02 October 2007

Do you like puppets?

The Kremlin does.

Because that link will soon vanish (thanks for being stingy, Moscow Times):
Putin has announced his intention to run for the State Duma (Parliament) in December's elections, and also mentioned that he might become Prime Minister when his second term as president ends early next year. (The presidential elections should be in March.)
Background: like in the U.S., Russian presidents can only serve for two terms. Well, almost like the U.S. - they can only serve two consecutive terms, meaning that in four years Putin can run again. But since the Russian government seems to think changing the constitution is about as serious as changing one's socks, for a long time no one was really convinced that Putin was actually going to give up power. So, this is good news because the constitution is going to remain intact, but bad news because - well, see the title of the post. I could write more about this, but to be honest, I'm a little scared to. Especially after reading A Russian Diary (review forthcoming, if I ever find the time to finish the last twenty pages or so).

(This next part is a tiny bit more controversial than what I usually offer on this blog. Just to warn you.)
Also, I was disappointed in the Communist Party of the Russian Federation when I read today that one of their slogans is "Better Red than Light Blue." In Russian, "goluboi/light blue" is a slang term for homosexual. The article I was reading went on to explain, "this slogan refers to the light blue color of the United Russia (Putin's party) flag, and not at all what our readers were probably thinking." Umm, correct me if I'm wrong, but if all of your readers make the same association, then the association is there. I don't know why I would expect a political party in Russia - where gay rights lag far behind gay rights in the U.S. and most of Europe - to be above a hurtful double entendre that would probably still be acceptable in many circles in America. But it still disappointed me.


Anonymous said...

I actually found A Russian Diary here, to my surpise. In English that is, it hasnt been published in Russian, right? My dad just read it and shared some stories - yikes! Her book "Putin's Russia" is filled with like stories, and doenst especially make on want to have Putin be prime minister.
He is always on TV though, as such a concerned, able leader!


Celine said...

Funny how no-one really seemed to be expecting this move from Putin. It seems so logical now... Not that I'm happy, oh no.
So I guess Russian light blue is our pink? Both lovely colours!


P.S. Oh, the lovely word squeezebox is almost as lovely in Dutch: litterally it's 'pullbag'. Isn't it lovely how two languages seem te notice the exact opposite directions one makes on an instrument like that?