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Argentina & Russia
an editorial

From: Peter Lewis, December 19, 2007
Sent to the BANewcomers group

Argentina and Russia comparisons, an editorial

The Baltimore Sun just closed its long-time bureau in Moscow, another casualty of the Old Media journalism economy. In her last post from Moscow today, Sun reporter Erika Niedowski has a passage in which she describes Russians, but which struck me as describing Argentines as well:

"There is a saying: The more time you spend in Russia, the less you understand it. I still marvel at the contradictions: how Russians are at once sticklers for rules and adept flaunters of them. They will uncomplainingly stand in three separate lines to select, pay for and pick up an ice cream, yet they drive on the sidewalks and embrace a casual recklessness with such vigor that it's actually driving life expectancy down."

"They admire strength and a strong hand -- witness Putin's popularity -- but believe that their own fate is beyond their control. They love things vast and colossal, but speak in a language filled with dimunitives. They can seem dismissive and cold on the surface, but are generous and warm to the core. ..."

"Russia has taught me that Americans are uptight and overanxious, that I roll my eyes too often, that patience really is a virtue. Despite opposition talk of mass protests against Putin and an increasingly centralized state, I can't envision a revolution here; the unwavering hardiness and endurance that have seen Russians through centuries of turmoil and unspeakable suffering are the very qualities that all but ensure they will not rise up...."

Anyway, substitute "Argentina" for Russia and "Argentines" for Russians, and her descriptions hit pretty close to home (home being Buenos Aires).

Peter Lewis

Palermo Hollywood