Voices from Russia

Sunday, 16 February 2014

16 February 2014. All Around the Orthosphere: Bob Marley… Orthodox Christian

00 Bob Marley 02. 16.02.14

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00 Bob Marley 03. 16.02.14

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00 Bob Marley 01. Mausoleum. 16.02.14

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Many of you know my of my neologism, the “Orthosphere“… that is, the lands where Orthodoxy (both Eastern and Oriental) maintains either a majority or strong presence. The Orthosphere is a sociological/philosophical/intellectual/cultural construct… it’s NOT merely religious. Ergo, people not “in communion” in the religious sense ARE “in communion” in a cultural sense. Confused? Let’s make it murkier, kids… Uniates “look” Orthodox, but they’re NOT part of the Orthosphere. That’s because they’ve sold out completely to the papist mindset. Ergo, even though we’re not “in communion” with Copts, Armenians, and Ethiops, we ARE part of a unified Christian worldview with them, neither Papist nor Protestant. Even though the Uniates “look like us”, they’re NOT of us… they’ve sold out to the West and to its blandishments. Remember our history… how Russia aided the Assyrian Christians in World War I and how Russian officers served alongside Ras Makonnen in whipping the Italians (especially, Nikolai Leontiev of the Kuban Cossack Host).

Bob Marley joined the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church before his death… that makes him “one of us”. Here are some images from his museum in Nine Mile (Saint Ann Parish), Jamaica, his hometown. The Orthosphere is our true “home”… and it’s all ours… or none of it’s ours. Keep it focused…

 

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Sunday, 2 February 2014

One of the Members of the Buranovskiye Babushki Died in Her Native Village… The Babas Plan to Perform at the Sochi Olympics

00a Buranovskiye Babushki 27.05.12

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Love them Babas! Pass the jug, if you please…

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According to Rossiskaya Gazeta, Yelizaveta Zarbatova, one of the singers in the Buranovskiye Babushki ensemble, died in the 87th year of her life. Zarbatova died in her native village on 13 January, but the news didn’t get out until now because she no longer performed with the group due to her advanced age. Svetlana Syrygina, the spokesman for the Babushki, said, “She was the most aged of the grannies; she wrote many songs, including Puchoko, which was one of the songs the ensemble selected to sing at the Eurovision Song Contest”.

Facts about the Buranovskiye Babushki

The Buranovskiye Babushki ensemble is a Russian folk group from the village of Buranovo in Malopurginsky Raion of the Udmurt Republic, performing Udmurt and Russian folk songs, as well as a variety of pop hits in Udmurt, rehashing well-known Russian and foreign pop songs. The ensemble started over 40 years ago. The group began to sing songs in Udmurt with other musical ensembles in 2008. On the Day of the Udmurt Language, the Babushki sang popular songs of Boris Grebenshchikov and Viktor Tsoi in the Udmurt backed by the Udmurt Philharmonic. Since then, they’ve repeatedly been in the spotlight in the media and on TV. They participated in the qualifying rounds of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest (ranked third) and were second in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku with the song Party for Everybody.

21 January 2014

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The Buranovskiye Babushki decided to support the Sochi Olympics through their creative efforts. In a social network post, the Grannies wrote, “Hi to all our friends! Greetings on the upcoming holidays! We’re off to Sochi on 6 February!” The organisers are keeping their programme under wraps, but everyone knows that the consort from Udmurtia is seriously training for the show. Their official website has a song dedicated to the Olympics. Earlier, AIF wrote that the Grannies have a new version of Party for Everybody just for the Sochi Olympics.

27 December 2013

Argumenty i Fakty

http://www.aif.ru/rm/rmnews/1087694

http://www.kuban.aif.ru/culture/1075152

 

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Thursday, 18 July 2013

Why J-Lo Is More Ethical Than Our Greatest Statesmen

01 Mammon

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I’m not sure when I first became aware of the oeuvre of the “singer” Jennifer Lopez… she of the two-note vocal range… but it may well have been when I was living in Kazakhstan in late 1999. As the new millennium approached, her track Waiting for Tonight was in heavy rotation on the German music channel I got with my satellite TV package. It was utterly rotten, but better than the works of Die Fantastischen Vier (click here), so I sometimes let it play out. Anyway, that early association of J-Lo + Central Asian autocracy might explain why I was neither shocked nor all that bothered when word got out that Jenny from the Block performed for Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, the dictator of Turkmenistan. I mean… commercial pop star accepts cash for performance… whoa, stop the presses!

Yes, yes, I know, Berdymukhamedov’s a nasty man. That’s true. However, you know what? I recall that when I was in Kazakhstan, Vanessa-Mae (click here)… now largely forgotten, but at that time considered a superhot pop/classical act… played in the capital Astana during the New Year celebrations and nobody cared. Indeed, lots of pop stars have performed for shady types in oppressive post-Soviet régimes for two decades now. Nevertheless, since J-Lo isn’t yet totally washed up, all of a sudden, it’s news. Of course, J-Lo’s entourage claimed that she wouldn’t have performed for Berdymukhamedov had she known who he is… apparently none of them heard of this thing called “Google”. Then, a human rights organisation revealed that she’s raked in as much as 10 million bucks (325 million Roubles. 7.7 million Euros. 6.6 million UK Pounds) over the years performing in Azerbaijan, Belarus, and elsewhere, and has even serenaded the ever-charming Ramzan Kadyrov of Chechnya, so the professed innocence seems dubious.

Of course, she’s hardly alone in her penchant for entertaining dodgy geezers… Beyonce and Mariah Carey once sang for members of Gaddafi’s family; Sting hung out with Islam Karimov’s daughter for ca$h; and lots of celebrities chilled at Kadyrov’s expense, from Hilary Swank to Gérard Xavier Marcel Depardieu. It’s the same story every time (unless you’re Depardieu, who doesn’t care)… “Oh, I didn’t know…” even as they’re trousering a wad of dollars, which some later gave away out of sincere regret/for face-saving PR (delete as appropriate). You can believe their claims of ignorance if you like, but, you know, Gaddafi was kind of famous, and, as I said, there’s this thing called Google…

The selectiveness of the outrage bothers me. You see, all of these celebrities are clear about what they do… they perform for money. J-Lo is a businesswoman and she does business in dodgy places, like ExxonMobil or Coke or Apple. However, she’s a trivial person; she doesn’t matter. If we’re going to savage her, then, there are some bigger targets we ought to focus on first. Like Tony Blair, for instance… his consulting agency Tony Blair Associates is currently advising the government of Kazakhstan in exchange for buckets of cash. That’s much dodgier than an aging single mother of two dancing for some khan in the desert; indeed, dancing for the khan is more honourable… it’s an ancient art and comes free of Tony Blair’s self-righteous, self-exculpatory blather.

What about Bill Clinton, everybody’s favourite vegan ex-president? He makes millions each year blathering away to foreigners; a speech from Clinton can cost you half a million bucks (16.25 million Roubles. 400,000 Euros. 325,000 UK Pounds), and he won’t even put on a skin-tight sparkly dress for you. Sometimes, he talks to Canadians and Swedes, but if the payday is good enough, he’ll jet off to Saudi Arabia, a country so oppressive it makes Turkmenistan look like a San Francisco nudist colony circa 1968. The rulers of assorted oppressive oil-rich regimes gain a lot of cachet by hosting Clinton. What prestige did Berdymukhamedov gain by having the fading singer of Love Don’t Cost a Thing mime on stage for him? Zero.

Then, there’s Al Gore, who hates global warming so much that he sold his rubbish TV station to the Emir of Qatar for 500 million USD (16.25 billion Roubles. 380 million Euros. 330 million UK Pounds), and I needn’t add that the champion greenhouse-gas-generating emir isn’t known for his progressive views either. Sure, Gore got a bit of stick for that, but not enough. That’s not fair. Has J-Lo spent her career banging on about human rights in Central Asia only to turn against everything she’d ever said as soon as the payout was awesome enough? No. On the other hand, Al Gore smeared himself with filthy lucre as quick as he could.

Let’s be reasonable here. J-Lo is paid to entertain. Sometimes, she entertains unpleasant people. However, she’s got a toy boy… she has to keep him in bling, you understand, and, at least, she works hard for an hour or so on stage to get her money. Compare that with some of the most respected, allegedly enlightened statesmen of our age who’ll spout platitudes at just about any old thug if the bucks are big enough. I know who I think is more honest.

17 July 2013

Daniel Kalder

RIA-Novosti

http://www.en.rian.ru/columnists/20130717/182283906/Transmissions-from-a-Lone-Star-Why-J-Lo-Is-More-Ethical-Than-Our.html

Sunday, 19 May 2013

58th Eurovision Song Contest: Denmark Wins, Russia’s Dina Garipova in Fifth Place

00 Emelie de Forest. Eurovision 2013. 19.05.13

Da winnah!

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Here’s the winning song

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Here’s the Russian entry… Ura for the home boys!

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On Saturday, Denmark’s Emmelie Charlotte-Victoria de Forest won the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 before an international TV audience of around 125 million, winning the annual competition with a barefoot performance backed by flutes and drums. The 20-year-old won with the song Only Teardrops, competing against contestants from 25 other countries in a final held in Malmö in southern Sweden, scoring an overall 281 points. Eight out of the 39 participating countries gave the Danish contender the highest-possible score of 12 points. Russia’s Dina Garipova took fifth place, singing What If, scoring 174 points. She received top scores from two countries… Latvia and Estonia.

19 May 2013

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00 Dina Garipova. Eurovision 2013. 19.05.13

Dina Garipova

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Russian cosmonauts Pavel Vinogradov and Aleksandr Misurkin wished singer Dina Garipova success and victory at the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden. Vinogradov said in a transmission from the International Space Station (ISS), “Our hearts ache for Dina Garipova, who represents our country at Eurovision”. Misurkin added, “We wish that our compatriot wins; she has beautiful voice, and we hope that she’ll win”. The Eurovision final kicked off at the Malmö Arena on Saturday evening. The 58th annual Eurovision song contest is underway in Malmö, Sweden. Russia’s Dina Garipova has already sung her soulful ballad What If. bookmakers consider Garipova, 22, who became Russia’s entry at Eurovision after winning the popular “Voice” television show last year, as one of the favourites at the contest, although Denmark’s Emmelie de Forest with Only Teardrops is still on top of the most-likely winner list.

19 May 2013

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00 eurovision 2013 logo. 19.05.13

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00 Loreen ESC 2012

Loreen, last year’s winning contestant

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Last Year’s ESC winner

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The Winner Takes It All… 2013 style

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Singers from 26 countries began battling it out on Saturday night for the crown of glitzy pop in the Eurovision Song Contest, returning this year to the homeland of ABBA, the Swedish band it propelled to global superstardom. One of them is Russian Dina Garipova. Bookmakers are tipping Denmark’s entry, 20-year-old Emmelie De Forest with her song Only Teardrops, to take out the competition comfortably. Other hot contenders for the title include Norway, the Ukraine, Russia, and Azerbaijan. The 26 countries competing in Saturday’s final are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the Ukraine, and Britain. The show, one of the world’s longest-running television programmes, landed in the city of Malmö on Sweden’s southern coast after Loreen (Lorine Zineb Nora Talhaoui) won the contest last year in Azerbaijan with her dance track Euphoria. Former ABBA members Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus together with Swedish DJ and producer Avicii (Tim Bergling) composed the opening act; Swedish singer Sarah Dawn Finer will belt out the ABBA classic The Winner Takes It All during the three-hour programme.

18 May 2013

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00 Alyona Lanskaya. Eurovision 2013. 19.05.13

Alyona Lanskaya of Belarus

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00 Zlata Ognevich. Eurovision 2013. 19.05.13

Zlata Ognevich of the Ukraine

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On May 18, the popular Eurovision Song Contest will have its finals, which, this time, take place in the Swedish city of Malmö. 26 participants have already made it to the finals, and one of them is Russian Dina Garipova. Some people estimate Garipova’s chances to win as high. Amongst other participants with good chances, they name Emmelie De Forest from Denmark, Margaret Berger from Norway, Zlata Ognevich from the Ukraine, Farid Mammadov from Azerbaijan, and Alyona Lanskaya from Belarus. Belarusian singer and TV host Georgi Koldun is a big-time fan of his compatriot Alyona Lanskaya, and he said, “The finals of the contest will most likely be a hard battle. It’s quite hard to predict who’ll win in the end, because the singers who made it to the finals are all very talented. Their songs are quite remarkable, and each of them has their own distinctive manner of performing”.

Dina Garipova decided that she‘d wear the same romantic pink dress in the finals in which she sang in the semifinals. However, some of the spectators found this costume a bit “sugary”. Others, on the contrary, liked it, because, as they say, in this dress Dina strikingly resembles Princess Madeleine of Sweden (Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland). Meanwhile, Dina doesn’t care what people think of her dress. She just likes it and feels comfortable in it. Unlike many modern singers, Dina doesn’t move in tune with her song on stage. She just stands and sings, because she wants to draw the listeners’ attention, firstly, to the song itself. The song that Dina chose for the Eurovision contest is What If. Its main message is that people should unite to make life better. In a VOR interview, Dina said, “I’ll try to sing this song with all my soul. I think that the songs’ authors put a very important message into it, and I’d like to get this message across to the audience”.

According to Eurovision’s rules, the votes of TV viewers determine the winner. TV viewers from countries that take part in the contest can vote in the contest, but a viewer can’t vote for their country’s entrant. Besides, there’s also a jury at the contest. The choice of the winner is split between a 50 percent share from the TV viewers’ choice and a 50 percent share from the jury’s vote. Yuri Aksyuta, the musical director of Pervy Kanal, which is broadcasting the Eurovision contest in Russia, said, “As a rule, all the songs sang at this contest are new. the audience only knows a few of them befroehand. The majority of the contest’s participants are trying to surprise the public with some unusual performance or special effects. Dina Garipova just stands and sings her simple, but very nice, song”.

Dina herself said that she’s taking part in the contest not for the sake of winning, noting, “Of course, I’d like to win, but if I don’t, I won’t take it as the end of my life. There is a saying that I find very wise, ‘Believe in success, but be ready for the worst’. This year, many young singers are taking part in the Eurovision contest… everyone is talented in their own way. It’s very hard to guess what the public may like and what not, but I’d accept any decision of the public, whatever it may be”.

18 May 2013

Natalya Viktorova

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/news/2013_05_19/58th-Eurovision-Song-Contest-Denmark-wins-Russias-Dina-Garipova-is-the-5th-078/

http://english.ruvr.ru/news/2013_05_19/Cosmonauts-wish-Russian-singer-success-in-Eurovision-final-091/

http://english.ruvr.ru/news/2013_05_18/The-Eurovision-2013-final-has-begun-096/

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_05_18/Eurovision-Dina-Garipova-s-simple-song/

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