Friday, July 07, 2006


Will someone tell me why this is news? Not just a tidbit in the Bondage Files of the SF Gate (where this particular excerpt comes from), but chatted about on NPR (I heard it this morning), reported by Associated Press and other usually somewhat sane, news reporting agencies. And not just the U.S. national news, but apparently it is huge news in Russia. Have we humans gotten to the point that we are so screwed up with respect to affection, let alone sex, that an adult performing that age old gesture of picking up a child and kissing or doing a raspberry on the stomach of said child is now an act of inappropriate affection/potential pedophilia and that we must, must, must find out the motivation for that action? Where reporters, rather than ask the opinion of a leader about the recent testing of missiles in N. Korea, ask him instead about his motivation for picking up and kissing a child. I give you the article:

Putin Explains Kissing Child's Stomach
Thursday, July 6, 2006
(07-06) 11:45 PDT MOSCOW, Russia (AP) --

In between answering questions about North Korea's missiles, Iran's nuclear program and relations with the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin answered what was for many observers a more burning question: What compelled him to kiss the bare stomach of a young boy in a Kremlin courtyard?

Footage of the June 28 incident was broadcast on all Russian television stations, quickly became fodder for Internet chat rooms and topped the Moscow tabloids the day after. The question was one of the most popular among the thousands e-mailed in for the Web chat, hosted by the British Broadcasting Corp. and Russian search engine

In the footage, Putin, 53, is shown walking up to a small crowd of tourists in a Kremlin courtyard and crouching down in front of the boy, who appears to be five or six years old. As the Russian president talks with Nikita for several seconds, he tugs at the boy's shirt before finally lifting it up and kissing him on his bare stomach.

"He seemed to me very independent, very serious, but at the same time a boy is always vulnerable. He was very sweet. I'll be honest, I felt an urge to squeeze him like a kitten and that led to the gesture that I made, there was nothing behind it really," he said, smiling.

Okay. Now, we were all very disappointed in the lapse in moral behavior of our former president over the whole Monica thing – just ‘cause it was really dumb – however with respect to his political savvy, his record with increased riches to the U.S. Coffers and improved environmental policies, not to mention the respect held for him (and still held for him) by our allies (who, incidentally, didn’t understand what the big deal was – it was just sex with another consenting adult and had nothing to do with running the country.) Despite that fact, the extreme right in our country, hell, even that drug addict Rush and that morning-after-the-rough-trade-night-before-cocktail-dress-worn-to-morning-interviews Ann Coulter, STILL like to throw out that lapse in judgment as being equivalent to blowing up the Federal Reserve and turning over military secrets to the enemy. Or leaking the name of a CIA operative to the press.

Were we always this screwed up by extreme fundamentalist philosophy and the resulting dirty, hysterical minds that are a byproduct of that philosophy that we live without any hope at all of being a nation evolved in any sort of rationale at all, and as a result, doomed to act out in really weird and inappropriate manners because some of us have so repressed ourselves that we become freaks that act out in bizarre and sometimes harmful ways? Are we a nation that is so repressed by that fundamentalist ideology that issues like the banning of gay marriage take supreme importance over that of correcting the poverty and illiteracy rate of our fellow citizens? Apparently, yup.

And yet I hear that certain areas of the Mid West have taken up swinging again as a way to deal with marital boredom.

Definition for Swinging: To exchange sex partners. Used especially of married couples.

Okay. To each, his and her own. Not my thing. Supposedly Orange County, California is also a hotbed of swinging. Funny – both the Mid West and Orange County are also hotbeds of conservative Republican values. What did I say about repressed people? Makes sense they all voted to ban gay marriage – I’m sure their active imaginations and obsessions with what others are doing in the privacy of their own homes are directly related to their own actions and bizarre desires.

There was an episode of Battlestar Galactica that dealt with this fanaticism over sex and affection. In case you haven’t tuned in to the incredibly savvy and entertaining remake of the dismal 1970’s series (this is actually a remake I will champion), the humans are at war against the Cylons (allegorical fundamentalist terrorists) and at one point, a military tribunal is held to question officers about any knowledge regarding a Cylon agent’s infiltration into their midst. The tribunal is held by an independent prosecutor (shades of Kenneth Starr) who quickly turns the questioning to inexplicable inquiries about the sexual relationship between an officer and that officer’s superior. Nicely written, nicely acted, and in the end, the commander steps forward and tells the independent prosecutor with appropriate disgust, “You have lost your way. This tribunal is over.” Ah, the stuff of fantasies. Too bad we can’t be so evolved and responsible here.

Fundamentalism; be it Christian, Muslim, Mormon, Jewish – it has little or nothing to do with the original philosophies of those religions that the fundamentalist version is loosely based upon and it is important we make the distinction. There are oodles of Christians, Muslims, Mormons, Jews, Buddhists, etc. that embrace the original philosophies of their faiths that all basically boil down to the same thing – let’s all be nice to each other, shall we?

I just wish the fundamentalists wouldn’t spread that nonsense and sick-making weirdness – particularly in the area of a basic human need, which they seem to need to turn into some bizarre carnival nightmare freak-show – to the rest of us to the point that the national wire service feels it crucially important to report about the possible motivations of a leader for picking up a child and kissing – or blowing a rasberry on (can’t tell from the picture) – the stomach of a child. GROW UP PEOPLE.


Blogger Catharine said...

Oh. My. God. Can you believe the amount of press this has gotten? Did you see the videotape? It was the most innocuous, harmless, banal piece of footage, and yet, instead of discussing the war in Iraq, and instead of discussing the elections we're going to be holding in less than four months, we're talking about this youshouldpardontheexpressionbullshit.

Once again, the media is doing everything in its power to pull our attention away from what matters so we're focused on something that doesn't matter a tick.

I'm so mad I could spit. FOCUS, PEOPLE.... FOCUS!!!!


07 July, 2006 11:31  
Blogger R said...

I dunno guys. The news I watch...and having a child. That would have weirded me out as a parent in a BIG WAY. I don't care if Clinton himself did it. Okay..especially if Clinton did it.
I saw this thing on a swingers convention on tee vee. It was way gross. How come swingers never look like Nick and Jessica. They look like Rosanne and Tom or whomever she is with these days. It was ewww to the icky.

07 July, 2006 12:55  
Blogger Cranky Liberal said...

Ahh man giving kids a raspberry is no big deal. I mean had Putin lingered on the kid and started giving him wet Willies (as opposed to slick willies, but hey that's another story) then I'd have a problem with it. It was a bit bizzare, but I mean it IS Vladimir Putin!

07 July, 2006 15:01  

Post a Comment

<< Home