• Posted: Mar 23, 2014 17:10:33
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Within traditional Russian culture, men kiss: on each other's neck or cheek while embracing, and occasionally on the lips. Such kisses are not meant as signs of affection or sexual interest. They are meant as signs of mutual respect and assurance of trust. Via that custom, potential rivals greet each other, work out accommodation with each other, and part, without engaging in violence toward one another. Other cultures have customs that function similarly, involving the exchange of gifts, hand shakes, hearty drinking, song, and dance. In every case, the purpose is to minimize the potential for violence between rivals. Current Russian preoccupation with squelching homosexuality is likely born of fear that a powerful custom serving for centuries to promote civility between entirely masculine men will henceforth be diluted by misinterpretation and ridicule. Rather understandable, when one considers the literal potential for violence among rival males in all sorts of venues, involving all sorts of issues. So, which is the weightier human concern? Quelling violence amongst men? Or, accommodation of men who are not men in the same sense? Freedom, after all, is not freedom without peace. Perhaps the easier solution would be for homosexuals to adopt some other type of demonstration of affection and/or sexual arousal that would not be confused with peace promoting civil cheek kissing.
As for Mr. Putin, he clearly has his mind set on accumulating and wielding Russian power. He, in fact, aspires to lay the groundwork for a forever soaring resurgent Russian empire. The tragedy is that he apparently only sees empire, power, and importance in terms of Napoleonic military and economic intimidation and coercion. He does not seem to have the imagination to envision Russian greatness in terms that are actually admirably Russian, terms like gregariously generous, insightful, clever, practical, benevolently muscular, bitingly sarcastic, morally social, steadfast, forgiving, inspiringly graceful, and harmonically sumptuous. The vast Russian people are profoundly capable, resourceful, and inventive. Instead of brutalizing them into exploitable cooperation, why not subsidize institutions that will unlock, develop, and reward their potentials? Why not give them opportunity to know and learn from the truth, instead of trying to confuse them with manufactured hogwash? Why not earnestly engage with the rest of the world in a manner that actually helps ease human suffering, instead of trying to promote Russian importance through nonsensical obstructionism?
No, Mr. Putin, despite what you think, Russia is already great in its innumerable contributions to all that is admirably human. You, Mr. Putin, are the one who is not understanding or appreciating what your own people have to offer. Kiss, sit down with, and learn from them. Then kiss, sit down with, and teach the rest of the world what, from a Russian perspective, is really important about embracing and living this life we all share. Kiss, Mr. Putin, kiss.
Monday, October 28th, 2013
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