Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ah, playing the bad guy again...

"You know what? If you want to be a eunuch and censor opinions contrasting your own, feel free. It is your blog, as you stated, and you can choose to put in it what you want. As far as I can see, I am the only one who has been commenting on your parodies of literature, and if you prefer to talk to the walls, then that's fine. I'm moving on to talking to people with more than one brain cell in their craneum.
If you were not so cocooned in your own little self-created world, you would know very well that the Western media only vilifies and belittles Russia at every turn, if I were "regurgitating" Western articles, as you claim, I would certainly not be supporting Russia's position.
As for your claim that I am a princess with a silver spoon in my mouth, you don't know anything about me, and you would do better to be silent than show your ignorance, and lack of intellectual prowess. Unlike you, an American, passing himself as a crusader for poor Belarussians, I have actually tasted dire poverty. And unlike you, who wasted the opportunities provided to you by becoming a two-bit writer, I actually made something of myself. The one thing you learn when you are poor is that if you want to raise yourself, you have to work hard and pull yourself up, without expecting that somehow your neighbor has the obligation of doing it for you. Grow up, you parasite.
You claim to represent Belarussians, I say leave that to the Belarussians, they have smart people there and don't need you as their mouth piece."

This commenter wrote a couple more opinions for me- I printed this one in which, as you can see, he/she is rather angry, but not the other. You can read more about this in the comments section of yesterday's blog.

But the thought that comes to mind after recieving such a letter is that comments such as these have such an air of self righteousness to them. So many westerners had jumped on the "I hate Belarus" bandwagon during the elections but during the last nine months since then, they really have had nothing to cheer about. For a while there, when all of the CIS meetings were taking place and it was looking like Belarus might actually succeed in finding enough foreign investment to pay the bills for its people, the media got really quiet and all of the pro-democracy flag wavers had to go back to their day jobs. Life was not going to be so simple, there was not going to be a burning man to set fire to and horror of horrors, people might just have to learn to live with Belarus and respect their right to govern itself in its own way.

But now this Gasprom thing is coming to a head and the grave dancers are starting to catch fire again. This commenter in his previous comments seemed to be amidst an almost religious epiphany in his personal sense of victory here. Gasprom screwing Belarus was his win, don't you see. This makes him right! I suppose when the deal actually goes through this week, he will go out and turn over and burn cars and rape and loot like Detroit and Los Angelese did after their world championships, or like the good people of New Orleans did when the hurricane wiped out the town. These also symbols in my mind of the righteousness of the western model.

In fact, I simply do not know where the west gets the idea that they are really the be-all-and-end-all of civilization. In America, over the last year, for example, do you know how many incidents of terrorism have taken place? And I am not just speaking of the school shootings (The Amish?!?!?!) or the guys in Chicago a couple of weeks ago. And you must understand that this was exactly terrorism and calling it by another name just because the guys doing the shooting were selfish rather than supporting a political ethos is sticking your head in the sand. I mean, I remember 9/11. I was there. And I also remember that on September 12th and 13th there were 80 (!!!) phony bomb threats called in by good citizens of New York, when people were already out of their minds in fear about their futures. This to me, is the west.

But what is so bad about Belarus? During the time of the USSR, people were sort of minimalists. They used as little gas as they could, they made things last forever. They made repairs with as little money as possible. They conserved space and did all of the work of life themselves and with their hands rather than their wallets. Should they be condemned by the world for not abusing resources? For not fighting with each other? For remembering each other and trying to stay together as a group?

You see, this is really what it is all about. All of you young "young idealists" out there think that you are bettering the world by shouting down Belarus, but really you are just advocating selfishness and the righteousness of the rich. I got another letter today (Sorry guy, but I actually get a lot of mail and I answer each and every one.) from a man who told me that at one point he held the ideology that scientific research was a high calling. But after he was "used" and forced into bad contracts by the heads of the firms he worked for, he quit and devoted his life to more important things, such as his own wealth. This has significantly changed his life, he says. Well, what do you think of this all of you banner painters, you marchers for freedom in Belarus, you bikers to the border? To me this means that the world lost a mind which might have cured the disease that eventually kills you. We lost a guy who was contributing to the common good because he couldn't get what he called a "fair wage". So now, rather than being a contributor, we have only yet another exploiter. Good for us! Good for us!

And the world just gets a little dirtier, a little uglier, a little less like any place one would like to live; a little less friendly, a little less kind, one more drop of unclean water you cannot drink…

Folks, there is no personal victory for any of you in the fight against Belarus.

And just one more story comes to mind. Mr. Robert Mayer of the Publius Pundit blog came out to visit Tanya and I for a couple for days. Mr. Rober Mayer's democratization blog is one of the most wildly successful blogs on the web I would think, almost 2000 readers a day or so he says. And obviously, Robert Mayer is an anti-Belarus activist. But after being here for a few days and drinking with us, working with us out at the farm, going to the synagogue and making apple juice with us, basically Mr. Mayer seemed to be impressed with the fact that there is in fact a normal life here in Belarus; people do go about their business, work, play and live here. The first thing he said to us was that contrary to what he had been led to believe, it did not seem as though it was a penal colony or that one needed to fear the KGB every moment of every day. Robert Mayer said, and this is an exact quote: "People here seemed to be real and speak the truth rather than just playing games. When they speak, they speak about something and not just to hear themselves talk. People are real here." And I will even say that while drunk on Belarusian vodka, Robert Mayer cried on my shoulder over an issue of his personal honesty, tears brought on by the sheer weight of how much reality (realism?) there was around him. That's Belarus my friend.

I am sorry people. You've missed the point here and the graves you are dancing on are your own. Belarus has had something to say for a long time but has been shouted down by a selfish, greedy world with no interest in doing anything but making the rich richer. All you partying idealists out there really ought to take a break and cool your heels a little. You are wrong. Adding more suffering to the lives of Belarusians should not make anyone happy. These are days of sadness and mourning here. These are days when the principals under which people lived by choice are getting trampled yet again. I am sorry, but you are wrong: This is not a victory for the west, it is a loss for the whole world.

And by the way partner, please, do move on. Best of luck to you.

More soon...