Only very primitive thinkers believe the world around them is merely as it seems at first blush–never giving a thought to what might lie just below the surface. The same thing can be said about people.
As a younger man I was dumbfounded to discover that the most staggeringly handsome fitness trainer at the gym I attended was also the most insecure person I’d ever met. (He isn’t alone where vanity professions are concerned.) At a glance people thought he was what everyone was aspiring to become. But that quick assessment was based solely on observing him by way of surface judgements. Once you scratched that surface, the astute observer quickly learned how much he was filled with self-doubt and weakness–all of it pushed so far down inside that he was the only one who failed to see it. All too often people like the man I just described can be remarkably treacherous. And so it is with the fantasy self-image created by Russian president, Vladimir Putin (or Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин) if you prefer. As to how much of a “hunk” he is…. well that’s totally up for debate…
…Putin is a caricature of the quintessential he-man. So much so that he never misses an opportunity to display his self styled “rugged physique” as if he were some sort of comic book “hero”–or more accurately “villain.”
Before writing this post, I Googled Vladimir Putin and then perused the images section. I found it remarkable as to how many shirtless photos there are of him online throughout his years. There are also lots public relations pictures of him unwittingly performing a super macho parody himself. Frequently he appears for all the world to be nothing more than an old closet queen fooling no one but himself. At the very least, it’s abundantly clear that he gets off on his own narcissism. After all, genuinely heterosexual men don’t feel threatened by gay people or young women–but more about that later on.
Vladimir Putin is so hyper-masculine that it brings a quote from Shakespeare to mind: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” I don’t know if the Russian president’s exhibitionism is as much of a “Put-on” as it’s Putin’s self-designed reinvention to match the personae he naïvely chooses to project. Putin is self-absorbed–not self-aware. That said, the old former KGB spy isn’t to be underestimated when it comes to treachery, unethical conduct and a complete inability to empathize with any person or group whose beliefs don’t match his quasi-macho worldview and lack of sophistication (which he’s gone to great lengths to mask behind a façade of sheer false bravado).
Vladimir Putin will not go down in history as being a particularly sympathetic character. Nor will the “strong man” ever be viewed as enlightened. His failure to grasp how arresting and imprisoning an all-girl rock band (called Pussy Riot) for protesting Putin’s oppressive regime only made him look weak and insecure. But what can you expect? He’s big on posing with dead animals he’s shot and killed–preferably endangered species–Bengal tigers and the like–it brings out the natural born bully in him. It’s a weak man who finds the meek threatening and responds with incarceration–or murder.
Now the pompous Putin has outlawed homosexuality with a penalty of imprisonment–once again failing to comprehend how his actions draw attention to his own transparent latent issues with masculinity. Every single narcissistic shirtless photo-opp makes him look more and more like a Saturday Night Live parody of an aging gay porn star and less and less of a serious world leader. But serious he is. Hopeless in fact and undeniably lethal yet laughable. I’ve long maintained “laugh at the Devil and the Devil will dissolve.”
Putin’s crackdown on the LGBT community and gay sympathizers has already created potential problems for Russia while hosting the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics and the international tourism that comes along with it. World figure skating hopefuls might be well advised to sew on a few less sequins in 2014, not wear spandex, and bring along a prescription for saltpeter. Even Russia’s hosting of the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant caused openly gay co-host, Andy Cohen to bail in protest.
So, in closing, as every little girl in Russia dreams of an idealized version of Vladimir Putin watching over her as she sleeps, WinnieToons has added a Boris–ahem, I mean bonus feature! Do NOT miss Putin’s completely cringe-worthy rendition of the Fats Domino pop classic Blueberry Hill. Equally cringe-worthy are Hollywood intellectual lightweights like Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell clapping along off rhythm. The performance and audience display all the joy and thrill generally associated with a bowel obstruction.
The photo to the right tells you basically everything you need to know about Obama’s Russian counterpart. They’re about as different as Attila the Hun and Gandhi.
Disassociated Press, 8/17/2013