Vladimir Mayakovsky, the most famous poet of the Russian revolution, a rare case of an artist who had talent in addition to strong political beliefs, wrote this poem in 1914:
Ведь, если звезды зажигают –
Значит – это кому-нибудь нужно?
Значит – кто-то хочет, чтобы они были?
Значит – кто-то называет эти плевочки
After all, if someone lights up the stars –
Then – someone needs it?
Then – someone wants them to be?
Then – someone calls those gobs of spit
I read Vladimir Putin’s interview, where he says that it is a “true tragedy” that he is “the only true democrat in the world” and that “since Gandhi had died, there’s no-one to speak to.”
Now i’m not saying that it is especially stupid or wrong; There’s a lot of hypocrisy in the European and the American version of “democracy”, and Putin stings them nicely, accusing the US of alleged torture in Guantanamo and very rightly accusing the EU of double standards in the issues of Kosovo and Transnistria.
Still, it makes me feel uncomfortable. So the only thing i could really think of when i read it was: “After all, if the president of the largest country in the world talks bloody crap, then – someone needs it?”
If you read Russian, see also this story on Vladimir Vladimirovich™ (if you haven’t already).