Saturday, May 31, 2008

Let The Good Times Roll in Russia: Unprecedented Possibility to Live a Free Private Life

What did Putin do right in his eight years in office? Under him Russians acquired the unprecedented possibility to live a free private life. Private life was never an open theme of the Putin era. Yet it was, and is, omnipresent.

Private life is the restaurants full to capacity across the country; it is the traffic jams, the suburban mansions that rival anything in Bavaria or California, the nightclubs and discotheques. These are but the external signs. The philosophy of private life throws itself at you from every billboard and advertisement. The Internet and television are saturated with it. The news and political programs have been rendered as tribute to the Kremlin, but the rest of television is a celebration of the joys of private life - in songs, soap operas, humor and other entertainment.

The same can be said for the print media. The large majority of magazines are dedicated to style - a word Russians didn't know 20 years ago. A huge amount of space, in glossy magazines and provincial leaflets alike, is devoted to fashion, sex, cars, food, the good life. Newspapers are not far behind: Their favorite theme is leisure - family, tourism, whatever you want.

We've obtained the secret freedom of an underground private life. We can teach our children almost anything, we can turn them into Christians or Buddhists. And we can travel, depending on our means, to Italy or to Easter Island.

By Viktor Erofeyev (Russian writer and TV host), writing in the IHT

HT: Greg Allar


At 5/31/2008 6:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a more realistic take, read Gary Kasparov. Have we forgotten Polonium 210, Yukos, BP, etc?

The entire world may be looking the other way while Mr. Putin assures his continued control of Russia. Some of us are less sanguine.


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