Exceptional insight, Gerard. What passes for machismo in America does not equate to the rest of the West. I'm sure there are plenty of pols in Eastern Europe looking at the Russky Man of Steel, their borders, their erstwhile American ally, and thinking... hmmm.Posted by Velociman at August 31, 2009 4:22 PM
Can you see Putin apologizing for the excesses of Czarist Russia/Soviet Union/Modern Russia, like Obama is wont to do for America? Me, either. Russia has a lot of problems that Putin's bare-chested canter through the woods can't fix, but at least he looks strong and capable of dealing with them. In most of the world outside of Western Europe and the northern 2/3 of North America, an image of strength sells, while suave pseudo-sophistication a la Obama is perceived as weakness. Unfortunately in Obama's case, I'm convinced the image of weakness is all too real. As for Czar Vladimir I, he's a worthy opponent who will cost us much during his reign. And apologizing to him won't make him go away.Posted by waltj at August 31, 2009 5:49 PM
We are so screwed.Posted by Fat Man at August 31, 2009 6:00 PM
Obama is a perfectly fine example of a barefoot Kenyan long distance runner.
He would also look mighty fine in the robed finery of some African backwater cleptocracy--especially when he sticks his chin in the air and smirks.Posted by Koblog at August 31, 2009 8:22 PM
Why do the thugs vests say "Russia" in English?
It's POCCHR (as best rendered with roman letters).
Obama is a perfectly fine example of a barefoot Kenyan long distance runner.
Except that the Luo tribe (his father's tribe) isn't the one known for producing distance runners. That would be the Kalenjin.Posted by baldilocks at August 31, 2009 8:39 PM
"my little pony"
It'd be funny if he wasn't in a position to do so much damage to the country.
(ok, it is funny nonetheless)Posted by pdwalker at August 31, 2009 8:41 PM
For Obama the actor, cleverness and cunning may pass for intelligence, as hatred and contempt will for courage. But against real events and real players, acting is no defense.
'Courage is so necessary for maintaining virtue, that it is always respected, even in vice.'
Obama has no virtue, no vice, no courage, and no respect. Things are finally starting to look up.
Putin's pictures remind me of the pink pony story. Some Oriental despot assembled his generals for a meeting and showed them his pink horse. He went on and on about it. Anyone that didn't join in to praise the 'pink' horse got their night's sleep extended to permanent dirt nap.
Putin looks a little goofy or at least, he looks normal (like everyday people I know camping) but trying to act like more than that. But he rules like a thug, so you can't call him out if you’re under his sphere of influence. Better complement his pictures / pink pony, or else.
And yeah, Obama looks even worse even when not striking a pose... At least Putin does look like what I consider a normal guy…
"I'm sure there are plenty of pols in Eastern Europe looking at the Russky Man of Steel, their borders, their erstwhile American ally, and thinking... hmmm."
They're not thinking "hmmm", they're thinking "h-o-l-y shit!"
Why is it only the freaking blogosphere comes up with this kind of analysis? Well done, Gerard!Posted by brass buttons at August 31, 2009 9:39 PM
NSFW link but goes along the lines of this article. I will never think of Obama the same way again.Posted by Neifi at August 31, 2009 10:15 PM
The Vassal from the castle has the pellet with the poison, the phony like a pony has the brew that is true.
Get it? Got it! Good.
Apologies to Danny Kaye, now there was a great gay guy.Posted by bc at August 31, 2009 10:17 PM
He can parade around in his shorts all he wants. He still won't get his warm water port.Posted by Rix at August 31, 2009 10:38 PM
"Obama is a perfectly fine example of a barefoot Kenyan long distance runner."
You've got to be pretty tough to be a barefoot long distance runner in sub-Saharan Africa.
Tougher than Obama-tough anyway.
Obama is the effete Western equivalent of the Latin American or African Colonel-self-promoted-to-President.
He lacks the experience or character to actually do the job properly, but managed to game the system with something other than merit to land in place; then, once there, presumes to be the Father of the Country.Posted by amos at August 31, 2009 11:37 PM
Jim Ellison....what was the point of trying to spell Russia in Roman letters when the point of your mini rant was asking why they put RUSSIA in English on their jackets? Don't you have Russian keyboard configuration on your computer?
РОССИЯ....there, I fixed it fer ya.
Gerard....never misunderestimate the danger that Little Ponies represent:
Giddy up.Posted by Jewel at September 1, 2009 1:05 AM
For all his apparent toughness in these photos, let's face it Putin falls into the trap of looking...well... gay. Sorry Vladimir, see you at the leather bar.Posted by Mike G at September 1, 2009 4:04 AM
It is interesting that the Russian bikers choose Roman rather than Cyrillic letters for their colors. This probably reflects the origin of this style in the USA, and the Russians' aesthetic sense that using Roman letters is more "correct." In a similar way, I think, Japanese automakers put their model names on their cars in English, even in Japan. It just looks "right" that way. Perhaps a similar phenomenon here is the deployment of Chinese-character tattoos by many.Posted by Punditarian at September 1, 2009 4:07 AM
Compelling post! There's a small typo -- the quotation is "Isn't it pretty to think so." It's the last line from Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises."Posted by Mrs Whatsit at September 1, 2009 4:30 AM
Lets have Putin throw out the ceremonial pitch at the next All-Star game.Posted by john at September 1, 2009 5:31 AM
I am pretty sure those are not not just Russian bikers. They are Russian Hells Angels. I bet Putin uses them as some sort of modern cavalry unit.Posted by Lance at September 1, 2009 6:07 AM
For a man who would be king, Obama has clearly not read the instructions.
.Posted by Joan of Argghh! at September 1, 2009 6:24 AM
For people who strongly believe being gay is normal, they sure throw the label around to insult/downgrade a person.
reminds me of the line from Magnum Force:
Harry Callahan: You know those guys?
Early Smith: They came through the Academy after me. They stick together like flypaper, you know? Everybody thought they were queer for each other.
Harry Callahan: Tell you something. If the rest of you could shoot like them, I wouldn't care if the whole damn department was queer.Posted by at September 1, 2009 10:51 AM
Thanks to liberal/jewish guilt, the west is apologizing for being who we are. Russians, despite many problems, don't wake up, look in a mirror, and decide how they are going to pay pennence for their very existance.Posted by Smarty at September 1, 2009 2:39 PM
I wouldn't read much, if anything, into the alphabet choice. Moscow, at least, is littered with signs that mix the two together. Two amusing ones from my last visit: "кино, играл, mp3" and "папа джон pizza" (Russian has a word for "pizza" but they transliterate "papa john"?!?). Bathrooms are often labeled "WC" despite Cyrillic having neither a "w" nor a "c" ("c" is "s" not "c").
For what it's worth.Posted by mrsizer at September 1, 2009 3:50 PM
It's interesting how many people in western culture (see Mike G's comment & the cited TofL comments) have decided that assertive displays of the male form and "manly" behavior are as queer as Liberace. The feminist brainwashing of the culture has been overwhelmingly successful. A total victory for them, in fact.Posted by SnivelyWhiplash at September 1, 2009 5:32 PM
That is why I greeted the Bush 'Mission Accomplished" with applause even though contrary to media reports the mission accomplished banner was, as old navy hands know, a reference to the carrier's mission. Sorry, to me, Obama comes across as wimp. From my worldwide travels, I cannot believe that he is not seen the same way in our enemies' camps.Posted by Al Reasin at September 2, 2009 5:38 AM
Al Reasin seems spot on in his observations. Having seen a bit of the world, thanks to Uncle Sam's Naval international bar hopping society, one wonders indeed, what not only other world leaders think of our current occupant of 1600 Penn Ave, but how those who are pursuing with great haste, the act of imposing their particularly heinous version of change on the rest of us, think of him as well. My guess is they are quite content with the man, and his complete lack of ... well anything even remotely related to real statecraft, and or a spine.Posted by Guy S at September 3, 2009 10:23 PM