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3.06.16 - 25.06.16
11.09.2016, 16:03

25..06.16 Brexit is the same kind of idiocy as the proclamation of Russia's "sovereignty" (the exit of Russia from the USSR). Brexit is also a substantive blow to the EU as well and an indictment of the lousy job that leaders in Brussels have done unconvincing member states of the value of the institution. 


At the same time it is a triumph of Russian dipolomacy and an impressive signal to those idiots in the Ukraine who believe in the "European future" for the country: Brussels has a lot of its own problems to solve before it starts thinking about Ukrainian aspirations.

22.06.16 Sometimes two countries quite distant geographically, linguistically and culturally reveal mind-boggling similarities. This is what "Foreign Policy" writes about Madagascar:"Even in 2014 and 2015, in the wake of seriously flawed elections, the U.S. State Department continued to herald Madagascar’s alleged “return to democracy” after a coup d’état. There’s just one problem: Madagascar is not and has never been a democracy. Regular elections are held, but they are manipulated and riddled by vote-buying. A national assembly exists, but it is deeply corrupt and unresponsive to the people. A democratic constitution is on the books, but those with informal power routinely ignore it. As in so other many places around the globe, real power in Madagascar belongs to a small cadre of elites that rely on informal personal networks to wield it. There is more to democracy than elections. True democracy requires the rule of law, a free press, and accountability for elected officials, no matter how powerful they may be. Madagascar has none of the above. But far too often, we allow counterfeit democracies like it to pass as the real thing".

This description can accurately apply to the Ukraine.

75 years ago Hitler attacked the Soviet Union hoping to turn Russia (as the country was known to the world) into its colony. The Barbarossa adventure ended up with Russian troops in Berlin and Hitler's suicide. It is a reminder to those who are scheming against Russia.

15.06.16 Language problems have a small place among others. Sometimes they make others small. It is the case when the government interferes with the usual ways of communication, encroaching in this way on the right of man to speak his native language. In this case the country cannot claim that it is "democratic" or "European". The language war had started in the Ukriane long before the coup of 2014.  After the proclamation of independence the government began to put into execution its project "Ukraine is not Russia" and to annihilate Russian – the main means of communication in the country. According to the Gallup poll 83% of the citizens of the Ukraine use Russian as their native language.


13.06.16 This article considers political implications of Muhammad Ali’s death.

Guess Who’s Coming to Muhammad Ali’s Funeral? Hint: a Strongman and a King.

BY HENRY JOHNSON  JUNE 6, 2016 - 3:31 PM


The headline invites the reader to think about some important guests at Muhammad Ali’ funeral. The only reference to Muhammad Ali as a boxer is that he “racked up” three world championships in boxing”.

De mortuis aut bene, aut nihil. The author, deplorably, violates the rule. Muhammad Ali may be and may have been “controversial” in politics. He cannot be described as “controversial” in the ring: he will stay forever in memory of generations to come as The Greatest BoxerIt is easy to put on a brave face outside the ring. It is not easy to be brave in the ring. The ring will tell everybody whether you are a man or just pretend to be a man. The article overlooks the most significant thing about the Legend of boxing: he was the bravest of the brave.

7.06.16 I hope you will appreciate the aphoristic definition of cultural identity in the inimitable stanza of Heine's Deutschland. Ein Wintermärchen:


Franzosen und Russen gehört das Land,

Das Meer gehört den Briten,

Wir aber besitzen im Luftreich des Traums

Die Herrschaft unbestritten.

A wonderful piece of translation:

Французам и русским досталась земля,

Британец владеет морем,

Зато в воздушном царстве грез.

Мы с кем угодно поспорим.

(Перевод В.Левика).


3.06.16 In the introduction to her book Lost in Translation, Ella Frances Sanders writes: “There may be some small essential gaps in your mother tongue, but never fear: you can look to other languages to define what you’re feeling”. That's what we are doing constantly: borrowing from other languages.  The observation is banal, but the author's book is an original sample of intersemiotic translation when one system o communication (language) is interpreted into another system (painting).  It is exactly this intersemiotic approach that makes the book a best-seller.  For example you will certainly enjoy how the German borrowing Kummerspeck is transferred into a piece of painting. The German expression Kummerspeck – meaning ‘grief bacon’ – refers to the excess weight gained from emotional over-eating. “Unfortunately, we are programmed to find comfort in the edible,” says Sanders. 

Since the island of Ifaluk scholars have developed a taste for "curious concepts" in exotic languages. It led to a strong version of Whorfianism that declares everything to be untranslatable that is absolutely wrong. The practice of translation shows that even when you hide the message into a complicated code there is no chance for that code to remain impenetrable as the history of cryptography shows. The Japs were defeated in the battle of Midway largely due to the efforts of cryptographers who had broken the code in which the Japs communicated. 


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