Monday, October 11

Prosto Koshmar

Granted there are times when I would have to plead guilty to being the boy in the plastic bubble, flicking the fluff from my navel, lost in Coleridge's "delicious, diligent indolence". After all, it's not my role to keep a finger on the clitoris of the world - that's the job of the president of the United States (or, should there ever be an effective one - and a certain Tony Blair should be available in three or four years time - the Secretary-General of the United Nations). But I simply had no idea of the dishevelled state that Russia is in.

You read the link - from the New Yorker.

Then you do the maths.

It's simple: Russia is over.

You want to hear about some real flip-flop? Try this:

For most of its history, Russia has defined itself physically: as the biggest country on earth and as the place where Europe and Asia come together. Today, however, a nation’s significance is determined more by people than by land. Twenty-five years ago, the population of Russia was a hundred and forty million, and that of its neighbour Pakistan was eighty million. Within twenty years, that ratio will have reversed itself. If United Nations projections hold true, even Yemen will soon have more people than Russia.

Or consider this, from the same article:

In the past decade, life expectancy has fallen so drastically that a boy born in Russia today can expect to live just to the age of fifty-eight, younger than if he were born in Bangladesh. No other educated, industrialized nation ever has suffered such a prolonged, catastrophic growth in death rates.

The New Yorker piece concentrates on the Aids epidemic about to hit Russia, and how the government's lack of relevant action is endemic of the social, economic and political mess that the country is in. Prosto koshmar, they say in Russian: it's simply a nightmare.

What about President Putin? What's he doing?

Frankly Putin is looking more and more like a clown - but a sinister clown (trained in the KGB circus), not least when you read about his crackdown on the remnants of Russia's intellectual community, nor when you realise that it's sheer hubris on his part to pretend that Russia is still a major player, a net giver rather than taker of aid, when it needs all the international help it can get. As things stand, his solution is to establish a fascist dictatorship, based on fear, whose chief business is the dissemination of lies. Hello . . .

The worse part of all? That the Russian people are probably going to go along with this. They're so scared of the future - on top of everything else, there's terrorism: how many more atrocities will there be after what happened in Beslan? - that they want to go backwards, back, back, back into the benighted past.*

Funnily enough, of late I've been allowing myself a mirthless chuckle as to how our world was 'safer' when it was run by 'Bonzo' Reagan and - in turn - by those other two walking lobotomies, Brezhnev and Andropov. Those were the days, eh?

Don't worry, I see through the superficiality of my own argument, though as a schoolboy I did feel safe back then. Soft southern bastard safe, to be succinct about it. I certainly felt no fear. But it was the safety of ignorance.

I didn't know how fucking horrible life - life? merely existing is not life, is it? - was under 'Uncle' Joe; I didn't know how fucking horrible life continued to be under his successors; I had no grasp of Russia's terminal malaise. In truth, after the Berlin Wall came down, I thought that things would only get better for them.

For Russia the twentieth century was a lost century. But sadly, that was just the prologue.

Leaving aside the separate issue of Pakistan's leaping demographics and what that may entail, Russia's forthcoming social, economic and political collapse will hit us too, possibly in ways that don't bear too much thinking about.

* The rationale for the return of fascism? As quoted here: "A totalitarian state cannot be blackmailed by the threat of death of civilians," said Mikhail Leontyev, one of Russia's most prominent pundits, in his nightly commentary on federal Channel One, the most-watched network. "Terrorism happens only in democracies."


posted by DD @ 13:02 


Blogger oakleyses said...

nike free, louis vuitton handbags, tiffany and co jewelry, jordan shoes, christian louboutin, ray ban outlet, coach outlet store online, tory burch outlet online, true religion, louis vuitton outlet, nike outlet, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton outlet, prada outlet, christian louboutin outlet, burberry outlet online, nike air max, true religion outlet, michael kors outlet online, prada handbags, kate spade outlet online, oakley sunglasses, oakley vault, chanel handbags, coach outlet, red bottom shoes, cheap oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet online, michael kors outlet online, coach purses, coach outlet, louis vuitton, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet online, tiffany jewelry, polo ralph lauren, nike air max, longchamp handbags, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors handbags, gucci handbags, burberry outlet online, christian louboutin shoes, michael kors outlet store, polo ralph lauren outlet, longchamp outlet online, kate spade outlet

4 December 2014 at 06:13  
Blogger oakleyses said...

air jordan, nike roshe run, north face, nike roshe, guess pas cher, longchamp pas cher, oakley pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, nike free, burberry pas cher, nike air max, sac vanessa bruno, michael kors canada, louis vuitton, lacoste pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, tn pas cher, nike air max, nike air force, ray ban pas cher, hollister, scarpe hogan, michael kors uk, lululemon, air max, mulberry, ralph lauren, vans pas cher, nike free pas cher, north face pas cher, timberland, true religion outlet, hollister, converse pas cher, louis vuitton uk, new balance pas cher, sac michael kors, longchamp, chaussure louboutin, air max pas cher, ray ban uk, sac louis vuitton, nike blazer pas cher, barbour, true religion jeans, louis vuitton pas cher, hermes pas cher

4 December 2014 at 06:21  
Blogger oakleyses said...

ghd, valentino shoes, birkin bag, ugg soldes, nike huarache, reebok shoes, uggs outlet, north face jackets, lululemon outlet, celine handbags, canada goose outlet, ugg outlet, beats headphones, new balance outlet, ugg boots, nfl jerseys, longchamp, ferragamo shoes, uggs on sale, uggs outlet, jimmy choo shoes, ugg boots, herve leger, vans outlet, ugg, p90x workout, insanity workout, chi flat iron, canada goose outlet, mont blanc pens, nike trainers, nike roshe, replica watches, abercrombie and fitch, canada goose outlet, giuseppe zanotti, mcm handbags, hollister, soccer shoes, wedding dresses, soccer jerseys, north face jackets, marc jacobs outlet, canada goose, bottega veneta, asics shoes, mac cosmetics, instyler ionic styler, babyliss

4 December 2014 at 06:31  
Blogger oakleyses said...

moncler, hollister canada, baseball bats, montre femme, canada goose, supra shoes, moncler outlet, vans, hollister clothing, pandora jewelry, wedding dress, coach outlet, ray ban, pandora uk, canada goose, iphone 6 case, uggs canada, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton canada, hollister, gucci, timberland shoes, ralph lauren, thomas sabo uk, moncler, swarovski uk, juicy couture outlet, canada goose, links of london uk, parajumpers outlet, converse, moncler outlet, converse shoes, lancel, replica watches, oakley, pandora charms, louboutin, toms outlet, karen millen, moncler, ugg, nike air max, moncler, moncler, air max, swarovski jewelry, canada goose pas cher

4 December 2014 at 06:38  

Post a Comment

<< Home