Whenever it is faced with a choice of actually doing something or creating an illusion of seeming to be doing something, Russia invariably chooses the latter option, and when it fails as a result it invariably chooses to blame foreign conspiracy rather than lack of preparation and substance. This explains, in a nutshell, why Russia has a declining population and an average wage of $2.50 per hour. Case in point: The Eurovision 2007 song contest. Russia's choice for contestant to represent the nation? The Moscow Times tell us:
Last year, the teen idol Dima Bilan won second place at the Eurovision Song Contest -- a result that prompted outraged headlines and accusations of biased voting in Russia. This year, the Russian delegation made its intentions clear by sending an upbeat dance number titled "Song #1," performed by a newly formed girl group called Serebro, or Silver (pictured above). The trio, put together by influential producer Maxim Fadeyev, held its first news conference last week, and braved a barrage of questions, ranging from whether the singers have boyfriends -- they all claim to be single -- to what they will wear at the contest's final on Saturday. "We don't promise first place," one of the band's two brunettes, Yelena Temnikova, told a crowd of journalists representing tabloids such as Zhizn and even the broadsheet Izvestia. "We want to get a buzz from singing the song. That's the only way we can make people like us."So Russia feels that it lost last time because the foreigners cheated, and its response is to field a group that has never once performed together.
And so it goes in Russia.