27 March 2014

A queue of joiners on Putin's porch is growing

Of course, most of us are joking about Vladimir Vladimirovich and his carefully nurtured and hitherto carefully concealed plans for restoration of the great empire. The jokes could come in different form and size, like that one, already published:

"How is our Alaska doing there?", says the caption.

Alaskans, however, being a nice bunch of folks, besides being hungry for entertainment, picked that joke up:
Moscow’s annexation of Crimea was condemned worldwide, but some people in Alaska apparently are yearning for the days when they, too, were part of Mother Russia.

A petition on the White House website created by “S.V.” of Anchorage is calling on Alaskans and others to "vote" for Alaska to secede from the U.S. and become a part of Russia.
This petition is, almost surely, a joke (more about jokes later). Another call for joining the growing empire came from a totally unexpected direction: so called Palestinian Information (yeah, sure...) Center - a Hamas mouthpiece - published an article in Russian (I couldn't find an English version, so to save some time I have used a close enough report from Voice of Russia):
According to online reports, the treaty on Crimea being accepted into Russia has prompted the setting up of an initiative group that will draw up a proposal for the Palestinian enclave in Israel to hold a referendum on joining the Russian Federation, too. This is reported by the Russian-language version of the Palestinian Information Center.

The initiative group comprises Russian nationals making their home in Gaza. These are mostly Russian women, totaling some 50,000, who have married Palestinian men but have retained their Russian passports, the report says.

The report quotes a group member as saying that "Moscow has said it will defend Russians anywhere in the world. Meanwhile, we live in a place where Israel has threatened our lives and those of our children for years on end. But if the Gaza Strip joined Russia, we would also have a well-protected border, up-to-date weapons, perhaps, even nuclear weapons [sic]. This would make Israel and Egypt speak with Palestinians differently, the activists feel.

They are absolutely unperturbed by the fact that Russia is far away from Gaza. They point out that Gibraltar or the Falkland Islands are also far away from the UK. The activists have no doubt about the outcome of this kind of referendum, the Information Centre points out.
Etc. Of course, you may say, this is a joke too. Indeed, as one commenter succinctly expressed his attitude to the story elsewhere:
That would be interesting. Although I don't see Putin tolerating this "Allah" fellow for very long.
Yes, jokes are cool and hopefully will last us for years to come. However, let's not forget that there's a grain of truth in every joke. I bet that patricians in old Rome used to joke about the small and disorganized barbarian gangs. Just as well-to-do XX century Germans used to joke about that small man with a funny mustache. Etc. Etc. Etc.