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The White Ribbon, Symbol of Moral Hygiene

Posted 22/12/2011

By Inna Rogatchi 
© Inna Rogatchi, 2011

First published in The BALTIC TIMES, December 22, 2011


The world has seen that the Russian post-electoral protests against massive, dominating cheating have been spread truly widely: there were 130 Russian cities where people protested in what's known as the biggest démarche in modern Russian history, with many thousands joining them all over the globe, from Kazakhstan to Ukraine, and from Tokyo to Berlin.

More protests are scheduled and planned now for the end of December, as well. What is important is that the liberal, thinking, massive Russian opposition is widening gradually now, and is showing that a quality change has occurred in the consciousness among a big part of Russian society. What is amusing is that the current leadership, and those who opted to support them, still are simultaneously pretending to be 'deaf and blind.'

The recent protests in Russia were so massive that the authorities did not dare use force, but are trying to ridicule the will of their citizens, doing it rather tastelessly and completely self-revealingly. Many of the people protesting were - and still are - wearing a white ribbon, a sign picked up to express the people's indignation on ongoing super-cheating and contempt towards them by their leaders, who seem to try to live still in somewhat paralleled reality.

The recently registered new-old candidate for the old-new president, Mr. Putin, just had to change his usual mode of behaviour a bit, and squeezed out, something seemingly uneasy for him, hints for some would-be very cosmetic changes in the Russian political system during his recent televised marathon show responding to public questions. But he would not be himself if he would not let out some of the gems of his thinking there, as well. Trying to be funny, Mr. Candidate, and what's more, a long-time leader of a huge country, was jiggling about 'some contraceptives' that 'some people decided to now wear, for some reason,' he said.

Those obviously badly read people at the top of the Russian power pyramid do not even realize how pathetic they look to the outside world. They seemingly have no idea about The White Ribbon movie, neither do they suppose to have a clue about movie director Michael Haneke, who created that chilling classic of our time, telling in detail and slow motion the very process of the origination of Nazism, from what seemed to be a huge, grey swamp of routine. Only the truly blind cannot realize yet another symbolism of that white ribbon – the people's healthy desire for cleanness.

There is a paradoxical situation nowadays in the Russian social psyche which indicates that a substantial part of that society is tired and simply unwilling to live in dirt, and be grey, while their current leaders seemingly both do not want, and are unable to distinguish between, a symbol of cleanness and a contraceptive. One of the parties of this unequal dialogue seems to suffer a basic psychological problem with the perception of reality. And the objective picture of the events in Russia and its development does demonstrate very clearly that the problem lies definitely not with the people, but with their current leaders.

There were over 40,000 people registered to participate in the new, massive protest scheduled for December 24 in Moscow, a week before the demonstration of human will. There are over 1,000 very famous and talented Russian actors, directors, writers, producers, musicians who have addressed their audience to join them in the protests against a regime that despises its citizens. Interestingly, many of those star signatories are children of famous culture 'nomenclatura' members who preferred to join the ruling – so far – elite. The list is growing every day.

There are the best Russian movie directors who are filming over 50 YouTube addresses of the most popular Russian intellectuals, for the country's population, with a simple message: "Do join us in the protests," with an explanation of the personal reasoning of their choice. The Russian people are truly talented and inventive, so their current greyish leaders can bet on more surprises in the forms and ways of the people's ongoing daily protest. Just a bit of insight into the alphabet of modern symbolism, for those who are so enthusiastically missing the point: the White Ribbon is a widely known symbol of moral hygiene.

December 22, 2011 
Turku, Finland 
© Inna Rogatchi, 2011

INNA ROGATCHI is the writer and the president of The Rogatchi Foundation. Her new book on modern history, The Human Connection, is due to be released in 2013.

First published in The BALTIC TIMES, December 22, 2011

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