Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Only in Russia

I simply must note here an event reported in the New York Times this morning. Two men stood in line somewhere in southern Russia waiting to buy a beer at an outdoor festival. They were discussing the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. (Of course, one might add.) The argument grew heated. One man pulled a gun loaded with rubber bullets and shot the other in the head. The man attacked survived—fortunately. The very brief NYT story ends with this deadpan sentence: “Among educated Russians, classical literature and philosophy are sometimes debated in casual social settings, the way sports often are in Western countries.” Based on my own experiences, Russians need not be all that “educated” to fall into such discussions. Mother’s milk and so on.

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