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Life imitates propaganda
August 30, 2007 2:33 PM   Subscribe

Recently deceased Leona Helmsley left $12 Million to her dog, as predicted by Soviet propagandists in 1963. Other predictions have been less than accurate.
posted by TrialByMedia (35 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
I also heard she left money for her mausoleum to be steam-cleaned once a month. How does one set up a trust to do this? How do you leave money to a dog?
posted by geoff. at 2:42 PM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yes, please let me know.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:46 PM on August 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


Fussy is he? Poodle?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 2:46 PM on August 30, 2007


There was an episode on 'Animal Planets' Animal Rescue about a man who had a dog called 'Sexy'. I snicker'd the entire hour.
posted by doctorschlock at 2:48 PM on August 30, 2007


"Interplanetary Revolution" was the greatest thing I've seen in a long time. Absolutely stunning. Thank you ever so much for posting that. Now off to check the other links!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:51 PM on August 30, 2007


Yeah, seconding the niftiness of interplanetary revolution. Thanks for this!
posted by piratebowling at 2:57 PM on August 30, 2007


that helmsley bitch was a looker, eh? WOOF!
posted by quonsar at 3:04 PM on August 30, 2007


And then there is "Patrick," the imaginary dog in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, cared for by William Simon Glover who received a weekly stipend set aside by the dog's deceased owner Mr. Bouhan. Long after the dog's death Glover continued to collect from the estate. Many in Savannah knew it and asked Glover when he's out on his daily walk: "Still walking the dog?"
posted by ericb at 3:14 PM on August 30, 2007


The "Interplanetary Revolution" was really interesting. I thought that it was really strange though that it swastika showed up so much, since in 1924 I can't imagine that the Soviets would see the Nazis as such a threat, and I can't think of anything else that they could have signified with the swastika.
posted by vorpal bunny at 3:17 PM on August 30, 2007


Looks like animal trusts have their own separate law protecting them. If you leave money to an animal it looks like the caretaker is the one who actually receives the money. It would be pretty hard to prove you weren't using it on the dog, as dogs are notorious for being non-litigious in nature.

Anyway, not much love for a woman who seemed to actively deny her Jewish heritage (Rosenthal was her last name) and despite her wealth she didn't even have hanger-ons in later years. It wasn't that she used money to control people, everyone does that to some extent. She was just so blatant about it.
posted by geoff. at 3:22 PM on August 30, 2007


(a) That Russian animation was beautiful.

(b) Leona Helmsley manages to disgust me even after death.
posted by cazoo at 3:24 PM on August 30, 2007


The "Interplanetary Revolution" was really interesting. I thought that it was really strange though that it swastika showed up so much, since in 1924 I can't imagine that the Soviets would see the Nazis as such a threat, and I can't think of anything else that they could have signified with the swastika.

Leftists generally find fascists terrifying, given that the fascist policy toward leftists tends to be violent extermination.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:45 PM on August 30, 2007


The Queen of Mean
"Only the little people pay taxes!"*
Only assholes go to Hell.
posted by ericb at 3:48 PM on August 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


I understand that Paris Hilton's will states that, in the event of her death, Tinkerbell is to get Paris's vagina. Following Leona's lead, she has also set up a trust fund for that to be steam-cleaned once a month.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:00 PM on August 30, 2007


Lemme just use this general semi-public space to make an announcement:

ATTENTION WORLD!

If you are rich and dying and have a beloved pet that you want to ensure is well taken care of, contact me! I will make sure that Fluffy is cared for.

DISCLAIMER: Trust must be at least one million dollars, I will care for animal till I get bored, or my pets eat it. Or I eat it. Size of trust dependent of weight of animal. An additional one million will be required for each extra pound that the animal weighs. Animals may be shaved. Animals may be painted. Animals will likely be used to pull around a sled with me cracking a whip and yelling 'Mush!'

"Cared for" may be a euphemism for 'frozen'


So give me a call today!
posted by quin at 4:15 PM on August 30, 2007 [5 favorites]


Just FYI, the animations from this post are from a collection entitled "Animated Soviet Propaganda: from the October Revolution to Perestroika."
posted by cog_nate at 4:29 PM on August 30, 2007


One of the best things about youtube has been that it allows the average American to see far more mid-century Soviet propoganda than ever before.
posted by sy at 4:38 PM on August 30, 2007


recte "propaganda." Jiminy God!
posted by sy at 4:38 PM on August 30, 2007


If you are rich and dying and have a beloved pet that you want to ensure is well taken care of, contact me!

If you are rich and taken up by the Rapture and have a beloved pet that you want to ensure is well taken care of, contact JesusPets.
posted by ericb at 4:43 PM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Doris Duke left her dog $100K or so, and the trust was challenged. But the dog lawyered up got the cash.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:01 PM on August 30, 2007


Someday, if I work hard I will be as rich as Leona's dog.

*begins humping random legs*
posted by jonmc at 5:06 PM on August 30, 2007


For those of you as curious as I was about the legal situation, here's a page on legalzoom about "pet trusts".

This blog indicates that in New York specifically, the funds revert to the estate after 21 years or the death of the pet, and a "court may reduce the amount of the property transferred if it determines that amount substantially exceeds the amount required for the intended use." Hopefully sense prevails, though I won't hold my breath.
posted by blacklite at 5:14 PM on August 30, 2007


of course, as a wise man once said, Life ain't nothin' but bitches and money.
posted by jonmc at 5:30 PM on August 30, 2007


dogs are notorious for being non-litigious in nature

In the Doris Duke case, a young lawyer, I think his name was Ray Dowd, who was unrelated to any of the parties, just stepped in and started filing things on behalf of the dog.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:36 PM on August 30, 2007


Helmsley was sued by Charles Bell, a former employee who alleged that he was discharged solely for being homosexual. A jury agreed and ordered Mrs. Helmsley to pay Bell $11,200,000 in damages; a judge subsequently reduced this amount to $554,000.[10]
She was convicted but eventually managed to have her sentences, originally decades long, largely set aside except for 21 months, which she served.
Well mean as much as one can be, but also managed to escape significant financial damage and a very long sentece. It is good to be VERY rich and powerful, it makes you more equal then others, one would think.
posted by elpapacito at 6:06 PM on August 30, 2007


I don't know, elpapacito. If I had her money, I sure wouldn't serve 21 months. I'd disappear onto my own island or something. As rich as she was, to get her to serve any time at all has to be seen as some sort of victory.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:36 PM on August 30, 2007


I wish I could relate this story without admitting to reading Page Six, but Cindy Adams told about the time Leona insisted that Cindy's aging mother should spend the vacation season at her mansion. Despite the fact that moving this infirm old lady presented a disruption, Cindy finally agreed and her mother was installed. Out of town and informed by phone that Cindy's mother's health aid was gay, Leona ordered grannie to move out immediately.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:07 PM on August 30, 2007


It's too bad little Daisy Moshammer passed away last year. They might've made a cute little millionaire dog couple, I'm thinkin'.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:38 PM on August 30, 2007


Just goes to show that you shouldn't scowl all the time or your face will be permanently altered.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:45 PM on August 30, 2007


Bitches take care of their own.

Yes, yes, I know; accusations of misogyny can be sent to Idontcareshewasahatefulperson@gmail.com
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:48 PM on August 30, 2007


I thought the dual obituary of Brooke Astor and Helmsley in the Economist was pretty good.
posted by enn at 9:27 PM on August 30, 2007


It's like The Portrait of Dorian Gray in reverse. "Why, it's remarkable.... The years of evil and corruption inform every line and crevice on your hideous visage, and yet your portrait remains exactly the same as the day it was painted!!"

Loved the Soviet animation, too.
posted by maryh at 9:35 PM on August 30, 2007


Now this is pure half-remembered gossip, but wasn't part of the Charles Bell story that she thought they had an unrequited "relationship" and she believed he was her paramour?
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:29 AM on August 31, 2007


In Other, Non-Dog News . . .
posted by homunculus at 2:14 PM on August 31, 2007


I thought that it was really strange though that it swastika showed up so much, since in 1924 I can't imagine that the Soviets would see the Nazis as such a threat

The Soviets were dreaming of a Communist revolution in Germany, believing that it would be impossible to establish socialism if post-revolutionary Russia were isolated in Europe. In 1918/19, the German revolution came very close to fulfilling their hopes, but its socialist elements lost out in the end. Since then German Communists had been involved in regular street battles with proto-fascists and the early Nazi party, who were explicit in their intent to control the streets and strangle any burgeoning revolutionary activity.

This cartoon was made the year after the Beer Hall Putsch, at a time when Russia was in a pretty bad state - the Civil War and its aftermath had been unbelievably painful, there had been no successful revolutions in Western Europe, and Lenin had just died. At that point it was becoming clear that the German fascists were one of the biggest threats to the long-term survival of Russian socialism.
posted by stammer at 12:52 AM on September 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


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