May 04, 2014 | RUSSIAN GLAS•NOT

The Effervescent Road to Putingrad

In his dedicated and forthright effort to imbue the Russian society with the glorious effervescence and spirited joie-de-vivre of the Stalinist Soviet heydays, Putin has been spearheading the incremental revival of various staple traditions and hallowed practices.

 

Case in point the recent May Day parade at the Kremlin walls, an erstwhile Soviet annual celebration that had been suspended for 23 years. Why deprive from the Russian citizens the opportunity to rejoice in their newfound prosperity and revel in their ascending national pride? It would take a cold-hearted ruler to do that and Putin is anything but! (You need a heart for that.) Thus the reestablished Red Square parade, with all the obligatory rebranded proletarian pomp and circumstance: the colorfully zesty balloons, the waving hotchpotch of flapping flags, the obligatory, all-weather "Putin is right" & "We believe Putin" banners (suitable for any outdoors or indoors parade or demonstration, also suitable for framing & curtain fabric, can also be used as a beach-sarong), the vodka-shots street-sellers around every corner & mausoleum (raspberry flavor for the kids); in short the joyous camaraderie of the proud Russian soul.

 

Always in synch to the Russian citizenry and in conjunction with his valiant master-plan of national rejuvenation, Putin has been catering to the deepest wishes and desires of the Russian people. Were they dreaming of a summer Riviera to lose & find themselves in the summer months while a light Black Sea breeze caressed their ? No fuss, he got them Crimea. Did they feel the need to pair the lonely province of North Ossetia with a friendly companion? Problem solved, he annexed South Ossetia. Was the lack of a state-of-the-art national ski facility impinging on their collective demeanor? He developed Sochi for them. Were they tired of listening to mediocre punk-rock bands? Despair not! He jailed Pussy Riot. Do they have trouble sleeping with the knowledge of an enticing russophone rust-belt laying provocatively out of their grasp, just meters from their borders? Sleep tight, he is working on it.

 

Of course Putin's strategy of Soviet-grade renaissance goes deeper than a mere annexation here or a multi-billion project there, it also involves the affirmation of core principles and key Stalinist mechanisms that in the past catapulted the USSR into stratospheric heights. He has therefore wisely reaffirmed the one-party rule as the de facto mode of governance, replacing the stale & unfashionable Communist Party with the more hip and catchy United Russia Party; has consolidated absolute power in the hands of the Party Founder (himself); he has relaunched the popular "show trials" replacing accusations such as sabotage & counter-revolution with more up-to-date crimes like tax evasion & fraud; and he has rekindled rigorous censorship in the media & public discourse.

 

Other re-engineered nation-resurgence projects on the drawing-board: revamping the gulag retreats with a perkier color palette and complimentary spa treatments and reestablishing the bygone but always pertinent tradition of the personality cult (All cities in Abkhazia renamed Putingard, Putinogorsk or Putinstadt, Simferopol in Crimea rechristened Putinopolthe, the State Prize replaced by the Putin Prize, obligatory Putin portait hanging in prominent spot in homes & workplaces, etc).   

 

Moscow holds first May Day parade since Soviet era