Man without a Country with a Nice Bag


I’ve never really liked Russian leaders…with the exception of one.

Boris Yeltsin struck me as a bull in the political china-shop, the temporary man of the people who would later become a man of the bottle. (Heck, this man danced at a rock concert stage while campaigning for re-election in 1996.) But he could never carry that buffoonish swagger and simplicity the way Ronald Reagan could…

And there is the chillingly austere Vladimir Putin, former KGB man from Leningrad. Perry Anderson has this wonderful description that Putin cuts a somewhat colourless, frigid figure in the West and that “in cultures accustomed to more effusive styles of leadership, the sleek, stoat-shaped head and stone-cold eyes offer little purchase for affective projection.” True, I’ve never seen a smiling portrait of the man.

But think Gorbachev and what springs instantly to mind? Disastrous Crimean holidays, Perestroika, Glasnost, the twilight years of the (good ol’) Cold War, my JC lecturer shrieking her high praises to this balding man… But yes, Gorby has always remained an icon of idealism to me. This is my favourite shot of him– just Gorbachev, pensively staring out a window, now a fashion icon for Louis Vutton, as if on his way in 1988 to defuse another “Evil Empire” remark from Reagan…

One Response to “Man without a Country with a Nice Bag”

  1. Cool!!! Also took notice of the new Louis Vuitton ads with Gorbachev a few weeks ago especially since he is my namesake, hehehe. 😀

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