Salt in Russia’s Wounds
From our earliest days here on this blog, it has been our policy to pour salt in the wounds of Vladimir Putin’s Russia at any opportunity. Our purpose in doing so has been quite simple: To dispel the notion that Putin is running a successful state and deserves the 75%+ approval ratings he routinely gets in polls. It was yeoman’s work, of course, when Putin had the convenient cover of oil prices at $150/barrel. A monkey could have ruled Russia during that period and looked somewhat effective. Now, it’s more like child’s play.
Which brings us, grinning from ear to ear, to young Miss Anastasia Prikhodko, winner of Russia’s national round of the Eurovision song contest. Not only isn’t Ms. Prikhodko Russian, but — of all things — Ukrainian, her song “Mamo” is not sung in Russian either, but also in Ukrainian.
One needn’t have a very vivid imagination to visualize the reaction of her “Russian” competition. The Times of London reports: ” The losing finalist, Valeriya, was seen to storm off the set after the result was announced on Russia’s state-run Channel One television. Her producer Yusif Prigozhin later demanded a re-run of the contest, claiming that he had been told that Ms Prikhodko would win days earlier.”
Then he got nasty:
A song performed in Ukrainian can’t have anything to do with Russia,” Mr Prigozhin said, referring to Mamo‘s chorus. Valeriya, like most of Russia’s contestants, sang her entry in English. “I absolutely don’t agree with the result both as a Russian citizen and a producer,” Mr Prigozhin told Ria Novosti after the final. “I got a call two days ago from a well-known Russian composer who told me that Prighozin would win. I knew about it two days ago. “How can someone who lost in her motherland, in Ukraine, represent Russia? It’s a disgrace.”
How long before they start talking about locking up those who dare to “inappropriately” win song contests? We don’t dare try to imagine.
It never manages to occur to Russians that their own songs might simply suck eggs and need massive reform. No hint of introspection, not even a second’s pause to consider what Russians might have done wrong — just as in Soviet times. Instead, ridiculous and wildly hypocritical accusations of vote-rigging and crazy, rabid nationalist bile.
It all comes, of course, right on the heels of Georgia’s national winner being a song that mocks Vladimir Putin, and with the cacaphonous background nose of Russia’s economic collapse the humiliation for Russia and Putin personally is complete and abject. We almost feel sorry for the nasty little KGB troll.
Well, not really. Actually, we’d like to gather on Red Square along with the rest of opposition