There are advantages and disadvantages to staying away from the internet for a few days. The advantages are, as HMG tells us about EU membership, are too obvious to need enumeration. The disadvantage is that on return one finds that the same depressing state of affairs remains. It is probably better to go on blogging without pausing to consider the ultimate purpose.
So, to depress oneself even more, let us turn to Russia, though, actually, this is less depressing than the usual news. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty tells us that, according to a new survey by the remarkably open and honest Levada Opinion Center, three in four Russians have never heard of Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption blogger and opposition pin-up boy as the RFE/RL article puts it.
Ho-hum!. The article goes into great deliberations as to why that might be and what it means to the opposition. It all depends on how you phrase it. After all, without any MSM coverage (of overwhelming importance in most of Russia where people do not read blogs all that much) one in four Russian does know who the man is and has an opinion on whether his stories are more or less accurate, why the authorities keep summoning him and whether he would make a good president (overwhelmingly, the answer is no, incidentally).
I shall not bother to ponder over how many people had heard of a certain Vladimir Ulyanov before 1917 or even during that momentous year until the very end of it. Let us merely think about how widely our own politicians, who have all the access to the media they could desire, are known.
Do we care? Really care?
3 hours ago