Monday, March 31, 2014

Putin seems to be leading the charge to save the world "from the West", and apparently to him that means from "infertile" gays


Masha Gessen offers a particularly disturbing commentary Monday on Putin’s strategy in Russia, “Saving the world from the West”, or, online, “Russia is remaking itself as leader of the anti-Western world”, link here. 

 No, this is not the same as the old Cold War.  It’s saving the World from the West’s idea of “tolerance”.  Pretty frightening stuff.

The ‘non sequitir” in Putin’s logic, to follow the article, is the belief that “toleration” implies a belief that good and evil are equivalent.  I don’t see the logic there.  But remember how back in the 1990s Newt Gingrich talked about the different between “tolerance” and “acceptance”.
   
The article suggests that the Putin’s preoccupation with homosexuality (in parallel to that found in much of Africa, like Nigeria and Uganda) is especially dangerous.  Homosexuality is suddenly on the radar screen because it is viewed as a proxy for a people’s becoming “barren and neutered” – that is, to stop having enough children, because doing so is personally costly and risky, and challenging for some merely out of personal disposition.  Putin behaves as if he believes the world (or at least Russia) will soon bear its last child, and then become a planet of "children of men", right out of science fiction. 
  
Gessen makes a metaphor, that Russian troops are all that stand between Slavic people’s and “homosexuals marching in from Brussels”.  Now that city (I changed trains there once in 2001 and saw the clowns in the train station) may be the home of the EU, but openly gay singer-actor-producer Timo Descamps, the “Belgian Zac Efron”, may personify the fantasy that Putin projects.  His video “Tomorrow” (Drama blog, March 26) shows a global outreach that is certainly interesting and spirited, if double-edged; and the character he played in “Judas Kiss” (I watched some of it again Saturday night), named Shane, a rich, spoiled and handsome “gayboy” who can have anybody he wants, seems to insult the whole idea of “family” in lower income working classes that feel exploited by the “haves”.  In that movie, everyone bows down to Shane, and it seems like Putin behaves like he’s afraid he might have to.  Mr. Descamps, whose father is a sci-fi author and whose imdb profile indicates Eastern European ancestry, is certainly fortunate to have grown up farther west (the “Low Countries”) than his distant ancestors (probably from Russia).  My own distant ancestors on dad’s side come from Czechoslovakia, and, yes, Putin’s motherland.
  
Putin’s rhetoric recalls that of the “natural family” movement in the religious right in the US, which complains that people have lost the ability to share goals and purposes other than that which they can choose as individuals.  This attack on hyperindividualism is common on both the far Right and far Left.  But what happens when the shared goals turn out to be evil (like in Nazi Germany, imperial Japan, Stalin’s Soviet Union or Mao’s China)? It seems like “getting out of things” (a phrase my mother used to use) is seen as a common evil, but no one can draft people without becoming evil himself. 




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