Ever since I was a little boy, I knew the answer to the eternal Russian question “Whose fault is it?” It is always the fault of the one who is the biggest, strongest and dumbest. From sunrise till midday of August 8, as far as I am aware – even considering the slim and contradicting pieces of information – this is what the Georgian president Saakashvili was. And then, alas, it all went back to usual. It seems that miracles do not happen after all.

Generally, no one is right in a war. According to some, he who wins is right, other people say, and I agree with that – no one is right, especially not the one who gives out orders to start shooting’.

This war has again brought divisions in the thinking part of the Russian society. On the one side there are people who, despite the wide-ranging hysteria, try to view the events as soberly and as distantly as they can. On the opposite side are those who think that ‘in this difficult moment’ the society simply has to unite in… well – in this! We had enough of them ignoring, humiliating and disrespecting us – they say- forgetting that by ‘respect’ we actually mean fear.

As for the fear that, supposedly, we are causing, it is not about whether this fear is real or not. It is about the perception of a prisoner or a thief, which means that when they are afraid of us – they respect us. Just as those ‘businessmen’ of today all throughout our homeland, as a rule, respect only those whom they fear and whom they depend on.

It is futile to try and explain to them that a great state is not one whose mere mention startles everyone, but one that excites everyone. There is also no use in convincing them that a great state is not one in which there is a lot of expensive gas and racketeering, but one where a policeman treats you with respect and does not try to con you out of money.

It is especially useless to explain that ‘protecting our citizens abroad’, while there is absolutely no protection in the country, is nothing more than rotten cynicism.

Before, while we were poorer and more modest, as soon as something happens we were looking back to see how other countries deal with that. Now it is no longer necessary. What use do we have for other people’s experience when we are making a killing with gas! We will survive – like the character from the movie ‘Zhenitba Balzaminova’ used to say – even if we don’t have any brains. Let them learn from our example if, of course, they are planning on surviving.

But they stubbornly refuse to learn, because by all accounts they forgot what learning is good for. The most stubborn are our ex roommates with whom we used to share our soviet apartment, and this stubbornness is especially irritating to our patriot, who’s got petroleum for brains and whose guts are flatulent with natural gas. The patriot from a militarized gas-station, as he proudly thinks of his own country, enjoys sneering at the poverty of his neighbors, who, since they don’t have liquid fuel, are forced to make do with such pathetic symbols of national identity as baked beans, sardines or bacon.

I would personally try not to tease anyone because of ‘bacon’ or ‘sardines’. Although my gastronomic experience is a little one-sided, I still think that bacon and sardines are a lot tastier and more nutritious then, let’s say – oil, or god forbid – atomic warheads.

But, it’s different strokes for different folks. I could agree that countries that sailed off from the former Soviet Empire sometimes show a hysterical kind of nervousness and hesitancy, which looks stupid and infuriating. But this is no less stupid than and no more infuriating than the nervousness and hesitancy of a little girl who was raped by a drunken stepfather.

“But wasn’t Russia ever raped?” – the nervous patriot would ask. Indeed it was! Many times and with great cynicism. But what do we do if Russian society, with its statistical majority, is always bringing some real or virtual Stalin upon itself, and by doing that it is convincing the world that being raped is something it enjoys tremendously.  And other people, imagine that, don’t like when they are being raped. They just don’t, and that’s it. How do you explain to those fools that being raped is really great?

This Russia, which other peoples and states are running away from, which they would like to leave far behind and as quick as possible, this country that makes them want to fence in from – it is doing a major and useful favor to its neighbors. It makes them hastily rid themselves of the dreadful Soviet complexes, prejudices and superstitions and head towards the modern world.

You wouldn’t like to be like this one here? Well, then:

– Do not holler how you are better than the rest, because you are bigger than the rest

– Do not try to outshout everyone else

– Have the courage to admit to all the foul-ups, big and small, that you made

– Do not be hysterical about every little thing

– Do not claim that white is black and that black is white

– Learn from your own and other people’s mistakes

– Do not lie wherever you go and do not allow others to lie to you

– Learn how to get an objective perception of yourself

– Do not treat your executioners and those who are robbing you as if they were your rescuers

– Do not make enemies wherever you go and by your own deeds

– Be open and generous

– Remember that if you feel at that you are grand and that at the same time everyone is humiliating you, it is called schizophrenia

– Be around honorable, decent and well-mannered people, not around stubborn, mean and deceitful thugs

– Remember that the first and foremost concern of your stat should be to provide you with freedom and human dignity, not to make a reputation for itself as the world’s scarecrow

– Keep in mind that even if someone proves to be an idiot or a scumbag, this doesn’t mean that you should act like an idiot or a scumbag

– Do not think that everyone who wants (or is forced to) be around you is your true friend, and that everyone who wants to be around someone else instantly becomes your enemy or a stooge

– Do not call everyone who disagrees with you a traitor and a mercenary

– Do not allow others to determine your deputies and presidents

However, Russia has other things on its mind: it is once again saving humanity and relentlessly serves as an example which no one should follow. This way the bitter predictions of a Russian citizen by the name of Chaadaev are being completely realized. Glory to Russia.

Стенгазета, 11.09.2008.

Translated by Ivica Pavlović

Peščanik.net, 12.09.2008.