R.P. Oliver was the purchasing agent for R.P. Oliver, offered the former a secret "kick back" of 20% if he would buy their products at the expense of the latter. Another firm offered the purchasing agent a "complimentary" woman's mink jacket, which would be sent with his compliments to "any address," thus tactfully permitting him to choose between his wife and his doxy. That would have been good business, had the computers been operated by someone with intelligence enough to notice the odd coincidence between the name of the purchasing agent and the name of the owner to be exploited.

 
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His language had a special vocabulary — not just "the SF" [God] and "epsilon" [child] but also "bosses" (women), "slaves" (men), "captured" (married), "liberated" (divorced), "recaptured" (remarried), "noise" (music), "poison" (alcohol), "preaching" (giving a mathematics lecture), "Sam" (the United States), and "Joe" (the Soviet Union). When he said someone had "died," Erdős meant that the person had stopped doing mathematics. When he said someone had "left," the person had died.

 
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When I was in the Soviet Union recently I was being interviewed by a newspaperman and he said, "Which dancers influenced you the most?" and I said, "Oh, well, Fred Astaire." He looked very surprised and shocked and I said, "What's the matter?" He said, "Well, Mr. Balanchine just said the same thing."

 
Fred Astaire
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