Russia is an Oily, Disgusting Mess
You can read all about one Russian man murdering his wife every 40 minutes, or about Russia not ranking in the top 150 nations of the world for lifespan, or about its stock market losing 80% of its value. But sometimes information this lethal clouds the mind, and doesn’t allow one to appreciate the true horror of what is going on in Russia.
So let’s use a simpler example. Let’s talk ice cream.
A story last week in the Moscow Times revealed that Russian dairies are lobbying for new legislation that would make it illegal for a manufacturer to use the Russian word for ice cream (“morozhenye“) to refer to a product that contained more than 12% vegetable fat (i.e. trans fat, i.e. shortening, i.e. the stuff in the middle of an Oreo, but frozen) instead of milkfat.
Amazingly, if this measure passes, a whopping 70% — that’s right, seventy percent — of all frozen “treats” currently consumed in Russia will no longer qualify for the “ice cream” designation. The reason for this is simple, of course: The collapsing Putin economy means that (delicious) milkfat is far too expensive to be affordable to people who earn less than $3/hour on average, so only cheaper (and very disgusting) vegetable fats are being used to create an affordable substitute.
Now think about this: If you have only a 30% chance of getting milk in your ice cream in Russia, what chance do you think you have of getting something more, like fresh strawberries or quality coffee or (perish the thought!) whipped cream?
Russia’s ice cream market, the MT says, is worth $1.8 billion — ten times smaller than the U.S. market. So ice cream, like anything else, is a good indicator of the vast difference in economic power that exists between the U.S. and Russia, and of which Russians remain haughtily oblivious as they provoke the U.S. at every turn, a suicidal endeavor just like the one the USSR engaged in.
Can you imagine what it would be like to live in a country where you had a 70% chance, whenever you bought ice cream, of getting something that was basically the frozen middle of an Oreo? Not that an Oreo is bad, mind you, in fact in Russia it’s an unheard of luxury item. But we know Oreo, we’ve worked with Oreo, and Oreo is no Ben & Jerry’s. How’d you like to live in a place where ice cream like that made by those two Vermont nuts, or Hagen Daaz, is an incomprehensible luxury for most people? Where the health risks associated with trans fats were totally unknown, and indeed paled incomparison to a host of other vices, such as alcohol and cigarettes, running rampant?
You wouldn’t like it much, would you? But you’d probably be inclined, since you’re at least somewhat normal and not totally lacking in fortitude, to want to do something about it. You’d demand better from your government, probably. You’d go to the polls and vote the rascals out.
And yet Russians don’t do this. Instead, they act as if they like this hideous backwardness, this deprivation, this neo-Soviet nightmare.
And so it goes in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, not long for this world.