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Odds & Ends: Operation Successive Ice Storms Edition

by poemless Tue Dec 11th, 2007 at 06:14:19 PM EST

Contents:  Everything you ever needed to know about this Medvedev fellow, Another little something to add to my wish list, A full length documentary (For real? Yes, for real!), The Nietzsche v. Kant smack down, and Blogging for Charity!  Plus, Misha!

So it was apparently not enough for me to come down with a head cold on top of a hangover (was a great party Sat., btw) on top of PMS on top of 2 weeks till Christmas and not one bloody present purchased.  No.  Lest I imagine I could muster some willpower and venture out into the world, brave the grumbly crowds (I'd fit right in, and have a legitimate medical excuse...) and return home with anything resembling a feeling of accomplishment, not one, but TWO ice storms just hit the area.  Upstanding citizens who had spent the previous week shoveling their sidewalks every other day, following numerous snowstorms, have inadvertently created 235 square miles of DEATH TRAPS.  Emergency rooms are overflowing with ankle sprains, dislocated hips, heads cracked wide open with brains gushing out all over the place. Shopping bags with their contents spread in disarray in busy intersections and slushy gutters.  General hysteria.  Age old dilemma between procrastination and assured physical harm.  Otherwise known as Winter In Chicago: the global warming years.

Bet the Russians wouldn't let something like a hangover and an ice storm cramp their style.  Well, especially given how hangovers and bad weather pretty much constitute the foundation of their style...  

Anyway, complain about Russian governance, but apparently they don't take off for bad weather and holiday cheer.  No slackers in Novo-Ogarevo.  The rest of the world looks out at gray skies and impassible highways and thinks. "I just want to go home, order a pizza and watch tv."  Ok, maybe that's just America.  Politicians take the holiday season off, knowing fully well that the weekly quota allotted every citizen for critical thought has been exhausted from pricing HDTVs and because they think so lowly of themselves that they suspect any major political decisions announced around the holidays will just bum everyone out and make them switch the channel to America's Next Top Model.  Hell, we could bomb Iran next week and you know it would only be discussed once everyone became bored with ice storm tales of horror and had finished their holiday shopping.  Only 2 weeks to go!  Shut up!  Don't interrupt me, I'm trying to concentrate!  Americans aren't struggling to decide between Hillary and Barack, but between the pink iPod or the green one.

Not the Russians!  The winter arrives, the holidays draw near and the nation's civil servants are all like, "Let's get this party started! Everybody in the house?  Listen up, people (little zakuski spoons tinkle against vodka glasses).  Can I have your attention?  Hey, you Nashi kids, can you stop making out for a second, we have an big announcement.  Thanks. Now, .... The next President of Russia is ...  Give it up for Dmitrii Medvedev!!!!  And his charming PM, you know who I'm talkin' about, VVP himself!!!  A Toast!  Za Rossii!, Za zdorovye!, Za Operation Successora!"

One year Americans were forced to wait until Dec. 11 to find out who our next President would be.  We all remember how nicely that turned out...  

Yeltsin actually announced Putin's nomination on New Year's Eve itself.  Can you imagine?  ...


1.  Medvedev Round-Up

The only thing that could possibly be more predictable than the results of the recent Duma elections is Putin's pick of Dmitrii Medvedev for President, and Medvedev's pick of Putin for PM.  I heard some wacky predictions ranging from Putin changing the constitution to give himself a 3rd term, to the nomination of the Mayor of St. Petersburg, to the return of Tsarism.  Leave it up to those sneaky Russians to do the last thing we'd ever predict: exactly what we expected them to...  Sigh.  Frankly, I was rooting for Ivanov.  Because I heard a rumour that Condi Rice was madly in love with him, and that he did not return the favor.  Anyone who can break that bitch's heart deserves some kinda reward.  Anyway, everyone's been muttering about Medvedev for ages, saying it's so obvious, Putin would never do it.  See, he's sneaky like that.  It's his background as a spy that makes him make us think he isn't going to do what everyone thinks he's going to do and then he does it and everyone is baffled.  If it's your turn to take out the garbage and you get up and take out the garbage, this is a non-event.  If it is Mad Vlad's turn to take out the garbage and he gets up and takes out the garbage, several dozen Kremlinologists high on their own inkpen fumes will spend a month analyzing it for you.  Maybe they will even write a book about it, including 20 pages of end notes with references like, "Source close to Putin, wishes to remain anonymous," and go on Charlie Rose to hawk their Putin book and spend gobs of time decrying Putin's cult of personality.  

Which is to say, anyone who has ever written anything about Russia is certifiably insane.  

Oh, right, Medvedev.  So, he's one of those St. Petersburg loyalists Putin is always importing into the Kremlin.  He's the Chairman of Gazprom's board of directors.  He's endorsed by the political parties:  United Russia, A Just Russia, Agrarian Party of Russia and Civilian Power.  He's NOT a former KGB/FSB guy.  He's considered an economic "liberal," meaning, I suppose, a Capitalist, but not a puppet of the West.  He's pretty young.

But more importantly:  He's a metalhead who does yoga and has a wife who likes to party!  

Russian 'bear' who loves Black Sabbath set to succeed Putin

In a recent interview with the Russian magazine Itogi, Medvedev revealed his passion for rock music, saying that, "vinyl really sounds better than CDs."

The man who may well become leader of the largest nation on Earth said he had spent much of his youth compiling cassettes of popular Western groups, "Endlessly making copies of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple."

All these groups were on state-issued blacklists during Medvedev's Soviet-era schooldays.

"The quality was awful, but my interest colossal," he said.

Medvedev went on to boast of his collection of Deep Purple LPs, saying that he had searched for the albums for many years.

"Not reissues, but the original albums," he added, concluding that, "If you set yourself a goal you can achieve it."

How inspiring...

Svetlana Medvedev, Russia's likely 1st lady, met hubby at school

An influential Russian business daily, Vedomosti, said Svetlana, described by her friends as a strong-willed woman, had graduated from a financial and economic institute.

She is also reportedly a party animal. In 2005, Svetlana was seen at a housewarming party thrown by Russian pop diva Alla Pugachyova. She also attended the singer's birthday party in April.

In the same month she became the head of a sponsors' board for a program on spiritual and moral development of Russian youth under the patronage of Alexy II, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

On October 24, she attended the opening ceremony of Fashion Week in Moscow, according to the Express Gazeta tabloid.

What a bunch of hipsters they're going to have running that country...  

Putin's Purple reign man

His dual role as chairman of the vast Gazprom monopoly puts him at the vanguard of Russia's revival on the back of high energy prices. One of his most famous photographs shows the politician frying an omelette for a babushka in a newly gasified village.

Medvedev's frequent meetings with young families, his casual clothes and his homey interviews (he practises yoga and likes swimming) have been carefully crafted to identify him with Russia's emerging middle class: a new generation that can afford to redecorate their apartment, get broadband internet, buy a decent stereo and go on holiday to Turkey.

Born on September 14 1965 into a family of professors, Medvedev was known as a conscientious student who voluntarily joined Soviet work gangs collecting potatoes on weekends.

Ok.  On the "Coolest President Scale" Russia just went to all the way to 11.  Why can't I get a headbanging, downward dog posing, Soviet potato work gang volunteering candidate for President?  Am I going to have to defect or something?  I have a few more kinda serious remarks on the topic of Medvedev before I close with a gem of Wisdom from Mark Ames.  

First, I'm really going to miss Putin.  He better stick around in some fantastic capacity.  And I don't mean as a Louis Vuitton model.  I guess Dima sounds like a lot of fun, but you just can't replace the fabulous VVP... </sniff>  

Second... Ok, now I'm serious.  Come back.  Pay attention for a second:

Everything everyone is saying about Medvedev being a Putin puppet or a surefire advocate for Putin's policies was said about Putin when Yeltsin chose him.  The point is not just that they were wrong, but the system does not seem to be designed to support such a plan.  Just sayin'...  

From the eXile:

Trying to understand Medvedev and his significance through the liberal/Stalinist prism explains nothing; Dmitry Medvedev is neither liberal nor neo-Stalinist, but rather, Russian, the sort of Russian who was groomed in the chaotic and savage transition from perestroika through Putin's stabilization. That's a bit too morally complex for folks like Anne Applebaum, who still believes that Putin-The-Terrible stole her wallet from her Moscow hotel room. The naming of Medvedev in truth muddies the simple moral arithmetic. But to understand Medvedev's meaning is to attempt to understand Russia, and that supposes a lot from us outsiders, starting with our admission that we don't get a single fucking thing about this place.

Preach it, brother!

2.  Propaganda: Skipping The good, and heading right for the bad, and the ugly.

"The Putin System."  

I came across this in an eXile article about how the Kremlin was censoring Latvian TV for showing this less than complimentary made-for-French-TV documentary.  I have no idea how the Kremlin can censor Latvian TV.  But I do know that the filmmakers display a deep respect for the Soviet art of agit-prop.  Not sure who gets the last laugh here...

OMG!  And you thought I had issues!

from a Nashi fashion show

Well.  I do.  But I don't have any "VOVA! I am with you!" bikinis...  In case you're wondering what to get me for Christmas.

BTW (and I say this as someone who does not like Nashi and their antics)  if I hear one more man go off on how there is no feminism in Russia, or about how Russian women prefer to be sex objects, or any of that crap, I am going to scream.  There are certainly, just as in America, women who fit that description.  Oh yes.  And the man-woman role mess over there is messier than I'd like it to be.  But despite everything you've ever read about Russia, women are practically running that country.  From the single mom/student/wage slave, to the urban professional, and of course the babushka whipping everyone into shape, if every Russian woman rolled over and acted like a blow up doll all day long, that country, like most countries, would come to a screeching halt.  Whether it's a product of the Soviet "everyone's a worker" system or a result of the fact that a generation of men was lost in a war and a following generation or two were lost to substance abuse and joblessness, all the Russian women I've known have been well-educated productive members of society.  And the kind of bad asses I would not dare tell how to live their lives.  I'm sure the Russian woman/willing sexslave thing is good for human trafficking business, but it's not a fair reflection of reality.  Or of the women who get up, deal with a family, head off to work, go to night school and come home and make sure there is something to eat because no one else can be bothered.  And all the while maintain her human sexuality.  I went to Russia thinking I was a feminist and came back humbled.  I'll leave it at that.

And wtf?  A feminist can't have crazy Vovka bikinis and show off her sexy little body?  Sounds like it's the blogger, not the Russian women, who has a messed up idea of feminism...  

Rant over.

3.  Kant over?  If Nietzsche's new negative attack ad works...

Those crazy German Philosophers.  I bet Joe Trippi is trying to get a contract with Heidegger...  Don't do it Martin!  He's a genius, but he'll  fleece you!

4. Blogs I Like.

You see me linking to the same old few blogs every week or so.  It's not that there are not other blogs out there, or that I don't read them; they just don't fit into my finely crafted pro-Russia gospel.  So I don't mention them, because everyone knows the key to quality journalism is to omit anything that does not advance your agenda.  It's like Poe's theory of the short story: "each choice made in the construction of the narrative must contribute to the dominant and pre conceived effect so as to lend the story a sense of consequence."  Indeed.  However, sometimes there are things which are completely tangential, loose ends, odd wanderings.  But you, dear reader, should not be kept ignorant on account of my quest for textual integrity.  So I'm sending you on a side trip, faithful that you will return.  

~ FreeRice.com

A vocabulary test.  For each word you get right, they donate 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program.  I could play this all day...

~ Russian Film Blog

Er, just what it says it is.  I haven't chosen the films for my ET Filmblog Diary, and am not 100% certain they'll be Russian, but if you want to brush up, get brownie points, curry favor, or just read about Russian Films, check this place out.

.........

Misha

Amnesty Calls on Russia for Fair Trials of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev

Today the human rights watchdog Amnesty International issued an important statement calling upon authorities of the Russian Federation to meet international fair trial standards in the new processes against Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. (link, PDF).

The statement notes: "In April 2005, Amnesty International called on the Russian authorities to ensure that Mikhail Khodorkovskii and his associates receive a fair trial which complies with Russia's obligations under the international human rights treaties to which it is a party. Two and a half years later, the organization is repeating its call, with increased urgency, as no visible steps have been taken to address concerns which were raised by Amnesty International as well as many other human rights organizations and lawyers. Amnesty International will continue to urge the authorities to ensure a fair trial for the two men."

Well, any excuse to mention Misha.  But boy does this take me back...  A friend and I started the AI chapter at our High School.  No one ever wanted to watch documentaries about torture cases in Turkey, but the Jamnesty concerts with their "alternative" bands and kids from the fringes of suburban society were some excellent times.  It's hard being a kid who actually cares about shit outside what's happening at the mall or on tv.  Anyway, then I went to college and was too busy breaking the law to spearhead letter-writing campaigns for people who hadn't.  Pretty pathetic.  I don't think I've made up for it by buying my Christmas cards from Amnesty International each year either...  Anyway.  Misha.  Amnesty International.  Almost makes me wanna bust out the stationery or hold a concert...  </sniff>

Tragic...

Ok, mes amis, thanks for reading.  Hope you all have a lovely week.  

If you're in the US, be careful.  Don't slip and fall and bust your skull wide open.  No one wants to see your slimy brain, ok.  Gross.  The rest of you, be careful too.  Don't get the idea your finely crafted Protected Designation of Origin European brains are more pleasing to the eye than ours.  elitists...

Ciao!

Display:
Heads up.  Medvedev Odds & Ends now showing...  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Tue Dec 11th, 2007 at 06:25:25 PM EST
I had a quick look... Something doesn't add up here...

First up, each question (after the first one) coughs up three adverts at the bottom of the page - click on any of the links, the operator of the web site gets paid for the "referral". If the click-through results in the user buying anything, the web site operator could get further fees up to a double-figure number of dollars.

And that assumes that there's no dodgy "click fraud" going on in the background every time you choose an answer.

The advertiser providing the links is listed on a lot of anti-spyware sites, for doing dodgy things with "tracking" cookies. SpySweeper doesn't like following their links, that's for sure - and that's generally a bad sign. This flies in the face of the site's Privacy Policy, which also expects YOU to opt-out of tracking by the individual advertisers.

Googling around suggests that a typical bulk sack of rice weighs about 50Kg, and you can expect around 2.5 million grains of rice in a 50Kg sack. That's right, all those ad impressions yesterday resulted in all of about twenty-five sacks (1.25 tonnes) of rice being donated. Or put another way, less than one typical truckload. That's a lot of clicks, for a tiny fraction of a typical aid convoy.

I'd hazard a guess that the cost of buying the rice is absolutely dwarfed by the ad revenue the site owner is pulling in, even after taking the site operating costs into account.

(EDIT: Those will be pretty hefty, given that they've made it to Digg, and lots of bloggers are talking about the site)

There's no indication of whether the site is operated by a registered charity, and the domains mentioned are registered to a PO Box in Indiana. John Breen was originally associated with The Hunger Site but that site has a pucker contact address - this new one doesn't. In fact, the ZIP code mentioned in the domain WHOIS record is only associated with PO Boxes.

In fact, the whole site is very short of contact details, other than an e-mail address to contact them about advertising. That's also a bad sign.

This could be legit, but the lack of info about revenue/donations, the rather terse privacy policy, the advertiser with the overly zealous tracking policy and general lack of contact details would make me very wary of the whole thing.

I'd really like to think this is for real, but I have some nagging doubts, and no easy way of getting answers without posing as an advertiser...

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2007 at 08:13:23 PM EST
Oh, I thought it meant free Condoleesa Rice. Something like "give her an enema!"

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 04:46:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just enjoy the vocab game.  If people get rice from my slacking off, all the better.  If not, I get smarter.  They don't ask for any personal info or anything.  Seems harmless to me...  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 10:57:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow, if Medvedev does Yoga, I am all for him. :-)

And that bikini picture - just amazing. It really shows how backward Russia is. I mean look at the model - she has actually a female body <shaking head>, not like the near death skelletons we get to see here in the west.

by Fran on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 01:04:49 AM EST
Great "Odds and Ends" diary poemless. PMS does wonders for you!

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 04:42:14 AM EST
The percentage of women running their own businesses is among highest in the world in Russia... so you are right on spot here.

Regarding the human trafficking - "Natashas" might be Russian-speaking, but they are much more likely to come from Moldova or Ukraine than from Russia.

by Sargon on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 05:03:34 AM EST
True on both counts...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 10:54:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have a Russian name. It was an accident though. I was supposed to be called Clare Rhiannon which would have been a bit more Welsh, but drugs and the trauma of childbirth caused slight confusion. People do ask me if I am Russian because I have dark hair and eyes. But I am not.

We had a bit of frost this morning. Almost as extreme as Cardiff gets. We were very surprised to have snow last year. The city ground to a halt under 3 inches of the stuff.  I've never experienced an ice storm but I have seen the film, Ice Storm.  Very good, if a little deviant.

As Fran implied, that bikini model is rather podgy by our standards, perhaps she should be fed with those rice grains from the dodgy website, to help her look more anorexic.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 09:28:06 AM EST
Interesting.  I have a Russian name (though spelled rather oddly - transliterated into German or something - I've always wanted to correct it), and given that I know some Russian and have been there, people assume I am Russian too...

I hated that movie, Ice Storm.  Mostly because I know people like those in the movie IRL and don't like them terribly much either...

RE: the curvy Russian model.  Indeed.  My first thought was, between my losing weight and the Russian models gaining it, I'm now the size of a Russian model!  And that just can't be right...  I wonder if it's a reflection of increased wealth.  Or maybe Vova just prefers curvy girls? ;) I know I went off on stereotypes about Russian women, but, erm, anorexia was pretty rampant among my female peers in Moscow.  I suspect part of that was about beauty standards.  But it's not like they had access to a whole lotta food either...  Maybe starving is more tolerable when you believe you're doing it by choice or something...


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 10:54:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After claims like that I'm forced to join LEP in his demands for photographs ;-)


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 12:00:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Claims like what?  

Besides, you have a lovely girlfriend.  What do you need my picture for?

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 12:08:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hot totty of ET, who wouldn't want your photo?! Such a fan base you are developing.

For the record, I'm not jealous.
< mutter>

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 12:15:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it's the classic feminist dilemma, isn't it.  Faced with an overwhelmingly heterosexual male audience, I can either storm off in a misunderstood rage or use the fact to my advantage.  Frankly, I would be a lot happier if people were more interested in what I write about, but whatever gets them to read what I write...  If their wild imaginations lure them into my web of propaganda, who am I to complain?

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 12:23:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure they appreciate your intellect too.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 12:39:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well if it's a choice it's prose rather than pictures.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 12:46:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a ridiculous false dichotomy.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 12:55:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree!

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 01:01:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK pair of godesses ;-) (applications for membership of the panthon accepted)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 12:26:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Wales. I didn't ask you for your photo because I already have several, along with our "in person" rencontre. Besides, we have a secret email correspondence that only we know about. Oops! I don't want to give everything away. I... have... to... stop... talking.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 12:50:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shush!

Besides, you should be focussing on the issues at hand, namely ice storms, Mishi and Russian things.  Not chasing for photos and shouting your incredulous claims of digital darkrooms and Clio fixing skills.

Shame on you, at your age.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 12:55:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously I meant Misha. I must pay more attention.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 01:01:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wasn't the girl in the pictures named "mishi mishi" or something?  That's who I thought you were talking about. :)

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 01:03:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is getting so complicated that I'm getting the vapors!

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 01:11:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Both are applicable really.  Though in honesty I don't encourage anyone to waste any time on mishi/mmmmm/manon/whatever.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 01:12:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know, "one man's waste is another man's profit."

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 01:18:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My first thought was, between my losing weight and the Russian models gaining it, I'm now the size of a Russian model!

What do we need your picture for? for worship. We have decided that you're a godess ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 12:25:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting.  Where should I begin?

Religion is rarely tolerated around here, or at least one can freely dismiss it without fear of pie fights.  One of the reasons I love this place.  It is relatively Deity-free.  Ok, Jerome may have acquired prophet status...  But I think might be more a reflection of the mainstream media's unbelievable arrogance and stupidity rather than some supernatural powers of the Frenchman.

Also, I know a lot of women are into the whole goddess thing, and while I'm not a religious person myself, I respect the right of others to believe whatever they like, so long as they don't ask me to go along with them.  You know what I don't like about "goddess" talk?  Embraced as it is by some feminists, it pretty much reinforces the myth that being intelligent, beautiful, inspirational and any other incarnation of fabulousness is beyond the reach of the merely mortal human female.  I prefer my human status and all of the ugliness and complications that accompany it.  It's our ugliness and complications which make our beauty and genius remarkable, don't you think?  So, feel free to worship if you must, but please leave me out of it.  I find the whole business mildly offensive.

I know you are just kidding and don't really worship people.  But I'd still appreciate it if you guys could stop demanding photos of me.  It's starting to creep me out.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 12:46:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ok sorry for any offence caused

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 12:59:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, no need to apologize.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 01:18:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So when I finally found the right xkcd strip explanations and apologises has already been written?

Well, I am going to post it anyway. Because it is funny and I did find it. Eventually.



Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 06:23:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL!!!!

Wait.  I don't think they were asking for naked pics...

Also, am I a hypocrite for posting pics of Misha and Vovka for my own enjoyment but refusing to post mine for the enjoyment of others?  Probably.  That fact won't change anything, however.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 06:28:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We're not quite that creepy ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 06:31:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think this discussion of photos is rather silly. Flirting aside, don't you think it's normal that when you converse with people day after day to want to see what they look like. Now, many of the people here I've already met at the ET meet ups; a good many of them. But I don't think I will ever meet you. It seems unlikely that you can come to Paris and I have no occasion to come to Chicago. The stormy present is one person  I'd like to meet and I'm hoping she'll be in Paris next spring; If there was no likelihood that I would ever meet her I would ask her to email me a photo. I have seen a photo of ceebs and of Sven. I would like to meet Chris Cook and Solveig and if they don't come to Paris one of these days I will hop across the Channel to one of their meet ups. I've seen a photo of kcurie and I would love to meet DoDo. etc., etc., etc.
Why you would find this normal human desire "creepy" is beyond me.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 01:38:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was under the impression that you'd actually seen my picture...

Anyway, I don't find you creepy, if that's what you're worried about.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 10:47:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Any suggestions/requests for the Filmblog?  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 01:25:05 PM EST
Night Watch!!!
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 01:27:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's one weird ass flick!

I'll be pretentious and nominate Solyaris, if only for George Clooney's butt...oh wait...

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde

by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 01:31:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's hardly pretentious, it's not even the original version. Tarkovsky's Solaris is great - but not for those brought up on films with cuts every three seconds:

A frequently criticized aspect of the film is the opening act, which is calm and slow-paced, with little of the drama of the rest of the film. In addition, some viewers feel that the lengthy car traffic sequence is too long for such an early part of the film, as it alienates some viewers. When asked about this by the Soviet censor overseeing the production, Tarkovsky said he made the opening sequence boring on purpose.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solaris_%281972_film%29



Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 04:02:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I keep meaning to get that off my shelves and watch it again

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 01:32:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hated it.  Isn't that terrible?  It's true.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 01:42:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, daywatch certainly sucked.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 01:51:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Daywatch is a hideous disappointment and whereas Night Watch veered off the plot somewhat, Daywatch left it altogether.  The books are really good. I hate seeing a good book ruined by a film.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 04:46:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nightwatch (the movie) was great for what a was - an action flick done outside of enforced hollywood cliches and culture. I haven't read the books.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 12:01:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have a lot of suggestions but it depends what areas you want to cover. Ted hasn't given us his choices yet. No one has ventured into comedy yet. I was thinking "Some like it Hot" which is filled with hidden social commentary and is very, very funny. There are so many films in the comedy category you could spend a year on it.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 01:34:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not a big fan of comedy.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 01:44:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Really?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 11:32:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Really.  Well, there are exceptions, of course.  Dark or perverse humour (I do love A Fish Called Wanda).  Or the rare smartly executed comedy of errors (Chaplin).  And I'll watch romantic comedies if someone delicious like Colin Firth is in them.  But in general, I won't go out of the way to see a comedy, no.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 12:04:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'Closely observed trains' would fit where, in your classifications? Or Billy Wilder's One Two Three?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 12:14:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Closely watched trains, like much of Czech New Wave film and Hrabal's stories, is certainly in the "dark," or at least tragically comic.  I should say that I love the sensibility I find in a lot of Czech stuff.  I don't know, there is a certain innocence+brutality I find in it.  I've had heated debates about Kundera (I find his characters sympathetic while some, maybe most, maybe even Kundera himself... find them pathetic.  Not the that the two are mutually exclusive...)  Anyway.

I've never see the other film you mentioned.  Though I'll say I've never understood why The Apartment is always shelved under "comedy."  About the unfunniest movie I've ever seen...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 12:37:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One%2C_Two%2C_Three

The Apartment was curate's eggish. I laughed in parts. But a long tme ago. The script is fine, except there is no-one to really sympathise with. The performances are too melodramatic.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 12:49:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks.  I just learned a new phrase. :)

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 12:52:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've never really understood the role of the curate, but I presume that a combination of a pittance of a Living and an overpoliteness in dealing with the meagre offerings of the souls in his care, conspire to test the desire to see good in everyone and every thing.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 01:00:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Prague in 68, there were long discussions with Czech fellow film students on whether it should be 'watched' or 'observed'. I always preferred 'watched'. and I am not sure why I used the other here.

I took part in the last May Day parade, held during that 'Prague Spring''

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 01:08:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ugly Swans?
by Sargon on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 01:51:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, are there any suggestions/requests for the Filmblog?  I am thinking of maybe doing Russian, Soviet, Czech film, or something like that.  Or experimental film (though those might be more difficult to come by for our international readers...)  I will absolutely not do science fiction.  I won't do straight comedy.  I probably won't do action flicks.  I secretly like romantic comedies but won't force that onto you, promise.  Or I could do political films...  See, I'm really undecided.  But no science fiction under any circumstances.  <<shudder>>

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 02:21:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How about Кукушка (The Cuckoo in English)? They don't make a whole lot of flicks that are in Russian, Finnish and Sami at the same time...

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 02:29:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"My Sweet Little Village" by the Czech director who did "Closely Watched Trains" perhaps? It's an amazingly good romantic comedy, 1985.
by Sargon on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 02:31:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ooh, will have to check that out.  "Closely Watched Trains" is brilliant.  As are Jiri Menzel and Bohumil Hrabal.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 02:33:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kolya - Czech film. Makes me sob my heart out every time.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 04:46:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eiseinstein ? I still haven't seen Potemkin, but October was Great.

No sci-fi. Not even Tarkovski's ? Still could have Andrei Rublev, though?

I'm a big fan of Paradjanov's Shadows of our Ancestors, too.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 11:27:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent suggestions; I'm just afraid of boring people...  Wait.  Paradjanov.  Sayat Nova.  

I could do 3 different "experimental" films from 3 different eras.  Eisenstein's Potemkin or Vertov's Man with a movie camera.  Paradjanov's Sayat Nova.  Sokurov's Russian Ark or Whispering Pages...

Too much?  Too obscure?

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 11:05:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not exactly along the same lines, but what's your take on Enemy at the Gate? Gotta love Bob Hoskins as Krushchev. And it's always good when Nazi officers get theirs.

paul spencer
by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 01:25:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hm.  Never saw it.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 01:34:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Go experimental! We need a challenge.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 11:33:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Please don't go experimental  where the only challenge is usually to one's patience :-) - apart, perhaps, from the classics mentioned, but they're no longer really challenging, even if they do make most recent "experimental" films look even more solipsistic and boring.

Why not go with films you REALLY like and want to share with people?

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 04:11:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why not go with films you REALLY like and want to share with people?

That's what I was doing, Ted.

Wow, how the fuck did I manage to write a diary that's spawned so much nastiness?  What the fuck did I say?  

You know you are also free not to participate.  I won't be holding a gun to anyone's head.

My one and only concern with my idea is the difficulty people might have finding the films.  And it's a big concern.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 04:32:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
poemless:
Wow, how the fuck did I manage to write a diary that's spawned so much nastiness?  What the fuck did I say?
You said "Russia". Right up there in the controversy department with "Nuclear power", "European Constitution", or "NATO".

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 04:37:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Really?  I've seen a shocking lack of infighting about Russia here (lana's trolling for the sake of trolling aside...)  I don't find a lot of disagreement, even when I'm promoting dictatorship as an acceptable form of governance.  And this is a "progressive community."  It's the whole entire rest of the world outside ET & Russia who disagree with me. ;)  

Still, I've managed to bring out the troll in Ted now.  What does he care about Russia?  He only cares that he doesn't like the (actually fucking brilliant) films I've chosen and is unable to fathom a world in which even one person does not share his impeccable taste.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 05:18:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
poemless:
Still, I've managed to bring out the troll in Ted now.
No, you've just gotten caught in the running battle between Ted and Sven.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 05:20:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh.

Didn't realize.

Er, as a pacifist, I'll just quietly back out now and let the boys continue this battle.  (Over what?  Is this some middle-age crisis ritual or something?  Since when are Nice and Helsinki on such bad terms?  Is it a film thing?  Am I required to take sides?  Why can't we all just get along?)

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 05:25:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See reply to Sven. There's no "battle", it just so happens that sometimes he comes out with things I disagree with. There are also many times when I don't disagree with him, but obviously they go unnoticed.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 06:29:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Still, I've managed to bring out the troll in Ted now.  What does he care about Russia?  He only cares that he doesn't like the (actually fucking brilliant) films I've chosen and is unable to fathom a world in which even one person does not share his impeccable taste.  

You read the wrong things into what I said - I wasn't criticising your choices at all - see other reply - I simply meant go with your choices - but just pick the two    
YOU like most - never mind what we think.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 06:21:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, apologies, chillax, all a misunderstanding...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Dec 14th, 2007 at 12:09:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not you - the Ted takes a perverse delight (I presume it is delight) in pulling what he thinks is my chain. He hasn't yet noticed that I am pedal-flush.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 04:41:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shiny flip top head go with that pedal flush?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 06:02:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]

There you go again - why not just take a disagreement for what it is, instead of attributing motives to others. I'd prefer to agree with you, I just happen not to on some topics - that's all. Try dealing with the points raised, or if you can't be bothered, just leave it at that.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 06:25:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It wasn't meant to be nasty - you were having some difficulty deciding and were asking for other people's recommendations - perhaps it would have been more clear if I'd said the two you like MOST.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 06:17:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
how the fuck did I manage to write a diary that's spawned so much nastiness?  What the fuck did I say?  

At least no one has brought-up the "L" word on the "P" word.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 08:00:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought it was the Astrology word that caused trouble round here

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 08:14:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently he's quitting the presidential campaign "for technical reasons":

Under Russian election law, presidential contenders who are not affiliated to one of four major parties that won seats in parliament must provide the details of two million supporters across the country.

Such contenders must also organise an "initiative group" meeting of at least 500 supporters before a December deadline.

"In all Moscow we have not been able to find a hall where our supporters could meet," Mr Kasparov said.

...

"They refuse to give us the hall for technical reasons."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7140946.stm
http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/actualites/international/20071212.OBS9834/presidentielle_russe__kaspa rov_jette_leponge.html


"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde

by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 01:30:03 PM EST
LOL.  It's the hall.  Yeah, we believe you, Garry...

Maybe he should spend less time watching Costas Gavras films and pleasuring the nice folks over at  the WSJ and more time hunting down 2 million Russian supporters.  Assuming there's one ounce of sincerity in his desire to be President...


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 01:41:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know about his desire to be president, but for his desire to be the face of the Russian opposition in the west it'll certainly look better if he was "prohibited" from running than if he won less than 2% of the vote. He has to think about the sales of the paperback version of his self-help book, after all.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 02:09:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The hall should be the least of Kasparov's problems. I doubt he can gather 500 supporters even in Moscow, 2 million signatures across Russia, and that he is serious about giving up his US citizenship.

Another imported (this time from the UK) presidential contender, Bukovsky, is having the same issues.

by blackhawk on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 02:31:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lana,

I have again deleted a comment of yours in which you include my name.  It is standard policy to not "out" people, or reveal their names, identity, etc. without their consent.  It is a matter of respect.  Many of the of the people on ET know who I am in real life, so it is more a matter of principle than of necessity.  So, please stop posting comments which include my name.  I know you are a rabblerouser, but I enjoy your posts and would not like to see you banned from ET for failure to follow really basic rules.  Feel free to repost your comments leaving out my name.

Thanks so much.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 01:36:34 PM EST
Where, FFS, is stated on here, that a person can't be called their real name? What standard policy are you talking about?

One would have thought that a standard policy on any site is:

  • either a person doesn't give any references according their real name (yours, for instance appeared via the link you had personally provided us with - not that I, or anybody else asked you to do this or had to dig deep) and then, indeed, may claim to be offended and supervised/patronised/whateverised. Your complaint doesn't look very convincing for me

  • or a person takes their real name as a site's nickname  freely, like Jerome, probably Barbara, many others or me - lana, after all, my real name (one of the numerous shorten variants of  a popular Russian name Svetlana) and doesn't have any problems with that.

So basic rules for the Internet are (from my point of view): don't give any personal information you don't want the others mention or use in any other way.

As for reposting my comments (ta very muchly, like I have much time!) -if any is interested they were mostly about that 'curvy' girl who you called a model. I noticed she's hardly can be counted as a real model, but a career-oriented student girl from the pro-pitin movement Nashi, whose looks is far from what is considered attractive in any part of ex-USSR for any ex-soviet nation. Normal body and rather ugly face. And of course, i couldn't help adding that i don't understand western women's contempt re stick insects i.e.real models who are, anyway, mostly Russian or ex-Soviet.

Well, now, after spending more time here that i had intended due to your childish complaint, I am glad to inform you and the rest that since today this site European Tribune is totally, utterly and absolutely banned from my usage for... er... at least 3 months. Next time you'll see my post you enjoy so much is - no earlier than in mid-March. Or i find a similar one, maybe less filled with oil and gas and more with...er... forests and seas. Or totally dedicated to dolphins.

I used to find your diaries rather funny as well (they remind me of a Soviet style of our journos's international articles posted in our provincial newspapers in 60s-80s - one of my main non-fiction read since i was 4) but many of my friends who had a look at this site think you're ...er...not the nicest person on here, to put it nicely.

by lana on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 02:55:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  1.  Well, now you know.  Don't out people.

  2.  I think we all know the difference between the Nashi girl and a "real" model. :) Which is what I was joking about.  

  3.  Leaving?  You probably could use a break...  

  4.  And no, I am not the nicest person here.  Nice is not a goal of mine.  Not one of yours either, it seems.  Well, look at that.  We have something in common.  

You know, now that you mention your friends...  a couple of things:  I don't think my posts have become more mean.  Does anyone else?  Also, neither you nor your friends ever comments on the political stuff I write.  Christ almighty, here is an American who actually wants to understand what's going on in 1/6th of the world, and all you can do is behave like a brat?  Have you or you friends no helpful insights to offer?  Sit down and tell me about yourself, what you think of your country, what's working, what's not working, why we should care, instead of pointing out everyone else's weaknesses.  Or don't.  Just be as unhelpful as possible.  Or leave and waste an opportunity.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 03:16:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not that I read every comment posted on this site, but I don't think anything you've written has struck me as particularly mean or disrespectful.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 04:29:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
here is an American who actually wants to understand what's going on in 1/6th of the world, and all you can do is behave like a brat?  Have you or you friends no helpful insights to offer?

If out of 140+ millions of citizens of Russia (from them, i suppose, about a million with at least my level of English) I am the only one Russian who lives permanently in Russia and posts on here that means something very wrong with your western attitude towards my country irrespectively of your political, cultural, economical etc views. You may still think it's only me who goes nasty regularly towards ETers (from my point of view - gets an adequate response to your nastiness, ignorance lack of interest or knowledge)and the rest of russkies soo adores the West that can't find the words to express their gratitude and good feelings towards you. Feel free to delude yourself and others.

My friends think i do a big favour to you - because 'nobody normal won't read that flaw of drivel for so long'.

As for you wanting understand us, well, what about learning our language (yeah, i know, it takes ages, loads of efforts and money)to the extent to be able to read that huge multi-million russian-speaking part of internet or even participating in it instead of very narrow-mindedly using some pour and very biased 10-15 possible sources about Russia in English? You know, when we want to understand or just know say, what's happening right now in Chicago we usually find a chicago newspaper or an appropriate site in the internet. Funnily enough i remember FarEastender was blamed by migeru for reading yellow press and making some conclusions based on them - oh yeah, he just referred to papers which are read by millions of  brits or americans but not of a very few on here. Can't you see how ridiculous your 'sources' and what you manage to compile from them - gossip, anecdotes, even more gossip look like even in comparison with those uh-oh unreliable media he  had mentioned?

When we wanted to understand the West we did it in that order:

  1. we travelled a lot and studied your languages

  2. we carefully learned your culture (or lack of it) and basics of your economics (paying too much)

  3. we were trying to communicate with you (thanks to the Internet), swallowing for a long time your endless insults re the way we look, we behave, our culture, drinking habits or lack of them, our history. Why for long? Because we weren't that sure at first of your nastiness (well, why would you, so democratic and just?) but, you know, if something looks like an insult and quacks like an offensive  nasty thought then it's a nasty one indeed.

Now we understand you all right. No valuable for us. Overpriced overadvertised nothings. Not true? Sue me or, even better, but more difficult, find a couple of Russians living in Russia who would agree to post comments (let alone diaries) on here regularly and wouldn't get angry and escape from here as fast as possible.
by lana on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 04:46:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If out of 140+ millions of citizens of Russia (from them, i suppose, about a million with at least my level of English) I am the only one Russian who lives permanently in Russia and posts on here that means something very wrong with your western attitude towards my country irrespectively of your political, cultural, economical etc views.

What Western attitude?  I am not nasty toward Russia.  I fucking love Russia.  I should fucking defect, I love it so much.  I'm sure you'll welcome me with open arms.  lol...

You may still think it's only me who goes nasty regularly towards ETers (from my point of view - gets an adequate response to your nastiness, ignorance lack of interest or knowledge)and the rest of russkies soo adores the West that can't find the words to express their gratitude and good feelings towards you. Feel free to delude yourself and others.

I'm not asking for good feelings.  I hate the West's arrogance for the same reason you do.

My friends think i do a big favour to you - because 'nobody normal won't read that flaw of drivel for so long'.

How can I repay you...

As for you wanting understand us, well, what about learning our language (yeah, i know, it takes ages, loads of efforts and money)to the extent to be able to read that huge multi-million Russian-speaking part of Internet or even participating in it instead of very narrow-mindedly using some pour and very biased 10-15 possible sources about Russia in English?

I've been learning your language since I was 16.  I got a bloody degree in it.  I somehow managed to survive in Russia speaking Russian alone.  Don't ask me how I did it.  As for my sources, I read English sites because 1) it's easy; I don't have to translate everything for everyone (not a lot of Russian speakers here 2) I follow the links, I find websites the same way everyone else does (google, blogrolls, etc.)  This is what I find.  Since I don't type with a Cyrillic keyboard, I don't get Russian results.  3) a lot of what I write about is the perception of Russia in the Western press.  It infuriates me.  

Anyway, I'd be more than happy if you could list some websites in Russian

You know, when we want to understand or just know say, what's happening right now in Chicago we usually find a chicago newspaper or an appropriate site in the internet. Funnily enough i remember FarEastender was blamed by migeru for reading yellow press and making some conclusions based on them - oh yeah, he just referred to papers which are read by millions of  brits or americans but not of a very few on here. Can't you see how ridiculous your 'sources' and what you manage to compile from them - gossip, anecdotes, even more gossip look like even in comparison with those uh-oh unreliable media he  had mentioned?

I do write a lot of gossip.  Guilty as charged.  

When we wanted to understand the West we did it in that order:

we travelled a lot and studied your languages

Did that.

we carefully learned your culture (or lack of it) and basics of your economics (paying too much)

I'm trying to do the same.  And to ignore your insults.  

we were trying to communicate with you (thanks to the Internet), swallowing for a long time your endless insults re the way we look, we behave, our culture, drinking habits or lack of them, our history. Why for long? Because we weren't that sure at first of your nastiness (well, why would you, so democratic and just?) but, you know, if something looks like an insult and quacks like an offensive  nasty thought then it's a nasty one indeed.

I am trying to communicate with you right now.  If I've insulted you, I am sorry.  Well, at least, I insult a little bit of everyone, foremost, myself.  So, perhaps I am not so sorry, but I do suspect there is some miscommunication here.  I have had a laugh at Russia's expense.  And you have had a laugh at ours.  But I make no judgements and speak for no one but myself.  You are the one who decided the fact that my friend was hit by a police car was a reflection of your country - not me.   My friend was hit by a police car and I want to go back anyway.  If that's not an endorsement, I don't know what is.  Yet you remain offended.  By what?  

Now we understand you all right. No valuable for us. Overpriced overadvertised nothings.

This is precisely the kind of ignorance and disdain with which our media treats you.  What is the saying about treat others as you would like to be treated yourself?  I'm not taking this bait.  You are obviously mad about something, and if it's not what I am also mad about, I don't know what it is.   But thanks for reminding us that you are but one of 140+ million citizens...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 05:17:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hehe LOL.

My dear lana, from someone making an issue of being someone living in her country of birth, and dismissing countrymen who live abroad, it is pretty inconsistent to consider someone who hasn't lived in Britain since his teens a Brit. And that's not your only inconsistency.

It seems your treatment in Britain, which you won't write about, resulted in a chronic inferiority complex that you can't get over. You may labour under the illusion that what you do is mirroring Western attitudes and hypocrisy towards Russia, however that doesn't cut it. If you'd really wanted to show 'em, you could duke it out on the Guardian or Time forums, or even on Fistful of Euros. Instead, you spend an inordinate amount of your time reading a relatively small blog, European Tribune, where you don't just look for mentions of Russia but obsessively learn everything about at least three dozen regulars.

In your racist tendency to see everything and everyone in ethnic terms, some things evade you (and that hampers your mirroring). On one hand, ETers are from a special subset of their countries' population in being curious about things and goings-on in other countries than theirs, be it Swedish elections, French media wars, a tussle in the Italian senate, riots in India, or color photographs from Tsarist Russia. You however show zero interest in anything not connected to Russia (indeed even vague connectios to Russia -- I noted you didn't comment in my 1956 series, despite the possibility to castigate negative attitudes towards 'russkies'). With that, which would suit you on the Time forums but not here, you forever relegate yourself to a status of comic relief.

On the other hand, there is also a clear pattern of these curious-about-other-countries people to have a foot in more than one country. As it happens, at present we have only one German who lives permanently in Germany and regularly posts on here, out of 80+ million, while you would have to exclude the four Germany-connected (ex) expats the same way you dismiss blackhawk and Sargon. While there are much more internet-connected English-speakers in Germany than Russia. Where, BTW, once you dismiss the Yakuts and the Chechens and who else, you'll get well under 140+ million. So you aren't the representative you think you are.

For poemless who lived in Russia among Russians and helped immigrants from there in Chicago, and me with Russians in the family now, it is even more obvious that you aren't representative. It also happens that the two of us seem to fail to hate you or take your insults seriously. Maybe it's hoping that at some time you'd do us an actual service and show your obvious presence of intellect and education or write about your German-named hometown, though you seem too worked-up to climb back rather than answer with another stream of Monthy Pythonesque insults. And you fear to meet up in Simskaya.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 02:58:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Everyone keeps calling Nashi a fascist organization, but folks, if by "Fascism" they mean "tons of hot young topless sluts running around all over the place," then all we can say is, "Ja wohl, Herr Putin!"

And just for good measure:

Proof: Guy who supports Putin, gets a chicks!

In some ways, Russian democracy is just so superior.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 04:49:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
we were trying to communicate with you (thanks to the Internet), swallowing for a long time your endless insults re the way we look, we behave, our culture, drinking habits or lack of them, our history. Why for long? Because we weren't that sure at first of your nastiness (well, why would you, so democratic and just?) but, you know, if something looks like an insult and quacks like an offensive  nasty thought then it's a nasty one indeed

Thank you Stavrid, your post is the best illustration of what i've just said.

by lana on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 05:00:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A bit touchy today are we?

It's just a joke, and nashi behaving in this way is funny, don't you think?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 05:09:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Putting aside for the moment this is just silly fun...

Starvid didn't invent Nashi, your government did!  Apparently they want this kind of attention.  Apparently they don't find half-naked teens rallying for Putin to be insults.  If you are offended, you should complain to your government, not Starvid.

If it's the eXile's comments you find offensive, well, that's their forte.  Generally offending people.  You probably have a better chance of changing your government than changing the eXile.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 05:59:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And I didn't post the Nashi girl to make fun of your culture.

I really do want those bottoms.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 06:00:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nashi - and Walking Together before them, and countless other organisations - offer several things which are valuable, especially to teens from
provinces.

First, it's fun: just consider a free trip to Moscow to insult a British ambassador to your heart's content - what could be better, especially if you do despise the guy for an attempt to lecture your country on how great a politician Kasparov and his alikes are?

Second, it's a promise of vertical mobility. Serious researchers are shouting about clogged social lifts, which is especially bad given how fast many of the people currently residing on top have made their trips (a much larger number made a trip to an eternal resting place in the process, but these are not in yellow press every morning and don't enter the standard mental picture). The most active people get to meet president of a country (imagine payoffs from a picture hanging in your office for the rest of your life), get elected to a local or country parliament (20% of places on the voting lists were reserved for young people by United Russia; they were rather low down the list and so the number of their seats is much less, but you get the promise of a jam tomorrow!), etc.

Third, it's education: frankly speaking, in my teens, I would have given a lot to go to a place like Lake Seliger with free lectures from the people who come to speak there today (there were some very serious politologists, economists, and sociologists, so that's not simply a propaganda camp). It's a summer semester of an impressive quality for a social sciences student.

And yes, there's a lot of boys and girls of your age around, which fulfils one of the deepest desires of people of that age (what is a US high school if not 4 years of state sponsored dating?). There's nothing wrong with this - it's a nature, and we are not in Victorian England or a Catholic school. After all, they distribute 2 to 3 condoms per capita per day during the Olympics in the Olympic village, and no one whines about wicked IOC officials corrupting the cream of the world's youth or something like that.

So, you see, Orange revolution (all these youth movements are largely a response to it) actually worked quite well - it forced the hand of Russian powers that be to spend some of the oil money on the young of the nation. Whatever works.

by Sargon on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 04:11:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After giving it some careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that I should not bother arguing with people who don't even read my diaries.

I'll try to keep things more fun next time.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 06:24:02 PM EST
After giving it some careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that I should not bother arguing with people who don't even read my diaries.
Wise decision.

I'll try to keep things more fun next time.
Hope you don't mean water down your diaries !

To Lana, if she's reading : please don't try to pass as a representative of what Russians are like or think. I know enough of them to know that's not the case.

You should post in those blogs which make it a mission to bash Russia, there are enough of them.

by balbuz on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 02:13:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anyone who reads here should now by now that we are, collectively, an equal-opportunity basher ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 04:44:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sven Triloqvist:
an equal-opportunity basher

You must have lived in America, Sven, to know that one. I remember once my first wife and I were looking out at our garden. She remarked that we had a lot of weeds. "Well" I said, "we have an equal opportunity garden.'

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!

by LEP on Thu Dec 13th, 2007 at 05:14:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LEP I used to visit quite a lot up to 20 years ago. The last time was to do a movie about metereological measurement! I suppose one can never say never, but I don't think I'll be going again. However I have fond memories of driving the whole of Route 66 - the rock version of the Grand Tour of Europe.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Dec 14th, 2007 at 03:27:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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