Putin VS US presidents

 

Blue Steel TM

It’s better if I admit at the onset of this article that I have Putin fever. That way I can say I’m not a strange case, and that it is a real condition. I contracted it soon after getting to know more of ‘the Vlad’. How could a reasonable, mature grown man find himself in this predicament? If you search around the blogosphere, it turns out there are boatloads of web pages dedicated to Putin Fever… Most of them probably penned by women for whom Putin became masturbation fantasy material when his media team started circulating photos of his shirtless cavorting in Siberia, or throwing down some ninja moves at the Dojo.

Well, I’m not in that group, and my admiration sprang from another source. Although, as a rugged and sophisticated man myself, I can appreciate Putin’s persona. Mission accomplished for his PR crew. Certainly, he must have plenty of straight male admirers, and for good reasons.

You see, before Putin started doing spreads for Playgirl, he was the leader of the free world, and before that, he was a KGB super spy who killed men with his Judo chop. And soon, he will become the leader of the free world again, going for a third term in Russia, something which only Franklin Roosevelt accomplished in the US, back when the US was still the leader of the free world. And his mistress is a 10 and can touch the top of her head with her tailbone… So yeah I get a little giddy when I think of what the Vlad gets to do on a regular day.

As stated before, my admiration for Mr Putin started waaaay before I saw his pecs. Having majored in Russian studies, and lived a bit in St. Petersburg, I have a fair notion of the Russian people, their history, and the history of their leadership. You can count on one hand the Russian leaders from the past 200 years who gave a shit about the welfare of their people. Underneath the scary veneer, beyond the mucky cloud cast around him by Russian-style oligopolitics, I see a tough guy who really is looking after the interest of a nation. Not exactly like Gandhi looked after a nation; much more like a game warden looks after a game preserve for the sake of his landlords. And that’s why I forgive him for playing into the historically patriarchal authority structure that has been around since the Czars. Russia would be a drunken barn party 24/7 without it, so if it works, it’s justifiable until improvements can be brought along. Politics in every country have their own sets of rules, and if you are Putin you get accused by the US media of fixing the votes and wrangling power structures in order to reign over the oligarchy. Which is ironic since this happened during the reign of George W., the second member of the Bush Dynasty, who totally legitimately won his election. Admittedly, Russians complain about Putin as well, but they smile inwardly when they do so. At least he, and the Russian oligarch club, took Russia towards a measurably better life (well, if we go by our own economic metric sense). I wish we could say the same about the American ruling class. They aren’t content with robbing us, they also have to poison us, and take our dignity.

Mr Putin is THE leader for Russia right now, and the proof is in the pudding. No one can deny that Russia has made the biggest comeback after collapsing on its big ass twenty five years ago, fifteen of which took place under ‘Vlad’ (and his finger puppet Medvedev). And when it was Yeltsin or that Cherno-something at the helm, Putin ran the KGB… Today, Moscow is the wealthiest city in the world, Russia sits on more natural resources in all categories than any other country, and has the nuclear muscle to throw its balls around unchallenged, when it wants to. The country has a favorable trade situation, is under no risk of being manhandled by the IMF, by the US military, or even CHINA… Russia is the tough guy who needs no one else to get by, and who can’t be fucked with. And while this potential stems from an old foundation of greatness, it was certainly when Putin grabbed the reins that Russia started pulling itself from its bootstraps.

I want to believe that it was Putin who put the oligarchy in check and brought rule of law, but really, that just sort of happened because it worked out best for everyone.  Especially for the oligarchy’s business. Legitimacy brings about a bit of security. That said, I do believe someone else might have gone drunk with power and overboard in robbing the state enterprise. Whereas Vlad maintained a certain level of decency on that tip. It can be argued that Russia has so much natural wealth to sell off that, even under the worst of trickle down Reaganomics, the welfare of Russia could still improve enough to bring its entire population into first world standards of living. I honestly haven’t looked closely at the numbers, I only know that Russia took advantage of the petroleum boom in the past decade and that the median income grew by 500%. Is it a miracle? After all, Russia could only improve since the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, I can attest that it was not all bad for Russians under Communism.

In contrast, consider the US struggling to keep its game together. Consider that we live in an age where cynicism and greed have taken over rule of law even in the countries that proclaim themselves to be leaders of modern civilization. At the fall of the USSR, Russia stood as a giant golden egg chock full of resources, able to hatch a comeback. Russia could have found itself in the predicament of having a tradition of strong autocratic leadership WITH a drunk at the helm, or a simpleton, or someone decidedly EVIL like say, Dick Cheney. Someone ready to make a big pile of cash at the expense of the rest of the Russians trying to build a post-soviet livelihood. Sure the fat cats in Moscow got the lion’s share, but I don’t hate them for it, I might have done the same.

You could head over to Wikipedia for a handful of awesomeness on the Vlad that corroborates everything I wrote about him. In fact, he is accomplished in so many ways that it would require assembling together multiple US presidents to come up with an American equivalent to Vladimir Putin. And sometimes, you even need to look at other cultural icons… Credit must be given to the PR people who, in the Russian tradition, built a very tasty personality cult around this modern leader. Granted they had a lot to work with.

The Vlad is pretty charismatic, in his own icy, Slavic way. At some point, someone realized he was ‘photogenic’ and that it would be a cinch to build Mr Putin’s persona. Without further ado, I present you the many photo op faces of Vladimir Putin, and how the US presidency has fared under similar categories.

Vlad the Destroyer

When it comes to looking scary, Putin has no equal on the world presidency scene. OK, Dick Cheney is much scarier, but he also wasn’t president, so I cannot count him in this comparison. Qaddafi was a good candidate for a while, until he got plastic surgery and started sporting African garb. Now he looks more like a Muppet Show caricature of his former self, so I had to look outside of political figures to find a scary, quiet killer type…

“I’ll be back” Um, no, it’s “Mr. Anderson”…

Agent Smith…. Looking at these two side by side, I can’t decide which one I’d rather be interrogated by. How about this one…

Yeah, he looks like he just burst someone’s heart with his mind during a Duma session. Even Agent Smith can’t do that. Besides, Agent Smith is a fiction character, so I pick Vladimir in this category.

Vlad the Warrior

Heads of state get a lot of empowerment, and validation from military prowess. In fact, the more dictatorial a regime is, the more importance is placed on cultivating a military persona. A politician who was a former soldier or officer has a an undeniable claim of service to the nation, and if you have dictatorial tendencies, your best bet is to keep the military close to you anyways. Most current presidents have not had the chance of fighting in a world war, and thus don’t parade around draped with medals like some of our leaders past. This doesn’t mean they won’t create a photo op to remind us of their duties as protectors of their domain.

Here on right we have have George W. sporting a basket enhancing flight suit, posturing like he just schooled Maverick in advanced dog fighting practice. In contrast, Putin seems like he’s just dropping the kids off at school… In his Tu-160 Blackjack. I admit that Bush is looking the part here, at first glance. Then I remembered he flunked out of the National Guard, and that he probably wouldn’t pass the math required to fly a jet. Putin on the other hand, looks like he’s actually doing something on the console while nonchalantly glancing over to the camera… Heck, he probably flies planes we haven’t heard of yet! That’s how you roll as a former KGB; you’ve done stuff no one alive knows about and you don’t try to make a big deal of it, because you don’t need to… Of course, when you are a spy, according to Ian Fleming, you also get laid big time. I suppose this is a good segway into the next category…

Putin the lover boy

It seems a social norm for powerful men in Russia to adorn themselves with gorgeous, nubile companions half their age. It may come as a surprise to some in the West, but Vladimir Putin is decidedly Russian in this way, having left his wife for a stunning replacement, Alina Kabaeva. I don’t know much of her personality, but a picture is worth a thousand words.

Hmmmm fishnets…

There she is alongside Marilyn Monroe. She’s an Olympic gymnast and a model, at least for this photo. Well it didn’t take long for me to find more than a match in the US equivalent… Hence the picture of Marilyn, which, in my opinion, far outclasses the Russian beauty. Lets all agree here, JFK is probably unrivaled in presidential womanizing, and will retain this honor for as long as Marilyn keeps fascinating mankind like no other woman, decades after her passing. Indeed, she had more charm and personality than she had raw gorgeousness, which boggles the mind. A book of her poems was recently published. She was an artist through and through; not just a sex pot. Case closed here. I still give Putin’s achievement a nod of approval, wondering what kind of athletic shag the two might have, but he doesn’t have the edge in the lover boy category. And for those of you who think of Bill Clinton when I mention ‘womanizer’, I only have one thing to say:

No comment

Yeah… Meanwhile, yet more props must be given to the propaganda machine for sexing up Mr. Putin in ways that only movie stars and rockers can achieve.

 

The Vlad next door…

I don’t know what aspect of statesmanship is expressed here, with Putin rockin’ a K-Fed, thumb ring, and a look that says “I wanna hold you in my strong arms”. Whatever, it works. Fifty years ago this guy would have been James Dean. That’s not holding Vlad back, however.

Putin the Bro’s Bro

There’s always a need for politicians to appear hanging out like any regular Joe. It gives the regular Joes something they can relate to. A veneer of homeboy goodness they can put stock in while at the voting booths… Lets see what we can dig out here…


Ok… Screen left, we have Putin and some other dude sporting speedos and flip flops, playing ping pong at the dacha, after their morning calisthenics and sauna. This clearly does not look like a photo op, but rather something taken before he was a politician, when he was a KGB bro… Meanwhile, on the right, Bill is in his shirt and tie next to some boxer whose name escapes me. I’m not impressed by the slightly contrived chumminess. To continue with the regular guy image, let’s see how presidents handle the outdoors…


What? Two Republican presidents handling a chainsaw, cutting some shrubs? Now I’m really disappointed by the lack of originality. At least Mr Putin likes to prowl around with a high powered rifle, probably tracking down a Chechen partisan he wounded earlier. Now THAT is cool. There’s no way an American president would pose with a rifle, that’s not PC at all.

 

I wonder if elephant was ever served at the White House

Ok, besides this one. Granted, this was during a time when there was no such thing as endangered species or cruelty to animals. Men wore mustaches and Jodhpurs and shot stuff. That’s what they did.

“This is where I punched it”

Now I’m pretty sure this tiger was tranquilized in order to be tagged. Vladimir could not possibly be this callous as to shoot the most beautiful creature on earth for sport. Say it ain’t so! I have a feeling, considering the way they are surrounding the animal, that it’s not dead, but rather, being looked after, cautiously.

Vlad the outdoors man

Continuing with the great outdoors, we clearly see that Putin has a distinct advantage over any of his contemporaries, at least as mediatized by the propaganda machine.

 

“yeah on the catwalk, I strut my little tush…”

Even President Obama is going around shirtless. Methinks Putin started a trend! What? You mean the US is taking stock from Russian yokels? Where is the world going? My favorite, though, is the next picture, with Putin swimming down the icy river… I wonder what he was wearing there, if anything at all…

“I’m not swimming, I’m catching steelheads.”

Even a die hard tree hugger from Humboldt will forgive Putin for prancing around with a hunting rifle, after seeing how close to nature this man really is… He swims in rivers and walks around half naked in the woods.

Putin the athlete

How many times have you seen a US president jogging pitifully? I must say that Obama’s a step up with his ballin’ skills, but here is a category where Putin steals the show. He’s actually a black belt in Judo, and teaches. He must have learned it back when he used martial arts to demolish people. It was more than just an attempt at maintaining some level of fitness, it was a tool of the trade.

 

Putin’ da moves on some fools at the Dojo

Putin the statesman

In our final category, we will look at how regal our heads of state can be, and how they carry on when meeting their foreign counterparts. While there are definitely many, many images to pore over, I retained only a couple because I’m a lazy journalist.


This photo of Putin hamming it up for the camera is my all time favorite. Its so jaw dropping that I can only think of Lincoln’s statue, which is huge, to put alongside here. Still I think I’d rather run into a 20 foot marble Lincoln in a dark alley, than Vladimir Putin in the flesh, if he was mad.

 

“How about them silky hospital gowns Vladdy? I think I’ll keep mine on Air Force One”

Above, there’s little to be said here. Putin showing the love in a big way… I didn’t know Koreans to be very homoerotic, but I stand corrected.

And this concludes our survey of what makes for a bad ass president, at least from the perspective of mediatization. I had to dig through multiple US presidencies to match up the cool factor that Vladimir Putin can dish out. This article took precious time out of my unemployed schedule, but I really wanted you to appreciate Putin the way I appreciate Putin. And if you didn’t pick up a certain amount of jest in this article, please read again.

Raphael

UPDATE: Vlad the entertainer… The man sings and plays the piano!

3 Responses to “Putin VS US presidents”

  1. Outstanding blog post, I’ve marked your website so ideally I’ll see a lot more on this topic in the foreseeable future…

  2. kikta says:

    Dude this article rocks! This is some of the best stuff I have read in a long time- I think you are right… Vlad is Rad! 😉

  3. Matt says:

    I’ll bet the TSA ain’t goin’ around touching Putin’s junk, that’s for damn sure.

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