Why are we not going there more?
In a country covering nine time zones and one-sixth of the world’s land mass, stretching from the Pacific to the Baltic, from the Arctic to the Central Asian deserts, from near-medieval villages where people still draw water from wooden wells by hand, through single-factory towns and back to the blue glass and steel skyscrapers of the new Moscow — TV is the only force that can unify, rule and bind the people.
Ignore the fear striking your hearts at words like Russia, rule, bind and Moskow. And read the other parts. About time zones, wooden wells & futuristic New- cities.
Why is nobody I know going there?!
The answer is probably in the article itself. It’s a scary overview of Russian gov’t media control, molding the public through TV & media control with some poignant examples.
Who’d want to go to a country like that?
Pieces like this one remind me of how easily influenced large groups of people are. And remind me that we too are a large body of citizens, gobbling up media & seeing the wider world through a lense that’s shaped by agendas that we have no clue to or most of the time don’t even realize exist. And honestly even if we do realize, it’s hard to step away from it. If all around you is that image, there is no turning away. And even if there is, the cost is casting yourself from the society that does, en masse, subscribe to that image, those views, that idea.
There are people deciding what shows get made & shown everywhere. And a look into this scary Russia might as wel serve as a mirror to what we ourselves are subject to. Even in this very article, by the way.
So why is nobody going there? Because our society isn’t into Russia & likes to portray a scary otherworldly society where everything is bad and different and scary. Even though glimpses of their society, like a recent one of their export products, Masha & Bear, somehow seem to reveal a people much like us, with kids that like being entertained by a very funny little girl.
So next time you think about Russia, don’t think about the propaganda on either side, but realise that they’re all just people (almost quoting Sting here). And try something different. Try to name 10 positive things you know about Russia. And if you don’t manage that, realize that should be easy for a country that big, that many people, all living lives, in nine time zones.. There are, beyond a doubt, 10 things that are good about Russia. And if you can’t make that list? That probably says something about you. About us, because I can’t either.. About the culture we live in.
And wonder with me,
Why am I not traveling to Russia for my next globetrotting trip?!