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Feature Story April 16, 2004
 
Facial Humilation
By Jake Rudnitsky Browse author Email
 
Page 5 of 5
 
Whether by virtue of the Chinese coat or the fact that I go there every week, we breezed through Garage's face control. Things were looking grim: three rejections do not an article make. We were drowning our sorrows in vodka tonics when, out of nowhere, salvation appeared. A babe we were talking to handed us a VIP card for what she called Moscow's newest after party club. The place was called Diamond Hall and was in, of all unlikely places, the Rossiya Hotel. It was too tempting to pass up.

By now it was after six, and the cards said the club works from six to two in the afternoon. We were drunk, but not vulgarly so. Amazingly, we seemed to have stumbled on some sort of hotspot; car after car of people pulled up and groups were waiting by the door, eager to drop 400 rubles for the cover. at six AM! Most of them had a pre-crisis look about them -- flatheads and extravagantly painted hot girls -- but the place was happening. Some of them were getting turned away. Even an expensive dive in the Rossiya that didn't open 'til six has face control these days.

We tried rushing the gates, but the art director was onto us. We tried flashing the cards, but he didn't know us, so we weren't going anywhere. We namedropped the girl who'd told us about it (although at Garage, there's a good chance she was a whore who'd given us a fake name). Nothing. Other, In people streamed by us.

You'd think we'd feel grateful that this guy kept us out of what was bound to be an overpriced, cheesy club. But that's not how getting feised works. Watching some monkey exercise power over you hurts, there's no denying it. No matter how you try to rationalize how much more worthy, intelligent, worldly, or sophisticated you are, getting denied gets your blood up. Even a system as transparent and self-defeating as Moscow's face control -- what objections could a club possibly have against you spending money there? -- manages one thing well: it humiliates. And that, ultimately, is why Russians have latched onto face control like nowhere else on earth. Like an abused woman, they've reached a point where they've started to enjoy it, and couldn't imagine life any other way.
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