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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


America's Charms

In response to "'Seinfeld' Can't Replace That Russian Chaos," Aug. 24.


America "has many charms," claims Moscow's leading expatriate femme savante, "but it doesn't begin to compare to Russia's chaotic excitement." Those charms, though, are limited it seems to the newspaper coupons, fashion trends, fast-food restaurants and "Seinfeld" reruns that, evidently, define thrill-seeker Jean MacKenzie's life in America, a life to which she is "not sure" she could go back.

Not Sure? Had I left behind the life that Ms. MacKenzie (or her good friend, Mary) apparently lived/lives in America, I, too, would dread going back.

No wonder Ms. Mackenzie prefers "raucous" Russian dinner parties, with their "surfeit of good food, eclectic drink, flowery toasts and home-grown philosophy." They fill the void.

Shopping malls, fast-food restaurants, fashion accessories and "Seinfeld" reruns, it's true, have no value. But Americans, comprising rather an idealistic nation, live among, not by things. Were Ms. MacKenzie able so to live, too, perhaps she would be less prone to banal paradoxes and to bad-mouthing the land where she was born.

Steven Nielsen