God, can one’s stomach ever be anxious enough when reading news about Estonia? Well the sad thing there is such little news, and what news there is often comes from a Russian viewpoint. Paul Goble lives in Estonia and probably could produce volumes of insightful news on Estonia, but he spends his time digging through local Russian newspapers and shining a light on what is going on in that enormously confusing country. The Baltic Times only comes out once a week and they are limited by space – one newspaper for three countries – plus it has a business angle, which doesn’t feed my political jones, and moreover, it’s based in Latvia and has a sort of Latvian outlook on things – that is to say it’s, you know, more emotional than an Estonian-based newspaper would be. It actually has a pulse 😉
And so I sadly sniff through the Russian sources, yawning through another Pravda editorial that accuses the Baltics of “historical revisionism.” Have you ever read an Estonian history book from the Soviet era? It’s a joke. The 1918-1940 period is summed up in about three sentences, mostly aimed at demonizing the Estonian fascist dictator Konstantin Päts (who has been discussed on this board). But go on, read some Pravda. It’s informative…
Let us however delve into the history of those four years between 1941 and 1945, when these countries were liberated from the Fascist yolk of Hitler’s forces by the Soviet Union (or would they prefer to claim they were invaded a second time and that they preferred Hitler’s Nazis?)
“Liberated from the Facist yoke?” Will this shit ever end? I mean you know the writer didn’t fight in World War II. He’s probably as clueless about his history as the next guy. And the guys that are leftover from that era were the, pardon the expression, “tools of the decade.” They were the cannon fodder; the 17-year-old soldiers sent to kill for their intellectual superiors who have long since passed. And it’s like the little boys of the ’50s will never stop arguing over the deeds of their fathers. Whatever.
Then there’s that other menace, gays. According to UK Gay News (what, you’ve never heard of UK Gay News?) a Tallinn City Counselor wore a “I Hate Gays” t-shirt.
Tarmo Kruusimägi, a member of the Tallinn City Council’s Committee on Consumers’ Rights and Protection of Children, who’s artistic nickname is ‘Street Cleaner’ has appeared on a stage in a t-shirt with wording “I hate gays”, Delfi.ee reports.
He has had the t-shirt for couple of years, he said.
Stop the presses – one guy in Estonia is an idiot! And he’s a politician (go figure).
In more bad news, according to Regnum Viido Polikarpus, the founder of Global Estonian magazine, is allegedly worried about the possibility that more naturalized Russians in Estonia will vote for the Center Party, and I guess the logic follows that Center Party founder Edgar Savisaar will then invite Russia’s army of 17-year-old scared shitless kids to defend its ports from Finnish tourists.
Or at least, that’s what Regnum.ru said Polikarpus said. But at least he got called a “political expert.” And if you are in Tallinn stop by Eesti Maja for some liha ja kartulid. Way to go Viido! But read on…
Polikarpus reminds that 1/3 of the Estonian population are Russians and that during the last municipal elections 2005 even Estonians voted for the Centrists, a party cooperating with the United Russia.
Well first off, Russians are a quarter of the population there, not a third, overestimators. Second, if you are going to publish news in English, you better start studying. These guys just can’t figure out their articles, and if you’re going to BS the English speaking audience, you need your articles, guys.
Well anyway, in light of the less-than-inspiring news I have decided to take up reading the poetry of Noor Eesti, the Estonian literary movement from the first decades of the 20th century that can even inspire people that don’t know the language that well.
Tooling around the Internet, I found this great page with links to the Noor Eesti writers and poets and examples of their work. I chose to read a poem by Marta Lepp because Marta is my daughter’s name. According to Google, Marta Lepp was born in 1883 and passed on in 1940. So she’s dead. But her poetry lives on. And it’s a much better read than any of the news today. If Estonia excels in any department outside of cross country skiing, it’s in poetry. All the Estonian poets I have read – especially Hando Runnel – have shown an immediately recognizable talent for sound and language.
And so I leave you with this poem, which I am told is about weaving, jail, bad weather, boredom, and maybe something else.
Vurr, vurr…vurr, vurr…
Udu, muda…muda, udu…
Igav on mu vaikne kodu
Vurr, vurr…vurr, vurr…
Kallim sõber kaugel trelli-talus
Hämarikus õhkab süda valus,
Vurr, vurr…vurr, vurr…
Õues igavus ja niiskus,
Puude oksad udu-piiskas