Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Smart, Alex

Remember, the Russians are our friends now, and they are sponsors of our internat'l beauty pageantry and Putin is just a jolly old soul.

Image result for khrushchev shoeAnd all that unpleasantness with Nikita Khrushchev banging his shoe on the table at the UN is just a sad vestige of the past century.  Today, Nikita, Jr, loves "taking meetings" with people seeking new inroads into the burgeoning Russian home entertainment market.

(Just when, and why, did we start "taking" meetings? One can attend a meeting, or go to a meeting, or be forced to endure a meeting, but I don't see "taking" one making linguistic sense.)

But here's a bit of trouble for America's homegrown fidget spinner industry. Russia-24, which is the news channel that the government operates over there (so you can count on it being fair and balanced and all) is out with a report claiming that fidget spinners are the tools of Russia's enemies in their recruitment drives to round up youngsters. people. "It is a mystery why it has become so popular in Russia right now. Who is promoting this to the masses so actively?" is how they describe the spinning phenomenon.

Image result for fidget spinners russiaSome fool named Alexei Navalny has decided to challenge Vlad Putin's supremacy, and the news over there is that Alex has been handing out (get it?) finger spinners to anyone willing to listen to him for a minute. This might be true: the news channel says the toy’s popularity is declining in the West, but the spinners are bigger than ever. "As you can see here there is only writing in English, on the other side there is not a word in Russian," says the show’s anchor, holding up a fresh unopened spinner to the camera. 
Image result for labels in english and french

He didn't mention that what little French most Americans learn derives from reading the bilingual label on warnings signs.

And then, the Russian news went on to state that fidget spinners were an "object for zombifying” and a form of “hypnosis." Prominent Russkie psychologist Svetlana Filatova appeared on the news (as if she had a choice) to aver that the spinners are good for manual dexterity in the kiddie corps, but they "dull" people's minds. 

Rospotrebnadzor, which is Russia’s consumer protection agency, duly swung into action, and launched an investigation, because a kid's toy is clearly the most dangerous threat to the world's peace.

"There has been an aggressive promotion of so-called spinners among children and teenagers in Russia recently," the agency said. "Taking into consideration the anxiety among the community of parents and teachers, Rospotrebnadzor, in cooperation with child health research institutions, will study the effect spinners are having on children, including the possible negative impact."

Shhh! Don't let them hear about our exploding Bluetooth-enabled models or the Kim Kardashian "Daddy Money Fidget Spinner." Their heads would spin right off their necks.

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