Thursday, December 20, 2007

Lord Have Mercy

A Tsar Is Born

Time's Man of the Year is Russia's Vladimir Putin. When I first heard it I was a little puzzled, but after reading and thinking more about it I see that it is a fair choice. He certainly has the power that many men wish for, especially the wannabe world dictator, Al Gore. ;-)

Interesting facts from the Time article:

He has never sent an email in his life.

Despite growing up in an officially atheist country, he is a believer and often reads his Bible.

He comes from a very modest, poor background.

He has a black belt in judo.

He is quick to aggitation and has little patience for small talk, jokes, and social niceties. He is generally ruthless and cold.

He complains about how he thinks America treats Russia as "an uninvited guest at a party."

"We want to be a friend of America," he says. "Sometimes we get the impression that America does not need friends" but only "auxiliary subjects to command." Asked if he'd like to correct any American misconceptions about Russia, Putin leans forward and says, "I don't believe these are misconceptions. I think this is a purposeful attempt by some to create an image of Russia based on which one could influence our internal and foreign policies. This is the reason why everybody is made to believe...[Russians] are a little bit savage still or they just climbed down from the trees, you know, and probably need to have...the dirt washed out of their beards and hair."

But at the end of the article the writer explains:

Back at the dacha, with snow falling lightly outside, our dinner and discussion continue. Putin has been irritable throughout, a grudging host. Suddenly, at 10 o'clock, he stands and abruptly ends the evening. "We've finished eating, there's nothing more on the table, so let's call it a day," he declares. Actually, the main course (choice of sturgeon or veal) and dessert ("bird's milk" cake)—lovingly printed in gold ink on the prepared menu cards—haven't yet been served. The Russian President's brusqueness is jarring. Have our questions angered him? Bored him? Does he have another appointment? It's not clear. "Bye bye," says Putin—in English—as he walks briskly out of the room.

Well, I have to say that if one acts like that then it's rather natural to assume that Russians "are a little bit savage still." You see, even we backwards Tennessee hillbillies know better than to end a dinner before the dinner is even served. In fact, we would be very insulted if a guest up and left before the main course was served, and we would expect a guest to be equally insulted if we kicked them out too soon.

Runs In the Family

Britney Spears' 16 year old sister, Jamie Lynn, has announced that she is pregnant. You would think that she might have learned what not to do by watching her big sister's series of screw-ups. And what about their mother? Has she never explained to her daughters what happens when you have unprotected sex? I was about to give their mother the benefit of the doubt with one daughter that didn't turn out so great, but now that both daughters appear to be defective one must place some blame on the mother, genetically and environmentally. Actually, I think that Mrs. Spears probably sold her and her daughters' souls to the Devil in order to gain fame and fortune. But as most of us know, when the Devil makes deals they aren't as good as you think they will be.

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