This is the second installment of my series showing the effects of sanctions and the true feelings of Russians during these politically charged times. I don’t pretend, like NPR and all other liberal outlets to be unbiased, so kindly don’t try to point out that I’m biased, perhaps better to say that I’m honest.
This episode will start with the annual New Year’s greeting to the Russian people from their President. It is long, about 4 minutes total, the speech I mean, but it makes for good comparison to speeches that spill diarrheally (Hey look, I just invented a new word!) from the Great Leader Obama’s mouth during his long Castro like speeches. Of particular note is an almost total absence of “I”, “me” and “mine” from the speech and the inclusion of references to love of country. These of course are the opposite of what Americans have to bear with when and if they listen to the Great Leader.
After the New Years address to the Russian people, I’ll insert a number of interviews with just regular Russians as they speak of their hope and fears for the year of 2015. Although I wouldn’t call this compelling radio storytelling, I do call it a story that should be heard.
Oh, by the way, hatred towards Obama does not mean love of Putin, so all of you Obama sycophants can shove that thought up your asses.
Well, let’s listen:
A little culture lesson here; for many Russians, it’s a tradition to write down their New Years wishes on a piece of paper as the clock starts striking midnight, burning the paper, putting the ashes in their champagne glasses along with champagne and drinking it as the final stroke of midnight tolls on the Kremlin clock tower.
I’ve truncated the Russian National Anthem, no offence to the anthem, but it’s really long. It also conjures up images from the Wizard of Oz when I hear it, specifically marching armies and the skies darkened with clouds of flying monkeys. Of topic a bit, but even in a word full of nuclear weapons, the first country to come up with millions of flying monkeys will trump nuclear weapons, I mean, any country that awoke to the sight of a sky darkened by these clouds of flying monkeys would give up immediately. Something about those monkeys that scares the crap out of me viscerally.
Here’s Anastasiya, a working Russian in her mid thirties
It’s interesting here to note; and Anastasiya is not an exception, but rather the rule amongst Russian people, that Russians are no strangers to hardship and typically harbor no illusions concerning the outcome of various situations. They are not just blindly patriotic and usually know what type of outcome to expect from various political and economic situations.
Another trait that reminds me of the U.S. in times past, such as when I was younger. We hear Anastasiya say that perhaps she will have to work harder this year in order to maintain her same lifestyle. No mention of collecting money from the government or even of going on food stamps and disability to survive without working harder, because these so-called solutions, or what I call Marxist socialist solutions, are not available here in Russia. So, here people need to just practice the old American work ethic and put their shoulder to the grindstone. My word, what a topsy-turvy world we live in!
Svetlana is a working Russian mother in her mid-thirties
Something that should be noted here. Russians generically refer to “sanctions” and this is implied to mean from the US and Europe. The US and European sanctions were aimed at Putins cronies and Russian banks. The sanctions that the people feel concerning food products, these are entirely Russian sanctions, meaning this is due to Russia telling the EU and in a smaller part, the US, that their food products are not welcome here. These are the sanctions raising trouble with average Russians and causing such high food inflation, this combined with Russian food producers now gouging Russian consumers because now they have no competition. It does amaze me a bit as to how the average person here does not know of this very important distinction and I think that this is by design.
It should also be noted a fact that many in the west do not realize. Russians are really world travelers and as a percent of the population, they travel a lot more than their western counterparts. Tourist destinations will feel the absence of this when summer rolls around.
Next we’ll hear Anastasia speak about “crisis planning”.
Mikhail is a high school student, but even the young in Russia have hopes and fears for the coming year
Pyoter is a young man in his late twenties. He is the kind of guy that the west would love to win over, but the methods being used now almost assure that this will not happen.
The Russian/American relationship has lost a generation and will not normalize anytime in the near future. Blame can’t be assigned totally to either side, but I think it’s important for average intelligent Americans to understand that this is not a fight of good vs. evil, although both sides see things this way. The presentation of Ukraine as just a peaceful democracy loving country is a media myth, there is plenty of good and bad to go around in Ukraine at this time also. Only the very stupid listen to and believe the Mainstream Media and the same can be said of most of the Russian media. If you want to have a more informed opinion, it’s best to hear parties on the ground in the areas in question.
Having lived in Russia for about 15 years, when I return to the States for visits, my sons are often embarrassed by some of the non-PC stuff that comes out of my mouth. They excuse this by saying that because I’ve lived in Russia for so long, I’ve taken on Russian characteristics and attitudes. This is not a bad conclusion to reach, but in my case it is incorrect. In fact, I am a fairly typical American male who was “frozen” in time 15 years ago in terms of American culture and attitudes, so when I go to the States to visit, it’s really like this frozen man has been thawed out and giving those around him a peek into American culture 15 years ago; a more golden period, in my opinion.
Let’s finish this episode with Konstantin, a young Russian man in his mid-twenties.