During my hectic week, just past, I was collapsing into an armchair and couldn’t face the computer, such was my mental exhaustion. I couldn’t even face the television, and so would turn on the radio and just listen to whatever BBC Radio 4 could offer me. It’s a largely speech based station with programmes like ‘The Moral Maze‘ or ‘From our own correspondent‘. The BBC doing what the BBC does best, in other words. Any of you around the globe who like interesting, entertaining and intellectually stimulating radio could do worse than try some of their podcasts. I have to say I load my iPod with Radio 4 podcasts for flights. I get bored with music, even in shuffle mode, and prefer these podcasts, maybe 15, 20, 30 minutes long, which are educational (in the broadest sense of the word).
Where’s this blog post going? Well, the current situation in the Crimea has to be a little bit worrying. Looking at it from afar, it seems as though Putin has pretensions of Soviet grandeur, and there are worrying parallels between the situation there today and central Europe in 1914 and 1939. Just when does the rest of the world tackle Putin head on? Over the Crimea? Or when he repeats the trick in ‘brave little Latvia’?
The ‘justification’ for Putin’s invasion is down to the ethnic make up of the Crimea, with a majority of the population seeing themselves as Russian rather than Ukrainian. That’s as may be, but surely the solution is diplomacy rather than tanks rolling into Sevastapol?
The Crimea is home to one particular hotbed of Russian/Ukrainian naturism, Koktebel. As well as naturism, it hosts a world renowned jazz festival.
I wonder where the political upheaval there right now leaves naturism or jazz? In the grand scheme of things I suppose both pale into insignificance. Equally, they’re more life-affirming than some idiotic politician who laughably gets his kit off (sort of) to show how manly he is. But remember that jazz, in the Soviet era, was labelled ‘bourgeois’, and subjected to ideological oppression. Where might jazz, or naturism, be if Putin’s vanity project takes root? Not just at Koktebel, but also in places like Fox Bay. Follow the link to get an insider’s view of the future of Crimean naturism, rather than from an agenda-driven perspective.
Just a shade more than embarrassing for all concerned, isn’t it?
While researching the links for this post, I also found the montage photo (above). I have to say that whoever put it together misses the point (of everything) altogether. Putin isn’t ‘manning up’, he looks like an idiot. Obama, on the other hand, seems like a guy well tuned into many of the good things in life, the photos showing that he grasps what we should all be seeking…a strong sense of family, embracing nature, environmentalism and the like. (I’ll leave his golfing prowess, a game I loathe, to one side 🙂 )
And while rednecks might have the veins bulging in their necks at the values portrayed, sitting down and talking (to women, in the photo above, or to the Russians, or whoever) seems more like a 21st century way of communication. Pootling around in a boat, with a gun, isn’t ‘manning up’. It just makes a political leader look like, pardon my turn of phrase, a dickhead.
The only positive I draw from this is that the genie is out of the bottle. It will be hard to put a Soviet-styled regime in place, anywhere, to a young population who have experienced a sense of freedom.
I return, in concluding, to the words of Natalia Antanova, quoted in the Fox bay link (above), who says everyone should visit Crimea at least once in their lives, ‘go to a nude beach and camp out for a week’. As usual, it’s ordinary people who grasp what living is about, rather than politicians.