EDITORIAL: Russia Through the Ages, Through the Looking Glass


Russia Through the Ages, Through the Looking Glass

A nation desperately in need of medication

Russia: A nation desperately in need of medication

The image at left is a poster designed by, of all people, the infamous pro-Kremlin Soviet poet Vladimir Mayakovsky.  It depicts a giant upturned galosh orbiting the planet Earth and protecting it from cosmic rain of some kind.  At the top it is headlined:  “Rezinotrest [the Soviet rubber monopoly] protects you from rain and mud.” Below it reads:  “Without galoshes, Europe would sit and weep.”

The blogger at Strange Maps points out that the map depicted on the globe leaves something to be desired:  “Mayakovsky may have been a great poet and graphic designer, but he wasn’t much of a cartographer. The borders of the Soviet Union, highlighted in red, are rendered fairly accurately, but Europe is severely disfigured: an oversized Scandinavian peninsula points toward an expanse of water where most of Western Europe should be. There is no sign of the British Isles either, and the Iberian peninsula is wrong and too big. Iceland is attached to Greenland, and half of China seems to have fallen into the ocean.”

That’s, in fact though, only the least of the bizarre and sickening features of this poster, which clearly shows how consistently Russians have demonstrated their psychotic worldview right down through the ages.

What does it mean for the ad to gleefully prounounce “without galoshes, Europe would sit and weep”?  Is Russia a nation of sadists?  Is the advertisement attempting to suggest that Russia was exporting huge volumes of galoshes to Europe, without which Europe could not survive?  Is it relishing the prospect of cutting off the supply and inflicting that brutal doom upon the innocent denizens of Europe?  How would Russians react to a poster of this kind showing how badly the people of Russia would fare without the import of Western foodstuffs? How would they like it if Apple Computer threatened to cut of Dimi Medvedev’s beloved MacBook and black market iPhone?

Scraps of Moscow sees a parallel between such an idea and Russia’s current attitude towards the sale of natural gas in Europe.  It states:  “I found this old poster advertising galoshes to be quite appropriate for the current ‘gas war,’ since it reflects at least a couple of factors exacerbating the crisis – Russia’s glee at possessing something Europe needs, and Russia’s concurrent need for others to recognize the degree to which it is needed.”

Let’s be clear:  Russia today is a nation teetering once again on the brink of utter financial ruin.  Its average male lifespan does not place it in the top 100 nations of the world in that category, its population is shrinking nearly as fast as its economy.  Most intelligent people, faced with such a reality, would see the need to ingratiate themselves with others, to make friends and start preparing for the deluge.

But not Russians.  Instead, Russians appear to prefer to ignore reality and create for themselves a bizarre fantasy world, and to remain their until their entire civilization collapses around them.  They choose to send out to the world exactly the same bitterness and hostility about which they complain so vehemently when they receive it from the world — in other words, a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Ultimately, when he realized how utterly stupid he had been throughout his life in supporting the Soviet regime with his “art,” Mayakovsky blew his brains out, something it could be argued that Russia as a nation has tried on numerous occasions.  Perhaps now we are witnessing yet another national attempt at suicide.

One response to “EDITORIAL: Russia Through the Ages, Through the Looking Glass

  1. You know, when you look at the map of your home country, you get this warm and happy and proud feeling? Well, Russians get a kind of feeling that ranges from rage to desperation to depression. They see their country as chopped up, maimed, incomplete and surrounded by a vicious pack of hungry dogs, ready to take another bite.

    A lot of it goes back to where Russia as it is now came from. The first and shiniest bit of Russian culture started in Kiev. Which, yes, you got it! is now chopped away from the Motherland (or… daughterland?). Then there were the Rjuriks, those came to Novgorodland from scandinavia – also chopped away. Then there were the Mongolians – guess what? taken away from Russia. So unfair! And Alaska, of course, sneaky Americans stole it, it was Russia’s presssscioussss. And of course, all the slavic people should be living in Russia, that’s all the Ukrainians, and Poles and Serbs and Slovaks… oh, what the hell, let’s say all Indoeuropeans. Oh, and Afghanistan was taken away from Russia so cruelly in the 80’s, again by the nasty Americans.

    *sigh* am I right or am I right?

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