The Olympic propaganda onslaught has continued. The western media ‘s hypocrisy and double-standard has been on prominent display (if you know where to look) since Friday’s opening ceremonies. Journalists tweeting about their substandard accommodations personified every Ugly American stereotype. Then Google ran their diversity doodle, which was just weird.
I had hoped to watch the games, but I’ve found NBC’s coverage unbearable, worse than ever before. Its prime time slots have been nothing more than a three-hour infomercial. I thought Eric Wilbur on The Boston Sports Blog got it about right when he posted that NBC, “…which despite efforts to provide real-time coverage through broadcast and online streaming from Sochi, Russia, remains what it has always been; a pre-packaged soap opera less focused on athletic achievement than it is crafting and manipulating story lines best-suited for its audience. “
I’ve mostly been tuning it out (except during curling) and focusing on TCM’s “31 Days of Oscar,” instead.
Mother Russia provided so much more as a backdrop and host country, far beyond the gay rights angle, but then, covering it differently and offering some insight into a vast continent and culture would take us away from the typical bipolar narrative of “U.S. is great; Russia (former Soviets) are evil.”
One of the most fascinating books I’ve read the past few years was Ian Frazier’s, Travels in Siberia. Siberia, which accounts for about 75% of Russia, the largest country in the world, is pretty much ignored by westerners; it would most likely be forgotten entirely if it weren’t such a handy butt of jokes and insults. Frazier’s 500-page book details several trips he took to the region, including crossing Siberia west to east in the summer, and crossing it a few years later east to west in the winter. His accounts of these trips are filled with his accounts resulting from his research of Siberian history and geography, and he created a place of interest for me and most of his readers.
I decided I’d follow-up on Friday’s post with photos of our Russian nesting dolls, or matryoshka dolls. These were a gift from Mary’s father, when he returned from Poland, after visiting the country in 1996.
How many of the former Soviet leaders can you name?