Here's my today's Global Voices translation - I had to post it two days ago...
Russian-Language Blogs: Miscellanea (1)
On August 19, LJ user sapojnik (39 years old, Moscow) wrote this (RUS) about the 15th anniversary of the 1991 August Putsch:
The Day of Victory Over the CPSU
It's necessary to have a clear understanding of what happened in August 1991. It wasn't the "collapse of the [Soviet] Union," or the "farce with the shaking [Gennadiy Yanayev]," or the "victory of the CIA's allies." What really happened on August 21 is the [CPSU] LOST CONTROL OVER THE COUNTRY. This is what happened.
As they began to feel that the power was slipping out of their hands, the most active and "stubborn" segment of the party nomenclature tried to forcefully restore the status quo. They thought they'd [shoot] and scare, and the people would run for cover, and then everyone would obediently set out to "build socialism" again.
But you see, the people didn't run for cover.
And instead of a takeover, the communists lost power completely.
THEN, by the way, it was obvious to everyone.
So basically, August 21 is the day of our victory over the CPSU. The victory over a party that didn't shy away from marking down its eternal rule even in the Constitution!
How I love this holiday...
The conversation following this post stretches out for the 1,088 comments - and, though it's hard to know for sure, there seems to be as many bloggers who agree with sapojnik as those who don't.
Here's a response of one of the skeptics:
agent_008: ha ha ha
The party [bosses] needed this operetta about the elimination of the CPSU the most. And this is why it all went so smoothly.
Everyone, except for the most stubborn, stayed in business, having converted their status and power into money and then - if they felt like it - back into power.
All of Perestroika [word written in Latin script] had been thought up for this - and it began "up there on the top."
[The Putsch] was the culmination of the show.
Ivan Shifrin, a 17-year-old high school student from St. Petersburg and LJ user kremlin-wall, is selling the (virtual) Kremlin Wall brick by brick - because he believes (RUS) that "teenagers [...] can do serious business instead of carrying trays at McDonalds, working as messengers or handing out paper ads by the subway, because they have more energy and creativity than the adults do!"
Here's the first post of his blog (RUS):
Don't say anything! :?))) Let me guess on my own...
You are a businessman and you often have to find ways to diminish advertisement expenses? Or, you're a thinking, active person and you want to express your opinion on something, but do not know where and how to declare your position with, for example, an open letter? Or, perhaps, you're a representative of a socially useful organization?
Maybe you are an artistically-minded person, because you paint or write books, and want the whole world to hear about you, and see your paintings. But how?
Here's how: you take a pail of paint and go to Moscow. You come to Red Square and paint your message on the Kremlin Wall :?))))) Reckless? A chance to get your neck kicked?
Okay, there's an easier way :?)
You go to my site, http://www.kremlevskaya-stena.ru, and paint anything you want there. And post any information. I'm serious. You don't believe it?
Ivan Shifrin's Kremlin Wall brick costs 6,000 rubles - which is roughly $215 - and you can have it for at least five years.
The blogger plans to invest the money he makes selling virtual bricks into a business that would build real sports playgrounds for kids in St. Petersburg's abandoned backyards.
LJ user nl (Norvezhskiy Lesnoy, one of the most popular Russian bloggers) posts a picture and writes (RUS) about a horse grazing in his backyard in the very center of Moscow:
A pasture underneath my window
Moscow, center, third millenium, 3:15 am. Here's the situation: two mares [women] of the "could you help feed the horse" type are walking the third one - the horse in question - in the little park across the street from the capital's mayor's office. [...] The horse is eating the neatly mowed grass with pleasure. [...]
So I'm thinking now. On the one hand, I've been taught that you may hit a woman on the face only when she asks you to. On the other, if I pick up the phone and inform the person on duty about a horse grazing across the street from the mayor's office, there's a chance that the patrol unit will be sent not to the horse, but directly to me. Also, last time a man was being killed underneath my window and I called the police, the first thing that the law enforcement officer did as he climbed out of [the police car] was this: he went over to the aforementioned grass, very unsteadily, and peed on it generously. Finally - I feel sorry for the horse.
So no, there's no way I can play Neighborhood Watch [words written in English].
Bloggers commenting on this post kept to the topic at first:
dyakhnov: My sister once called the firemen, and they eventually arrived, got out of the car and ... lit their cigarettes :)
nl: I do believe you.
Then nl mentioned his wife - how she was once hit by a horse. LJ user salatau responded with a non sequitur - about an easy way to get rid of one's wife, which existed in 1938 in Moscow: one only had to inform the KGB that the wife was an English spy. From here, the conversation briefly swerved into nl's family history:
One of my great-grandfathers, who died in the camps, wrote to his daughter (my grandmother) in one of his last letters: "You must read [Aleksandr Blok]. And [Afanasy Fet] you may skip."
The other great-grandfather avoided the camps by having gone to the [Finnish War] in a timely fashion: there he, a tank's commander, had his neck hit by a bullet - and since then his head was always jerking, and this is how I remember him. He did not tell his 6-year-old great-grandson about how he was the commandant of Vienne and [had sex] with half of Vienne because of that (my grandmother shared this with me later), but he did manage to tell me about how he was lucky to avoid the camps.
My grandfather, according to those who knew him, managed to [escape] either because he, at the end of the purges, very timely, moved to another city, or got involved with the [pioneer organization's publications], about which few people cared.
My father's brother wasn't lucky: Stalin was long gone from [Lenin's mausoleum] and buried, but he was still not lucky: he fell in love with a Polish woman, and it wasn't allowed to fall in love with Polish women, so he hung himself.
And my [wife]'s grandfather didn't like to talk about the war. To all questions about what he did during the war, he used to reply: "I was catching spies." When the grandfather died and the granddaughter went to bury him, she looked at the platoon of military trainees, listened to the memories of catching spies from the colleagues of the deceased, and was surprised to discover that it wasn't as much her grandfather who was being buried, but a valued employee. She told them: "He may be a colleague to you, but to me, he is a grandfather."
Why am I writing this: I, of course, value and respect any jokes about English spies, but my smile is a little lopsided and a little insincere, if you know what I mean.