A friend commented on my previous post, saying, tongue-in-cheek, for surely he ment it in jest only, “You’re blessed to be from such a place, Valentina! What a country! Run by such a manly man.” He emailed me a picture of President Vladimir Putin of Russia, holding a rifle, Rambo-style. The Russian President knows how to use it too, I’m sure, given his illustrious background.
One thing is indisputable: the past leaders of the place I’m from have not once shown their pecs to the populus. I do remember the Soviet Premier Breznev’s impressive eyebrows, however. They hanged over his eyes like awnings and, perhaps because of it, even his face never looked quite naked. To think of it, his chest must’ve been a lot hairier than that of President Putin’s… Ah, never mind.
Vladimir Putin (Vlad, as the friend of mine calls him) is famous for quite a few things, infamous for at least as many and awesomely notorious for his adventurous stunts. A few items from a much longer list includes Putin’s shirtless horse riding, his fearless petting a polar bear tranquilized in the wild, his deep-water diving to fetch some ancient Greek artifact (strategically planted, as it happened) from the sea bottom.
Last September, President Putin stunned the disbelieving populus once again. No, this time he wasn’t flexing his well-defined muscles in a state of partial undress. Rather, his toned physique was suited in pristine white. The President was hoping to pass for… an adult Siberian crane with a purpose of leading a flock of young birds, raised in captivity, on their migration to Central Asia. The Manly Man wished to look like a Birdly Bird and, short of growing wings, did very well. Way better than some with lesser resources would. Putin was piloting a motorized hang glider and — one would imagine — making whooping sounds, perhaps shocking those cranes out of their minds.
The project was optimistically called The Flight of Hope. The end result, unfortunately, was disappointing for the Russian President and, presumably, for the birds as well. Read about it on Global News: Vladimir Putin leads young Siberian cranes in flight. Hey, what do you know? It needs more than Putin’s bottomless charm to persuade Siberian crane to follow a mammal in machina anywhere, especially to Central Asia, on short notice.
The Russian populus was sufficiently amused to raise its vox. For days, blogosphere was virtually chocked up by comments, jokes and caricatures. Vox populi was often snide, sardonic, even bitter, angry and/or politically charged. Funny and humorous too, but seldom dull or indifferent. Apathy, more often than not, remains mute. Indifferentiam mutus est, ancient Romans might’ve said. If they haven’t, they should have.
Siberian cranes’ failed Exodus is a few month old story, already settled into the realm of folk-mythology. Below are some of the cartoons that caught my eye, and I either translated or added the vox to the captions.
If you haven’t smiled yet, visit my Smile! page. Perhaps, you can find something funny there.