The Eternal Russia
Last updated: July 14, 2009
July 7, 2009
Every few weeks another video of Vladimir Putin makes rounds in the Russian speaking part of the Internet. Most of these videos are about Vladimir Putin visiting various places around the country, from Russian Academy of Science to industrial complexes, where Vladimir Putin entertains his audiences by treating them all as infantile imbeciles. As a person who grew up under the old Soviet regime I should notice that in these matters Vladimir Putin has by now plainly surpassed all last Soviet leaders starting with Leonid Breznev.
Regardless of how eternal Russia generally is, some aspects of Russia seem sure to happen as eternal as Mother Russia herself is going to be. My own understanding of the Soviets has changed tremendously over the last years, partly because of this stuff. Many aspects of the Soviet Communism I used to consider integral to communism in general until very recently, I view now as part of Russian culture and mentality. You can blame political systems for only that much.
In fact, I was occasionally blogging about Putin before, but the video currently circulated among Russian bloggers will probably relieve me of the need to do so anymore. The video is both short and very illustrative of a weird personality cult around Russian PM, former president and in many respects best described as a post Soviet imitation of Russian Czar without a throne.
The clip is provided with subtitles. I should admit that it's a pretty loose translation as I can't be bothered so much as to waste my time on subscripting YouTube videos. Nevertheless, the video should give one a pretty good idea of what modern Russia is about and what's going on behind the linguistic barriers that most people who don't speak Russian can't cross.
No commentary is necessary, though people unfamiliar with Russia history should be probably provided with a brief explanation regarding two individuals mentioned in the clip. Boris and Gleb are two princes from the early Russian history who gave their lives away without a fight during a fratricide war for the throne of Kievan Rus. Their deaths are a kind of archetypal for the variety of Christianity practiced in Russia which (at least theoretically) extols the virtues of self effacement and sacrifice. Both were canonized and accorded the status of saints.
Those who have patience to translate and subscript more of this stuff are welcome to do it and I will gladly embed these videos into my post. In fact, I was thinking about setting up a separate site with such videos to provide outsiders with an access to this aspect of modern Russia. As for now, you are welcome to enjoy this one.
If you don't see the subtitles, find an upward arrow at the right bottom of the video and try this...
July 8, 2009
:D :D Thanx, Nizo...
Clipping from the Novaya Pravda, July 7th 2009:
"From now on all canonizations must be first approved by the prime minister office. Saint candidates must provide proof of due diligence in fighting back against martyrdom before receiving probationary miracle licenses."
:D :D Thanx, Bruno
July 14, 2009
According to the Associated Press, during his visit to Russia Barack Obama found Russian President Medvedev to sound surprisingly similar to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
This is one of those moments when the only thing one can do is to hope that American president is just very polite or a bit naive. Touching naivety - Abu Rakun would have said. I am wondering how Obama would have characterized Putin's views if he would have been first introduced to Ilya Glazunov.
Jul 7, 2009
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says his first meeting with President Barack Obama went "very well."
The former Russian president called the two-hour meeting "substantive, informative and collaborative."
Putin told reporters he and Obama "covered the issues from previous years" and found "many positives" and "many points in common."
Obama also had good things to say about their meeting Tuesday, and said he found Putin's views similar to those of Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev.
Source: The Associated Press
Clarification: Following this post a question came as to what and who lyrebirds can and cannot imitate. Lyrebirds can imitate quite a lot, virtually any sound, but this is not the point. The lyrebird of Youtube is a mythical creature, inspired by the famous chainsaw mimicking lyrebird of David Attenborough. It's more like a synonym for somebody endlessly engaged in intense vocal imitation.
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