Roscosmos has initiated the registration of several historic and seminal signs as trademarks “to protect the state corporation from unfair competition”. Poekhali by Yuri Gagarin is to become a trademark – the world-famous word he said on his first flight to space, which means “let’s go”.
As we’re waiting to hear about further details, here’s a song about Yuri Gagarin, Do You Know What Man He Was, sung by Yuri Gulyaev. The video is a collage of Gagarin’s photos.
Nine years ago, when the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first manned Earth orbit, Anton Agarkov paid a visit to the Star City and shared lots of photos that I also featured on my blog. Read the article. To commemorate the same event, Attic Room Productions have made The First Orbit movie that you can watch below. It reconstructs Gagarin’s historic flight and helps to relive his experience – now almost 60 years on.
For the second day running one of Russian radio broadcasters, VestiFM, is discussing a truly vital question:
How to make citizens wear a mask?!
The question sounds crazy because “to make” is to force someone to do something against their will. In the days of “we shan’t be slaves” a mask is called nothing but a “muzzle”. According to this logic, the task is, more or less, to make the Russian citizens wear muzzles.
A MASK: FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY
Since March 2020, just as you, I have been reading various opinions of the doctors as to whether a mask protects you, and how well, and if the demand to wear it at all times is really justified, and whether this runs against the Constitution and the civil rights, etc. Likewise, I cannot doubt that the virus exists, and people fall ill, among them – my friends and their relavites.
Add to this numerous publications about the “Illuminati conspiracy”, and I suspect that someone really wants to see all the craziest forecasts come true so we can witness “apocalypse now”. You see, the TV passions are no longer exciting, but a live catastrophe is just the right thing!
You know what I think? I think that the virus, the pandemics, and all related restrictions run a check on the degree of our inner freedom. We may call it Jesuitism and abuse, or look for the culprits. Or we can admit that the most aggravated are those who are in no way responsible for their lives. For them, to wear a mask is not a measure to protect oneself and everyone around; it is a pain because the inner restrictions (which sees no-one but you) are now coupled with the outer.
Believe me, this is one’s personal choice. It has nothing to do with the circumstances, place-and-time, or the “wrong” head of state. This is one’s own fear: to fail, to take responsibility, to make a decision, to choose. It is far easier to find a scapegoat and send it off to the desert, so one can sit back and keep fearing.
You may disagree and say that age is a factor, but let me disagree with you, too. Anxiety has nothing to do with age. It is a consequence of a person’s desire to control – especially if the object is out of one’s sphere of influence, in principle. Today we witness people who are ready to give their all just to prove that the mask is not necessary and can be done without.
A person who takes primary responsibility for their life is doing the following in the present conditions:
Wearing protective equipment;
Avoiding, if possible, busy places;
Looking after oneself, the near and dear, and friends.
And what do some people do instead? Anything, except looking after themselves. Still, if anyone is really awaiting the Doomsday, please remember the parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). Five wise virgins took with them the oil for lanterns, the foolish ones didn’t. Then the latter ran out of oil and couldn’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
To look after oneself and wear a mask in busy, crowded places is the task of the wise virgins. Yet Christianity respects one’s free will, so it is only a fine that can make “free citizens” wear masks. Meanwhile, my friend was attacked on the Moscow underground when one such citizen tried to rip the mask off her face.
WELL, WHAT IF ALL THIS IS TRUE?
One final thought, especially for those who love conspiracy theories. Suppose, all this is true: there is a conspiracy, the Masons and the Illuminati, the digital concentration camp, and so on. Suppose even you’ve had an epiphany, and now you are dead certain as to who is guilty of all this mess. To begin with, any such culprit is an illusion; the real masterminds remain behind the curtains, so you shouldn’t be too pleased with your guesses. Secondly, what’s next? Most likely, there’s nothing you can do. Are you planning to keep on living in spite of these terrible people’s ? Then remember that the main goal is to reduce the population of the Earth. Smart, free people are indispensable in the face of a pandemic: it is thanks to their irrepressible love of freedom and concern for others that the goal is achieved much easier.
The English-speaking world usually believes nobody sang in English in the Soviet Union. Well, sometimes there were made films that required an English soundtrack – like The Silence of Dr. Evans, written and directed by Budimir Metalnikov and released in 1973. I’ve not seen it myself, but as I’m going through a revival of my life-long love for Valeriy Obodzinsky, I’ve come across the song The Way, composed by a famous Russian composer and pioneer of electronic music Eduard Artemev. Artemev also composed music to Solaris (1972), The Mirror (1975) and Stalker (1979) by Andrei Tarkovsky.
I’ve heard many versions of this song, but the first time it was recorded for me by my father on an audio cassette. It was around 1994 or 1995. Mungo Jerry from last week’s Saturday Music was also on that cassette, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that both songs come as a sort of inseparable pair. It is perhaps a kind of song that doesn’t leave much room for an experiment, but the drive and rhythm are such that you want to go to that Yellow River… via a Yellow Brick Road
Sometimes it takes you a lifetime and a rather different career to get to the point when you can turn the time back and fulfill a dream. In case with Anthony Hopkins, the Oscar-winning Welsh actor, it took him 50 years to hear the music he wrote in his youth to be performed by an orchestra. It was the day of his life, probably more important than the Oscar ceremony when he had won the award. The name of the piece is rather poignant. The waltz goes on – you just have to keep on dancing.
Dilla da l’Acqua is a 16th c. song deploring the fate of a lover who has to overcome the tricks of an obnoxious guardian that protects his beloved. The guardian is not spared every imaginable epithet, including a “pig’s face”. I first heard it interpreted by the British chamber music orchestra, Orlando Consort.
The piece belongs to the 16th c. Italian composer Francesco Patavino (c. 1478-c.1556) from Santa Croce in Padua. He was a rather important figure in the realm of sacred music of the Italian Renaissance and introduced the principle of a “broken choir”, then widely used by the Venetian school of polyphonic composition. Dilla da l’acqua must be one of the seven “profane” pieces that Patavino composed in his lifetime. He died in Loreto (Ancona) around the year 1556.