May 10, 2010
Pomp and nationalism- 65th anniversary WW2, Moscow
It seems strange to me, but I can't help think this event was for a select few and for the surviving Russian veterans. All of the people that could go to watch it in Red Square, were a very privileged few. On TV, you could see all the veterans weighed down heavily with medals, faces carved with time and experience, singing along to the national songs. Later in the day, there was a big concert on TV. The cameras focused on all the pretty, typically Russian looking girls at the front rows of the concert, famous Russian singers (that I did not recognize) came and went on stage, to sing old Russian classic songs. Round men in their fifties with dyed black hair, loudly sang their songs, beautiful little boys with long golden hair, that looked like girls, sweetly sang their songs and marching bands marched onto the stage to the sound of drums. You could see people in the audience singing along to every song. At the end in a climax, of glory, fireworks lit up the Moscow sky and they must have spent the state budget for a month on the fireworks, not including everything else. Its amazing where they get the money from when they can't provide fair pensions to the old, build decent roads and solve the cities traffic and crime problems. They can control the weather, as they did for the day by bombing the clouds with chemicals to prevent rain but they can't solve or won't solve basic human needs and problmes.
I think its nice and respectful to remember the war and to honor the survivors and remember the dead but I can't help thinking that the whole event here in Russia was an exercise in nationalism "par excellence". I would even say it was a plan of genius, if I were a cynical man. Create an event, glorify a country and a time, stir up national pride and you get a population eating from your hand. Putin is known to foster and feed nationalism and the event was perfect in every way, an exercise in public relations that other countries like the United Kingdom and France would be wise to copy. Make a nation proud of its past, present and future and you hide and paper over all the cracks of political and economic failings. However, the event was a wonderful show, its just a pity we could not actually see it for real, when we live in Moscow.
Labels: Moscow remembers the war