sexta-feira, 23 de julho de 2010
Iconic Soviet singer, songwriter, poet, and actor Vladimir Vysotsky (1938-1980), whose career had an immense and enduring effect on Russian culture, died exactly 30 years ago.
Three days after his death, a short-lived civil society was born in the Soviet Union's capital. Thousands of people came to pay their last respects to Vysotsky at the Taganka Theater, and they didn't do it on orders from an organizing committee, but completely of their own free will.
This spontaneous display of love and affection for Vysotsky caught the Soviet government completely by surprise. All the Kremlin could do in that pre-glasnost era was to pretend that nothing had happened.
Vysotsky's death was not typical of the Soviet totalitarian era. But had his life been equally unusual and extraordinary? The answer is probably "yes" if we consider his vast talents, but that has nothing to do with historical epochs and political systems. Geniuses come into this world by sheer chance.
An objective assessment of Vysotsky's literary heritage shows that it cannot be called purely pro-Soviet or anti-Soviet; it simply does not fit these parameters.
Although drawing comparisons is an unrewarding task, two other poets, Alexander Galich and Bulat Okudzhava, wrote their songs and verses at the same time as Vysotsky and in the same style. Both men also performed their poetry to guitar music.
Their fates were quite different. Galich chose an open opposition to the Soviet regime until his public performances were banned and he was forced to emigrate. Okudzhava, however, gave concerts and behaved like a quiet dissident, hinting at certain "esthetic disagreements" with the authorities. But he did not openly oppose the government.
Vysotsky was by no means a Galich-style dissident poet and tried to avoid making any kinds of political statements. At the same time, he did not poetize "the commissars in dusty helmets" like Okudzhava, who had joined the Soviet Communist Party after the history-making 20th Congress which denounced Josef Stalin's personality cult in 1956. Nor did he have any illusions about "socialism with a human face" harbored by the Shestidesyatniki movement, which involved progressive Soviet intellectuals, writers and academics in the 1960s.
None of his songs, novels, verses and poems pays tribute to Vladimir Lenin, the Communist Party or the Young Communist League (Komsomol), the three pillars of post-Stalin Soviet ideology. It seemed that this triad simply did not exist, as far as Vysotsky was concerned.
Vysotsky wrote about everyday life in the GULAG prison-camp system, overlooking its political aspects. Objectively speaking, Vysotsky's creative output highlighted a social protest. Although he never openly denounced the Soviet regime, Vysotsky behaved like a typical poet who should expose universal human evils and vices.
Newspaper and magazine proprietor Richard Desmond has bought TV channel Five, it was announced today.
The owner of the Daily Express and OK! magazine is paying £103.5 million to European entertainment network RTL for its 100% shareholding in Five, RTL said.
The station first launched in 1997.
RTL said it had signed an agreement for the sale of Five Group to the Northern & Shell company owned by Mr Desmond and that the deal was closed with immediate effect.
Gerhard Zeiler, chief executive officer of RTL Group, said: "With a significant recovery of the UK TV advertising market and Five performing well in the first half of 2010, we saw a window of opportunity to realise a transaction based on a fair evaluation of Five.
"The disposal is in line with RTL Group's strategy of being number one or two in each of our markets.
"I would like to thank the whole team at Five and CEO and chair Dawn Airey for their passion and professionalism, especially in the difficult past 20 months which saw a comprehensive restructuring of the company".
It has been reported that Mr Desmond, who is said to be worth £950 million, will transform the station's schedule with more reality and celebrity material.
This might include a revival of Big Brother, which is in its final series on Channel 4.
Today's Times newspaper said Mr Desmond had had direct discussions with Endemol, the owner of the programme, about broadcasting it next year.
Britain's fifth terrestrial channel, which launched with a provocative blend of films, soccer matches and naughty, near-the-knuckle shows as it tried to carve out its own unique position, had 5% share of TV viewing in the UK last year.
It is now the home for popular shows such as Neighbours, The Mentalist and CSI, with Justin Lee Collins, who was poached from Channel 4, among its raft of presenters.
RTL became the sole owner five years ago.