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By Sean — 9 years ago
Vasili, Vasili, Vasili. How far you’ve fallen. To think that only a few years ago you were the leader of your own youth army, Nashi. Now, you’re just a bureaucrat. As for Nashi, with the “orange threat” vanquished, their only presence in Russian society is to pull pranks (some of which I admit are funny), hounding “oppositionists,” and filing lawsuits against those who “slander” them. Nashi can apparently dish it, but they can’t take it.
But Vasili, I understand that Nashi has its own problems, and you have yours. This is the Year of Youth, and as head of Russia’s Federal Agency of Youth Affairs, you gotta keep up with the kids. Now that the year is closing, you’ve found your theme song in Timati’s new single, “Love You” (featuring Mariya and Busta Rhymes)
You apparently liked the swoons of the pop trio so much that you issued a letter officially supporting the track and urging the media to jump on board. The letter reads:
The Federal Agency of Youth Affairs gives its full support of the single “Love You.” The track recorded by Timati together with Busta Rhymes and Mariya provides a composition of social nature which brings attention to the problems of the young generation.
The single “Love You” is a good musical codе of behavior for the entire Year of Youth in Russia.[The Federal Agency of Youth Affairs] considers it an important aspect for mass media to devote attention to similar social work and give assistance in playing the single “Love You.”
Well, that letter is either going to bring Timati, Busta, and Mariya a lot of cash or quickly lead “Love You” to quickly becoming the lamest song ever.
A word about the video. The video was shot in downtown Los Angeles, pretty much on the corner of Figueroa and 7th Street. As a LA denizen, it is hard for me to reconcile the sickly sweet theme of compassion, peace, and brotherhood of “Love You” with the fact that Skid Row is a few blocks away. Los Angeles film crews have an uncanny ability (with the help of LAPD) of cleansing an area of undesirables.
But I get why Yakemenko endorsed the song. It’s his special way of telling all of Russia’s youth, “You can call me if you need me. I’ll be right there. I l-l-l-love you.”
Oh, and just remember kiddies, dyadya Putin says, “Drugs are shit,” but breakdancing promotes a “healthy lifestyle” and graffiti is “a real elegant art” (Okay, it really is quite elegant. I’ll give him that. But breakdancing!? Clearly, he hasn’t seen Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. If he did, he would know how much pain watching it causes.)
As for Busta Rhymes, what happened to you, brother?
Hap tip to Carl Schreck.Post Views: 391
By Sean — 9 years ago
I don’t claim much knowledge on the intricacies of the explosive situation in Moldova. For anyone who has been asleep the last few days, Moldovan students are attempting their own “colored revolution.” On Tuesday, over 10,000 students ransacked the Moldovan Parliament demanding new elections after a Communist Party electoral victory on Sunday. The Communists won around 50 percent of the electoral, beating out their fractious liberal rivals, and claimed a super majority of 60 seats in Moldova’s 101 seat parliament. The students claim mass vote falsification. But unlike the innocuous colors of orange, tulip, and rose, the Moldovan youth appears to favor blood red.
Anyone interested in unfolding events from a variety of sources should check out Scraps of Moscow. Lyndon’s knowledge of Moldova is impeccable.
For an breakdown of why the Communists won, see Vladimir Socor’s “Ten Reasons Why the Communist Party Won Moldova’s Elections Again” from the Eurasian Daily Monitor. Of Socor’s ten reasons, I find these two most compelling:
4) The Communist Party is the only major party with a multi-ethnic electorate. Most opposition parties (including all three that have now entered the parliament) rely entirely on ethnic Moldovan voters (a minority of whom define themselves as Romanians) and have not seriously attempted to reach out to “Russian-speaking” voters. Many “Russian-speakers,” who defected from the Europe-oriented Communist Party in recent years, crossed over to small pro-Moscow groups or declined to vote, rather than joining Moldovan opposition parties. The Communist Party was able to offset that loss by increasing its share of the ethnic Moldovan vote.
5)Exit polls, conducted by Western-funded NGOs, showed that the Communist Party made significant inroads into young age cohorts for the first time in these elections. As the poll coordinator, sociologist Arcadie Barbarosie (head of the Soros Foundation’s local affiliate) observes, the Communist Party can no longer be stereotyped as a “pensioners'” or Soviet-nostalgics’ party (Moldpres, Imedia, April 6).
Two reasons why the Communists won was because they crossed ethnic lines and generational lines.
In this author’s summation, the liberal parties appeal to “pan-Romanian nationalistic ideology,” makes this crisis one between the Communists and the far Right.
Or is generational conflict really at the heart of the protests? The centrality of youth is something that Lyndon emphasizes in this rundown of events. As these two participants/eyewitnesses testify,
The students are discontented with the election result. Most of the people who voted for communism are old people, but old people are dying and there are more young people voting now than before. So the result is definitely not true. It’s not logical.
We don’t want to be governed by the communists anymore. I think the Communist Party should be outlawed, just like the Nazi Party is outlawed in Germany.
. . .
Most of the people in Chisinau voted for the democratic parties. I’ve been asking friends, neighbours, people on the street.
Indeed in the villages, where there are only old people left, most people would vote for the Communist Party. But the young people of our country want a better life, they can’t be satisfied with $150 a month.
Another interesting component to the protests that attest to their youthful flavor, is the use of Twitter as a mobilizing tool. As the NY Times, explains
The sea of young people reflected the deep generation gap that has developed in Moldova, and the protesters used their generation’s tools, gathering the crowd by enlisting text-messaging, Facebook and Twitter, the social messaging network.
The protesters created their own searchable tag on Twitter, rallying Moldovans to join and propelling events in this small former Soviet state onto a Twitter list of newly popular topics, so people around the world could keep track.
Or as Carroll Patterson, a doctoral student on Moldovan economics, told the Times,
“I wouldn’t necessarily call it an anti-Communist movement,” Mr. Patterson said. “This really is a generational squeeze. It’s not really the Communists versus the opposition. It’s the grandmothers versus the grandkids.”
At the center of the protests are two youth organizations, Think Moldova and Hyde Park. Natalia Morar, the Moldovan journalist who was banned from Russia last year, is one of the Think Moldova leaders.Post Views: 322
By Sean — 7 years ago
Some of you may know that I’ve started writing op-eds on Russia for Al-Jazeera English. Here’s an snippet of my latest on the Russian elections:
In mid-November, the Russian site Slon.ru noted that political brands have a life cycle of five stages – “rise”, “peak”, “stabilisation”, “fall”, and “political death”. As brands, Russia’s political tandem, Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, and the ruling party United Russia, are no less immune to this cycle. Their popularity peaked in 2008-2009, was stable throughout 2010, and began to fall rapidly in the second half of 2011. In this sense Russia’s ruling elite are little different than, say, a pop song or a breakfast cereal. The more you consume them, the more disgusting they become, until their mere mention evokes the dry heaves.
As returns from Sunday’s polls show, more and more of the Russian electorate are getting nauseous with the political establishment, and Putin in particular. Technically, Sunday’s elections were about determining the Russian Duma (parliament) for the next five years. But, in reality, they were a popularity vote for Putin: the man, the politician, and the system he created. And if there is any doubt that “Putinism” is on a downward swing, just take a look at Sunday’s polls compared to the last election in 2007. In 2007, United Russia received 64.3 per cent of the vote, giving it a supermajority of 315 seats. On Sunday, United Russia got 49.5 per cent and is slated to get 238 seats. That’s a drop of 14 per cent and a loss of 77 seats. One should also note that United Russia got walloped in regional parliaments. In three regions, Krasnoyarsk, Primorye, and Sverdlovsk, the Party of Power didn’t even break 38 per cent. Considering that this is the first election since 2003 that United Russia’s power shrank, this election is a turning point.
The whole article is here.Post Views: 378