Yesterday I listened to Benny Goodman on Spotify, especially the song Moscow Mission. Beautiful music from a white jazz musician. I got out the article in this journal by correspondent Tom Vennink. He writes that Champagne champagne producers in Russia are no longer allowed to sell their champagne like champagne. Only Russian champagne can still be called champagne in Russia. Major brands such as Moët & Chandon and Dom Pérignon, located in the Champagne region of northern France, must now promote their products in Russia as “sparkling wine”.
It’s irresistibly funny. It even made me laugh out loud. Although, a little absurd and a little sad, it is of course also. Much more is possible this way. Only Roquefort and Gouda cheeses that are churned in Siberia can still be called Roquefort and Gouda in Russia. Port and Madeira must also be produced in Russia to continue as Port and Madeira. Port and Madeira from Portugal and Madeira should be classified as “fortified wines”. And so on.
Vennink’s article also reminded me of an article by the unrivaled Alexander Münninghoff (1944-2020), still written in Soviet times. He lists all the inventions claimed by the Russians and their comrades. Indeed, everything that moved humanity forward turned out to be a Russian invention: from the printing press and the helicopter to the ballpoint pen and paper clip. As one of the strangest claims, I remembered that jazz music also comes from Soviet soil. He is not from New Orleans, but from Baku.
Of course, the Russian people knew better. In Soviet times, no Russian had ever seen a ballpoint pen, and when Benny Goodman and his band were invited to perform in Moscow in 1962, all concerts were sold out. The Russians had only secretly heard something like this rocking on Radio Free Europe. Russian champagne, the so-called ‘sjampanskoje’, is quite tasty with a leg of mutton, but is also considered by many Russians to be an undrinkable bend. And not just by snobs. The Russian people have come to know their superiors well over a long history, so it is no surprise that the production of shampankoye is in the hands of Putin’s oligarch friends. People shrug their shoulders and take revenge in their own way with jokes and jokes about the authorities. Nowhere is the density of jokes as high as among the Russian population.
It has undeniably worsened since the arrest of dissident Navalny. Putin writes ukazes every day. Anyone who dares to compare Communism (or Putinism) to fascism can expect two years in prison. Putin’s spirit haunts all of Russia. At a large chess tournament that will soon start in Sochi, participants were informed by the regulations that they are no longer allowed to sit behind the chess board in jeans and sneakers. Chess players and neat clothes, it will be a big drag for the authorities.
But now the sad. Moët & Chandon has already admitted: the labels are being adjusted. Am I wrong when I observe that such ball joints are more and more common in the West? In Hungary, the gay movement etc. makes life miserable, but despite bold words, even the smallest rainbow flag does not reach football stadiums. Georgia, which is much further away than Hungary (and Poland), will suffer even less from liberal outrage over the storming of the LGBTI office. The further away we are, the further east we are, the less human rights there are, that’s the rule. I saw an idiot from the Forum for Democracy argue that we shouldn’t be paying too much attention to these Uyghurs in China. Bad for commerce. The pastor doesn’t have to raise a finger everywhere, but sending an NSB member in front of houses now seems to me to be the other extreme.
Putin writes ukases and rubs his fists. He knows that boycotts and sanctions don’t do much. This northern gas pipeline continues, people in Belarus stay where they are and one less deal, Moët & Chandon will not kill anyone. And what do we do?
Our chapel proudly breathes the march of impotence. We can only laugh at Putin for his nonsense, but you have to be very careful with that as well. Didn’t Hitler warn his enemies with: “Those who laughed then are not laughing today”.
Ah, help! There, I suddenly make a comparison with Nazism. That’s at least two years in prison! If you see anyone running fast in the evening twilight on the horizon, it’ll be me.