The Internet is the most important single development in the history of human communication since the invention of call waiting.
Today is Internet Day in Russia! Great timing for Russia’s # 1 fan of Cyberspace, Blogger-in-chief (as he is known) President Dmitry Medvedev (http://twitter.com/KremlinRussia_E) who must feel like kicking back after a week spent kicking some (albeit long distance) ass, firing Moscow’s pint sized mayor, Yuri “The Long Armed” Luzhkov. And not before time either. Go Dmitry, Go!
I’m currently doing some half-hearted research on the concept of The Great Russian Soul at the moment for my too much-neglected book, and one of the things that keeps cropping up is Russia’s sense of a special mission to promote its Russianness within the global community. This means they always have to be just that little bit different about every single little thing. Like Christmas. And Internet Day: although the rest of the world celebrates the Vatican-sanctioned World Day for the Internet (pronounced in Russian “Interrrrrrrrr-nyet”) on April 4th, the day of the ascension of St. Isidore of Seville (560-636 CE), (who is the current patron saint of the Internet), in Russia, we celebrate it today because some IT guys (called “Eye-tea-shniki”) decided we should. Instead of Facebook (pronounced in Russia “feyssss-buk”) Russians have a total prototype called “V Kontakte,” which means “In contact.” There are also lots of copycat retail sites such as ozon.ru, which sells books and if you squint looks just like amazon.com. Last Spring, there was a huge hue and cry about the introduction of a Russian language domain, so that the endings read “.rf” rather than the more Latinized “.ru.” This was a pet Kremlin project and will, I feel sure, play a big part in ushering in total world domination. Any day now.
Living in Russia, I count my cyber blessings daily. I am old enough, and enough of a veteran of life in Russia to remember what life was like before the internet: endless tries to get a crackly international line on the telephone, no access to print media in English, no iTunes downloads of “Big Love” or “Mad Men,” and no Google or Wikipedia. Awful…
According to my uber-reliable cyber buddy, Russian Sphinx, only 32.2% of Russians use the Internet, which seems woefully little for a country that has an almost monopolistic lock up on the cyber bride/dating concession. This may be because the demographics of Russia lean heavily towards the over 70-s, who have not embraced the new technology with open arms. This generalization, however, does not include HRH’s father, Dedushka, who is very much on-line. All the time. Great SKYPEr, Dedushka, as I have mentioned before.
Still, there is no lack of interest in Russia out there in cyber space, and this is brought home to me each and every day as I spend way too much time trawling my Feedjit roll to see who is visiting my blog, how they came to it, and what they are looking for. The single biggest reason people come are searches (mostly from New Zealand or Australia) for recipes for Beef Stroganoff, but there are other reasons too. Some particularly intriguing ones follow:
Madras, Tamil Nadu arrived from google.co.in on "Dividing My Time: Sex in Russia" by searching for Would you ever want to Have sushi with Portia and Daniel.
Makati, Manila arrived from google.com.ph on "Dividing My Time: American Women Married to Russian Men" by searching for Russian men tender kiss.
Brooklyn, New York arrived from google.com on "St. John’s Eve/Иван Купала: Ferns, and Fires, and Flesh: Oh My!" by searching for THORN WREATHS MARTYRS WORE AROUND LEGS .
Moscow, Moscow City arrived from google.ru on "Move Over Noho - Evidence of Same-Sex Marriage Found in Moscow" by searching for girls for marriage in moscow horses.
Toronto, Ontario arrived from google.ca on "Day of the Inventors and Rationalizers (Management Consultants)/День изобретателя и рационализатора: Love To Hear Medvedev Go “Tweet Tweet Tweet!”" by searching for Hot Management Consultants.
Perth, Western Australia arrived from google.com.au on "St. John’s Eve/Иван Купала: Ferns, and Fires, and Flesh: Oh My!" by searching for Aeroflot nude calendar download.
Happy Internet day to all of Russia’s bloggers, programmers, web site builders, on-line retailers, and, of course, to cyber-stud, President Medvedev ! Who is STILL not following me on Twitter. Which, frankly speaking, hurts my feelings.
This post is part of The Stunt.
Are you old enough to remember the pre-Internet days? What are the things you love or hate about the Internet? What is your take on the sushi with Portia and Daniel…I fear it is perhaps not rated-PG. Thoughts?
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