poemless. a slap in the face of public taste.

October 8, 2009

С Днем Рождения, ВВП!

Filed under: Too Much Information — poemless @ 5:31 PM
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Grief. In the wake of yesterday’s cat-astrophe*, I totally missed the DL’s big day. And here I have been waiting around for a good opportunity to use the word “Vladurday” in a sentence ever since I discovered this strange interwebz phenomenon a few weeks ago.

I don’t know how to say “belatedly” in Russian. Something to do with “поздно” I’m sure – but too lazy to figure it out. I mean, they don’t even use the verb “wish” so I wouldn’t even know where to put an adverb in that sentence.

Anyway, Happy 57th, Mr. Prime Minister.

See, I do have a heart
see more Political Pictures

*Cat-astrophe: when you take your cat to the vet because she lost a tooth and you find out she needs expensive life-saving surgery. One day I will write about the remarkable Bella Picolinakin, about her extraordinary perseverance and sweetness, but not today. Today I’m spent. I’m off to go shoot my koshka full of hallucinogenic painkillers and watch her dance around the room.

Dance, kitty, dance!


  1. I was sufficiently intrigued to ask how a belated happy birthday might sound in Russian. This led to some severe disquiet before I was assured that Russians are never late, and that therefore the phrase does not exist.
    I am also pleased to see that Putin’s heart is made of chanson. This must be why every taxi driver in the known Russian universe has Radio Chanson set to 11.

    Comment by sputnik — October 11, 2009 @ 8:29 AM | Reply

    • Oh, of course, yes, Russians are never late.

      (clears throat)

      But what if you only learn after the fact of someone’s birthday? Or if they are not a close enough acquaintance to warrant a visit or phone call on their birthday, but you see them a few days later and want to be polite? Rambler slovar says: запоздалый = belated.

      Vova has a song in his heart. 😉

      Comment by poemless — October 12, 2009 @ 10:44 AM | Reply

  2. nice, you did not forget to congratulate VVP. I have also birthday soon but normally I forget about it and then my attitude is rather strange – I actually hate my birthday. When somebody reminds me about it I think – another year. Of course in childhood I liked it very much. I was often asking my mother when my birthday would come. I expected a lot of gifts from all relations and friends. She used to say – in October. And I was running to the wall with the daily calendar (the one where each morning one of us had to tear and throw a yesterday’s page to see on the next page what day was). Once (I think when I was 5) I tore the page and found it’s October 1st. Assuming it’s my birthday I started to make unauthorised calls to scores of relatives and friends. That evening crowd of people with hurriedly acquired gifts descended on our house to big surprise of my mother, she did not prepare birthday cake of course because it was too early. I was at the centre of attention and was somewhat shy though I was glad to receive all toys.

    Returning to Putin who is in China right now I think he is fighting for his political survival because of the poor shape of Russian economy. It shrank by 7.5 % this year and apparently Putinomics is not working despite return of oil prices and commodities to decent levels. As usual problems lie in corruption and redtape.

    Comment by FarEasterner — October 12, 2009 @ 2:41 AM | Reply

    • FarEasterner,

      I don’t like my birthdays anymore either (see here:), but that’s a funny story about your childhood memory. … Happy birthday month!

      Putin who is in China right now I think he is fighting for his political survival because of the poor shape of Russian economy. It shrank by 7.5 % this year and apparently Putinomics is not working despite return of oil prices and commodities to decent levels. As usual problems lie in corruption and redtape.

      1. Most of the world has just experienced a significant economic downturn, so I don’t think Russia’s problems can be blamed entirely on “Putinomics.” (Yay for Globalization.) And while the media might report that we are out of the crisis, the average American knows that’s not being felt by anyone currently without a job or trying to make ends meets. Moreover, I am no economist, but our friends on on ET who are agree with me that the problem which caused the global economic crisis has not been fixed or reformed. A bandaid has been put on it and some of the symptoms have been alleviated, but the cause has not been addressed. To add insult to injury, Russia is still recovering from the economic upheavals of the last 20 years.

      2. I don’t know what is meant by “Putinomics.” It seems to imply a certain rigid economic ideology. Yet from what I have observed, Putin takes a “whatever the hell I think will work” approach and lets the ideological liberals and communists scoff and mew. If it means nationalizing industries, I don’t think that was done as much out of ideology as necessity, though ideology might sell it to the masses. Because he is currently on a push to privatize a huge chunk of the economy, again not because he’s a freemarket ideologue, but out of perceived necessity. I have a bit of PTSD from the last privatization push in Russia, so I am not too keen on this at all! But a friend who used to do business in Russia told me he would not dare do it again until he can be sure of longterm stability & a return on his investment. Aside from depending upon oil & gas, I get the impression that a crucial problem in Russia is the need for foreign investment for development but also the need to keep money inside the country, a bit of a catch 22. Or a deal with the devil, as it were.

      3. Of course graft and corruption are huge barriers, but graft and corruption is only a hindrance when it stops working for you, ya know? I didn’t hear investors complaining about it so much in 90’s when they could make a quick buck from it. Plus, this is a problem, IMO, primarily with the judicial and political systems. Graft and corruption can exist in any economic system without the political will to ensure accountability or impartial legal process and engender trust. Trust me – I live in Chicago, IL, which is not being run by Vladimir Putin, last time I checked. Anyway, it is much more difficult to change a culture than enact economic policies.

      4. What is an alternative to Putin’s economic policies that can guarantee domestic growth and stability? Who has one? Does Medvedev? It seems that those with the most vocal alternatives are those who are more concerned with their right to get rich than policies which benefit the greater good. Of course everyone who is in a position to influence policy is also looking out for their own interests. Unlike his opposition, it IS in Putin’s personal interest to make sure Russia eventually succeeds as a result of his policies. He has a legacy at stake.

      5. I heard the Russian economy would shrink by 9%. Is 7.5 % a good sign, or the official number cooked up by the powers that be to try to put a positive spin on things?

      Comment by poemless — October 12, 2009 @ 10:37 AM | Reply

  3. When I first read С Днем Рождения, ВВП!, I thought валовый внутренний продукт.

    Yes, I’m sad.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — October 14, 2009 @ 12:49 AM | Reply

    • Not sad at all. I have been told that’s why he came to be called by his initials.

      For my non-Russian speaking friends: “GDP” = “VVP” in Russian.

      Comment by poemless — October 14, 2009 @ 1:38 PM | Reply

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