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ALIEN


Ideally a leader is not only the head of State, but also an exemplary first man of the nation. Joseph Stalin, with his pipe, moustache, boots, in a semi-military service jacket, insinuating, unhurried, speaking with an accent (with an accent sentences have often a reversed mysterious implication), set the order to USSR countries disciplined and scared them, keeping them in fear. Everything in a leader, from the form of his nails to his button, is in fact important; nothing is aleatory. Although history does not mention the image makers of Mussolini, Stalin or Hitler, these big characters have worked out their style, or as they say today, image, themselves. In reality they were simply natural eccentrics.

Although History will forever ascribe Yeltsin to negative peoples leaders, he had a personal character, clearly of popular origin. His crazy drunkenness, petty tyranny and the roughness of a Central Committee dignitary even had a certain charm, as it turned out now. Once in a while the lack of his bad presence is felt in the space of Putins clean government. After his last act of petty tyranny, after imposing us God know who, i.e. Putin, Yeltsin left the scene and is groaning somewhere on the dachas, spits and drinks. But we do not know about that.

What concerns Putin, he is very untypical of Russia. It is as though he was created in a laboratory. One gets the impression that he came to this world from artificial insemination, from an unknown father and a surrogate mother. So little he has of his own and at the same time, strange thing, he is not at all a popular type. In other words he does not represent any of the popular archetypes we know. He is clearly not a petty tyrant Central Committee dignitary, he is clearly not a worker and not a peasant either. A lieutenant colonel, he is not an officer type. Lebedev and Rokhlin, Shamanov or Troshev were officers. Putin is closer to an intellectual, a teacher, not even a university teacher but from a technical school, of chemistry, for example. But as he is, kind of distinct, alien, he would have been a renegade and an exile among the teachers. He would have surly been called the man in a case, a blotter, and nobody would have talked with him.

It is of course scandalously accidentally that Putin received the leadership of the State. Without Yeltsins last act of stupid willfulness Putin, as he is, distinct, alien, would never have been elected. His fate has just played in his favor here. First the unlucky retired foreign intelligence officer was picked up by the westernizer Sobchak. Sobchak took him with him to the city hall. And here Putin showed the talent of a paper-weight-man, a folder-man. The fact that he loves office work showed up later, when in the first months of his mandate as premier he became daily available to us through the TV. It showed by the gentleness with which he pressed his little folder to his hip or even his chest. Then the little folder disappeared, but we already got it.

Putins main value consists of his bureaucratic efficiency. In Russia a country of rather undisciplined, emotional, irresponsible people a bureaucrat is simply a treasure. Therefore after the failure of Sobchaks career Putin was immediately picked up by Pavel Pavlovich Borodin, since people with little folders like him are hard to find. Besides, not a drunker and not a smoker, not going to the sauna in company of drunken guys. Putin was certainly looking like a superman in a crowd of bosses full of vices. Through Borodin, Putin started to work with Yeltsin and in the end the old Yeltsin chose the paper-weight-man as his successor to the throne. He chose his direct opposite, for the qualities that were totally absent in the petty tyrant Yeltsin. And in result we are governed by a folder-man, a kind of a pale secretary.

There is something womanly sad in Russias new president. Rather, a lack of a male basis. If Yeltsin was clearly an old stallion, who scared women away only because of vodka, then V.V. Putin is a totally asexual type, i.e. not sexual. Whatever threatening statements about doing the terrorists in the shithouse he might do, one gets the impression that he is shy like a girl. Besides his fragile physic, this girly impression he makes is also contributed by his voice. We do not hear from Putin any Yeltsin or Lebedevs macho roar or the velvet slime of Julio Iglesias. He pronounces everything in an equal, distanced, high voice devoid of emotions. Only rhetoric repetitions (like Kirienko) and pressures are slightly enlivening his speech. Putin does not show any interest in women on TV screens. He is passionless and sterile. It is clear that he is the head of State and we do not have to expect that he will chase women in front of the TV camera. However he should have showed interest a long time ago, with some special smile, or a look. Of course, not for Valentina Matvienko, but for some pretty extras on a reception or on a ski trip. Something must have showed up. Even the frightened Clinton is still visibly animated in the presence of each skirt; one can see this by his shining nose, eyes, and his movements. Nothing of the sort with Putin. Even skiing enthusiast him more than women. In the town of Ivanovo, on March 8th, being present there among the one-hundred-kilo bulks of honorable ladies, Putin looked liked a boy, humanly touched by the attention of these ladies; he even talked about his waddling. But again there was not a gram of sex in this scene, although there were quite sexy ladies in the background.

The soft-spoken, special, passionless and unemotional (even if sometimes he wants to appear emotional) fragile little blond Putin cannot, obviously, serve as a model for the Russian society (like Mussolini, Stalin and Churchill were for their time). Our workers have their own model, the intelligentsia has Yavlinsky, the functionaries have their own fashion; this is over hundred kilos of weight, a gray monolith of a suit, the belly forward, the face larger than the shoulders. The functionaries cannot change to fragile, little refined blonds. I am sure; many of them sadly look at Putin, thinking something similar to the lyrics of a todays hit: My boss doesnt drink or smoke, / It would have been better if he did Really, it would have been better. The thing is that if the population saw some male vice in Putin, lets say he would have been a womanizer, then they would see his humanity. But as it is Putin is strikingly alien. By voting for him, tens of millions of voters overcame their natural repulsion of everything alien. In this, we, of course, see the monstrous power of our television; it is hundreds times more powerful than the Orthodox Church and all of Christianity, actually.

Putin did not bring with him any special shirts, pipes, boots, hairdo or special grimaces. The new leader has no attributes at all. The Kremlins interior, all these little chairs with legs, sofas and little divans were inherited by Yeltsin, Pavel Borodin and the Albanian Bazhet Pakolli, who rebuilt the Kremlin. Putin does not show any preference for special ties or cotton or wool jackets. His appearance, his look is also totally sterile.

However he has some advancement in the area of rhetoric and demagogy. Already Yeltsin started to use nationalist phraseology along the democratic one. Baby-face Kirienko and his young Turks have made another step in this direction by calling themselves Union of Right Forces and emphasizing the interests of the State. Putin continued the movement in this direction. His pro-governmental party is called United Russia and himself he recently almost repeated Goebels call One country, one people, although the third element was not one fuehrer, but one feels that during his stay in Germany officer Putin has read some fundamental books in German. Putins style of government: news coverage of his every step copied from the West. But Putin does not become more familiar from the fact that we see him daily on all sorts of ceremonies, openings, conferences and troops parades. The inauguration ceremony, rather conceited and funny, as it was produced by the monarchist Mikhalkov (maybe it was?) of course, looked strange and alien. But the inauguration is also the confirmation of the same paradoxical process: while staying reformist and pretending to be called democratic, each new RF regime increases the dose of national demagogy and nationally tainted gestures in the powers ideology.

In the impassionate voice of a city boy from a quiet family (the kind that are made to wear dresses until the age of ten) Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin daily tells us political banalities that even the Zavtra newspaper is ashamed to publish nowadays. He is too much everywhere. It looks like the masses are not yet regretting that they elected a person totally foreign to them as president. Meanwhile the affairs of the Russian State are not so bright. Soon the country will celebrate the sad anniversary of the beginning of the second Chechen war and it is clear that Russia got in this bloody mess for long. In general the situation of the country does not differ from what it was under Yeltsin and the state of our economy depends on the oil prices and Western tips and indulgences to repay our debts to them.

Putin was compared to a black box. As if he was a mystery. No, V. V. Putin is the most non-mysterious man in Russia. Putin is the absence of presence. A sad, lonely, sterile bureaucrat. A conscientious secretary with a notepad. What he lacks is a talented boss.

My boss doesnt drink or smoke

It would have been better if he did



Alien and wicked | Limonov vs. Putin | THE PRESIDENT S APPEARANCE