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Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Sunday Funnies: Ellustrator Special

Here's an opportunity for in input from Russian-speaking readers. It seems Ellustrator is trying to show a Russian (Vladimir Putin) speaking Russian with an Indian accent and looking at a photo of Gandhi. Putin is recently reported to have said: "Since the death of Gandhi I haven't had anyone to talk to." The western press generally translated this (also correctly, since this was his meaning) as: "Since Gandhi, I've been the only one (true democrat)." Some Russophiles have claimed that Putin wasn't serious in claiming to be a democrat, attempting to use the first translation rather than the second to show that since he wasn't alive when Gandhi was, he wasn't serious. If they're right, it's a horrifying thing to contemplate that Putin would joke about such an issue while enmeshed in massive world criticizm over his anti-democratic moves, hardly a presidential thing to do (not unlike when he joked about rape in front of an official Israeli delegation). LR would find it much more disturbing that he would joke about such a subject than that he would actually believe he's a democrat. The latter only implies mental infirmity; the former implies pure evil. Russians all over the internet have been having a good time with this statement. They've been poking fun at Putin, as if he had some lifetime love of Gandhi as has been longing for him daily since his death. The caption has Putin rambling on about how centralizing power (building the "verticals of power" as they call it in russian) will lead him to Nirvana, and how a third term is his Karma/destiny. But it seems that perhaps there's something else going on in Ellustrator's mind as well, like maybe it's a takeoff on an actual Hindu prayer based on a remembrance of the time when Indian culture was a fad in the Soviet Union as the USSR tried to expand its influence in South Asia. Further commentary from Russians would be most interesting.

The leaders of Western Europe (Germany, France and the U.K.) shove Bush towards Putin and tell him: "Now go tell him what we think about him, and whatever you do, DON'T LOOK INTO HIS EYES!"

NB: These are LR staff translations, our professional translators have nothing to do with them. We'll be delighted to be informed of any errors.

1 comment:

Russian said...

Too much noise out of noyhing.

The second translation ["Since Gandhi, I've been the only one (true democrat)] is closer to what Putin said. Though it must be given in context for the one to be able to understand what Putin's joke was about.
Annoyed with the repeatedly asked question from the journalists about if he was “a pure water democrat “ as Gerhard Shreder called him. Putin responded:
"Am I a pure democrat? Of course I am. I am an absolute and pure democrat. But you know what is the problem? Actually not just a problem but a real tragedy? The tragedy is that I am the only real democrat in the world. Look at the North America! It is a horror what is going on there! Guantanamo, imprisonments without an investigation and a court verdict , tortures, homelessness… And Europe? There is cruel treatment of the protesters, tear gas, rubber bullets, one day here next day there. I do not want even to speak about the former Soviet states. There was some hope for the Ukraine but they discredited themselves repeatedly breaking their own Constitution and laws, and it looks like they are going to end up with tyranny. After Gandi died there has been no one (a real democrat) to talk to."
I would recommend the article:
for LR to understand Putin jokes better and to develop some sence of humor.

Ps. And about the mumbling on the cartoon, I think, Putin is trying to say in Hindi: O Mahatma, (I have built) "a chain of authorities" (vertical of power), which is chakra (power). (I deserved) nirvanna (for that) and nahui (what the F*** for) I would need the 3-rd term? It is not my real karma".