MONDAY JULY 19 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Neo-Soviet Russia Abolishes Art
(2) EDITORIAL: In Russia, Where’s the Beef?
(3) Europe must Look East
(4) Russians, Still Scared of Sex
(5) CARTOON: How to Beat the Russians
NOTE: LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld’s latest installment of her Russia column on the mighty Pajamas Media mega blog is up and running, exposing the total collapse of the Obama administration’s policy towards Russia.
NOTE: In a lonely effort to fight back against both (1) and (4) above, one Russian artist has adopted a new painting style — she uses her boobs instead of paintbrushes.
Neo-Soviet Russia Abolishes Art
Once again, Russia has proven beyond any shadow of doubt that it is a barbaric, uncivilized country. And that it is utterly bereft of shame.
Last Monday, a Russian court handed down criminal convictions against a pair of artists for doing nothing more than displaying art. The AP reports: “Art expert Andrei Yerofeyev and former museum director Yury Samodurov were fined respectively 200,000 rubles ($6,483) and 150,000 rubles ($4,862) but escaped jail sentences.”
That’s right: They’re lucky, because while they were fined nearly a year’s average wages they didn’t actually have to go to jail.
In Russia, Where’s the Beef?
Russia’s Agriculture Minister breathlessly announced last week: ” By our estimates, by 2020 export volumes could be up to 400,000 tons of poultry and 200,000 tons of pork. That’s $1.5 billion to $2 billion a year compared with a combined 10,000 tons of exports last year.”
A sixtyfold increase in meat exports sounds impressive, doesn’t it? But there are three small problems with the Russian data.
Viktor Uspaskich, a Lithuanian member of the European Parliament, writing in the Moscow Times:
The Eastern Partnership, the European Union’s program to improve economic and political integration between Europe and the former Soviet republics of Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, was launched in Prague a little more than a year ago to a drumroll of high expectations and fanfare. Although the partnership has delivered very little in its first year, we have seen promising developments in recent months among some of the European Union’s eastern neighbors. It is vital that the EU seizes the opportunity to improve relations and strengthen cooperation with these countries. This can be done without any revolutionary policy diversions and, more importantly, without sacrificing fundamental political freedoms.
Moscow’s Victory Day parade on May 9 may have been a turning point in Russia’s relations with the West. Polish and U.S. troops marched alongside Russian troops on Red Square. This new face appeared after the tragic plane crash in Smolensk that killed President Lech Kaczynski and many senior Polish officials. Although we are not suddenly dealing with a radically new, “softer” Russia, I believe that some of the developments on the Russian side go beyond rhetoric, and it would be a mistake for the EU not to take advantage of Russia’s new pragmatism. We don’t necessarily need a “reset button” to achieve this, just above all a constructive attitude and the willingness to compromise when necessary. This applies to Russia as it does to Belarus and Ukraine.
There's no bimbo like a Russian bimbo
No wonder Russia’s population is declining so precipitously! On top of everything else (no pun intended), Russians are still scared of sex! The New York Times reports:
Past the topless woman dancing in a cage and the towering transvestite perched on three-inch heels, Ksenia Borisova was trying to grab the attention of passers-by. Her wares were housed in immaculate displays, complete with colorful instruction manuals, but after five years in business she was still having difficulty generating much interest.
As always, sex toys are a tough sell in Russia.