I Putin a lot of hard work this week.
Much of this week, aside from work, was spent asking people on social media about Russia and Poutine. I mean Putin.
Ironically, I had interacted more with Russians and Ukrainians this week than in my entire life. For some reason, the social media algorithms were sending me clips of Russian comedians - maybe that's because I searched 'Russia' and 'comedians' :-) Lol
With Russia starting a campaign in Ukraine, what I was most interested in was people's view of Putin, and whether they saw him as a victim or villain?
Let me report back my findings:
The majority of people, at least in my circles, felt Putin was a victim of Western aggression. Not sure, what that says about the people I talk to. This is not my view. I have no strong view. I honestly just don't know enough about the issue to comment.
I did notice that the 'Covid Mainstream' - you know those who think French Fries are vegetables and Channel 9 infotainment is the only 'news' - were decidedly anti-Putin. Some Russians said that 'awww, Ukrainians are tough and just love fighting. Others, mainly Ukrainians, said that it was okay because their government was a kind of dictatorship anyway. Then, others were aghast and thought Putin sound be sent packing. These are minority views.
On Telegram I had some amazing ex-pat Russians/Ukrainians give me their versions (wursions) of events. They reported on the history of ownership, and conflict in the region, the role that the 'West' had in provoking Russia in an aggressive Nato strategy, and even a version where Putin was blowing up US based virus labs in Ukraine - an altruistic goal by Putin to fight back against the narrative (hate that word). Then, in brief interactions in real life, I heard hearsay that Western leaders, including our own Grand Lizard, had come out in support of the Ukraine.
Others pointed out - forget Russia - keep an eye on those slippery Chinese fucktards in the CCP. Yep, praying for Taiwan. I definitely got a position on that one.
To tell you the truth, I have no idea.
It sounds trite; I only care about the people who are hurt during these conflicts. Governments are despicable. Whether it is a Russian or Ukrainian state, they have no right in killing innocent people over ego and poor communication skills.
The one person I had the most interesting conversation with an actual real life Russian from Russia (last night).
She is a Russian mum, looking for some project work. She speaks with a lovely thick Russian accent. Or, to be accurate, in Russian, AK-Zent. As an aside, I wish I could walk around all day, Zpeaken in RuLassian ... 'Nyet, can I hov a cough, pu-leazee'. We zoomed last night.
Anyway, she was very likeable but kind of desperate to move. Before I had started the interview, she said, kind of Nicole Kidman does in any desperate scene where she is a hostage and pushes her hand against a plexiglass, "I need a project manager job so I can move to Canada". Okay ... not the strongest way to start an interview, I guess. But each to their own. The interview progressed and the elephant in the room were current events. Not so much for me, but she seemed itching to apologise, and genuinely seemed embarrassed. She said she felt horrible about what is happening and quite upset that all Russian people were seen to be supporting this.
I tried to assuage her: "It's okay, we can't be responsible for what the governments do, we can only do our own thing".
In true Russian Tiger Mum form, she wasn't haven't a bar of diplomatic Brendan. "No, I disagree. We pay tax, and shouldn't have to carry these kinds of action. They reflect very badly on us".
I've figured out that Russians are usually right when you talk to them. Many, even the dumb ones, have a logic machine that just spits out sound reasoning.
While I didn't want to push the issue, or be on a Zoom call where she was arrested by the KGB, she brought home the truth that Russia is not a democracy.
She emphasised that not all Russians love half-naked guys on horses, and that people are still being imprisoned in the streets of Moscow for doing anything that vaguely resembles a protest. One guy recently was arrested in Moscow for carrying a blank notebook on the street. Others have been rounded up for a recent 'street' protest.
She was quite adamant to remind me that the street protests in Canada are still 'freedom'. And that a couple of people being sent home or arrested, pales into comparison. (I would like to qualify that she is a lovely person, any Russian spies reading, she was lamenting the corruption most of all, and wasn't interested in creating a stir.)
I was determined however to 're-pre-sent' Melbourne's oppression.
I said that it hasn't, until recently, been possible to protest, to move around, or to access any services in Victoria. To tell you the truth, I have no ideas on the law. I have no idea what ridiculousness has been made up. For some time, maybe even now, unvaccinated people weren't able to see a dentist, get a haircut, access restaurants, or go to a gym or library. Not that the government owns these things, it just thinks it does. Beyond that, we couldn't leave home. There was a curfew from 8pm or 9pm. And there were fines galore.
She still didn't seem convinced.
How about this then? There is a huge black market in Melbourne. You can indeed go to dentists, haircuts, restaurants, and even gyms via an underground network of freedom loving, intelligent and tolerant people. You just got to know where to look. Beyond that, there is a huge black market in Vaxx passports (apparently) and you can download software and choose your jab.
By this time, we had pulled out the virtual vodka, and were almost singing Russian revolutionary songs.
So I realise that not much of this Daily Rant is related to Ukraine.
My final thought is with the lovely web designers I worked with from the Ukraine. Despite the business differences, I really like them. Really hoping they are safe. Praying for a speedy resolution to this all.
Have a Lovely Weekend all
In Peace and Parallel