The Last Refuge of Scoundrels

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Content advisory 18+ The great old Englishman Samuel Johnson of the 18th century (back when Englishmen were worthy of the name) once declared that "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."

It is hard for me to know if that statement is comprehensible to all of my readers, so, without meaning to be patronizing, let me break it down. It means, basically, that when an individual has forfeited, through many bad acts inspired by evil motives, all semblance of principle and moral (not moralistic!) rectitude -- in short, when he has proved himself a total jerk-off asshole in every sense of the word -- his last means of saving face in front of his peers (getting off the hook) is to appeal to God and Country.
The idea is pretty simple and -- should it astonish us? -- very effective. That it is so often effective speaks more to the general idiocy of the multitude than to the cunning of the conniver and should not surprise at all. Nor does any one nation of actors have a special patent on this. The Americans, the British, the French, the Germans, the Russians, etc. have all done it. And do it still!

Thus those two scoundrels in Kemerovo, fossilized Governor Aman Tuleyev (73) and Deputy Guv and Successor-wanna-be Sergei Tsivilyuv, both, after crawling on their knees to see who would be the first to deep-throat Vladimir Putin when he showed up to find out what was going on, explained the communal outpouring of rage and grief as the work of "troublemakers." and an ""opposition force who took advantage of an emotional outpouring."
In other words, "Hey guys, these tragedies happen, can you dig it? I mean, ok guys, the mall caught fire and a few kids, well, ("cough cough, ahem, ahem"), but the real problem is these anti-Russian, foreign-bankrolled, subversion-dedicated enemies of the Russian State which BLEW THIS WHOLE GODDAMNED THING WAYYYYYYYYYYY OUT OF PROPORTION!!!!!!!"

Or whatever the Russian equivalent of that might be.
So, readers, listen and repeat their twisted, self-serving excuses for a reason. The reality is that mere fate chose Kemerovo to be the place where a horrible tragedy happened that might have happened anywhere else in Russia. (And nobody is saying that this kind of thing occurs only in Russia, not at all !). But it happened where it happened. In Kemerovo. On a crowded Sunday. In a place where, up until the cataclysm, joy and happiness had reigned. Reality: People, most of them children (and animals, by the way, who were there as companions to the kids) died in the most horrifying and agonizing way imaginable. Shocked parents and other survivors thus had to deal with instant recognition of realities beyond their human capacity to understand, much less endure.

Readers, do you understand?? People were shrieking with slobbering hysteria. Do you understand? People were wailing like coyotes in the darkest forests that can possibly inhabit the human soul? Do you understand? People were instantaneously being forced to deal with a realization (only half understood at the time) that will haunt them for the rest of the lives? That will turn any moment when a random thought reminds them.. into a sudden nightmare. Readers, DO YOU UNDERSTAND??
I hope so. And the appropriate word for it would be "sympathy" or "compassion". But NOT "empathy" Because empathy means that you can relate through experience, that is, you can "feel their pain" (famous words of Bill Clinton) because you have been there too. And I expect that only a very few of you have been there too. I certainly have not.

But we can imagine. We can look with renewed reverence at our own loved ones and rejoice because we still have them. For now. And NOT because of anything but GOOD LUCK. And maybe, if we are people with hearts, we can shrink in horrified compassion at what was lost and offer our silent solace to the people who lost it all.
And what was the response of the governor and deputy governor?
The response was that those people showing their grief in public were ENEMIES OF THE STATE.
Not people in mental agony legitimately demanding to know why their 'trusted' (ha-ha) public officials let them down so terribly, no, these grieving people are THE ENEMIES OF RUSSIA.
According to Kemerovo officials. Hey, is there a window handy that we can throw these guys out of?
But, you know, it was the same in America back in the days of the Civil Rights Movement, especially in the Deep South. You would have to possess a fair knowledge of American history, as well as the integrity to turn a deaf ear to all the current "Human Rights" crap that the Americans and Brits promote themselves with, to really understand what the American South in particular was like during the first two thirds of the 20th century.
It was racism in its most hateful and virulent form, is what it was. Whatever you think of them now (I admit much of my sympathy has vanished, over time, but that's another subject for another occasion), Black people in America back then were treated terribly. The center of this race hatred was the South. Dixieland. So, when Martin Luther King and Jack Kennedy briefly held the World Stage and the Civil Rights Movement came about, many brave people, young and old, actually went down there to lend a hand to the freedom movement.

They were called "Outside Agitators." and "Rabble- Rousers" (outsiders who inspire conflict) They were labeled as "Communists". And so on.
Likewise, when the same kind of people showed up to protest against the Viet Nam War, they too were called the same names and were cast as "Communist Sympathizers" and "Anti-American".
Time proved the rabble-rousers correct. Black people, American citizens as they were and are, deserved their civil rights. And the Viet Nam War was a hideous and fruitless disaster.
The problem is this: bureaucrats remain the same, while idealists just get old and cynical. Or, if you are like me, they write blogs and eventually just tell the Red Tape crowd to go fuck themselves. I don't know about you, but I have done a pretty good job so far of remaining a Free Man.

You know, I used to believe in 'causes" and in the possibility that whole governments could somehow, some way, find a conscience and do the right thing. You know, the John Lennon "Imagine all the people.." type of thing. What I believe now is best stated by the Turk author Elif Shafak in a book called "The Flea Palace". The character Pavel Pavlovich Antipov comes to the following conclusion, according to the author: "Like a rubber ball, he succeeded in bouncing his way through the ruins of war...It did not matter to him at all. The war that raged on was not his. He no longer believed in the victory of states or causes but only in the victory of individuals."

That is, in my opinion, what we have come to. We have to have the courage to decide, within ourselves, what is the truth. And then ACT. We can not stand by and accept having blindness sprayed into our eyes. We cannot turn the other cheek and wait to get smacked on that one also.
Tuleyev. Tsivilyov.
Men like this are the real detriments to Russia, present, and future... Not grieving parents in the streets of Kemerovo.
Can people, real people like you and me, make a difference?
Let me answer this way: Think of how technology is changing the world. Minute by minute. Can you imagine how it will be in just 25 year's time? And 25 years is NOTHING!! But in that short span of time so much of everything we do now, we will do differently then!

So how can you imagine that CHANGE is not possible?
Will you accept defeat from manky, moldy old bureaucrats?
Think of it like this: If a mere computer (a MACHINE that takes its orders from YOU) can change the world into something we will hardly recognize in a quarter century, do you accept that YOU can not change how a shopping mall is run in Kemerovo???

===Eric Richard Leroy===

Мнение автора может не совпадать с мнением владельца блога.

2 thoughts on “The Last Refuge of Scoundrels

  1. So how can you imagine that CHANGE is not possible?
    Will you accept defeat from manky, moldy old bureaucrats?
    Think of it like this: If a mere computer (a MACHINE that takes its orders from YOU) can change the world into something we will hardly recognize in a quarter century, do you accept that YOU can not change how a shopping mall is run in Kemerovo???

  2. Спасибо за довольно интересную информацию. Я и подумать не могла, что я не знаю такую ценную информацию

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