Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Ukraine's Political Syndrome
It is hard to believe that today's Ukraine is the same country that had experienced the Orange Revolution just five years ago, a putative democratic transformation gone just a bit awry, to put it lightly. Surely, if one takes a look at the political elite, it is hard not to be disgusted or, at the least, disappointed, though many of us who keep up with recent developments in the "Breadbasket of Europe" would like to deny those not-too-subtle truths.
Indeed, in the past few weeks, the country has been hit by the H1N1 influenza epidemic, which only adds to the country's economic ills. Schools have been closed for several weeks as a result; hospitals are overflowing; and a moratorium has been put on political rallies, or most other types of mass gatherings for that matter.
But while the politicians continue to blame each other for any and all mishandlings, notably Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko blaming President Viktor Yushchenko and vice-versa, Ukrainians have had a glimpse of something more inane: the "demarlizatsiya" campaign.
The aforementioned word is a self-made pun on the local lingo demoralizatsiya (demoralization) and marlya (gauze). It is an attempt by a bevy of skimpily-clad women to be funny, as they are attacking the politicians' uproar over the swine flu and blame them for panicking the masses. Thus, as the Prime Minister has urged all to wear gauze to protect themselves, the "demarlizatsiya" girls took this advice to the extreme (see picture). They claim their gathering is to distract the masses from the panic and pandemonium that they are experiencing both in real life and on TV. In other words, it's an attempt to be funny.
And, to some degree, it is. Not in good taste, per se, but a quaint way to gain the media's--and this blogger's--attention.