Russian patriot businessmen launch a campaign

Today while flipping across one of my favorite on-line russian magazines  I  came across this funny article by Vera Kichanova in which she describes the absurdity of russian patriotic extremes. I made a translation of it.

No one but Russians are able to promote themselves positively

“We decided to break a common press-conference mode and begin it instead with the motto of our project – the motto is a craddle-song”, says Andrey Smirnov, businessman. Five men dressed in “white top, black bottom” costumes stand up in a row and start singing a sad song featuring a besieged school in Beslan. Meanwhile, the symbols of Russia are being screened on the wall: hammer and sickle, Cheburashka, balalayka, the olympian bear, felt boots, and a tank. Finally, the conclusive line pops up – “We are Russians. God’s with us!”

Smirnov and his affiliates believe that this is how the “mass asymmetric response to the global homosexual hysteria” should look like. The businessman emphasizes that the “Power in truth” project has nothing to do with Eugene Reusmann – a mayor-candidate in Yekaterinburg, who uses the similar motto in his election campaign. Even though the majority of people got familiar with the phrase in the movie “Brother-2”, it was actually Alexander Nevsky who first said these words, and now it is Smirnov who is first to patent them.

The idea of the project – the victory of the Russian civilization in the war with the rotten West. “We (me and other patriotic businessmen) have arrived to the conclusion that it is necessary to show our asymmetric position in the information war against the Russian civilizational project. The major weapon in this war is souvenirs”, says Smirnov.

First and foremost, the authors of the project plan to set up a couple of monuments of outstanding people who committed heroic deeds after the collapse of the USSR. Among them are soldier Eugene Radionov who refused to convert to islam and therefore was killed in the first Chechen war; Marat Rakhmetov (non Russian nationality) who rescued two drowning girls in the Moscow river; sailor Aldar Tsydendjapov (non Russian nationality) who rescued the torpedo “Bystryi”’s crew in fire in 2010. The authors of the project claim that all these people are Russians providing that the Russian nation was artificially divided after the Soviet’s collapse. The rest of the heroes to commemorate are subject to the internet elections. (Most important is to avoid the case of “Heart of Chechnya” which was about to win the name of the architectural symbol of Russia due to the fraud by Chechens).

Smirnov and his affiliate businessmen have prepared 72 souvenir-samples: those are so called signs of Russia – symbols designed to remind the world of Russia’s greatness and superiority. The collection includes the Orthodox church, head of Yuriy Gagarin, silhouette of football player Lev Yashin, Alexander Nevsky’s helmet, a missile, a tank, Cheburashka, hammer and sickle as well as “matryoshka and other nomenclature products” (as Smirnov calls it) such as magnets and stickers.

“Russian signs in English are supposed to be promoted in the rival civilizations. We have already signed agreements with a few large trade chains that cover railway stations, airports, and retail market,” elaborates Smirnov. “Our numerous focus-groups have proved that the goods are of great demand among the local consumers as gifts to each other, it is also a great way to give the asymmetric response”.

The Cheburashka symbol bares the text “Russians are more kind than you might think of them”, the hammer and sickle – “justice is the most important for Russians”, the felt boot – “Russians are not afraid of cold – they live in it”. Smirnov says that the mottos will be regularly updated thus relevantly addressing the reality. Today the most hot issue is “sexual perversions”. The journalists were given a sticker with a gun-image on it – “No entry for buggers and double-barrelled guns. So are Russian rules”. The “double-barrelled guns” stands for bi-sexuals, explained Mr.Smirnov.

Oleg Makarenko, top-blogger also known as Fritzmorgen was talking about information wars in the internet. “There are two conflicting groups in the internet: the so called orthodox believers and sodomists. I have some gay-friends – many of them are good people: they live their gay-lives, write poems, pursue hand-craft, there is nothing bad about them. The LGBT-activists (many of them are straight) however rise against the russian civilization with sodomist banners.” Fritzmorgen believes that LGBT-affiliation has long become a carrier ladder in the West – “one can quickly make a carrier using one’s butt”.

A blogger from St.Petersburg suggested Smirnov and his friends to send “humanity aid” boxes full of “Russian signs” to Syria so that the Orthodox Syrians could feel the support from the fraternal nation. Smirnov liked the idea. The businessmen don’t count on foreign visitors to buy their goods – “No one but Russians are able to promote themselves positively. There are quite few foreign tourists in Russia. So let Russians cover places where the foreigners stay with our stickers. The more the foreigners learn about us the more they fear us.”

The pictures are available here: http://slon.ru/russia/nikto_ne_budet_rasprostranyat_o_russkikh_pozitiv_krome_russkikh-986133.xhtml

 

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Norwegian democracy

why-is-jens-stoltenberg-in-news

Jens Stoltenberg, Norwegian prime-minister and taxi-driver.

When the street traffic is restricted for Obama’s convoy to pass – everyone knows it’s for the safety and security’s sake. When the roads get closed for Putin people unhesitatingly rush to call it barbarism. Neither do they hesitate to label camps for illegal immigrants in Moscow as “modern GULAG” or “the Third Reich”. In the meantime, similar camps in Europe are widely viewed as a delicate way to protect the liberal Western countries from the evil muslim hordes.
It’s a common belief that in the Western democracies (or so called, welfare states) the top politicians love demonstrate their ties with people who elected them – they are eager to show how they can openly speak to them, shop in a local store, use subway to get to the office – in other words, they make it clear that they themselves are no better than ordinary people.
In fact, a politician disguised as an ordinary citizen who “reaches out to people” has become cliché now: From English King Henry V to Haroun Al-Rashid, the ninth-century A.D. Caliph in Baghdad, there’s a rich historical tradition of leaders going incognito in order to find out what their troops, subjects, or constituents really think. In effect, their attempts to show their closeness to people with their needs will only invoke irritation among citizens. What kind of a leader one must be if one can’t get to know the real state of affairs in his country without this obsolete window-dressing? What does his administration do? Why hasn’t the leader straight access to the true information? If one has really happened to rule in such a dysfunctional environment, they should immediately resign all their ministers and councilors.
It’s a conventional thought that in welfare states state-leaders lead a fairly modest life style – the Danish prime-minister rides a bike to his office, the Norwegian one spends his vacation in an unassuming wooden house with a family in the woods… And boom – collapse of all these hopes and idealistic images! The recent story has revealed that the Norwegian prime-minister’s appearance in his cab-driver uniform is no better than a pre-election’s role-play performance. At least five of his “random” fourteen taxi-passengers were in fact not randomly picked up – they were recruited by an advertising agency, whose owner is minister Stoltenberg’s good friend. The people got phone calls and an offer to volunteer in a video-campaign of the ruling Labor party. The participants were also paid 500 kroner ($85). In their turn, none of them had to pay for their ride.
After the trick had been revealed the prime-minister and the participants were explaining how there was no other way to go about it – Stoltenberg couldn’t just drive around in his empty cab because to find passengers in Oslo is not an easy thing – the cabs there are expensive (to only sit down costs up $20). So the ad agency secured the situation and prepared “random” people willing to get a ride. Another idea behind the minister’s taxi-trick was to get a mostly representative picture of the norwegian society.
Stoltenberg told the Norwegian tabloid Verdens Gang (VG) newspaper (that first released the video) he had wanted to hear people’s honest views on politics.“If there is one place where people say what they really mean about most things, it is in a taxi. Right from the gut,” he told VG.Had it been no PR agents, the prime-minister would have risked to run his cab with no colorful norwegian elderly.
Another drawback of that video-campaign was Stoltenberg’s remark that he hadn’t driven in the last eight years. He rides bicycles, obviously…. The issue here is that the prime-minister was driving a cab with no taxi-driver license, which appears to be a direct violation of the norwegian legislation. Where are those Norwegian activists now who would go and point out to the sacrifice of the social equality to the pre-electoral show?
The most embarrassing about that story however is not the planted passengers or the violation of law, but the distinctive fact that the Norwegian government view their citizens as morons. The officials seem to be convinced that if the prime-minister puts on a taxi-driver jacket, picks a retired woman-plant in his cab and broadcasts their talk about “way too high” salaries for top-managers, the people watching the video would buy it – they would immediately get mesmerized and rush to vote for Stoltenberg, because he is such a good guy who always protects ordinary people against the “fat cats”.
This is an example of what could is called “populist policy”. In a very same way the Republicans in the US deem the Texas inhabitants stupid and try to explain that the experiments with stem cells will lead to a creation of mice with human brains. The same could be said with regard to the Democrats who fool the Californians with utopian ideas to convert the American energy system to the one based on solar power. Meanwhile, the experience proves their strategy to be successful – in the situation of universal suffrage, the majority of the voters are truly fools, who are the least interested in serious discussions, rather they are attracted to spectacular shows. They would blindly swallow any propaganda nonsense and vote for those who would offer more and in a more affectionate way.
However, democracy by definition is a populist regime, and you will have inevitably to deal with its fake entourages. To shake off this flashiness and window-dressing, why not abandon the veneer of mass democracy, let the parliament appoint the president, and let president assign officials. This way, the politicians would be able to live in their inclosed world without bothering to curry public opinion, thus alleviating the slightest need for taxi-driver jackets.