Spider is looking for Roger

From the above title, I am probably expected to consider subjects like the fallout from Brexit, or the fears that normality may never return following Covid-19. I shall resist the urge.

Instead, I’m here, writing, to tell you what the British people are really most afraid of.

Spiders. Well, two things actually. Spiders and heights. A fairly recent survey I came across found that a staggering amount (over 30 per cent) of Brits have Arachnophobia, and a similar amount have Acrophobia. Which probably means a fair proportion have both, the poor buggers.

Great Heights and fear

The fear of heights is understandable, considering that gravity ensures falling from anywhere over three floors up means death. I must admit to being a tad Acrophobic.  Going up Table Mountain in a cliff-edge lift almost saw me off, and even going up to just the second stage of the Eiffel Tower had every molecule of my body shaking. Even watching one of those videos that show a chap climbing up a 1,500 metre telephone tower makes me want to vomit.

But spiders? Well, some of them can look real mean, and I suppose anything that hides among a bunch of bananas on supermarket shelves needs to be treated with complete distrust. However, only 0.1 per cent of spiders are actually venomous enough to harm us, and it appears that most people aren’t afraid of any dangers they may pose, rather they are freaked out by their weird looks.  

And however harmless a spider might be, they sure do look utterly revolting and unpredictable. Which is a good reason to fear the little blighters. 

Roger Bara

So what’s worse? Another term of Boris Johnson and his measly toads of morally decrepit followers, or a spider in the bath. You decide.

What my country is afraid of? 

I wouldn’t waste your time and so I put it straight: the biggest thing of all Russia is afraid of is FOREIGN ENEMY. 

This is an ancient foe of the country. But not only this: this is a very comfortable foe for Russian authorities. If any problem happens, it is the Rule #1: write off your past, current and future problems to Foreign Enemy. This is a very good tool.

So we’ve got the Mongols, the Teutonic knights, the Polish, The Swedes, the Turks, the Crimean Tatars, the British, The French with Napoleon, the Germans, the Chinese, the West in general and the Americans in particular, the Chechens (if you count them in as an external power), the Moslem terrorists, etc.

Golden Horde

Not all of them were ghosts, sure. I personally believe the Mongols, the Golden Horde have made the biggest harm, transforming an integral part of Europe what the Kievan Russia has been before, into an autocratic state Russia  became ever after. This harm exceeds, to me, even what the Nazis have done. The Mongols have re-programmed the country’s destiny making it the Golden Horde’s province with its laws and lifestyle. 

The Mongol’s biggest harm was to antagonize society and the state: from those times anybody opposing the authorities was committing treason.  

This is how it has worked since then. 

Let’s jump into present times: now, just like in the Soviet times, if you oppose the authorities, you’re the enemy of Russia, not an opponent of these men in power as you naively might imagine. This is exactly what Putin’s propaganda machine is saying: if you’re against the president, you’re against the state and the country. They consider the state and the country synonyms making those in power look sacred. 

Plus, if you’re in opposition to those in power, you must be some foreign power spy or asset. 

What a load of BS!

To me, the state and the country/society is different. The state is just the current regime. The country is homeland.

But from a typical Russian ruler’s point of view, If you’re against him, you’re against the Mother-Russia and, sure, today, an American spy. Otherwise, you just can’t oppose the authorities by your own will.   

Our Rusuk Blog writer Sergey

P.S. ‘Yuri Vladimirovich’, dude, if you happen to read these lines, go find some real spies and kiss my ass in the process.

A Nine Dashed With Mountains 

Oh this is an easy question: China. A couple of weeks ago RUSUK did an article on the power of the press. How the press can mould and shape a population into believing crazy shit. The people of China are the perfect example.

I wonder what kind of word gymnastics the Chinese press must go through to explain how a Communist country is right to practice a style of imperialism not seen since the late 1800’s. Every last nation bordering the Pacific needs to fear China – and almost all do – North Korea being the major exception and I think several minor islands are also sorta’ impartial.

Now, I need to be absolutely clear here, I have been truly fortunate to have met and worked shoulder to shoulder with some terrific folks from China. I really like the Chinese people – no! I love these people, they are kind to a fault.

The West has nobody to blame but themselves when it comes to a belligerent China. We built the place. The rich in North America and Europe threw mountains of cash at China. They demanded more profit and ever higher dividends, which forced major employers to fire their workers, shutter factories and look to China to build cheap … mmm … products.

Of course, now the chickens have come home to roost. The former middle class in these countries elect ever more extreme politicians and China is making territorial claims against almost all her neighbors. 

As they say: Chinese chickens come to roost in Cow-Pie. Actually, I don’t think anybody says that.

I do not believe the Americans and Chinese will have a shooting war. Nope, India and China will also work things out; as will the Japanese. China is not only powerful but they are also smart. If they fight any one of these countries, they are likely to have most of the major nations of the world frothing at the mouth. Hard to be the world’s factory like that.

They may “lease” some border provinces from minor nations to their south but this is unlikely to bring the world to seek blood. I think as long as they don’t send in the Army and take these areas at gun-point we will still buy their stuff. Yeah, yeah… embarrassed at the UN, blah, blah, blah; cry me a river.

China, Russia, Outer Manchuria

On the other hand, there is one country; a vast nation that borders China. A nation that is unlikely to get the Yankees to come to their defense. It’s a nation with less than eight million people in its far east while China has over one-hundred-thirty million in the neighboring provinces alone. 

China and Russia spilled blood arguing over this area in 1969. China sent troops over the dividing river and fumbled around for a bit, allowing the outnumbered Russians to hold on until things cooled down. 

Golly, lots of natural resources and space just over that river. Sure would be nice to have. Oh, and Vladivostok is a city China lays historic claims too, so yeah, there’s that. Kind of like the Nine Dash line except with mountains. 

Photograph of Dean Lewis

So who would ride to Putin’s rescue? I don’t know.