This man is eternally fascinating; if you read my blog and feel confused about my political orientation – don’t be. I see people who make it pretty clear where tehy stand at least on twitter but my blog is non-partisan for the sake of the ideas. Entertain an idea without necessarily accepting it and all that.
My issue with Putin’s apparent interest in cranes and tigers — and also polar bears and snow leopards — is that he appears interested in them as symbols of his own power: He chooses the largest predators and the largest flying birds to dominate on camera, to show he is not only president but also king of the jungle.
‘‘Of course, there are excesses! And I have taken people to task for that. But it is so much more important that I draw attention to the issues! But what’s important is that I was the one who came up with the whole [saving the] leopards project! And the tigers. After I did that, 20 other countries that have tigers also started working on the problem. Sure, there are excesses,’’ he repeated. ‘‘Like that time I dove for the amphorae.’’
About a year ago, Putin posed for the cameras emerging from the bottom of the Black Sea bearing two ancient amphorae — which, it soon emerged, had been planted there for him to find.
‘‘So then everyone started writing that the amphorae had been planted. Of course they were planted! I wasn’t diving to be able to blow my gills wide,’’ by which, I think, he meant some sort of sea-creature equivalent of self-aggrandizement.‘‘I was diving to draw attention to the history of that place. And then everyone started writing that I’d come up with planted amphorae like a moron. But some people actually started reading up on history.’’