29 September 2005

Theory in practice

First I nearly get killed by a giant airborne black backpack, which fell within two feet of me from the fifth floor of a building I walked past, due to someone's exotic eviction techniques. (*This reminded me of dear Winnipeg and its lengthy True Frostbitten Collosal Prairie Icicles Falling Off Roofs season and my vast expertise in this somewhat related field. If Zeus were Canadian, he'd certainly prefer those over lightning bolts.)

Then I end up working into wee hours of morning oooooooooooooovertime on a project that'll surely result in dreams of Swan Lake. Only instead of youthful ballerinas gracefully mastering the stage, I shall picture a colorful array of logos for various yellow pages companies. It is time to test the theory....

27 September 2005

September 26th, 2005

I illustrated today at work. Drew by hand with further additions in Illustrator and Photoshop. For nearly seven hours. Cartoons. CARTOONS!!

Our office had a single pencil in its possession. And no pencil sharpner. I used an exacto knife, risking serious injury. And a red ink pen instead of a black one. I barely remembered the necessity of nourishment, while everyone else spent at least an hour on choosing a takeout location, deciding on and consuming the edible time-killers and work-avoiders. Whether this invitation-in-progress ends up being used is irrelevant.

Cue a daunting reminder of how much happier I'd be if I were to do this all the time.

Of course, I don't think that the world is ready for a Nina frolicking with bunnies in the fields of daisies and would much rather deal with the expected, if not mandatory "piss off, motherfucker" demeanor. So perhaps a limit of half a dozen colors, a single font, and software that leads much to be desired, shouldn't be too unwelcome after all.

16 September 2005

Black, gold, white

In between projects at work I accidentally and shockingly came across a Russian Orthodox patriotic right-wing website: http://www.pravaya.ru/. Shockingly in a "pleasantly surprised" type of way. Already found a ton of things of interest - from a nice book review of a Russian translation of a Barthes publication to links to other patriotic sites of similar nature. For example: http://www.fap.ru/ - discussions of famous Russian battle anniversaries, like the upcoming Kulikovo, and histories of specific icons, Russian patriotic resources: http://www.rossija.info/index.html or the Russian Imperial Movement: http://www.rus-imperia.com/ (These are the true Russian colors!)

Conservative, patriotic, AND Orthodox? Sign me up!

Considering that I've spent the past few weeks closely following various up-and-coming unfortunately left-wing young politicians out of sheer curiosity, I'm extremely pleased that I've located so much current likemindedness on the same day.

01 September 2005

Off-color commentary on color "revolutions"?

Was reading a not-too-reputable (in my view) ePublication utro.ru today and came across an interview with political scientist Mikhail Leont'ev, in which he made a number of curious comments in regards to the post-Soviet space and consequently the countries that had hosted recent "color revolutions", the Baltics, as well as the relatively "new" states of central Europe such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland "to a certain extent". Interestingly, he classified most as artificial and having no basis for existence other than the self-establishment of the new nationalistically-minded elites. He used Kievan "dislike" of Russia as such an example and located the foundation for this type of nationalism in, and I quote, "the dumb contrasting of themselves to Russia. After all, they have nothing else!"

Furthermore, Leont'ev highlighted the type of special status that Georgia enjoyed as a Soviet republic due to having rather favorable climatic and financial market factors (tourism and export of goods such as tea, tangerines, wine, and tobacco). With the fall of the USSR, Georgia had been left in shambles; by extension, without its massive neighbor Russia, Leont'iev's prognosis for Georgia was highly negative. He noted that its reliance on American aid as the means of underscoring itself as an entity separate from Russia, is too near-sighted, because Americans are only interested in using Georgia as a transit zone and a pawn in political manipulation (implying countries that truly matter on the world scale, i.e. Russia.).

One could question the man's background, motives, and most important - funding in order to situate this somewhat extreme analysis. This is not my concern. It suffices to state that I am in agreement with a somewhat more moderate variation of this view. It, however, is somewhat bothersome, that Leont'ev lumped countries that had been part of other empires (hence his emphasis on a search of an ethnic identity) like that of Austro-Hungary (or the Russian empire itself) for most of their existence with others, like Poland, which although had been part of the Russo-Germanic power struggle for a considerable time period, had also functioned as an empire itself.

As much as I gloat at his "scholarization" of what I always refer to as the chihuahua syndrome (the smaller and less important is the country (see Baltics)), the louder it has to proclaim its nationalistic values, real or perceived), Leont'ev seemed to have left the justification for a country's existence unclear. That is to say, ethnicity, one of the primary bases for state formation (in the "Old World"), translating into customs - cultural and religious, does not seem to satisfy his requirements for a "non-artificial" country (particularly in the cases of a nation, whose core values were maintained, rather than being assimilated into those of its ruler.)