21st Century Potemkin Village

I assume everyone knows the Potemkin Village myth, but I’ll explain it anyway. Potemkin was a Russian royal and politician who supposedly erected movie set style fake villages to impress Catherine the Great. It’s a cool story but it’s apocryphal. Neither Catherine nor her horse was that easily fooled. But I still dig the image and the phrase.

Props to Josh Marshall for flagging a story about a 21st Century Potemkin Village that he calls MAGA-grad:

“Russian authorities will launch construction of a village outside Moscow for conservative-minded Americans and Canadians next year, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Thursday.

Russia has for years positioned itself as a bastion of “traditional” values in contrast with Western liberalism as its relations with the West have deteriorated over its 2014 annexation of Crimea and 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Timur Beslangurov, a migration lawyer at Moscow’s VISTA Foreign Business Support, claimed that “around 200 families” wish to emigrate to Russia for “ideological reasons.”

“The reason is propaganda of radical values: Today they have 70 genders, and who knows what will come next,” RIA Novosti quoted Beslangurov as saying, echoing President Vladimir Putin’s frequently deployed grievances against Western countries’ comparative gender freedom.

“Many normal people emigrate and are considering Russia, but they’re faced with huge bureaucratic problems with Russia’s migration law,” he said.

He said the Moscow region administration has greenlit the construction of the expat village and that it will be financed by the relocating families.

The lawyer further claimed without offering evidence that “tens of thousands” of foreigners without Russian roots would like to move to Russia for similar ideological reasons.”

Is this part of Vlad the Liar’s plan to restore  the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire? It’s a peculiar way to distract attention from their failed war in Ukraine.

Will they try and convince Tucker Carlson to Twitcast from Russia? He currently lives and broadcasts from Maine, which has a Democratic governor. Does the Mothertucker need a place to land to escape laconic Mainers and Stephen King? All I’ve got are questions.

This ludicrous idea is reminiscent of the Florida land boom of the early 20th Century. There were many wannabe developers trying to separate people from their money. This Marx Brothers play and film was inspired by that land boom and subsequent bust:

See that couple in the middle. That could be you if you can take the Russian weather. But it appears to be haunted by the Marx Brothers. It’s a place where Zeppo will be everyone’s favorite because MAGA-grad only exists in the minds of promoters who know nothing about Americans.

Russians are unfamiliar with concept of snow birds:  the folks who move from cold climes to Florida or Arizona to escape the weather; some of whom are wingnuts. Who the hell wants to move to Russia just to own the libs? Rumor has it that it’s cold there. Snowbirds hate the cold. Just ask Anne Murray:

Perhaps they can con some Florida wingnuts into buying a winter home in the land of the Winter Palace. Sounds like a project for The Louse DBA Ron DeSantis. There’s NO Disney theme park in Russia, so he’d fit in, especially since he can’t make up his mind about the Russia-Ukraine war.

I’m trying to visualize the grand opening. What’s the menu? Will they serve burgers, hot dogs, or borscht? How about Roger Waters as entertainment? They could give him a key to the city to reward for his support of Russian aggression. The possibilities are endless and endlessly ridiculous. Who the hell wants to move to Russia just to own the libs?

If I were a betting man, I’d wager that this development will never happen. That’s why it’s a 21st Century Potemkin Village. I’d call it a con, but the Russians haven’t baited the trap with anything enticing to non-ice people. Repeat after me: Who the hell wants to move to Russia just to own the libs?

As I struggled to come up with a musical last word, I thought of Sunnyvista. It’s an obscure Richard Thompson song about a fictional real estate development. The narrator is trying to sell listeners on the concept, which has everything to do with comfort, not ideology. The Putniks need a better sales pitch. They can have one by writing new lyrics and changing the title from Sunnyvista to Icyvista.  It’s a winner, I tell ya.

The last word goes to Richard and Linda Thompson:

One thought on “21st Century Potemkin Village

  1. Too bad, I was looking forward to setting up a GoFundMe* to help provide MAGAts with one-way tickets to PutinParadise.

    (*not actual GoFundMe, more like “Go,FuckYou”)

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