Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Russians...

As breaking…still breaking…breaking and then thinking about developing, but still having too much fun breaking…news came through that the first President of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin, had died this bitch paused to remember a time when Russians were Soviets and their system of government was the greatest threat to freedom ever created.

I remember Soviets being so dangerous that they wouldn’t even teach the Russian language in public school.

I remember movie after movie featuring emotionless robot-esque Soviets bent on domination and destruction.

And I remember President Reagan getting his great communicator on whilst ordering the Soviets to tear down that wall…

Pause…blink…continue.

…back when walls were bad, Russians were Soviets and the Soviet system of government was the greatest threat to freedom ever created.

But I also remember very clearly the first time I heard the song Russians by Sting (thanks music fans for the correction).

Blink.

What?

Oh, like you didn’t get your groove on to The Police...or Sting (wink)... back in the day?

Mmmmhmmm…whatever…you still know the words to Roxanne.

Anyhoo…

A bitch was a wee bitch and spun out on 1980’s propaganda when I first heard Russians on MTV back when MTV played music videos 24/7. I lay on the polished wood floor in front of the television and soaked it in.

In Europe and America, there’s a growing feeling of hysteria
Conditioned to respond to all the threats
In the rhetorical speeches of the soviets
Mr. Khrushchev said we will bury you
I don’t subscribe to this point of view
It would be such an ignorant thing to do
If the Russians love their children too

For some reason the words made me cry. I realized that I had never thought of Russians as people with children who lay upon the floor in front of the television.

How can I save my little boy from Oppenheimer’s deadly toy
There is no monopoly in common sense
On either side of the political fence
We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the Russians love their children too

It was the first time I contemplated ‘the other’ as human…that there are people over there who may think differently but who love the same.

Don’t they…didn’t they…didn’t history teach us that they love the same?

There is no historical precedent
To put the words in the mouth of the president
There’s no such thing as a winnable war
Its a lie that we don’t believe anymore
Mr. Reagan says we will protect you
I don’t subscribe to this point of view
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the Russians love their children too

And wasn’t the brilliance of mutual destruction built on the foundation of valuing life…of the Russians loving their children too?

We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
What might save us, me, and you
Is that the Russians love their children too

Sigh.

The same television that introduced this bitch to Russians by The Police brought news of summits and nuclear escalation…of revolution and liberation…of that wall being torn down not by politicians but by the masses…and of elections on Russian soil. A bitch watched in amazement as Soviets became Russians who went to the polls and it was beyond emotional to think that it was all better now.

They love their children too!

All good…right?

Gawd, I thought I was witnessing a grand experiment as democracy was introduced into the Soviet blood stream. It would cure those Russians of that system of government that was the greatest threat ever created and they would pass the cure on…and so on…and so on…and does this sound familiar?

But the Russians who were once Soviets did not build a perfect democracy any more than our founders did…and everything hasn’t been more better for all of those Soviets who became Russians.

Perhaps freedom has multiple definitions?

Perhaps real change requires more than a photo op featuring ecstatic faces in a liberated square tearing down a symbol of past oppression.

Blink.

What might save us, me, and you?

Is that they do love their children too...

12 comments:

GayProf said...

Don't forget about the cultural imperative presented by "99 Luftballons."

Maya's Granny said...

I remember when the Soviets were the reason school children had to practice hiding under our desks for protection from atomic bombs. Over time, the enemy becomes the ally. For one reason or another, we get beyond the fear and the hate of each other and move to a position of mutual defense and respect.

Too bad people haven't figured out that Muslims love their children, too.

BigAssBelle said...

oh lord, now you've made me cry. do you think? do you think anyone other than good red blooded right side heterosexual white americans love their children too? can it be???

i love you for this post.

KJ said...

I totally got my groove on to the Police - but - Russians was from Sting's first solo album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles. Just putting it out there in the interest of full and complete accuracy... :)

Kamrin said...

I remember doing an "album cover" in art class using the lyrics to that song as part of the cover. Thank you for reminding us that everyone is someone's child.

kusala said...

I must have been a wee-teen Kommunist or something, because I never got a tear in my eye when the Russians got to vote or that November night when the Germans started to tear down the Berlin Wall....

I think what makes me sadder than sad now is keeping up on the news that Russia seems like an uncaring place where grandmothers don't have any pensions to live on, the poor are getting poorer and more desperate, and the rates of HIV infection are skyrocketing while a thin layer of elites live lives of unimaginable luxury. I guess they are "free!" like us now! Those poor people have been "Burnt by the Sun" of revolution at least twice now in the last 100 years...

(and I second KJ's correction...)

cats said...

always loved that song... thanks for reminding me of it.

recently met a palestinian christian bishop serving in jordan and the holy land that said if he had a choice for the middle east he wouldn't choose democracy, but justice... words to chew on.

and did you hear they are building walls around bagdad? one republican to tear them down another to build them...

Hahn at Home said...

The people living within the confines of what was once the Soviet Union, have historically, been generally poverty-stricken. A fistful of people held the wealth privately, which is what led to the revolution. Then, the party big-shots got to be the keeper of the wealth while the common man stood in line for bread. Nothing has changed there, but we are seeing that that evolution of a mighty few holding the power and the money is happening here and the poor are getting poorer. I'm hoping my kids have the opportunity to make change as their generation takes the reigns, but I fear that they will not have the opportunity. Right on, ABB, right on.

Chris M said...

This doesn't have anything to do with the post, but I couldn't find any contact info for you elsewhere. I just thought that you'd be interested to know that eBay is advertising Black Slaves:

http://blog.searchanyway.com/2007/04/ebay_still_selling_slaves_msn.html

Deoridhe said...

I loved that song as a child.

He had another fantastic one about publically dancing alone in some South American countries that was their only protest to the disappearances of their loved ones.

I was sad when Sting hung up his activist music hat and went emo. 8(

triozyg said...

That song always got me -- I appreciate you reminding some of the things I held (and still hold dear) from when I was in those formative years.

pat said...

Yes. It sounds like things are baad in Russia right now, and from what I know about the HIV rates, drug abuse, reproductive rights for women, police violence, etc. there, things are bad in a way that makes the bad things in America seem really tolerable.
I went to Siberia years _after_ the wall fell, and I was traveling with both Russians and Americans, and you would not believe how superior and spiteful some of the Americans were in their dealings with our Russian partners. That "threat to our freedom" sort of hate dies very hard in some humans.
Almost the same situation here in Central Europe today, unfortunately. Peoples from anywhere east of Vienna are often regarded with more suspicion, prejudice and spite....sigh.
That can change.

(Have to say, tho, always loved the Police's first two albums way more than Sting's solo stuff, and best of all was prolly Eddie Murphy singing "Roxanne" in "48 Hours.")