Sunday, January 2, 2011

happy new year!

I no longer get Christmas videos from Barney (the best part of the Bush years, undoubtedly) with awkward cameos from government officials, so these will have to do. The president of arguably the most powerful country in the world talking to his dog, no really conversing with him, about Christmas decorations? Some may find this disturbing but I find it hi-larious. This just doesn't do it for me-- so generic and PC. They need to embarrass themselves just a little bit and start doing videos with Bo, not just mention him. So, I'm trying to garner some holiday spirit by watching the New Years/Christmas addresses from my two favorite foreign countries.

I can't understand everything he is saying, so I look over the Russian text here, and then check out the English translation here. Tomorrow I'll probably go through and actually look up the words that I don't know and write them down. This is going to be the beginning of my New Year's resolution of not-forgetting-all-the-Russian-I've-learned and trying-to-learn-more. I'm pretty excited about the time I'll have to do this.

And, of course, the Queen:

To be honest, I think this address is a little lackluster. Usually I watch the Queen's Christmas addresses when I'm feeling a bit down and I want to listen to her carefully measured speech and keep-calm-and-carry-on message, but this year the video was a bit depressing. They should go for farther away shots so you can't see her eyes darting back and forth from her prompter. And "sports" plus the King James Bible? Very odd.

As always, there is a certain amount of absurdity in these videos that is always amusing. The ridiculous singing children and the princes playing soccer in god-knows-where-but-Britain-probably-invaded-at-some-point in the British one, among other things, and the almost humorously stark/stoic scenes in the Russian one. I think the presence of people in the British video is a nice contrast to the blatant lack of people in the Russian one. All those shots of the buildings in red square and where are the дорогие друзья? I don't think it would kill the Kremlin to put in a few shots of happy Russian citizens, or is there some reason for this?


  1. Catherine, do you know what "бой Курантов" means? =)

    Happy New Year! Wish everything comes true!

  2. No, that wasn't in my textbook!

  3. gg =)

    "Куранты" - it's the main clock on the Kremlin Spasskaya Tower

    and "бой Курантов" - it's the striking of this clock
    here it is:

  4. Well, I know now! So, Google translates бой as "fighting," but it means striking/chiming in this instance and takes the genitive case? That makes sense, I suppose.

  5. yes, you are absolutely right! I enjoy reading your blog and I'm very glad you are fond of Russia =)