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Monday, November 05, 2007

Another Original LR Translation: Russia, Land of Lies

La Russophobe's original translator opens yet another window into the Russian press, this time a little guided tour of the Land of Lies.

The Motherland

Yezhednevniy Zhurnal

October 22, 2007

by Boris Suvarin

Russia is the Country of the Lie – the absolute lie, the total lie. The Czar and his devotees lied to themselves and to one another all the time, every second, in every circumstance; lied so much that, when removed from an atmosphere of lies, they would simply suffocate, like fish out of water.

“The People” - A crowd that comes running at the sound of the TV-whistle to beg for gifts from the nobleman, curse on cue a former U.S. Secretary of State who retired 8 years ago, and is afraid to ask Putin whether he will stay or go.

“The National Leader” - of Lilliputians (midgets).

“Putin’s Plan” - A golden border, emblems, water marks, perfectly clean paper. The most perfect example of a naked king we have ever seen.

“Economic Growth” – Expanding the plundering of swindled petrodollars and compulsive acquisition of villas by successful thieves, and of SUVs and other Western goodies by the less successful. While the other110-120 million Russians drool on.

“The Marketplace” - of bribes.

“Vertical of Power” - A spear, at the point of which slithers the “national leader”, unable to decide which he would prefer, sturgeon in horseradish sauce or the preservation of the Constitution. Below him is just the rest of the servicing company. The spear is absolutely rotten from within, and in rapidly-opening fissures jostle the teeth, haunches and other charming parts of generals in the secret police, busily cutting each others’ throats inside the “vertical”.

“Our Own” (Nashi) - not Laborador Retrievers, but mongrels.

“Preservation of Stability” - A fearful quivering of the Vertical, in the knowledge that if the National Leader screws up, all will simply collapse.

“Sovereign Democracy” - sovereign in relation to our great Demos.

“National Interests” - Hatred and envy of the United States. Hatred and contempt toward foreign states on Russia’s western border. Subservience toward foreign states on Russia’s eastern border. Indifference to the problems of our own country, ferocious indignation at the U.S. attacks on Serbia and the free and peace-loving people of Iraq and Iran. Hatred of the “black asses” (ethnic minorities) of Russia.

“National Idea” - “America is a shit-can - victory will be ours!”

“National Mentality” - Devout conviction that the two parts of the above slogan are somehow related.

“Intelligence Services” - Fiercely competitive, armed commercial groups that publicly claim to abide by one law – “the esprit de corps of the chekist”, that is, the ability to rob everything you don’t know how (or are too lazy) to steal outright.

“Oligarchs” - Thieves of the 1990’s, scared off by thugs in the 2000’s.

“Parliament” - A notary service, which for some reason applies a stamp to all decisions made by the anonymous bureaucrats of the Kremlin.

“Elections” - Meetings in the Kremlin to discuss the issue of how many parties and who should be allowed into the notary office at the “next session”.

“Candidate for Parliament” - People who want to be known as “a colleague of Mr. Lugovoi”.

“Communists” - Orthodox under portraits of Lenin, billionaires under portraits of Stalin.

“The Democratic Opposition” - Sometimes intellectual tubs of lard, sometimes bureaucrats with expired badges, sometimes political consultants, all actively wheedling money from incomprehensible sponsors.

“Right-leaning Liberals” - Employees of government monopolies.

“Yabloko Party Members” – canned (apples).

“The Other Russia” - playing themselves at chess.

“TV” - The needle that delivers a drug causing hysterically nationalistic hubris, hatred of the U.S., and general “jitters” in the addict.

“Journalists” - Drunken, dissipated 50 year old boys in leather jackets, turgidly quacking about how for 300 years England has been the main reason for all the misfortunes of Great Russia.

“Izvestiya” - reading akin to necrophilia.

“Political Consultants” – Gleb Pavlovsky

“Berezovskiy” - A hopelessly out-of-date telephone directory.

“The Church” - A bureaucratic-trade office. Sometimes trafficking in cigarettes and vodka, but always in the deification of the State and its latest leader.

“The Army” - Unpaid slaves, forever humiliating and abusing one another.

“Corruption” - Life.

“War on Corruption” - That which cannot be.

“National Projects” - Designation for sidetracks to corruption.

“Oil” - The free cheese in an historical mousetrap.

“Film Director” - A hereditary Gentleman of the King’s Bedchamber, with a moustache. And a veil over his eyes. Deeply orthodox, he worships whoever is in power.

“Writer” - For some reason always a fat, scruffy graphomaniac with boils, always screaming that Putin is sacred.

“Struggle against the Enemies of Russia” - Mass public onanism.

“Preservation of the Unity of Russia” - The sharia-based government in Chechnya will be built not by Maskhadov, but by Kadyrov.

“Russia Getting Up From Its Knees” - She was hoisted up after being impaled on the “Chekist hook” - as was openly and publicly announced.

“Great Russia” - One-eighth of the landmass of the planet, on which lie the unburied remains of hundreds of thousands of soldiers killed 60 years ago, and the skulls of millions of political prisoners shot in the course of the 20-th century. A land once occupied by Pushkin and Chekhov, but now by a people who, according to every poll, unanimously proclaim the greatest man in Russian to be none other than a lieutenant colonel in the KGB.

I would not be hard to continue this dictionary of double-think. But it would be pointless. Every Russian knows he lives by lies. “As I walk I lie, as you walk you lie, as we all walk we all tell lies…” It’s what we are used to - when has it ever been different? Wherever we go, whatever ideas we have, it’s extremely unseemly, but we bash America and loudly boast to one another about how great we are. We lied less in the 1990’s, and for that reason we dislike those years. “The horrible 1990’s, when Russia broke up and died…”

It’s true. It is terrible and painful to speak and acknowledge the truth, about your own country, your own people, your own history and present, about your very self. Even a little crumb of the truth is hard. Sure, in the 1990’s you could object to this truth, but it was still spoken. Often in the service of some very unpleasant people. From this came horrible withdrawal symptoms. Society wanted to snort that wonderful “cocaine” from a package labeled “patriotism of the highest purity”. As soon as this dream was realized at the beginning of the 2000’s, everything felt better. What’s more, the pushers gave their “coke” away for free - not counting the obedience they demanded.

“In this world there are still a lot of different countries, in some of which the people live much worse than you, in some much better. But nowhere do they live more stupidly than you. You don’t believe it? Well then to hell with you.”

P.S. - Boris Suvarin is a Russian émigré journalist, who in the 20-th century lived in France. Due to certain circumstances known to the editors, the author of these remarks has chosen to write them under a pseudonym.

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