Earlier today I posted on how The Advocate will be losing Kerry Eleveld, who writes one of their politically neutral columns. But they'll still have Michael Lucas, who writes one of their conservative columns (if there's a regular liberal columnist there, she doesn't make it to the online version).
He's mad in his most recent column because the "Hollywood lefties" are supporting Putin in a video on YouTube. Lucas is mad that they don't seem to know who Putin is:
Don't they -- or their handlers, know how to use Wikipedia? Did Sharon Stone not realize she was flashing a victory sign to an ex-KGB agent, an eternal Communist, and a historical revisionist?
Fine, let's look at Wikipedia. It not only discusses Putin's premiership under Yeltsin, which started massive privatization of Russian industry and natural resources, and Putin presidential administration, which saw continued privatization of land and cutting of taxes (switching to a flat tax, a perennial favorite of the American right), it also mentions that he left the Communist Party in 1991 (as many non-ideologically communist pols did when the USSR collapsed) and went on to defeat Communist candidates in various elections.
I guess one can't expect The Advocate to keep up with the party affiliation of the world's biggest country's former president, even while publishing columns on him. It just changes so often. Like once. 20 years ago.
Wikipedia quotes a Russian sociologist who sums up Putin's administrations as "extreme right":
In December 2007, the Russian sociologist Igor Eidman (VCIOM) qualified the regime that had solidified under Putin as "the power of bureaucratic oligarchy" which had "the traits of extreme right-wing dictatorship -- the dominance of state-monopoly capital in the economy, silovoki structures in governance, clericalism and statism in ideology".
Eidman continues in the original text (translated by Google):
The real opposition to the current ultra-bourgeois and bureaucratic power can only be the left. For it to become a reality, we need new leaders with different values, psychology, human qualities, the ability to internally free from the vices and temptations inherent in post-Soviet social elite. Policy-popular work for the benefit of the unprivileged majority of Russian people, but not in the interests of the successful reform of the upper social stratum. Leaders of the new left-wing opposition, capable of changing self-serving and inefficient post-Soviet power elites whose interests are protected and Yeltsin, and Putin, and most of the "opposition" liberals.
My guess is that Michael Lucas didn't read the Wikipedia page before writing his column and decided to run a fairly inconsequential (and completely non-gay, although gay conservatives only complain about "non-gay" issues in gay activism and media if they're not their issues, otherwise they're pretty brazen about mixing the two) YouTube clip that he found on Michelle Malkin's site or TownHall.com or wherever and put it up on The Advocate. While Putin is definitely no friend of LGBT people, neither is the American right and I don't want to be forced to show my loyalty to American rightwingers because Russian rightwingers are supposedly so much worse.
Anyway, here's a bonus error in the column that jumped out at me (as usual, there are probably more in a Michael Lucas column but I'm not going to fact check every sentence for The Advocate):
That brainless onetime starlet Sharon Stone once said that the earthquake in China (which killed thousands of people) was a punishment from God for their abuses against the Tibetans. If God does exist, I truly hope that he punishes Sharon Stone and all the other Hollywood celebrities at the event.
Here's what Sharon Stone actually said:
When the earthquake hit, Stone wondered if it was a case of what goes around, comes around.
"Then all this earthquake and all this stuff happened, and I thought, is that karma? When you're not nice, that the bad things happen to you?" said the 50-year-old star.
It's a pretty shitty, elitist thing to say (China's government is brutal so karma punished Chinese working people?), but she didn't mention God. Potay-to, potah-to, but when you're supposedly running a real journalistic enterprise it's kind of a big deal. He's a columnist. They're supposed to have their own opinions, not their own facts.