Extremism and Globalization

There is this popular blogger in Russia who does funny reviews of video games. N has been following him since his gaming days. The point of the reviews isn’t really to review but to take a piss out of video games. The blogger uses tons of potty humor, goofy jokes, it’s not high culture but it’s sometimes funny.

Recently this blogger was given an 18-month jail sentence (suspended) for extremism because he made a joke about the Koran. “Ha, ha, I went to a public toilet, there was no toilet paper, so I used this Koran thing to wipe my ass.” The joke’s hardly funny but a jail sentence?

I’m sharing this story because there is a deep misunderstanding in the US of what Putin is and what he stands for. It’s this kind of stuff that makes Russian nationalists detest him. Putin is a globalizing imperialist of the first order. He’s not anti-globalization. He’s anti-US-led-globalization.

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30 thoughts on “Extremism and Globalization”

    1. Fuck, I got a free copy of the game and was going to sell it. And now I feel bad.

      N doesn’t play any more. The only gamer here now is me and I only like Candy Crush Saga.

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      1. And yes, Putin is now ultra religious. Remember how he bamboozled the idiot Bush 2 with a sob story about the cross he inherited from his mommy and wore under his clothes while he beat up dissidents as a KGB agent?

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        1. And yes, Putin is now ultra religious. Remember how he bamboozled the idiot Bush 2 with a sob story about the cross he inherited from his mommy and wore under his clothes while he beat up dissidents as a KGB agent?

          That doesn’t usually translate into slapping jail sentences on people for insulting religions other than Christianity.

          The censor boards in India will sometimes ban things if they think it’s going to result in mass rioting and communal unrest.

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          1. He has a growing Muslim population with massive immigration from Muslim countries being encouraged to the chagrin of the Russian nationalists. He’s refusing to establish visas for migrants from these countries and the nationalists are having fits. But the “ethnic Russian” population is plummeting and there’s really no other option. And nobody else wants to come. Except for the Chinese but that’s worse. Not for me because I love the Chinese but for Putin.

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  1. I don’t know why this is in the style section.

    Once again, Nashville faces horrific mass shooting involving country music fans

    For the second time in 13 months, Nashville woke up to the news of a deadly mass shooting that involved country music fans.

    On Wednesday night, a gunman shot and killed 12 people inside Borderline Bar and Grill, a country music bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif., authorities said. Anywhere from eight to 15 patrons were also injured, according to Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean, who said the suspect’s motive is still unclear. One of the victims was Sgt. Ron Helus of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, who was killed when he entered the venue after responding to 911 calls.

    The Los Angeles-area bar, near Pepperdine University and California Lutheran University, was hosting its weekly 18-and-older College Country Night, which offered line-dancing lessons. On its website, Borderline is described as “Ventura County’s largest country dance hall and live music venue . . . a haven for country line dancing folks of all ages.”

    Reports soon emerged that some at Borderline had survived the massacre at the Route 91 Harvest festival in October 2017, when a gunman killed 58 and injured hundreds more in the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.

    “I was at the Las Vegas Route 91 mass shooting, as well as probably 50 or 60 others who were in the building at the same time as me tonight,” witness Nicholas Champion told CBS News. “It’s a big thing for us. We all are a big family, and unfortunately, this family got hit twice.”

    David Anderson, a 23-year-old from Newbury Park, attended the Route 91 festival and was on the side of the stage closest to the Mandalay Bay hotel as the shooting began. When he spotted the gunman at Borderline, he knew exactly what was about to happen.

    Anderson threw his female friend behind the bar and laid on top of her. After firing about 10 to 15 rounds, the shooter stopped; Anderson saw an opportunity, grabbed his friend and ran toward the patio.

    Anderson said numerous Borderline regulars were also at Route 91 and would wear their “Vegas Strong” shirts to the bar.

    “It was this country strong family that it was just a regular thing and we were there to have fun and have a good time,” he said. “It’s a place that you go to have fun and you make memories and this frickin’ ruined it, sadly.”

    Country music prides itself on being the most accessible and familial genre, where superstars are expected to treat fans like friends. Many Nashville artists, several of whom previously performed at the venue, posted condolences on social media as soon as they saw the news on Thursday morning….

    Next Wednesday, Paisley and Carrie Underwood will host the Country Music Association Awards on ABC, the format’s biggest night in the national spotlight. Last year, the Las Vegas shooting occurred a month before the CMAs. It was uncomfortable timing for some in the genre, suddenly linked to the contentious issue of gun control — in a town where artists are encouraged to keep their political beliefs silent, so as not to alienate fans.

    The pressure grew so intense that days before the show, the CMAs told reporters that their credentials could be revoked if they asked about guns or politics on the red carpet. After much criticism (including from Paisley, who proclaimed the media guidelines “ridiculous and unfair”), the CMAs apologized and rescinded the ban. It was a stark reminder of how much people in the industry dislike discussing current events.

    “The issue as a country artist is you feel like if you say something wrong, your audience is going to turn on you,” Bobby Bones, the syndicated country morning radio host, told The Washington Post last year. “And their publicists have all said, ‘Don’t talk about it. Just don’t talk about it.’ ”…

    Any statement related to guns is considered controversial, as the National Rifle Association has close ties to the industry. But earlier this year, after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., Rolling Stone reported that NRA Country, the “lifestyle arm” of the NRA, revamped its website and removed all country singers previously affiliated with the brand.

    And in the past year, a few country artists have become more open about their beliefs. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill called for stricter gun control. Maryland natives Brothers Osborne played a Democratic fundraiser for Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean. In a Rolling Stone cover story, Eric Church, a headliner at the Route 91 Harvest festival, said he knew he would get backlash for criticizing the NRA, and he didn’t care. “I blame the lobbyists. And the biggest in the gun world is the NRA,” he said.

    On Thursday, in the wake of the Thousand Oaks shooting, most country singers offered their sympathies and prayers without mentioning anything political — except for a few who have already been outspoken. Margo Price posted a photo of herself wearing a pin that said “We can end gun violence.”

    Roseanne Cash, who wrote an op-ed last year calling for country singers to “stand up” to the NRA, also weighed in. “12 killed, including the ‘good guy with a gun’, plus survivors of Las Vegas shooting,” she tweeted. “We can’t go on like this. I don’t want to hear about thoughts and prayers. I want #GunControlNow.”…

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  2. I think this idiot gamer blogger should get a real jail sentence for promoting hatred. I’m not a fan of Putin but if we had something like this in this country, I wouldn’t mind that in the least.

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            1. I suspect that, apart from his idea of prestige, he cares for that territory only from the viewpoint of how long does it take the missile to fly over it. The territry could be completely empty, as long as he controls it.

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              1. My assumption is that Putin only cares about Donbass because he thinks Ukrainians do. If Ukraine said tomorrow “Take it that worthless land and the worthless people on it! They’re your problem now!” He’d withdraw so fast you’d think his ass had grown wheels…

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              2. There is no nation without pride. Everybody needs to be proud of their country. But Russians are proud of the strangest things. The size (which sounds vaguely Freudian), the frankly ugly and impoverished language with limited vocabulary, and the middling literature.

                Well, hey, Ukrainians take pride in how shitty everything always is, so that isn’t much better, so who am I to criticize.

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  3. \ Except for the Chinese but that’s worse. Not for me because I love the Chinese but for Putin.

    How are Muslims better than Chinese for Putin?

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    1. The Chinese have a strong country that stands behind me and that wants to own parts of the Russian territory. The Tajiks and the Kyrgyz don’t.

      Southern Siberia is already Chinese in some of its parts, and the Russians are terrified of losing Siberia to China.

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      1. It’s funny, though, because the Chinese make very good, stable, productive immigrants in Russia. While the immigrants from the Muslim former republics don’t fit in easily and don’t want to stay. They are mostly in Russia to make money and send home. It’s very rare for them to buy or want to buy housing in Russia, for instance, or to work in anything that isn’t underpaid manual labor. While Chinese immigrants build housing and start businesses. But they are seen as agents of a strong nation-state, so that goes against them.

        Russia’s fear of the Chinese – that, honestly, borders on pathological – is foundational for the country’s politics but it never gets discussed in the West. I understand they are scared of losing Siberia, but what’s the point of even having Siberia if it just sits there empty of population and doing nothing? The only areas of Siberia that have decent living conditions are the ones where the Chinese came and built things up and started businesses. Who’s to blame if in the centuries of controlling Siberia Russians haven’t managed to do anything with it? If you have a huge, uninhabited tract of land and people want to come and do something with it in spite of the climate, then good luck stopping that process. Especially since there is and can be no actual border because it will take pretty much the entire “ethnic Russian” population of Siberia to guard it.

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        1. I also want to mention that the preference for transient migrants over the stable ones who want to stay permanently isn’t just a Russian thing. In the US, everybody who is pro-immigrant is only interested in defending the transient migrants and completely uninterested in those who have severed roots with home countries and want to stay.

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          1. And just one more thing (I’m doing a Columbo impression today). I know many immigrants from Hispanic countries who are college professors, teachers, or business owners. Their children – who are of all kinds of ages – don’t speak a word of Spanish and are aggressively uninterested in the language or the culture. These are the children of the immigrants who came to stay and contribute. Even when parents promote learning the language, what the children hear is the message of, “we are Americans now, this is our culture, we are from here and not back there.” I have a feeling most people have no understanding and no knowledge of the enormous difference between these folks and the immigrants who come because of their obligations to those who stayed back home. I don’t think this latter group should be harassed or made to suffer in any way. But there needs to be an understanding that immigrants are not a monolithic group with identical interests.

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            1. ” immigrants are not a monolithic group with identical interests.”

              That’s why I’m interested in a typology of (im)migrants, functional policy can only come from understanding who’s coming and why but most peopel are uninterested (sometimes aggressively so) in not wanting to know this….

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            2. I can’t speak to Hispanic immigrants’ children personally, but it would seem to me that being aggressively uninterested in speaking Spanish is part of assimilation. Just based off people who decide I must be Hispanic, people get super weird when they try to speak to me. And that’s before I open my mouth to say anything. I can only imagine being the recipient of all these weird aggressive responses all of my young life and having Spanish speaking parents.

              Marco Rubio speaks fluent Spanish but he doesn’t go around parading this fact in front of Anglo audiences. Contrast that with Tim Kaine’s first year Spanish or Jeb’s fluency or Beto.

              I can only say I was super uninterested in corresponding with a university chaplain who tried to sign a letter in Kannada to impress me and had zero interest in doing a study abroad semester in my grandparents’ hometown for multiple reasons.

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        2. “it never gets discussed in the West”

          Is it discussed openly in Russia in terms of policy? Some years ago I spoke with a Polish student who’d spent a year in Irkutsk which, he told me was full of Chinese, while I notice the English wikipedia page doesn’t mention them at all and the “Chinese in Russia” page lists a ridiculously low number that I’m sure no one can possibly believe….

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          1. Yes. And it has been discussed for at least 20 years. They do conceal the truth from the general public in terms of, for instance, the land concessions Putin is giving to the Chinese. He does it because he has no choice but the public isn’t allowed to know.

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        3. Who’s to blame if in the centuries of controlling Siberia Russians haven’t managed to do anything with it?
          I thought the point of Siberia historically for Russians was a place to send dissidents and undesirables to do hard manual labor and to freeze to death? That would obviate making living conditions decent.

          But doesn’t Siberia have rich natural resources? I’m surprised
          mining boom towns drilling everything in sight haven’t sprung up (like in North Dakota) or something like the Alaska Permanent Fund hasn’t been set up.

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          1. “I’m surprised mining boom towns drilling everything in sight haven’t sprung up ”

            Two things: Russians don’t have much of a work ethic (for most of their history working hard when not forced to was a ticket to an early grave and not a way to get ahead). A lot of effort in the early Soviet Union was about trying to create a work ethic with things like the stakhanovite system but it didn’t last long.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stakhanovite_movement
            Also Russia doesn’t have western style property rights so there’s no incentive for longterm investments (needed for boomtowns to exist). The goal is to get access from the government and/or just steal as much as possible by whatever means possible and then paying off people after the fact.
            For Russians with the means, the economy isn’t something to build up, it’s something to loot (and then store the money somewhere else, like the UK which is famously tolerant of Russian blood money)

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