sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

November 15, 2011

Sex in Politics in Russia

Filed under: politics, Russia — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 4:44 pm

The upcoming Russian election is promising to be a nail-biter.   Is it going to be Putin… or Putin?  The autocrat’s campaign is in high gear,  hitting on all important issues.

Remember when Russians wrote operas?  Now they have techno.

Rouge Operator describes the video as Putin’s lets f*** Russia campaign.

Russians got a bit sex-obsessed in the wake of Perestroika (which kind of explains the failure of the whole democratic experiment there, considering that unlike debauchery, democracy requires hard work and self-restraint).  For instance, the recently installed shopping windows in one of the Moscow’s top malls feature robots doing the dirty.  Evidently that was an homage to Bjork.  High art, you know.

What Russia lacks is the natural outcome of having sex, namely the children.  The Russian population is shrinking, but there is  good and bad news on that front.  The good news: the Russian fertility rate is up.  The bad news: it’s up to 1.5 children per woman, well below replacement, and it is likely to be remain stagnant.  Like many European governments, Russians are desperate to promote childbearing.  Hence Putin’s recent visit to a Kaliningrad hospital where, he alleges, the 7 billionth Earthling was born (via Capitol Commentary):

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin hailed a two-day old Russian boy as the world’s seven billionth person Wednesday, weighing into a bizarre scramble to claim a title that is almost impossible to verify.

Russia’s Pyotr Nikolayev was born on Oct 31, two minutes after midnight in a maternity hospital in Russia’s Western exclave of Kaliningrad, wedged between Poland and the Baltic Sea.

“How did you manage to do it on the very 7 billion mark?” Putin, who is running for president in a March election, asked the child’s mother in front of a group of television reporters.

“It was all down to him. I am just a normal mum,” Yelena Nikolayeva, replied as she handed the boy to Putin, Russia’s paramount leader. The pictures were aired on state television at peak viewing times.

Kaliningrad map

Growing Russia? One day following the 2008 Presidential election in the US, Russia announced deployment of short-range weapons capable of reaching Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany in Kaliningrad, formerly Königsberg and a bunch of other non-Russian names.

Russians think of themselves as the smartest people on Earth — because they know better than democracy.  Had an American candidate made his campaign propaganda so improbable, he’d be laughed out of the room.  And yes, that applies to Democrats too, even to black Democrats.  Recall Maureen Dowd’s skepticism about the Team 6 film set to open a few weeks prior to the next Presidential election.

Although the “election” will be a farce in a long-standing Russian tradition, a lot of Russians genuinely like Putin because he’s a nationalist and a strongman.  They love to be an empire, and even the more intelligent ones believe their country is so unruly, it needs an iron fist.  But here is a novel idea: Try organizing your vast stretches from the bottom up.

To be sure, Russia’s problems are legion.  It is no secret that much of Russian intelligentsia wants to leave the country.  A few months ago, my uncle forwarded me an anonymous editorial by a young Russian woman working towards a graduate degree in computer science so that she has the skills to find a job abroad.  I toyed with the idea of writing a post about it, but didn’t, and now I lost the link.  She explained her motives, and they were not at all financial.  The essay was lengthy, but in a nutshell, she is turned off by the lack of respect for the rule of law and the individual that permeates Russian society.

When I told DH about the essay his reaction was: “Where exactly does she plan to find respect for the individual and the rule of law in this day and age?”  It’s all relative.  One man commented on the article said that he now lives in Prague, and, yes, it is much better there.

On the other hand, if here, in the US, we have adherents of Russian political theories planting their a***s in the middle of our cities, defecating in public and demanding to be cared for, that’s exactly the kind of mindset that’s forcing this woman to flee.  Add to it our Chicago way President who rules without any regard for both the public opinion and the rule of law, and doesn’t show much interest in the well-being of his countrymen.

But I digress.  While Americans are suspicious of sex in politics and are unlikely to elect an attractive female nominee to the highest office, in Russia and the former empire, sex appeal is a plus.  Think of recently jailed Ukrainian PM Yulia Timoshenko.

Sex in politics: Ukraine

She's pushing 50 in this shot.

Our next President should appoint Sarah Palin to a Russian ambassadorship.  They will listen.

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10 Comments »

  1. Great post. Russia has been declining for decades, it’s just that during the ‘window of Democracy’ a few facts came to the surface. Now the statistics are being doctored again. By the way, I don’t think Timoshenko is sexy. She could do with a change in hair style.

    Comment by Middle Ground View — November 15, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

    • Middle Ground View,
      Thank you for stopping by and commenting.
      Russia did have a chance in the early 90s, and they blew it.
      here is Timoshenko with hair down:
      timoshenko

      Comment by edge of the sandbox — November 15, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

  2. Maybe Mama Bear ought to be Secretary of State. She would give Putin an ear full!

    Comment by Conservatives on Fire — November 16, 2011 @ 8:19 am

  3. Yulia is hot. I followed her career when I read the Financial Times.

    Like Putin is going to lose in Russia. Why even advertise?

    Comment by Harrison — November 16, 2011 @ 6:07 pm

  4. and they have thousands of rad Muzlims..what a mess!

    Comment by Angel — November 16, 2011 @ 8:07 pm

  5. Conservatives on Fire,
    I hope Bolton will get that position — which is likely.

    Harrison,
    I don’t understand why he needs to campaign either. I’m sure there is some sort of a reason… like him needing to project some sort of a macho image?

    Angel,
    Horrible terrorist acts there, too.

    Comment by edge of the sandbox — November 16, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

  6. […] the late 80′s public culture became sexualized.  I wrote about sex and politics in Russia before.  In fact, groups like Femen or, in the article linked above, Pussy Riot are not doing anything […]

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  9. […] few years ago they saw the writing on the wall and started packing, a trend noted by this blog in 2011.  The big picture here is that the Russian intelligentsia, some of whom have Jewish roots, is in […]

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