A Place to Stand On

Give me a place to stand on and I will move the Earth, Archimedes said. Václav Havel applied this belief in the physical essence of the world to the very essence of human existence and tested its strength on his own person. He himself had become the place to stand on in our human universe and ended up moving history. The huge global response to his death shows that the outside world has been more profoundly and fully aware of the strength of Havel’’s personality than many Czechs. For there are few people in the entire history of our civilization […]

Confessions of a Mamone

Given that ever since the Renaissance Europe has been so definitively split into Catholicism and Protestantism and so entrenched in its habits, I wasn’’t in the least surprised to learn from a Swiss acquaintance that coffee was more Protestant while tea was more Catholic. In response, I ostentatiously sipped from my cup, proud of the fact that it happened to contain coffee. And even though no one on either side of the barricade really believes in God that much, the dichotomies of habit remain, allowing us to speculate endlessly and to keep dividing the world in two halves. Thus the […]

An Election Descended from Heaven

The great Russian writer Nikolay Gogol once noted in a private letter that his unwritten works were his “heavenly visitors”’. That is, they already existed in heaven and just had to descend to earth, safely landing in the author’’s mind. That’’s basically what I have to say about the Duma elections due on 4 December, as well as the presidential election due in March. The good news is that their results have already been written in the Kremlin heaven and that all state politics has to do is bring them down to earth safely without any scandals and misunderstandings. I’’m […]