Grigory Pasko: Staying Pozitiv in the New Year

narod123008.jpgWhen I worked at a military newspaper as chief of the combat training department, the editor often told us journalists: don’t write critical articles, more pozitiv, write more about good things… But the times were such that everything all around was collapsing: the country after perestroika, the combat education of the fleet at zero, the laws aren’t working, everybody’s thinking only about money and about how to survive… In response to the wailing of the editor we proposed to him to create in the editorial staff a department of «pink elephants» – a group of journalists who would write only about the positive, through a prism of rose-colored glasses.

More than ten years have passed. All this time they’re telling us: stability, development, democracy…But you can’t fool people’s moods. And you won’t fool the facts. All around in Russia – those same signs of uncertainly that had been in the years of postperestroika: the economy at zero (the oil price has fallen drastically), the laws aren’t working, everybody’s thinking only about money and about how to survive…

And those same calls by the leaders of the state: everything’s fine, be calm, attune yourself to the pozitiv


A rather peculiar newspaper comes out in Moscow, under the name«Maryinsky vestnik». There are lots of papers like this: they arepublished at the expense of the state ( that is, for the money oftaxpayers), they come out in massive print runs (the print run of«Maryinsky vestnik» is 85 thousand copies) and are distributed for freeto the homes of the residents of the districts of the city. (I feelsorry for my foreign readers: they will never be able to understandsuch an antimarket economy).

spok123008.jpg

The content of this newspaper – as primitive as can possibly be. Thefirst and second pages sing the praises mayor of Moscow Luzhkov and thehead of the district council, as well as shamelessly extolling theparty «United Russia». The third page – announcements of one and thesame bunch (“theirs”, “friendly”, apparently) of commercial structures.The fourth – about competitions for the best decoration of a yard.Sport and church holidays.

I sometimes read this newspaper. It can contain real gems.

Once, the newspaper published a gem in the form of congratulationsfrom editor-in-chief Alla Sushchinskaya. This Suchchinskaya, in part,writes: «…Already 8 years after 24.00 we establish telepathic, cosmiccommunication with all kinsfolk in spirit, in part, with friends in thecity of Yeysk of Krasnodar Kray. Today and always I wish everybody:attune yourself to the pozitiv. And everything will work out».

In one of the issues was published an announcement. Here it is: «Theeditorial staff of «Maryinsky vestnik» invites to cooperationphotoreporters, journalists, attuned to the pozitiv, [emphasis mine--GP] knowing how to work operatively and precisely…»

That is, if a journalist sees a negativ someplace, then heought not write about this: the newspaper doesn’t need that. Thenewspaper together with its editor-in-chief is attuned to the pozitiv,to the cosmic spheres… In so doing, true, it is incomprehensible why anewspaper that comes out once a week needs operativeness [a uniquely Russian word that means something like "quickness and nimbleness"--Trans.] and precision.

An understandable business: if the newspaper existed on the money ofreaders, then it would not be attuning itself and its journalistsforcibly exclusively on the pozitiv: already in a month nobody would be subscribing to such a newspaper.

In general, the topic of pozitiv in times of economic and financialcrisis has come out in Russia in first place. The leadership of thecountry right away sent a signal to the mass information media: not towrite the word crisis, to write about pozitiv…Those who wrote about thecrisis and scenarios of its development (Yevgeny Gontmacher in «Vedomosti», for example), they accused of extremism.

And so they called the recent television appearance of premier Putina psychotherapy session: the former president did everything he couldto portray black as white and built all his speeches on the famousprinciple of the psychoanalysts: to attune the patient to a positivewavelength and to promise him what he wants to hear.

One woman wrote just that in her internet-diary: «If my girlfriendcomes and whines, and cries, how everything’s so lousy for her, I don’tlisten to her, but immediately ask the question: «What would you like?»And she starts to talk on a positive wavelength…»

Putin – is like this woman. He knows what the Russian people want.They want tranquility. They, in their majority, do not want the truth,democracy, a free life for themselves and for their children… They wantfor things to be good or them right now. Because these people had beenforce-fed too long with fairy tales about a «happy future», which theyalready didn’t have any hope of living in.

In the meantime, on Russian websites there is even an advertisement for trainings under the name «Attune the client to the pozitiv!»

The lessons are broken down into thematic modules. Module 1 -gathering of information about the client; module 2 – establishment oftrusted contact, exercising of influence on the client; module 3 -identification of the needs of the client; module 4 – interaction withthe client on the telephone; module 5 – presentation of the wares;module 6 – overcoming of objections; module 7 – completing thetransaction.

In the teleapparition of Putin to the people, all these modules hadbeen worked out completely and concisely. One gets the impression thatsomewhere or other, Putin had gone through these training courses.Could it have been in the KGB?

Be that as it may, but the telecommands and the real repressionsagainst those who nevertheless write the truth sometimes are doingtheir business. At the very least, people aren’t marching on the powerwith pitchforks, but, on the contrary, vote for it in elections. As aresult, the country is gradually transforming into a country of onlypositive reports in the mass information media – a kind of country of«pink elephants».

The main thing – pozitiv. An idiotic smile on thephysiognomy. It is preferable in so doing not to think about anything,other than the fact that precisely such a position suits the power ofthe times of Putin and his partners-in-crime most of all.

Smile away, o people! Smile! Everything is good already now, today!Don’t believe me? Ask Putin – he’ll explain everything to you…

TOP IMAGE:  Poster of the times of the USSR. The text reads “With each day it is happier to live!”

LOWER IMAGE: Poster of the times of VVP. The text reads “Be calm. The state guarantees the safety of deposits.”

Если Вы хотите прочитать оригинал данной статьи на русском языке, нажмите сюда.

This post was tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

2 Comments

  1. Posted December 31, 2008 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    Good Lord! Pasko is the new Zoshchenko! Amazing!And horrifying. I cannot see how anyone can read this brilliant piece and fail to understand the fierce urgency of authoritarian regression that is occurring in neo-Soviet Russia. Are we to once again watch as our leaders simple gape at this ever-worsening catastrophe, allowing the people of Russia to be pulverized and acting only when the external menace becomes immediate. Are we going to wait for a new Cuban missile crisis, this time in Venezuela?Mr. Pasko’s love for his country is super human. How does Russia inspire such heroes? Certainly, she would not appear to deserve them. Any lesser patriot would have fled Russia, screaming, long ago, but Pasko soldiers on defying the Kremlin like others who have come before and whose names are written into the history books but better known and loved by foreigners than by Russians themselves.What a wretched mess this country is!

  2. Posted December 31, 2008 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    I would rather say the good man considers himself to be a second Dostoevsky ;-) It is dreadful to see how much bitterness can grow in man when he continues to live in this land. But we can be glad that, in the current situation, one still does have the possibility of not getting involved in opportunism and gang obedience.But why would you, La Russophobe, call him who “flees” the country a “lesser patriot”? You should consider that many Russians emigrated in situations of uncertainty, where future outcome and future chances of emigration aren’t sure. I don’t think that this is a valid standard by which you could judge these “lesser patriots”. It is a sign of lacking civilization that emigrants are considered “lesser patriots” or even “traitors”. Patriots shouldn’t be mythologised.And it is quite strange to deliberate on whether Russia has “deserved” such a man or not, for usually comments of this kind are coming from foreigners who appoint themselves as judge in regard to Russia. Don’t be pathetic, please.