Posts Tagged ‘Putin’

Putin for President?

June 19, 2017

untitledPutin and Oliver Stone

Last night’s TV watching is what I could do with every night. Forget about all those Master Chefs or Building UK modern houses, or even those new  incomprehensible English crime shows, which are so lost in loud music and serious and significant sideway cast glances by  main actors, that any attention the viewer had intended to give, is soon surrendered over to despair. The Putin- Oliver Stone interview was rivetingly watchable. Not a stir-fry in sight nor a double glazed window. A different kettle of fish.

Of course, Oliver Stone is not known for loving the Republican side of US politics. His keen-eyed  movies and scripts never fail to impress those who are  inclined to be cynical about much of what the US is purporting to stand for. i.e. ” US style  Democracy.” A short version of which is, ‘if you are not with us you are against us,’ and we will hunt/bomb you down mercilessly, and find ways to fill up more of our privately run prisons. I suspect that Oliver Stone might well have been put under scrutiny in the US more than once.

There is a bit of a story attached to Oliver Stone. We actually met him many years ago. Our daughter was working for RoadShow which at the time of the mid eighties promoted and featured upcoming movies. Our daughter, Susanna, was charged with people associated with a particular upcoming movie, to be looked after. This often included booking accommodation for interstate or overseas people associated with a newly released movie. It was a demanding job but she was very good at it. During the mid eighties, one of those overseas guests was Oliver Stone who had just finished making ‘El Salvador.’

We had already seen  Midnight Express of which the script was written by Oliver Stone in the late seventies. At the time that movie was already controversial and even banned in Turkey. With the arrival of El Salvador in 1986, his skill as both scriptwriting and film producer were already well established. We we were not al all familiar with many films but we did go to movies occasionally. Our daughter managed to sometimes get free tickets and so it was with the  showing of El Salvador at a theatre in Paddington, of which I have forgotten it’s name. Perhaps it was called The Dandy, or some similar silly name. Both our daughter and us decided to see that movie on a weekday. A normal day.

As we queued up for the tickets, Susanna was poked in the ribs by someone behind her. When she turned around, her gaze was met by Oliver Stone whom she apparently had me at the Roadshow office several times already.  She laughed and after a bit of a talk with him, introduced us to  him. “These are my parents, Helvi and Gerard”, she must have said. The exact details of word order might well have been a bit different.  It could just as easily have been; “This is Oliver Stone, these are my parents.” It has been so many years ago! We shook hands, he had large hands.

Anyway, we sauntered in. ( ‘sauntering in,’ is what people do, slowly entering cinemas or church services but not train carriages. We ‘enter or push into’ rail carriages. The movie was very terrifying of how things can go so badly wrong from one moment to the other. We exited the cinema in a haze of incredulity. How could that have happened?  We did not see Oliver Stone ever again, except through his movies. He must have got out earlier. He perhaps wanted to find out how his movie was received in Australia with a different audience.

The interview with Putin is what really made me ponder the pity of it all. Why not have a Putin for US president? Such erudite reasoning. Oh, those direct answers. No aggrandisement nor pursing of lips. And above all, his understanding of the US. At one stage seemingly knowing more about US trade deficits than even Oliver Stone.

On the other hand, Oliver Stone does enjoy the freedom of critical  exposing the US in his movies. We know so little about Russia, much of it mangled by US propaganda. I was in Russia for a short period and loved it.

Even so,  a Putin for US president would be a way forward compared with the present one.

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The New York steak makes US all good.

September 7, 2014

imagesNewYork steak

There is nothing more unreliable than the memories of writers. Remind them of what they wrote last year and they will vehemently deny it. Such is their hold on facts. No sooner have they put down their feeble thoughts and their mind’s shredder takes over and it all ends up into oblivion. Forgetfulness is their raison d’être for writing things down. Forget about vivid evocative pictures as absolute truth.

That’s why my posting the link to Dutch Professor’s Cees Hamelink’s ‘Apology to Putin’ ought to be taken in the same obscure vein. He might well fall in the category of being a nutcase. His writings as short-lived as a fly spinning around on the floor in a last frenzy. It is my own default position; Why not those of others?

Even so, I don’t think America was all that pleased with Mr Fidel Castro either, perched on their side of the world. I have some sympathy for Putin being chagrined about sharing a border with a Pro-West leaning country. Can you imagine the Golden arched Big M in front of the St Petersburg’s Winter Palace?

I am sure the US was miffed with the leftists governments in South America. I have seen enough Oliver Stone movies to consider that the victims of Pinochet, the uprisings of Nicaragua by the Sandinistas, many of the Latin Countries, opposed by the CIA and their induced bloody adventures, would far outweigh anything that has happened so far in the Ukraine. Don’t get me going on Colombia and their past pro US dictators. Garcia Marquez wrote all about that.

It is after all Father’s day.

As early as yesterday I was treated and feted as a good father. I chose New York Steak with peppery sauce. It was fabulous and America is the best country in the world. I haven’t had such a lovely meal for a long time. Sorry vegetarians, I admit to liking a meaty dinner but as a concession and feeble purgatory aim, I have also doubled my vegie and fish intake.

Before plunging in the details of New York Steak, I believe it is known as Porterhouse in England and in Australia. It is the short loin section at the back of the cow. I suppose ‘New York’ steak adds weight and ..above all prestige…Some of my best friends are American and I have always revered New York ,even considered visiting it many times.

An impression once caught sometimes lingers forever while others end into oblivion. I am sure that my New York steak with peppery sauce has now made me benevolent, even more determined to visit that lovely country. We might even go far South to partake in a piece of grilled, honey glazed honest Kansas Steak.
How about that?
It’s delight will last forever.

An apology to Mr Putin. (food for thought)

September 5, 2014

imagesCees Hamelink

http://macedoniaonline.eu/content/view/25981/53/

“Dear Mr. President Putin,

Please accept our apologies on behalf of a great many people here in the Netherlands for our Government and our Media. The facts concerning MH17 are twisted to defame you and your country.

We are powerless onlookers, as we witness how the Western Nations, led by the United States, accuse Russia of crimes they commit themselves more than anybody else. We reject the double standards that are used for Russia and the West. In our societies, sufficient evidence is required for a conviction. The way you and your Nation are convicted for ‘crimes’ without evidence, is ruthless and despicable.

You have saved us from a conflict in Syria that could have escalated into a World War. The mass killing of innocent Syrian civilians through gassing by ‘Al-­‐Qaeda’ terrorists, trained and armed by the US and paid for by Saudi Arabia, was blamed on Assad. In doing so, the West hoped public opinion would turn against Assad, paving the way for an attack on Syria.

Not long after this, Western forces have built up, trained and armed an ‘opposition’ in the Ukraine, to prepare a coup against the legitimate Government in Kiev. The putschists taking over were quickly recognized by Western Governments. They were provided with loans from our tax money to prop their new Government up.

The people of the Crimea did not agree with this and showed this with peaceful demonstrations. Anonymous snipers and violence by Ukrainian troops turned these demonstrations into demands for independence from Kiev. Whether you support these separatist movements is immaterial, considering the blatant Imperialism of the West.

Russia is wrongly accused, without evidence or investigation, of delivering the weapons systems that allegedly brought down MH17. For this reason Western Governments claim they have a right to economically pressure Russia.

We, awake citizens of the West, who see the lies and machinations of our Governments, wish to offer you our apologies for what is done in our name.
It’s unfortunately true, that our media have lost all independence and are just mouthpieces for the Powers that Be. Because of this, Western people tend to have a warped view of reality and are unable to hold their politicians to account.

Our hopes are focused on your wisdom. We want Peace. We see that Western Governments do not serve the people but are working towards a New World Order. The destruction of sovereign nations and the killing of millions of innocent people is, seemingly, a price worth paying for them, to achieve this goal.

We, the people of the Netherlands, want Peace and Justice, also for and with Russia.
We hope to make clear that the Dutch Government speaks for itself only. We pray our efforts will help to diffuse the rising tensions between our Nations.

Sincerely,

Professor Cees Hamelink “

Moscow – St Petersburg ( Leningrad) Express

January 28, 2012

Originally from ABC The Drum:http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/32238.html

It is one thing to see sports players going overseas but worse still would be losing artists to greener pastures.

I am reminded somewhat by the reverence shown to Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who died recently. Thousands filed past his open casket. Television showed metre long roses placed there by Putin and Gorbachev. I wonder whether we would revere our writers and artists the same.

I can’t remember when I have last seen a PM opening a book show or being photographed at an art gallery, or even commenting on the importance of art. On the contrary, the Bill Henson affair brought out suspicion, disregard and ignorance from those that ought to know better.

Why is it that sport is the Holy Grail above everything else?

Years ago I took the overnight train from Moscow to St Petersburg (Leningrad) in midsummer and shared the sleeper with a couple and an ample-bosomed and beautiful Russian woman by the name of Lilly.

Most of the sleeper cabins behind me had groups of American choir singers, both boys and girls of around 20-30 years of age. They had performed in Moscow and were booked to sing in St Petersburg. Being midsummer, and so far north, the days lasted forever. It had also been very hot with thunderstorms in the late afternoon. The Americans were pleased to meet someone from Australia and, as proof of it, I was asked to give an impromptu impersonation of Crocodile Dundee star Paul Hogan and say “goodiaye and hozygoin” over and over again.

This was nothing compared with what would follow next. The beautiful Lilly in my cabin spoke some German and so did I. The train was air conditioned but it was stifling hot and, as Lilly and I got acquainted, she, now and then, modestly dabbed her bosom with an Eau de Cologne sprinkled silken and embroidered handkerchief. She kindly asked what I did when I was not travelling and I told her I painted pictures. Ach nein, du bist ein Artiest? Wie ist das möglich? (An artist, how is that possible?) The hanky started working overtime.

The secret was out and went like wildfire through the whole train. The next thing, passengers were lining up to meet me, vodka was offered and Lilly unpacked some ‘kuchen’ with cubed sugar soaked in almond essence. (I remember it well.) I was almost carried around on shoulders and tears were flowing. I was feted like an emperor.

Some hours later, when darkness finally announced itself – and consider Russian sleeper trains are not gender separated, and the vodka had settled – the four of us, including the beautiful Lilly, calmly undressed. I hopped in the top bunk and she underneath. I slept on a cloud of Eau the Cologne and almond essence.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lNFRLrP014

Next morning, breakfast was served in those ornate silver plated urns and glassware. The Americans behind us, thankfully, had had enough of Aussie imitations.

Getting back to the reverence shown to artists, dead or alive, in countries elsewhere, it seems doubly annoying to hear in all details the latest exploits of an AFL player who went to play in France for more money. Why is that of such enormous importance?

What I am trying to get at is that if I would have gone around the Goulburn-City Rail Link announcing I painted pictures, the best I could hope for would be the question “Do you sell them, and how much?”

How many more years will be wasted in giving so much credit to sport and so little to art?

When will we finally start recognising that art is important because it lasts and also defines us as a nation that always strives above the mundane.