Monday, July 02, 2007

Look at this journal…

Lethal Weapon 3: Not what would normally be expected on a Belarusian holiday"
"Adam, did you see what is happening for the Third of July?" This was Tatyana only a few moments ago as she came to me holding the television journal for this week.

"No, I didn't."

"There are nothing but American movies, all day and all night."

"What are you talking about?"

"I was just reading the television journal and I noticed that there are nothing but American movies playing on television all day long today."

"Like what? Anything good?"

"You don't understand; the Third of July is Belarusian Independence Day. But all day long they are showing only American movies."

"I think when they do this it is because the people at the station take a vacation and they just leave one guy behind who just loads the tapes. If this was America he would be some flunky wearing a baseball hat, a pair of headphones and a 72 ounce slurpy. Here, you know he's…" And I clicked my neck indicting that he'd have been hitting the old vodka bottle."

"I understand this. But I have never heard of this in my life. Look: First is the Mask with Jim Carry…"

"That was on last night."

"It is on again this morning. And then Mel Gibson in… I don’t know how to translate this… something like guns and bombs and dangerous things…"

"Lethal Weapon. Danny Glover, right?"

"It doesn't say. And then just after this is Lethal Weapon 2. And then after this is over, they play Lethal Weapon 3 and then part four just after that."

"They played all four of them in a row?"

"From 12 noon to 8:30pm."

"I think they had Joe Pesci and Chris Rock in there in one of those."

"You don't understand. Do you remember when we watched 'Officers'?"

"I don't remember…"

"You remember. They were in Afghanistan and they went to Chechnya…"

Belatela, the First National Channel is more in line with what is expected.
"Oh yea, those two guys. One was the ladies man and the other was a little slow but was a better boxer and they teamed up as a commando unit and worked during and after the Soviet Union?"

"Do you remember? And we watched all day. At least this was one of ours. Now these are all American movies."

"You know that came up today in the bread store. They mentioned that tomorrow was Belarusian Independence Day and they asked me what I thought of that. And I went 'Yea, I feel really independent. We have got Russia on one side and the EU on the other. We have got Venezuela now and then we have got Iran on the other. Like this is really independence. And the big guy is looking more and more tired every time we see him…"

"Yea, I see this too."

"Last year we had independence, or at least it felt like it. Our guy was a big bad, tough guy, stands up to Putin, stands up to Bush. Now he is like a tractor salesman. He's in this country, he's in that country. Some fertilizer here, a tractor or two there..."

"Yes, I see this. We are selling ourselves now".

The parade in Minsk...
"It used to be different. Yea, the girls would go over to Poland, to Germany and they would laugh from Belarus but on the inside, it seemed different. Now they show him dancing at the graduation ball with the hottest babe in all of Belarus and he is staring off into space, like he seems to be thinking of something else. He doesn't look so good right now at all. Maybe it was Chavez..."

"It was never like this when I was young. This is the 63rd anniversary…"

"Of the end of the war?"


"The beginning of the war?"

"No, Belarusian Independence Day commemorates the day when the Red Army kicked the fascists out of Belarus. The war ended a year later but Belarus was made free on the Third of July. My father was in the flotilla. He was a hero for Pinsk. This has always been the special party."

"And now they celebrate by showing American movies all day."

"Do you understand this?" She wiped her eye. She was crying a little.

"Is this today or tomorrow?"

"This was today. After is Demi Moore in 'Two Lives.' After this, starting at 1:00am is Bruce Willis in 'Alfa Dog'. This till three in the morning!"

"What about tomorrow?"

"Let me look for tomorrow…Ok, yes, it starts again. In the morning is a Kim Bassinger film; 'My Stepmother is from Mars?'"

"I don't know that one."

"It is a said to be a family comedy."

"I can look it up."

The big concerts…
"Then there is Pierce Brosnan in the 'The Grey Owl', Then Denis Muchitil…I don't know what this means, and they don't write who is in it. Then Sandra Bullock in 'In Love and in the War'. Then Eddy Murphy in 'The Adventures of Pluto Nash' and then the last, Leonardo DeCaprio and Kate Blanchet in 'Aviator'. All day long, American movies."

"Wow. You are right this is really interesting. It does seem strange. Usually, they love to kill you with nostalgia during the parties. You're right. But wait a minute; are you talking about Belarus Television?"

"No, ONT."

"ONT is Russian."

"No, they are Belarus. They are more from Minsk. For the whole week leading up to the party, they cancelled all of the regular shows. They have no Nye Radice Kraciva…"

"They didn't have 'Friends' today. Anya was really disappointed."

"Nu, this is what I said. A week before the Independence Days they take all the normal programs and they show things like concerts from Minsk. But for the day of the party they show American movies."

"Ok, but what is on Belarus?"

And of course the big fireworks show at the end.
"Ah….Ok: at 11:00am they have the parade from Minsk. And after they have the concert from Minsk called 'Belarus Together'. This starts at 1:00. Then there are repeats from previous years from the Slovanski Bazaar. Then there is an Italian/Belarusian concert. And then a movie 'Mayor Vetrov', this is one of ours. And then another concert of Yozef Kobzon and then at 9:00 'The concert for the party for the Independent Belarus. So it is all concerts."

"This is what you were expecting."

"Yea, this is normal."

"I wouldn't think that BT would let you down."

"No, this is normal."

"But still…"

"Yes, these are very strange times for Belarus. Very strange."

"I agree. I see this too"

  • Note: for more good fotos from previous Belarusian Independence Day parades, click HERE

    More soon…