Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lviv 2

I was just going to post a better picture of the Fart Store, because, y'know, it's funny. And here it is:

OK, so there it is. But last night, I ran across a sight that was deeply disturbing. I was walking back from dinner at Galya and Volodya's. I was really tired after climbing that dumb hill. Volodya was kind of cranky. He just wanted to watch the news and groan. My language skills were hampered by my fatigue. I took off and walked back to the fabulous George. When I turned the corner at the Opera House, I heard shouting and cheering. It wasn't till I got to the Shevchenko statue that I saw what it was. Nazis. Honestly. I arrived just as they were packing up, but here are a few pictures:

Pardon all the red-eye and the disorder, but those black banners (that were unfurled just half a second before I took this shot) are the Ukrainian equivalent to the swastika. So yeah, it was a Nazi rally. There were police, but believe it or not, they seemed to be sympathetic. What is wrong with these people? They live in one of the coolest cities in the world and they've got to be all far-right. And there's no reason for it. I mean, there are few if any ethnic minorities here. To me, a Ukrainian Nationalist is somebody who will answer you in Ukrainian no matter how often and loudly you talk to him in Russian. There's one who works right here in this Internet cafe. He's always got something to say in Ukrainian. And more power to him. Someday I'll learn that retarded language and we'll converse. But those clowns in the picture are distorting their own tenuous national identity. There is no such thing as a "pure Ukrainian," especially around these parts. This region has belonged to so many other countries in the past that you need a scorecard to keep them straight. They think of themselves as non-Russians and non-Poles, but that's a joke for the aforementioned reason of dubious ethnic identity. Lviv is the center of the Western Nationalist movement, but by my own informal survey of eavesdropping, about 60% of people walking around STILL speak Russian. I just don't understand where this need to take after the Nazis comes from. After all, if I recall correctly, they weren't that nice to Ukrainians during WWII. In fact, they were dicks. Why repeat the crappiness of the past? It can only end in disaster. This just leaves me totally exasperated. These people are just of bunch of knuckleheads.

You know, in two years Lviv is going to co-host the European soccer championships. Of course, the municipal improvements such as building a stadium, enlarging the airport and fixing the roads are way, way behind schedule. But even more pressing is the fear that visitors will actually come into contact with the Nazi soccer culture. That's making a lot of people nervous. I'm a firm believer that soccer is the root of all evil - OK, I'm joking about that - but it tends to bring out the worst in people. If you add Nazis to the mix, it just gets worse. What's the government going to do about these chumps? Probably nothing. Anyhow, I just wanted you to know that Ukraine isn't all red squirrels, parliamentary donnybrooks and merry peasants. There's other, really dumb stuff going on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And I was almost being swayed toward being pro-Ukraine by your previous postings, but the nazi thing brought my budding positivism to a screeching halt.