The Discrete Charm of the Authoritarian

by A. Jay Adler on December 17, 2010
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This video making the rounds is from Russia Today, which describes itself, at its You Tube video channel, as

a 24/7 English-language news channel. We are set to show you how any story can be another story altogether. Broadcasting over six continents and 100 countries, our coverage focuses on international headlines, giving an innovative angle set to challenge viewers worldwide.

The channel is government-funded but shapes its editorial policy free from political and commercial influence. Our dedicated team of news professionals unites young talent and household names in the world of broadcast journalism.

We are told of the event that

Vladimir Putin made his audience sit up and take note, as he sang at a charity fundraiser. The reception at an ice stadium in St. Petersburg was dedicated to fighting children’s cancer. International celebrities including Kevin Costner, Gerard Depardieu, Mickey Rourke, Sharon Stone, Kurt Russell, Vincent Cassel, Monica Belucci, Ornella Muti, Goldie Hawn and many others attended the benefit concert. Many of the stars are actively involved in charity work which draws needed attention to children’s oncological and ophthalmological diseases.

What Putin’s role was at the event – “just another” attendee? honorary chair? – we are not told. It seems rather unlikely that the big name actors did not know he would be there, though they would not have anticipated this moment. Diplomats and politicians in international affairs, of course, must professionally socialize and glad hand the despicable. One shakes the hand of one’s murderous enemy. It is the nature of the work, and it is necessary. Here, one rather thinks, a proper audience would have looked on politely, but impassively. You can witness the contrary below. But first, the succinct commentary of the YouTubeariat on the discrete charm of the authoritarian.

He’s like the mob boss who everyone thinks is making a fool of himself but because he’s the boss everyone just cheers and claps their hands. In any true democracy everyone would be making fun of him instead of kissing his ass and lauding his “talent”.

and

Check out the audience, which included a whale-sized Gerard Depardieu, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and Sharon Stone and many others like them (where is Jane Fonda?) sucking up to KCG (Kremlin Criminal Gang). Reminds me of 1937 visit to Stalin by a group of leading western intellectuals, enthusiastically embracing him and his murderous regime.

Hollywood elites are really clueless.

I’m not one for attacking Hollywood on political grounds. I would much rather live there (good grief – I nearly do!) than wherever produced Louie Gohmert or Jim DeMint. And my opinion of the thought-terminating terminology “elites” is well known in these parts. But today. Given the evidence. I hold my fire.

P.S. You think Sharon Stone finds power an aphrodisiac? By the end she looks ready to serve. Word is she danced with him.

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2 comments

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Maureen December 17, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Seeing that just made my evening, Jay.

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