Just Another Day

"Any idiot can handle a crisis, it's day to day living that wears you out." - Chekhov

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Sad Sights (Sites)

I went out for a walk with my little boy yesterday up to and around Rodina Mat. While I am happy with the progress being made in Ukraine to a normalized free market economy, howevered stuttered at times, it was distressing to see the big billboard along the road which winds around this park dedicated to memorializing the victory in WWII. It wasn't the billboard itself that is the problem but the sponsor: someone calling themselves Adam Smith Advertising. Now, I am not sure whether they are affiliated with the Adam Smith Institute but, if they aren 't already here, I am sure those people are lurking somewhere ready to try to force their fantasies on another country. Fortunately, I think Ukraine is sophisticated enough, with enough educated people, to fend off the pressures of these nitwits but time will tell. Another sad scene was when my boy and I walked around the "eternal" flame dedicated to the heroes of WWII. That flame long ago was doused because the country couldn't afford the gas to keep it burning. The country that was arguably more ravaged by this conflict than any other, especially as it was a springboard to recovery and relative modernity after Stalin's evil murder (or was everything that right-wing nut did evil?) of up to 10 million Ukrianians.

Of course, walking back past the big monastery near our home, which could be said to be one of the national symbols of Ukraine, I saw the usual sad sight of so many people who have been sucked into the religious resurgence here heading into the monstery to pray, kiss dead saints, etc. As anyone knows me understands, I think all religion is stupid, backwards, and on the same logical plane with things like astrological and the reading of tea leaves, but the Orthodox church is more backward than most in its reverance for mysticism, rejection of modernity and culture of martyrdom.