Wednesday, March 18, 2015

So, Where was Putin ?

Russian President Vladimir Putin.(Reuters / Anatoly Maltsev)
Looks pretty good for a dead man

The media spent a whole weekend following the Putin ‘story’ and then discovered it wasn’t news at all. And some say journalism is dead?
Did he have a lost weekend ? Most of us have had them. Arrive at the pub Friday after work and before you know it, it’s Monday morning. Sometimes, your wallet could be missing, or a tooth. Maybe you met the – temporary – love of your life Saturday night and lost her by Sunday.
 Past the age of 30, it’s more lost hopes than lost weekends that bother one. By 60, loss of memory is a more likely affliction, allowing you to experience lost weekends without even leaving home.
At 62, it’s fair to say that Vladimir Putin is hardly in the first flush of youth. While a very fit man for his age, one doubts that three-day long benders are his forte. However, in the increasingly nutty world of Western Media ‘Kremlinologists'... the Russian President apparently had a weekend that’d make the cast of  'Hangover' blush. Other international journalists speculated he died, became a father, was removed forcibly, a victim of a conspiracy or was sick.
So, we now know: Putin died on Thursday. Following the shock of his sudden death, he then fathered a child on Friday, in Switzerland. Surely overjoyed at fatherhood and recovering from his death, his weekend took a turn for the worse on Saturday when he was overthrown in a military coup – on top of having had a fit of aggressive flu.
No wonder so many people were surprised by how well he looked on Monday morning, considering what he had been through.
Of course, neocons have instigated similar fantasies before. In 2009, false rumors that Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran was dead spread like wildfire around the web.
So where was Putin? I have no idea. Also, given the peculiarities of Russian politics and the traditions of the country, speculation is futile. Russia is not America. Politicians don't share their medical histories or personal lives with the media in the manner that has become almost compulsory in other countries. Anyway, if he really was sick, why the surprise? A 62-year-old man picking up the flu is hardly unusual. Especially at a time of year when the harsh Russian winter transforms into spring. It remains a mystery and proves more than ever you can't believe what you read in the papers, hear on TV or see on Twtter.

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