Monday, June 2, 2008

Pattaya Two: Russian TV

Russian television is funny. Like yesterday I saw a gardening show where this kind of cute older hippie woman was demonstrating how to make a vegetable garden as big as the top of a desk. She was sitting on a low stool and from that perch she could reach any spot in the garden. It was fairly elaborate too. She had dug out the rectangle and replaced about four inches of the plain dirt with good topsoil. It was very well organized. If she said how many people it would feed I’d never know it.

Now I’m watching an interview show. The interviewer looks and listens with great concentration, while the interviewee has been talking non-stop for about ten minutes now. He speaks in a monotone and he hardly moves. He has an academic black beard and wears a black t-shirt that says, “I’m out of my mind, leave a message.”

The good news is that Russians are permitted to be normal modern European humans now, none of that “Soviet Man” crap, serious all the time, no fashion, no fun, no nothing. Now, if they’re happy, they show it; models are a popular subject and they are as vacuous and beautiful as models anywhere; if there is a flood or something on the news people cry and complain, just like they should. I remember the pictures of Russians in the old days. If they looked at the camera at all it was with a mixture of fear and supreme caution. Everyone was stoic, it had been mandated by the Communist Constitution. I’m glad those guys are gone, or at least that those guys have realized that fifty percent of a lot is more than ninety percent of a little, tiny bit. Happy people work harder, and there’s more to steal. It’s the Capitalist way.

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