Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

03 Jul 2002, 8:34 a.m.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who's a crazier and more popular sort of…

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2002 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who's a crazier and more popular sort of Russian Pat Buchanan, prefers "nationalism" to "internationalism" or "multinationalism":

Nationalism is a separate apartment -- not a communal apartment or a dormitory. Living in this apartment, you will visit your neighbors with pleasure, and also have them as guests, but you will not share their dining table or toilet....In my apartment I am the boss. And I alone will decide whom I will invite, and whom I will not even open the door to. As a human being I might feel sorry for the homeless or those who had their homes burnt down, but I am not obliged to let them stay overnight. Especially since there are many of them and I only have a two-room apartment. The same is true in a national state. The Southerners have filled up all of Moscow...

One of my flatmates right now has three guests living here for a few weeks: mother, sister, and another friend. Before that, this flatmate had other guests staying here a few weeks each. Three of the other flatmates have all had people staying here for more than a week. (Only one got approval from the rest of us first.)

Such happenings, I understand, are common when one chooses to live with three or four foreigners. And I should have asked for the house to come to an agreement on protocol for dealing with extended guests, and I would have had I known such guests would be so common. But when I can't reliably get into the bathroom on the second try, I get annoyed.

Zhirinovsky is speaking straight to my heart.