Putin is not Putin

I get the idea that 73% of the planet now believes Vlad is about seven feet tall, wears a pristine three piece suit, while dual wielding a pair of machine pistols, followed by a troupe of supermodels, and leaves all his enemies dead in his wake.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure none of this is true.  In any aspect, this guy just gets too much credit.  There’s Putin the idea, and Putin the man.  Putin the idea does not actually exist.  The man himself is basically just a gangster dictator.  Putin is not Putin.

Russia is powerful, it influences events worldwide and especially in it’s own backyard.  It has nuclear weapons, and a whole bunch of oil and gas.  But Russia is ultimately a troubled mess.  The economy is in the tank, demographic decline means by 2075 there will be like four Russians left, and generally speaking there’s nobody to carry on the party after Putin goes.

So when folks make Putin or Russia out to be this goliath, it’s not healthy.  It gives credence to a situation that’s not there.  Oh, Russia influenced the United States election?  I’m sure they did.  Did this single act cause Trump to win?  No.  And in any case, is everybody so blind to history?  Soviet Russia has influenced every U.S. election since 1917.  Please kindly go read history.

But when it’s made out that Putin alone has influenced the election, or even changed the outcome?  I’m sorry, but all that does is feed an image that doesn’t reflect reality.  Russia or Putin just simply isn’t that powerful.

You know once upon a time, the idea was that the United States shrugged off the rounding error threats from lesser nations led by gangsters.  But I guess, in today’s social media driven world, that we have to respond with hashtag anger to every petty little slight.  In 1984 or 1996, we’d have just shrugged at this.

Vlad gives up washing dishes with detergent; uses scotch instead

Once upon a time a former leader of the Soviet Union could bang a shoe and threaten death to all and everybody would believe (falsely, in retrospect) that he meant every word. But now, Russia’s all powerful state is reduced to attacking the free world by, uh, banning dish detergent. Uh…? [cue tumbleweed]

Seriously, this is a thing. Oh no, Vlad. Not our detergent. You inhumane bastard! Shall we surrender the Arc de Triomphe to you now or next week?

Granted, Russia can still actually bring death to all via an accidental nuclear launch or unleashing Vlad’s-Trained-Crane-Assault-Brigade (VTCAB); but seeing as how neither of those options is productive (the cranes stole Vlad’s coke), I guess he’s got nothing left but to reach for the bottom of the base of the barrel.

But even Vlad’s got limits. He can ban detergent and cheese, but he’ll be damned if he’s going to do without scotch and his X-Box. So I guess he’ll wash his dishes with half a bottle of scotch. And then drink the other half while playing X-Box surrounded by his five supermodel-former-figure-skater girlfriends. What a horrible life Vlad must have; who’d want to live like that? [blankly stares around cubicle for a moment]

Anyways, what I find most delicious about the BBC article is the social media trolling of this stupidity by ordinary-average-Russians. This one’s my favorite:

 

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“Psst, kid. Do you want a bit of washing powder?”

Bravo.

 

“I’ve spotted Merkel; she’s next to the bath soap aisle. Fire, my pretties! Fire! VTCAB! ATTACK!”

I know where Vlad was!

I don’t know where Vlad was. Nobody does. Even Vlad doesn’t know. For all he knows, he might have accidentally stepped into a lunar-time-warp while blitzed on looted Ukrainian potato vodka. Hey kids, don’t judge, the sweet elixir is just too tasty to pass up when you’re effectively washing it down with the tears of an entire nation.

– He spent a week reliving his good ole Dresden days by strangling four dudes and a squirrel in Bucharest; squirrel’s family now vows ancient-blood-oath revenge

– Dude went away for the weekend with his girl and simply lost track of time; wouldn’t you? seriously, search Alina Kabayeva

– The army tried to mount a coup but upon breaking down the Kremlin door, they discovered Vlad holding an active candlelit roundtable with Satan, Hitler’s ghost, George Clooney, and Jamie Dimon; at which point they meekly retreated from the room

– He spent a week coked out of his mind; fucking off; because what’s the world going to do while he’s gone? after all, he’s driving the runaway train

– Recovery from crane flying midair collision; you should see the crane; seriously, search Putin crane

– Zombie attack! zombies! Vlad! help! [Vlad bursts from dark woods wearing three-piece tuxedo; dual wielding a pair of double-barreled shotguns]

– Dude disappeared for a week on purpose; just to fuck with everybody; because he can; and then to see everybody’s reactions; and alter his diabolical plans accordingly

vladimir_next

“I’m the hardest working man you know.”

Vlad didn’t do this. Or did he? Yes. No. Uh…

Let’s get something straight.  If Russia functions correctly, nobody shoots the senior opposition leader four times in the back just steps from the Kremlin without Vlad’s go ahead.  So it seems easy to say that Vlad did this.

On the other hand, how reckless and stupid of a dictator must you be to order the senior opposition leader shot four times in the back just steps from the Kremlin?  So like, Vlad’s rather reckless and stupid, it’s his thing, so he probably did it.

But Vlad’s also a genius, and so he probably isn’t this stupid.  And so maybe Boris Nemtsov got himself into some unrelated trouble or, uh, [furrows brow].

And thus we see clearly one of the greatest weapons Vlad wields.  Nobody really knows what the fuck is going on.  Did he order a blatant, vicious murder in the open streets six steps from his own bedside or didn’t he?  Who the fuck knows?

This Churchill guy, he was rather smart, and so his multi-dog struggle under a carpet quote is quite correct.  You never really know what’s going on in Russia.

Except, unfortunately I think I know what’s going to happen, even if I don’t know what’s going on.  I rather think this doesn’t change anything.  Even if 100K people are marching in Moscow today, I think Vlad’s approval rating is still north of 70%.  So at least Russia’s got that going for it.

moscow

take a very close look at this picture, and all the construction cranes building new things; as long as that keeps happening, most Russians will probably let him get away with murder