24 August 2007

Macho, Macho Man

Annoyingly, yet one of the big stories of the past week or so passed me by utterly. It wasn’t until last night’s Mock the Week did I learn that Russian president Vladimir Putin had gotten a Prince Albert and had been photographed in various macho poses while on holiday in Tuva in the far south of Siberia. On further reading I discovered that he had been photographed in various macho poses while on holiday in Tuva WITH Prince Albert of Monaco.



According to the International Herald Tribune the Russian paper Komsomolskaya Pravda published a huge color photo of the bare chested president, under the headline: "Be Like Putin." along with a guide showing exactly what exercises were required to build up a torso like that of the Russian leader.

The photographs have had Kremlin watchers spending long hours trying to work out what sort of political message they might convey. One Russian radio talk show host speculated that the pictures were meant to enhance Putin's personal appeal to voters and thus a signal that he doesn't plan to relinquish power when his current term as president ends next year. Russian gay chat rooms and blogs claimed that Putin, by stripping to his waist, was somehow pleading for more tolerance of homosexuality in Russia — where gays and lesbians are for the most part forced to remain closeted.





The 54-year-old Russian leader has long cultivated an image of machismo and manliness. Well-known as a downhill skier and black belt in judo, Putin has appeared on national television engaging in other manly including a truck, operating a train and copiloting a fighter jet. The new set of photos could thus be another manifestation of his mystique. However, Stanislav Belkovsky, head of the National Strategy Institute think tank, took the view that they were nothing more than an effort to reassure Russians that Putin knows how to relax — and was preparing for retirement.

Personally I think the photos give an absolutely clear message: Putin, tiring of life at the helm of a massive and troubled nation has decided on a new career path and will be joining the Village People once his current term ends.

The only problem is that he can’t seem to make up whether he want’s to be the Cowboy or the Soldier...




16 comments:

Steve Bates said...

Hmph. As little as I wish to see the gradual return of the Cold War, in this department, I say bring it on... I'll bet the Governator of Cah-li-foh-ni-a could whip Putin! That's what the world needs... more macho manly beefcake among heads of state! (No sexism here... more cheesecake among female heads of state would be fine with me, too.)

(I've always thought that song was better in the conception than in the execution.)

jams o donnell said...

I can se Gordon Brown working on his abs as I type! As for Dubya, perhaps he could get his brain to do a few press ups...

Janine said...

Hi! I usually visit your site for WW, but I'm visiting to award you the Creative Blogger Award out of the blue because I love your photography, and instantly remembered your site when I was given this award to pass on. Take care!

Roland Dodds said...

Putin is just showing off! What other heads of state have an upper body that looks like that?

jams o donnell said...

Wow thanks Janine I am honoured


Well Roland I know Irish president Mary McAleese doesn't have an upper body like that (not that she's shown it off)

Pete's Blog said...

Tis my theory that Putin is successfully drawing a contrast (in intellect, tact and physique) with:
- a certain retard
- whose risen to the top
- who exhibits the remnants of being a corporate cowboy
- by failing to drive a golf buggy in a straight line.

Any guesses ;)

jams o donnell said...

Ah Pete it's clear you are referring to David Muggin, the inept Managing Director of Ezysteem carpet sanitisers in Tipton... At least that's myn guess!

Chris said...

I much prefer your first interpretation of the 'Prince Albert' thing! That would be a sight to behold - all the world leaders in a show your piercing contest. (No... wait a minute.... perhaps not*%).

Do you think Gordon is really shaping up? Or perhaps he'll create a Minister for Muscle, especially for John Prescott.

YTSL said...

Bwahahaha -- thanks for the laugh I got from reading your post and viewing the pictures -- especially the last one. Someone should get him a more manly looking undershirt! ;D

jams o donnell said...

I think you're right perhaps something more vest-like, black and clingy. Oh and he really needs a big, bushy moustache!

betmo said...

um- he has man boobs. icky.

jams o donnell said...

Wat to burst the bubble!

elasticwaistbandlady said...

He's HAWT!

I wonder how you say that in Russian?

elasticwaistbandlady said...

My mom voted for Clinton back in 1992 because he looked sexy in his running shorts. Yes, she actually told me that.

I pray that george Bush doesn't start frolicking for photogs half-naked to keep up with Putin.

jams o donnell said...

Literally On Goryach. I would have to ask one of my friends who did Rusian degrees or Bryan of Why Now for an idiomatic translation. He is a fluent Russian speaker

jams o donnell said...

Well it's one reason to cast a vote! Luckily Bush is at the end of his tenure in 2009 so there's no need for him to pose in Playboy.. What a relief!