Half Breed Loners

Why are Russians (and soon Ukrainians) not welcome in the West? We were recognized as a hope of emergence of a sort of the “Russians 2.0 Upgraded version”. When faced with us the West would be bitterly disappointed

Vladislav Surkov in his article The Loneliness of a Half-Breed (2018) had predicted Russia to face 100 years of geopolitical solitude. As Surkov considers himself a half-breed (Surkov is half Russian, half Chechen, and in his youth he went by the name Aslanbek Dudaev), Russia, in Vladislav’s opinion, is a half-breed country. Its dual Eurasian nature is reflected in the mentality having an effect on welfare, society and government. And today, as civilizational feuds are being exacerbated, such a country is condemned to solitude, since it will never fully meet the agenda of either party. 

Obviously, there are serious issues in mutual understanding between Russia and the West. Russians are not particularly liked. The West is looking for any reason to create problems for Russia, portray its government in a negative light, diminish Russian achievements in every sphere, and, since the beginning of war, the newly en vogue “culture rejection institution” threatens even Stravinsky and Chekov to be punished publically worldwide.   

Surely, in the Russian Federation they tend to explain all this as a geopolitical factor. Say, the enemies want our Russian soil, water, oil and gas, as well as other resources. The West wants to hurt, humiliate, subdue, and in the end plunder. And all those, who would argue, the West is afraid! But it looks like those Chinese are not less afraid. And the Chinese natural recourses are not quite inferior to those in Russia. It may not be relevant to gas and oil, but the massive powerful natural lodestone is definitely deposited there. And in the era of proverbial electrical revolution it is not quite clear what is of the greater importance now. Yet, nobody’s rushing to welcome China to the rogue counties club. Even Donald Trump, who tried to remind people that China was a communist country didn’t sound persuasive enough.

Comparing Chinese and Russian relations with the West, it becomes obvious that this is all not only about an unhealthy competition, — there’s more to that hidden in additional, purely subjective factors. Russians are just not loved and there’s no wish to do business with them. And the reason is the peculiarities in mentality and behavior of the Russians, as well as their habits and stereotypes that are, in the eye of a westerner, are barbarian, making the Russians unpleasant and not attractive persons. And it is not only up to Russians to look into the reasons for such an attitude. 

In the long run, we are not that different from one another. No wonder that until quite recently all of us (including Georgians, Kazakhs, and Moldovans) have been called “Russians” in the West. The thing is that the style, a manner of thought and even our stereotypes are largely identical. In fact, the current obsession of the Ukrainians with whatever, may be explained in terms of that we were recognized as a hope of emergence of a sort of the “Russians 2.0.  Upgraded version”.  They do look like Russians, but they gravitate to the West, squeezing a drop of those qualities that irritate Western people so much, the qualities still cultivated by the Russians. I suppose that we are not well known properly, and when faced with a Ukrainian the West would be bitterly disappointed with us as an ally.  

Now, you take the sport, for instance, where the Russians especially complain about inequities and unfair competition. There is one boxer in Russia, Artur Beterbiev of Chechen origin, a unified light-heavyweight world champion. A classic post-Soviet sportsman with all his flaws and all his goodness. The main flaw, should we call it this way, is a dull, common to all the post-Soviet states, sameness. Not in the ring, or, say, not on the soccer field, but in life. This is when you can’t tell Petya from Vanya, and Maga could only be identified by racial features. While at the same time there is one guy in the world boxing elite – Tyson Fury, a British world heavyweight champion, of Roma nationality, with all Roma stereotype features, including the eccentric image. He is the eccentric in life too. For example, he was the first to take away the belts from Klitschko, but having done that he didn’t defend the belts, he went on a bender. And on a bender Tyson stayed until his entire champion millions have been squandered. Among other things, there was a scandal with test positive for cocaine. However, unlike other scandalous cocaine addict, Diego Maradona, Fury returned to the sport and again became a WBO champion. The millions for his last champion fight Fury donated to the Homeless Fund. A complicated and interesting character, eye-catching. Everything the Western media loves was in one mix – the zeal, the drama, and the convulsions of a human soul.  

So, the post-Soviet boxer Beterbiev, while commenting on the coming fight between Tyson Fury and Alexander Usik, or compatriot, suddenly remarked: “Looking at Muhammad Ali, you see a stand-up guy, you can tell he’s a sportsman straightaway. It bugs me a bit that this sportsman (Tyson Fury) promotes such looks”. Boxers would often trash talk troll each other, but here it is about the colleague’s complaint. You understand, that Tysons’ looks is something that contradicts the real sportsman image! He doesn’t look cool in his bright gypsy jackets! “Doesn’t look like a sportsman”, “not cool”, some kind of a hipster misfit.  

But the essence of modern sport is not to figure out who is the fastest runner or who is the best in punching people in the face. The essence of modern sport lies in the fact that a sportsman is an influencer, an icon, a role model. This means that nobody really needs a boxer from the dumb and dumber breed in his tracksuit with a hat pulled down over his eye. They need bold personalities, complicated persons, and controversial figures. And the more complicated an athlete’s personality is, the better. The more scandal and extravaganza, the better. And if a sportsman from the dumb and dumber breed is the best at punching in the face, the media and media dependent federations would do everything to prevent him from getting to Olympus, — they would come up with a meldonium scandal, or find cause for boycott and sanctions. 

Let’s recall the scandal over Tatiana Navka’s statement about performance at the Olympics of Cristofer Benitez, the Spanish gymnast – saying, the masculine should stay masculine, and the feminine should stay feminine, and the ex-champion in figure skating and the wife of the press secretary for Putin was happy that there was nothing like that in her country nor it ever would be. Is it any wonder that six months after the statement of the honorary mamma of the Russian figure skaters, the Olympic officials were jumping through hoops to find something illegal in blood tests of the Russian female figure skaters? 

Not fair? Yes, not fair! But nobody would ever give the floor to the anti-gay, hipster misfits or any other subculture. They would play dirty in every possible way. Just because a son of some bureaucrat grew his hair too long, or even worse – it was a grandson. And they could not allow insults towards the most sacred things in life, such as the youth. While some kind of boxer with his hands or some figure skater with her ass would screw their disgusted faces looking at those who look like your grandson, or like himself, when he was young. Publically, in the interviews. Moreover, keeping in mind that behind the sports bureaucrats there are media and the advertising business, i.e. all the bohemian circles, it is natural that the meldonium clashes would be moderated exclusively in one-way track, so that homophobes and hipsterophobes would be deprived of any slight attempt to give a start to any nasty folly.  

Western media, given their agenda imposed not by instructions from the above, but by the value system universally inherent to cultural and educated social class of western people, needs no sullen Silent Bobs, who know that it’s better to keep your mouth shut to talk no nonsense, and definitely no distributors of social prejudices and phobias, but it needs such heroes as Colin Kaepernick, a football quarterback, who, in 2016 was the first to get down on one knee during performance of the US national anthem.  Later, when his gesture was given attention by the media, he commented on his action as follows: “I’m not going to pretend that I’m proud of the flag of the country where the rights of people of color are infringed. There are corpses lying around in the streets, while somebody gets away with it”. 

From the media viewpoint, this Kaepernick’s  gesture is much more important than his sporting achievements. Kaepernick has become an event not in the American sports history, but in the history of America. He was supported by several more footballers, for which they were suspended from games (on the grounds of politicization of sports), and they are still in litigation with the Football League. Not only Kaepernick had become a cult figure for the BLM racial protests that followed, but, in fact, he established this movement having canonized the ritual, which is now actively promoted in American, British, and European sports. And when Russian soccer players at the FIFA World Cup were the first to defiantly refuse to follow the ritual, they again set themselves up against the media interests, primarily. As a result, they’ve shot themselves in the foot for years to come, since, like I said, it is totally not important who’s the fastest and the strongest. It’s much more important to know who is the cool guy.  

However, all this is the Russian stuff. I keep wondering whether ours have reached any further. In fact, they haven’t. The same stuff, and the same mistakes. For instance, in Russian sports there is a Lord warrior, Khabib Nurmagomedov, in Ukraine — the same warrior, Alexander Usik. If the abovementioned Chechen, Beterbiev criticized Tyson Fury for his looks, then, Usik, who is to fight Tyson (a fight combining all the champion belts together), at presentation of his regalia joked about one Fury’s belt missing: “Stolen by gypsies”. Luckily enough all this was broadcasted mostly for the national audience, while the world media decided not to quote that due to expediency considerations. In fact, for such statements one might easily run into a full cancel trouble. And it will happen unless our athletes learn, at last, to watch their mouth. Sooner or later this abstract passion for Ukrainians will pass. And then it would come as a big surprise to the West when, aspired by the “gypsies who stole the belt”, the Ukrainian refugees would  clash with Romas in struggle for place in the sun, or go against aid provided to refugees from Africa and Middle East, because the white people served first. The Europeans don’t know yet that 95 out of 100 Ukrainians if asked whether they believe that the white race is better than others would respond positively giving no thought to the question that might have some catch in it. And from the nation-victim we would turn into the canceled player Zozulia, who was banned from participation in the Spanish soccer cup for his hobby to do the Nazi salute.

Today, the Russian classic literature is under attack by the Western media, say, the Imperialism there permeates. It’s like Ukraine has been choked with bans on the identity and language, while Russian writers of the Ukrainian origin, such as Nikolai Gogol, have been malignantly satirizing everything that was Russian. Because, as the Europeans, they looked down upon anything Russian (recently there was an article in The Economist on the topic). But they don’t know us too well. They didn’t read, for instance, the poem by Taras Shevchenko “The seamstress”: “Oh, my vodka and mead don’t go down smooth, yuck. There’ll be no party time for you, goddamn kike” ending with these words: “to trample on the corpses of kike and polish nobleman”. Passion for Ukraine inevitably leads there too. While Shevchenko was a long time ago, the modern Ukrainian band Komu Vniz made a hit with lyrics from the mentioned poem. The band is not some kind of a marginal rock, it’s a powerful project, patriarchs of the Ukrainian rock, actively invited to participate in the shows on national TV.  

Whether we like it or not, all this will surely happen one day. Not because the West sooner or later would sober up, and definitely not because things have a way of coming out.  Not that. The thing is that there are already three million Ukrainian refugees in Europe. Ukrainian refugees, who addressed to the US diplomatic mission in Mexico receive the priority rights, etc, and the story of privileges goes on. There are too many Ukrainians appearing in the West, and they will definitely start to draw the attention. Imagine surprise of the democrats, when on the issues of interracial conflicts the Ukrainians would not just sing along in unison with the Russians, their bitterest enemy, but, unlike the latter, would begin to join the local ultra right organizations en masse. What a surprise it would be for the European social democrats when the Middle East and the Slavic refugees of the last wave would begin to divide the humanitarian aid, the street, and the criminal spheres of influence!

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