Wednesday, 14 May 2014


I didn't sit through Saturday's Eurovision Song Contest, having long ago come to regard it as a televisual means of self-harm. What was remarkable (the result wasn't: the event ceased to be, even in a tenuous sense, about music a while ago, and it would be extremely hard to  think of a cultural icon more in tune with our times than a chanteuse who just happens to be a bearded gay transvestite: a perfect snapshot - a 'selfie,' naturally - of our values) - no, what was remarkable were the outbursts of spontaneous 'Russophobia' from the various studio audiences scattered around the continent.

Now, of course Russophobia isn't one of the socially approved 'phobias' at which we are instructed to hold up our hands in orchestrated horror and simulated disgust, but it's no less dangerous - even if only as a graphic indication as to how brainwashed by the mass media we have all become. 
"A future of peace and freedom," as the Eurovision winner opined? I wonder ...

None of this is exactly new; admiration in the West for Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (at least among the left-leaning commentariat) diminished rapidly when, just before the collapse of the USSR, he made a series of perceptive and damning criticisms of the spiritual, moral and ethical malaise of, in the terminology of the day, 'the free world.' 
The West triumphed over Soviet Communism in the 1980s; more than a few of us have been left aghast at the self-indulgent, ' panem et circenses,' way in which we have squandered that victory. 

A reminder of the 'otherness' of Holy Russia - probably as anathema to our secular opinion-formers as the nationalistic authoritarianism of Vladimir Putin. 

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