--Vladimir Putin imprinting on cranes?
Body...wanna feel my body?
Body...such a thrill my body
Body...wanna touch my body?
Body...it's too much my body
--Macho Man, The Village People
Moral maxims are surprisingly useful on occasions
when we can invent little else to justify our actions
--Tales of Belkin, Aleksandr Pushkin
Whether he's retrieving a 6th century urn from a dive in the Black Sea, saving a camera crew from a Siberian Tiger or leading a flock of captive-raised Siberian white cranes in flight this week as part of the birds’ training for winter migration, it's all in a day's work for former KGB agent-cum-Russian President Vladimir Putin.
President Putin has been filmed riding horses bare-chested and bareback, climbing trees, fighting fires, tracking whales, driving a Formula One race car at 150 m.p.h., and more. Girls have been known to swoon and erupt into scripted dance before his manly swagger. He seems to be aiming for an Indiana Jones meets James Bond image. But Putin fessed up recently to Reuters that most of his derring-do was staged.
D'oh! Those poor, naive Russian peasants ... they'll never leave their Soviet indoctrination and potato fields, methought. But then, there was this memory:
--President George W. Bush,, in his salad days
And because he is who he is, GWB appears to be surrounded by colorful Teletubbies before issuing his Mission Accomplished (not) speech in 2003:
"Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."
Alas, we are bumpkins, all. Belief and hope are a mighty things. As Pushkin also wrote, "A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths."
My name is Ozymandius ...