Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ukraine most certainly does have talent

In case you haven't seen it yet, you're in for a real treat. Kseniya Simonova, sand-painter and the winner of Ukraine's national talent show. Simonova's extraordinary paintings tell the story of the Soviet Union's Great Patriotic War- in which almost 30m Soviet citizens died at the hands of the Nazis- a historical fact which neocon propagandists would like us to forget.

Can you imagine such a high quality act appearing on 'Britain's Got Talent'? No, me neither. Which demonstrates that even twenty years on from the fall of the Berlin Wall, cultural standards in the former socialist countries of eastern europe are still much higher than in the dumbed-down west.

Hat tip: The First Post.


Bearded Socialist said...

a friend of mine is a burlesque performer who has been asked time and again to go on Britain's Got Talent and has refused every time.
I agree it would be nice if someone like the painter won, but i don't think it fits Simon Cowell's model

Anonymous said...

You could also add that the Neocons are former Communists and followers of Leon Trotsky founder of the Red Army who killed millions of Russians.

What’s worst is that they are the forefront of dismantling states via Islamic proxy as potential geo-political rivals first Yugoslavia and the Serbs , then Russia, Central Asia and China so they can control Eurasian oil and gas for future EU consumption from a future disintegrated Balkanised Russia.
Although it was not there idea that honour goes to Mr Brezinski and his family clan who have been pushing policy against Russia since 89 which George Soros which he was bold enough to outline in his 97 book The Grand Chessboard.

Noticed how nearly all of Obamas staff appointees were involved in anti Serb crusade in the Balkans with Hoolbroke being in charge of US Af-Pak policy.

If you thought the Neocons were bad under Bush wait until you see Brezinski under Obama.,-Madrassas,-HeroinTerrorism

Robin Carmody said...

Wonderful, powerful stuff. Proof indeed.

It reminds me in style of the Eastern European animations which used to fill time in the afternoons on Channel 4 before the days of Deal or No Deal. I wonder if anything of that ilk is still produced?

jock mctrousers said...

Call it, if you like ( I do, but just for a laugh) an incidence of what the great snake-oil salesman Jung called 'synchronicity', but here I am seething about something I heard on the Today (BBC Radio 4 for foreigners) programme about Ukraine, and here I find a piece on Ukraine which gives me a reasonable excuse to vent my spleen. Even more so, I find a piece by one 'jack' which seems to be another example of the mindset about which I seethe - ' Trotsky founder of the Red Army who killed millions of Russians'. Unless, jack meant to type 'Germans' I assume that this is an example of the 'faith-based' approach to Soviet history which, in yet another example of SYNCHRONICITY, the wonderful ( with some reservations ) Israel Shamir deliciously demolishes - far more articulately than I could hope to - in the most recent essay on his site " America Sees Red" :

" In the battle of Stalingrad, I know which side I am on. ... Be on the look out for the telling word “hordes”. For neocons, there are Muslim hordes, for the white-nationalists, these are Russian hordes, as in Patrick Buchanan: “By May 1945, Red Army hordes occupied all the great capitals of Central Europe: Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Berlin”. He forgot to explain that this happened because the people of these great capitals had decided to try their luck in Moscow under Hitler’s banners ..."

Now, I am no great admirer of Trotsky - there is plenty to accuse him of justifiably, but jack seems (excuse me if I am wrong) to be re-stating the ludicrous claim (popular on the far-right) that Trotsky was a leader of a JEWISH CONSPIRACY to wipe out Russian Christians, and he DID exterminate more of them than Hitler killed jews? Shamir again puts it nicely:

" Nobody, even Stalin, could have killed one hundred million people out of one hundred sixty million, won a war and yet found himself with two hundred fifty million at the end of it. "

I have some time for those who claim that the official 'Holocaust' story is full of holes, but not when it's used as an excuse to justify nazism by claiming that communism was worse - which is a message that is very popular not just with the far-right but with our ruling classes (arguably the furthest right, admittedly). And so to my point: this morning the Today programme had a small feature on a new play by the Royal Shakespeare Company (I think) about the Ukraine famine, which was introduced with something like " widely believed to have been deliberately engineered... killed 10 million... way outstripping Hitler..."

I am no longer disappointed to hear stuff like this on the BBC, but still it infuriates me. Anyway, jack, the rest of your post was very good, so I think maybe you have just let some assumptions about soviet Russia 'slip in under your radar' as it were. Let me recommend to you to read the up-to-date scholarship based on the archives briefly available under Gorbachev and Yeltsin: J. Arch Getty (sometimes with others) on penal executions in the soviet regime; and Mark Tauger (most), and also Davies and Wheatcroft, on the Ukraine famine. The evidence so far only justifies (and this is still a lot) c750,000 executions between 1929 and 1953, and this may (this is still not clear) include cossacks who had fought for the nazis. There is NO serious scholar now who believes that the Ukraine famine was deliberate, and the deaths were hugely exaggerated by the appalling Robert Conquest.

jock mctrousers said...

Have to admit I hadn't watched the clip when I placed my last comment. That is truly astonishing - almost magic. Rolf Harris meets Picasso, except that analogy cheapens it. In defence of the West though, there are some black barbers who can do drawings like that as quick as that in a haircut - I suppose they'd have to use a succession of heads to tell a story, though.

Neil Clark said...

thanks for the comments.
Robin: sadly, eastern europe's film and tv industries have been in real decline since the coming of 'free market' twenty years ago.
I don't know if you saw it but on his blog 'The Olching Blog' , Olching has a great recent post on eastern european cinema.

Robin Carmody said...

Must read that. I was aware that Eastern European film industries had declined since shock therapy, but even if they *were* still doing the sort of thing I mentioned - and other, greater, things as well - you can be sure that British TV as it is today would not let us hear about it.

Neil Clark said...

Hi Robin,
here's the link:

Robin Carmody said...

Good stuff. I should watch more films (wherever they are from, but especially our nearest *geographical* neighbours).

It's a strange thing - with DVD, we have far better access to more films from more places than we ever have before, yet because of the closing of the doors on BBC2 etc. it seems somehow that bit less public, that less possible that knowledge might widen.

Neil Clark said...

Robin: yes, I can remember when BBC2 regularly showed foreign films on Saturday evenings. As I said in a piece i wrote for the Guardian last year, we were actually far more open to European cultural influences (from both eastern and western europe) in the 60s and 70s than we are in the age of turbo-globalisation.

Robin Carmody said...

Although I did sympathise with a good many of the points 'slapheads anonymous' made in that thread about DVD and ease of access *if you want these things* etc. I don't think he understood the full picture - neoliberal sympathisers never do - but he came as close as anyone has in the last couple of years to convincing me that my perspective may also not be the full one.

But then I remember The Moomins, and realise anew why his perspective - knowledgeable of things that *have* improved though it is - is not the full one either.

Anonymous said...

Just to back up what Neil Clark said, the way the US film industry steamrollers the indigenous film industries of other countries is insidious. First the films are released into the US domestic market, which is so large they make big profits very quickly. Them they are almost given away to broadcasters in other countries, which undercuts the indigenous industries. Then, when the competiton is gone, the US can dominate the global market and raise the prices.

The 'free market' in all its glory.

- questionnaire

Robin Carmody said...


The logical conclusion of the unregulated market economy is oligopoly.