Monday, April 20, 2009

Semi-Quasi-Ultra Political

My Chinese friend, Wu says yesterday-“I don’t go to school tomorrow. It is Asian Holiday. Hitler’s Birthday”

Well, clearly he didn’t mean holiday like Праздник. He meant that it wasn’t safe for Asians on the streets of Russia on such a marked day.

Sidebar: Do you think perhaps it's a bad idea to have the UN Conference on Racism and the Holocaust memorial services in Israel on the anniversary of Hitler's birthday? I mean, maybe it's to detract from pro-Hitler demonstrations but I'm sure it only causes more racist demonstrations.

At the Lenta yesterday (think Wal-Mart) I wandered into the electronics department to buy a hair iron. An all important tool in modern Russia. Women who choose not to have one of the many smart short-dos that Russian women wear so well, usually have either straight straight hair, or super super curly hair. You would think this would lead to lower prices for the tools used to create such dos. I mean, the law of supply and demand says that high demand equals high price. But it always boggles my mind when something so intrinsic to a society has such high prices. Stripper boots, absurd fur coats, hats, etc., hair irons; these are things intrinsic to female Russian society. There are mass quantities and a thousand stores to buy these things at. But all of the above are twice as much as western prices, even at second hand stores. So I did not purchase a 60$ hair iron. But while I was perusing the choices (actually only two, but 15 hair dryers, there must be a warehouse of hair irons somewhere that I am unaware of) I noticed that the film showing on the television models was a scene depicting a man and two women in bed. Oh yeah, nudity all over the place. Interesting. Free porn viewing at the local super center.

I went to a market the other day. This place mostly sells clothes, used clothes, and well, everything, but mostly clothes. There is one fruit and veg stand. I saw they had some peppers that looked like they might be spicy, a delicacy from what I’ve seen. Hell, flavour is a delicacy in this country. Anyway, I communicated my inquiry as to their spiciness. I receive, “not very”, but that’s better than not at all, so I grab three and make my way over to pay. It’s fairly obvious I’m not Russian at this point by my 3-year old requests for produce. So the large dark haired, dark skinned, fully gold toothed woman asks where I’m from. I oblige. She gets the biggest smile on her face and says, “Honest?!” Then she’s grabbing others and telling them I’m an American. I’m pretty sure she had never met an American. It was cute, and kind of flattering I suppose. But I felt conflicted. I’m nearly positive that this woman was Georgian, hence her love of Americans maybe. But I backed Russia in the conflict. I mean, I don’t have to fell ashamed for being flattered I suppose. But I guess I’m a little concerned over her extreme excitement, like she’d just met Madonna. I guess there are still America worshipers out there. I’m all for Becka worship, but I’m a little uncomfortable being adored for my country.

Back to the UN Conference on Racism. Ahmadinejad. Well, I'll be honest, I thought he was pretty well behaved and the whole thing was a political circus. I'm not pro-Israel or pro-Palestine, I need to put some more research into this, but I will say, that I strongly doubt that Israel is behaving better than Palestine, probably worse, and maybe the Western world is a little biased in how they are handling things. The media coverage of this has just been ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as the media coverage of the Obama/Chavez picture. They act like they are so shocked by Ahmadinejad. Everyone knew he was going to say it, I think he toned it down. His words have some value. Just like Limbaugh and Moore, an extreme opinion is needed to keep everything in perspective. But fortunately Limbaugh and Moore don't have nuclear power behind them... Can you imagine? Someone write that book. Or someone just buy an island that we can put Limbaugh and Moore on and let them annoy themselves to cannibalism. I am way off subject now.

Dinner time!

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