I watched the 2011 movie Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, based on the John le Carré novel written before he became quite so consumed with his own Left-wing politics. As a young man, I had tried to watch the Alec Guinness miniseries, but didn’t have the attention span. Happily, this movie moves at a better clip. The movie and book is a fictional retelling of hunt for the Cambridge Five.
One of the more bracing moments of the movie is when the staff of “The Circus” (MI-6)’s Russian Section breaks into a spirited rendition of the Soviet National Anthem, led by a Santa Claus wearing a Lenin mask:
I laughed out loud at the sheer give-a-sh!t ballsiness of ironically singing the national anthem of your mortal enemies for entertainment at your annual Christmas Party. But . . . I can’t help notice that while Soviet era art is treated as harmless kitsch, it would be hard to find any portrayal of, say, WWII analysts singing Deutschlandlied, let alone the Horst Wessel Song, to similarly humorous effect.