Don't Sanction Me, Bro! (Dispatches from the Motherland)
Russia. How "serious" is it? Medical experts still don't know, but President Obama thinks it may beas dangerous as a hemorrhagic fever that causes traumatic diarrhea, usually followed by death. For some obscure reason, this honey-dipped flattery wrapped in rose petals has not been well-received here in the Motherland. Dmitry Medvedev recently conjectured that Obama has been smoking the wacky tobacky. And maybe he has.
Your former intern defected to Russia almost two years ago in the noble pursuit of not paying his student loans, and would like to remind you that while every cloud has a silver lining, a thermo-nuclear mushroom cloud probably does not. Instead of Red Dawn II: How Tiresome, why can't the world's two most annoying countries unite and terrorize everyone forever, together?
We will now answer all of your Russia-related questions and finally bring peace and understanding to our pale blue landfill, Earth.
But first, allow us a quick anecdote. Like all interesting stories, it begins with C-SPAN. Some years ago notorious Islamic State sultan Chris Hedges was a guest on C-SPAN's morning call-in talk show "Washington Journal." We vividly remember the following exchange:
SENIOR CITIZEN: Mr. Hedges, isn't it true that The New York Times is controlled by lizard people who want to rebuild the Great Sphinx of Giza in order that they may particle-travel back to Mars and rejoin their beloved Space Pharaoh, Thomas Friedman Ramesses The Unreadable?
HEDGES: You've put me in the awkward position of having to defend The New York Times.
History buffs know that Chris Hedges is not fond of The New York Times. He could have answered, “...Sure?” and continued on with his pleasant life as an award-winning traitor. But he chose the more honorable, albeit futile, path. Why?
For the sake of mental health, most humans tolerate staggering levels of absurdity as they roam the Earth looking for meaning or something new to ruin. This is because if they felt the need to react to each and every embarrassment to decency conceived by talk radio or the government, they would all explode. Just read "the blogs."
But pure, crystalline craziness, especially when it prances about as the prevailing and unquestionable Truth, is difficult to tolerate. You can try drinking, or hiding in Almost-Siberia (as we are right now), but it won't work, at least not for very long. It's the 21st century. We are all trapped in the same Panpoopticon.
We've just spent the last four paragraphs typing about C-SPAN and space lizards, so let's cut to the chase: Crazy old people and their Russia Hysteria have put us in the awkward position of having to defend something we don't even really want to defend. It's a classic case of Chris Hedges Syndrome.
The United States, Russia –- they're practically the same rotten smorgasbord of prisons, appalling wealth inequality and human misery. As Oliver Stone astutely observed in a recent interview with the Kremlin, these two tragic nations are natural allies -- they're both just too self-conscious and stubborn to admit it. It's a love story older than the Internet, and best portrayed by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail.
The Russian Federation is not Ebola. It is something very different and impossible to describe with words, so we shall use the last respected art form, YouTube, instead:
We encourage you to e-mail us at riley.waggaman at gmail dot com with questions, articles, hate-filled diatribes, credit card numbers –- anything that might be useful for this weekly (?) Internet column about Russian Aggression and the End of the World.
Like Chris Hedges trying to talk sense to stammering old people on C-SPAN, we recognize the futility of our endeavor. But we don't want our Tatar love child Bulat Waggaman to think his father was a deadbeat piker who sat around eating borscht all day while the entire world went up in flames for absolutely no good reason whatsoever and we cannot italicize this enough. How dare you, Bulat. Your father blogged until the very end.
You think we're over-reacting? Not according to Chuck Hagel, who says the Russian army is "on NATO's doorstep." That sounds serious. Why did Russia put its country next to all of our military bases, anyway?
America needs answers. And free Russian language courses. Here is your first lesson: Когда она поцеловала лягушку, та превратилась в прекрасного принца.
(It's pronounced just as it's spelled. Sound it out, lazybones.)
"When she kissed the frog, it turned into a handsome prince."
Until next week.
Your Internet Friend,
Riley Waggaman is "America's most trusted cub reporter," according to Vanity Fair. He is not a reporter and he does not live in America. He can be reached at riley.waggaman at gmail dot com.