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Marietta Chudakova: "The Sport Fans' Syndrome - The soap bubble of 'nationwide support' " (The New Times)

posted 12 Oct 2014, 06:56 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 12 Oct 2014, 07:15 ]
6 October 2014

By Marietta Chudakova

Source: The New Times

During a day I am in a good mood for several hours.

“How can that be?” thoughtful people may gloomily ask. “What about the public opinion rating? The overwhelming majority?”

I must admit in all honesty that it does not depress me. More to the truth, it depressed me for a long time, but then I got over it.

And this is what puts me in a good mood: how many wonderful, intelligent people there are in my country! How well these clever people make use of their heads! They don’t let themselves be made fools of!.. I have been reading some of these, and been delighted by them, for a long time: Andrei Kolesnikov (not that Kolesnikov, the other one), Dmitry Oreshkin, Vladimir Pastukhov … Denis Dragunsky was always wise, but at this critical time he has become yet wiser (unlike those who turned out to be dependent on the changing moods of the country). The very well informed historian of Russia Andrei Zubov, dragged (on the second attempt, they didn’t manage it the first time round) from his professorship at MGIMO. And for what, you may ask? For expressing his own views in his articles (not even in his lectures!) Instead of reciting thoughts that do not belong to him, but belong instead to our minister of foreign affairs (yes that’s right, I’m not joking!).

And what clear-sighted articles Boris Dubin has written – and continues to write …

I have discovered others more recently: Aleksandr Morozov, the editor of Russky zhurnal; Ivan Davydov, whose very sensible piece I have just read; and Liudmila Petranovskaya…So what about the 'rating'?

“We mustn’t forget,” Boris Dubin has told us, “that these are the intellectual and word games of irresponsible people (my emphasis). These 60%, 70%, or however high this super-majority (a term introduced by Dubin – MCh) has now reached, these are people who never in their lives decided anything outside the immediate sphere of their own personal lives, and it seems they had little enough success in that either. For this reason these statements about support, trust, approval and so on are all just shouts of anger and euphoria of a particular moment”…He wants us to stop being shocked into inactivity, but understood that our fellow citizens are not answerable for their own evaluations and opinions. And that means that tomorrow they will be ready to give answers that are the complete opposite of what they say today (for example, they might say: “No, we won’t give the Rotenberg brothers our hard-earned money!”).

My favourite example has to be Luzhkov. Yes, after the films about Baturina support for him fell, but Muscovites all the same stayed mostly on his side. And so what? Did you see even one solitary picketer at the time of his early resignation?

Ratings are like soap bubbles: the rainbow colours are oh so pretty, but quickly burst.