Archives for June 2012

My Readers Are Indeed Social Contrarians

Though I do wonder about those six people who voted “none of the above” in my poll of attitudes towards the 10 odd theories that figure prominently in the Karlinist Weltanschauung… with all due respect, but what are you guys doing on this blog then? 🙂 The vast majority agree with Peak Oil, Limits to Growth, […]

The World’s Sleaziest Magazine Plumbs New Lows

I really can’t figure what this Economist editorial reeks more of: Hypocrisy, mendacity, or pure delusion? That is as it should be, for since his decision last autumn to return to the Kremlin, Mr Putin has been stridently negative and anti-Western, most recently over Syria (see article) Being anti-Western is “negative”, even for daring to oppose […]

More Russians Vacationing Abroad

According to a recent Levada poll, more Russians are starting to go to fun places on vacation. The total numbers of those going to the Black Sea or the Far Abroad rises to 16% in 2012, compared with 9% in 2006, 5% in 2000, and 4% in 1997. The percentage of those saying they won’t […]

Parting Thoughts On Euro 2012

So yesterday morning I was sitting at the bar with my homies, in a Russian sailor vest and with a big Russian flag draped round our table. It was 0-0. Whatever. Russia had mounted several good attacks, and was bound to score eventually, and even if it didn’t, as long as the Poland – Czech game […]

Russia’s Gastronomic Revolution?

Following the precedent I set with Alex Mercouris – why should I write a post on something myself, when one of the commentators has already done something better? – I present this article on Russia’s recent gastronomic revolution by Ivan Golov: I can assure you that Russia has been going through a mass gastronomic and […]

Does UEFA Hate Russia?

One might have thought that football is one of those few places where politics can be left at the door. At least that’s the position of UEFA who constantly talk of the game’s potential to build bridges, etc. However, consider the following litany of attacks. First, it is looking into punishing Russia for displaying the […]

The 5 Types of Russian American

In my nearly 20 years experience as a Russian living in the West, I have found that almost all my fellows can be reduced to five basic types: 1) The White Russian; 2) The Sovok Jew; 3) The Egghead Emigre; 4) Natasha Gold-Digger; 5) Putin’s Expat. My background and qualifications to write on this topic? My […]

“Israel Belongs To The White Man”

At least according to Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who is hilariously a Sephardi Jew, i.e. closer to Arabs than Europeans. Well, all countries have a right to sovereignty over their own borders, and stemming the inflow of illegal African immigrants is perfectly justifiable in Israel’s case. To this end they are ramping up legal sanctions […]

Money Mania, By Country

The Economist lies about Russia, it has beef with France, and in general it is far more useful as a barometer of Anglo-Saxon elite opinion than as a good source of objective information on the real world. Nonetheless, it does have the occasional gold nugget, and even one gold vein – its Daily Charts blog. After all, one can rarely […]

Is The Ukrainian Children Learning?

According to a recent Vzglyad article by Olga Gritsenko titled Universal Stupefaction, no they are not. Here are the cold raw facts: Libraries stock 4% of books published in Ukraine, compared to 18% in Russia and 40% in the US and Canada. The average Ukrainian spends $2.5 on books in one year, compared to $22 in Russia. In 2010/11, […]

Edward Lozansky – America Hates A Russia Of Its Own Invention

I will be jetting off tomorrow to Washington, but before I do – a translation of Edward Lozansky’s interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda (Америка ненавидит Россию, которую сама себе придумала). Lozansky, who used to be a Soviet dissident, is the organizer of the World Russia Forum and has many strong, pertinent views on why it’s a […]

Jaan Kaplinski – From Confrontation To Reconciliation

Two weeks back, the distinguished Estonian poet and linguist Jaan Kaplinski in a comment on this blog linked to his article in the Russian-Estonian paper День за Днем lamenting the state of Estonian – Russian relations, especially as they were apparently really good back in the Tsarist days. In that article from От противостояния к примирению (From Confrontation to […]

Are You A Social Contrarian?

I’m curious to hear what my readers think of the various concepts and theories that frequently come up on this blog, and of the key assumptions underlying the Karlinist Weltanschauung. Very quick n’ dirty summaries of terms and their discontents: Peak oil: Oil is limited in quantity, and at some point its production will inevitably decline […]

The Anti-Clan Revolution

I’m not a big fan of analyzing Russian politics via “Kremlin clans”. Estimating their relative power seems to involve mostly tea leaf reading, and in any case the entire exercise is of dubious predictive value. Even the exact compositions and identities of the various clans differ from analyst to analyst! Besides, clans are hardly unique […]

Hipsters And Democratic Journalists Might Not Support Putin, But The Middle Class Does

Yet another oft-repeated Western trope about Russian politics is that Putin has “lost the middle classes” (Brian Whitmore, paging Kudrin), that it is liberals who speak for the middle class (Fred Weir), or even that it is not just the middle class who are against Putin but the masses too (Masha Gessen). Let’s look at some […]