Which perhaps reflects (and accurately) the spirit of this blog, no?


17h23 UTC; MONDAY, 8 SEPTEMBER 2014: Something the AmeriKKKan "Christian Values" crowd may want to ponder in their Luscious Glory of hero-worship for Russian President Vladimir Putin as an Example and Ideal for "REAL AmeriKKKa" To Reclaim Her Past Glory as a Bible-Believing Christian Nation (cf. apartheid South Africa's Luscious Glory, mainly from the white perspective) may want to think about, by way of the following op-ed for The Moscow Times per one Marko Dumancic, Assistant Professor of Cold War, Modern Russia and Eastern European Studies at Western Kentucky University, which I think will best serve its purpose by its being quoted entire:
If the recent coverage of Russia is anything to go by, the country appears not only to be stuck in the past but actually sprinting backwards. So seemingly regressive is contemporary Russia that, among Russian liberal intellectuals and Western commentators, even medieval comparisons do not seem too far-fetched.

"Russia is like a block of ice floating back into the 16th century," asserted controversial Russian novelist Vladimir Sorokin in a BBC interview.

Sorokin went on to compare President Vladimir Putin to Tsar Ivan the Terrible, who summarily and arbitrarily murdered hundreds of thousands of his compatriots when he unleashed a bloody reign of terror in the second half of the 1500s.

Sorokin argued: "Again we are living under a centralized government, like in the time of Ivan the Terrible. This power vertical, which Putin keeps talking about, is a completely medieval model for Russia. There is no accountability, no transparency."

The Putin-supported revival of the Russian Orthodox Church, whose ceremonies and doctrine have changed little since the Middle Ages, seems to confirm that Russian culture is actively turning away from modern liberal values.

It even appears that the Kremlin has warmly embraced its medieval past, particularly when it comes to matters of gender and sexuality.

In his most recent presidential address to the federal assembly, Putin noted that the world supports Russia's "defense of traditional values" against the "so-called tolerance" that he accused of being "genderless and infertile."

And Russian officials, clearly seeing which way the wind is blowing, have begun propagating dubious views with such frequency that Western media outlets have a hard time keeping up.

News of the radically feminist Pussy Riot members being — literally — whipped by Cossack police during the Sochi Winter Games appalled Western media but did not surprise Russia watchers.

After all, only 14 percent of Duma representatives are female, domestic violence is rarely reported and/or prosecuted, and women continue to face alarming rates of workplace discrimination.

This is the dark and violent side of Putin's casual sexism. The Russian state is bent on actively propagating a pro-family, pronatalist policy; any complaint or lawsuits that distorts the image of the nationwide domestic bliss is discouraged or silenced.

Recent surveys of Russians superficially support the notion that official declamations about moral conservatism constitute an expression of the popular will.

For instance, an IPSOS MORI Global Trends Survey in June that polled 500 Russians found that 79 percent of men and 67 percent of women believe the woman's role in society lies in her domestic responsibilities toward her husband and children.

Similarly, a 2013 Pew poll concluded that about two-thirds of Russians consider homosexuality and extramarital affairs to be morally reprehensible.

Russia's VTsIOM pollster conducted a survey in March 2012, the results of which showed that 93 percent of Russians consider their primary goal to be to start a family and raise children.

But despite Russians' earnest declamations, the strict maintenance of traditional values is more propaganda than sociological reality. Far from living out a monastic, medieval, and sexless utopia, Russians are, in some senses, less family-oriented than Western Europeans.

For instance, Russia has the highest divorce rate in the world — hardly a qualification for a nation that proclaims itself as the defender of traditional values.

All the more ironic is the fact that one of the chief factors for divorce are extramarital affairs — the very same practice that Russians reject as only slightly less reprehensible than homosexuality.

Russia's abortion rate also remains one of highest in the world — partly because contraception remains expensive or unavailable and partly because families are not necessarily women's top priority.

The level of irony is equally evident in Russia's condemnation of homosexuality. Russia's public space is no stranger to cross-dressing, drag, and unorthodox gender-bending.

However vocally Russians denounce homosexuality, anyone familiar with Russia's entertainment scene can promptly enumerate many celebrity figures that purposefully cultivate sexually ambiguous identities and have even become famous because of it.

Although it would be foolhardy to refute the fact that Russians do, in fact, believe themselves to be virtuous, I do have to point out that Russia remains — as per Churchill's assessment — a country of paradoxes.

I do not doubt that Russians would like to cultivate ideal families and embody normative sexual identities, much like Victorians and Puritans wished to remain above their carnal desires.

Reality, however, bears little similarity to the ideal. Even as they publicly embrace Putin's support for traditional values, Russians' actions betray their true inclinations.

Western observers should be careful not to play into Putin's hands by rehashing the tired propagandistic image of Russia as the protector of global family values — whatever these might imply.

Should commentators believe Putin's wishful thinking over the inconvenient facts about Russians' actual practices, they will only be doing Russia's bare-chested strongman a favor.
As if such mockery of the whole "family values" card wasn't good enow for Putin's Christian Right cheerleaders to start thinking twice about their worship therefor, it's now emerging that his goon squads in Eastern Ukraine are engaging in apostate acts against Ukrainian Pentecostalist churches not seen as being in theological communion with the Russian Orthodox Church.

And pray, just how exactly is ons styl ekonomesie vryheid expected to magically, spontaneously even, create private-sector employment in such manner and stylee that "Tea Party" and "Christian Patriot" ideology was expecting all the while, in their Luscious Glory of insisting that ekonomesie vryheid and AmeriKKKan National and Sovereign Identity are naturally and mutually interconnected (howbeit without documentary proof as to the interconnexion legal and statutory)?

Let's just hope that Westboro Baptist Church didn't protest before Temple Emanu-El
in New York at the private funeral service for comedienne Joan Rivers yesterday, which certainly attracted its share of celebrities and pararazzi paying the acid-tongued comedienne and gay-rights activist final respects ... but on the other hand, there's always the likelihood of Christian Right Zealotry and True Belief questioning Ms. Rivers' supposed want of True Patriot Love Thou Dost in Us Command seen as endemic to the "Hollywood Liberal Elite" in contrast to that Acme and Ideal of REAL AmeriKKKan Volkskultuur epitomised (or so its prolefeed wants us thinking) in the so-called "music shows" down Branson way.

Never mind where it's likely that many such groups are discreetly subsidising many of the weaker specimens thereof along 76 Country Boulevard and Shepherd of the Hills Expressway in the interest of using said "music shows" as a discreet prolefeed conduit.

Vanilla extract: It's not for baking anymore--come to think of it, such can actually do wonders to a pot of freshly-brewed coffee or tea, or even a freshly-brewed pitcher of iced tea (especially the rooibos sort) by adding a capful to the finished brew. Likewise with almond or vanilla-nut extract, come to think of it.

So till next time, folks: "73"
(Which, incidentally, was railroad telegraphers' shorthand for "goodbye.")


Preferably through e-mail and/or social media:





Got Facebook?
Then feel free to share your comments:



Got smartfone?
Then why not download our free(!!) smartfone app?
(Which, BTW, works on both iOS and Android platforms.)