Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Na zda-ró-vye Nyet
Soviet Russia attempted three times to curtail alcohol consumption. The last temperance movement was in 1985-1987 under Mikhail Gorbachev. Vodka and other spirits were rationed throughout the USSR and public drunkenness was punished by prison time. The loss of tax revenue was in the hundreds of billions of rubles and this economic shortfall led to the collapse of the Soviet Empire. Even Josef Stalin never dared to ban vodka and ex- KGB Boris Putin has followed the Red Tsar's lead. There is only one ruler in Russia and that is the man with the bottle of vodka. Russian don't toast each other with Na Zdorov'ye! They prefer a lengthy personal toast, but I will drink no more Russian vodka. Not since Putin's government has declared homosexuality a sin. I will toast Russia with other vodka, raising my glass and shouting, "Poshel na khuy." Simply translated as 'fuck you'. And I say the same to the New York Times, for last week in the Op-Ed pages the happily married with three kids Mark Lawrence Schrad, an assistant professor of political science at Villanova University, declared that the gay boycott on Russian vodka would have no effect on the treament of gays and lesbians in Russia. Asst. Professor Schrad has a website; http://www.vodkapolitics.com/Welcome.html He does not look like a drinker, but his NY Times article argued that a vodka boycott will not help gays in Russia, since 'polls estimate that two-thirds of Russians consider homosexuality unacceptable under any circumstance'. Asst. Professor Schrad avoided this issue to launch into a lengthy treatise of his expertise; the politics of vodka before defending the continued drinking of Stolichnaya by writing 'most political scientists agree that sanctions rarely bring about desired results and can undermine the effectiveness and credibility of domestic opposition groups' and that the impact of an international boycott wouldn't effect the Russian economy. Firstly vodka sales to the West amount to hundreds of billions and Asst. Professor Schrad rightly stated that the vodka conglomerates were unhappy with Putin's decision to repress gays and lesbians, but the tax revenue from vodka helped support the Putin regime ( in Soviet times it was 25% of the tax revenue ). Secondly boycotts work. Maybe slowly, but doing nothing accomplishes nothing. So once more the New York Times gets a nice 'fuck you' from me. They only care about the rich. And the people who pay their ads like Putin likes vodka revenue. It's all the fucking same. 'Poshel na khuy' or 'fuck you'.