Alina Vituhnovskaya, writer
Together with the verdict of the famous Russian theater and film actor Mikhail Yefremov - 8 years of general regime, the background of public opinion has changed dramatically. The pendulum of mood swung from contempt and condemnation to sympathy and even emotion. Although, according to the logic of events, everything should have been exactly the opposite. The behavior of the actor, his lawyer, lack of remorse and (bad) playing at him, unwillingness to pay significant sums of money to the family of the victims and even a mocking discussion of her, somehow caught on the air - all this made Yefremov an antihero - miserable, vain, pathetically exalted, still imagining himself a star. I think this sentence is primarily a blow to his pride. Prison is not so much terrible as hierarchical humiliation. When all your life you considered yourself an elite, which is allowed to do everything, but turned out to be an ordinary citizen (not even a poet).
The change in public opinion was greatly facilitated by the version that does not stand up to criticism that the conclusion of the actor is revenge of the state for his project "Citizen-Poet". Yefremov, like his "mental double" the poet Orlusha, has never been an oppositionist. Both were engaged in permissible buffoonery for those uncritical layers of the intelligentsia, who, back in Soviet times, had enough of Zhvanetsky's completely legal humor as a political pain reliever.
It is a surprisingly paradoxical situation when, with total lack of freedom, there is freedom of speech, but in a minimal form and in that special cultural form, which in itself devalues the social and political significance of what was said. This is a kind of sublimation of “protest”, complacency and the illusion of community, going back to the 60s, with all of them “it's great that we are all gathered here today”. At the same time, more professional, but independent and not warmed up by the authorities, critics are deliberately hushed up.
I believe that the use of alcohol and drugs is a personal choice of a person ("My body is my business"), and not a disease. In any case, not a disease to the extent that it relieves him of any responsibility. But if a drunk person gets behind the wheel, he a priori becomes a potential criminal. As long as people drink or consume something at home, in theory, this should not concern anyone. However, the state diligently "fights" against drug users, as always leaving large dealers free, actively campaigning against drugs, even prohibiting their mention in fiction books. Thus, "Naked Breakfast" by William Burroughs, "Romance with Cocaine" by Ageev, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" by Arthur Connan Doyle could potentially be banned. Or maybe at the same time to outlaw all the writings of the cocaineist Freud and the opium user Bulgakov?
Let's return to the phenomenon of empathy for the killer actor. This phenomenon is deeply implicated in the overt and latent acceptance of alcoholic culture. Many people simply associate themselves with him, as well as with the heroes of his works. It is unbearable to endure your vice alone. But when you know that a certain famous person has the same vice and is loved and respected at the same time, you seem to give yourself a chance, cleanse yourself. Love for Venechka Yerofeyev from the same series.
They often write that one cannot live in Russia being sober. In fact, a drunken person does not even live, he falls into the Russian chthon, merges with it, indulging all the inertial lack of will of domestic life.
“In the face here one should always read some kind of bestial, visceral fatalism; "Russian roulette" is not for nothing that it is "Russian". Russia is inhabited by bodies without organs; Old Belief, untranslatable melancholy, alcoholism - all this stems from the fact that the Russians were thrown into the eternal night of the spirit even at the time of the baptism of Russia, when the theocracy, which has not yet left it, came to Russia. In the West, the church has always been more or less autonomous, and therefore allowed the parishioners to overthrow the person imposed on them by society through the state; in Russia such a situation did not exist at least since the baptism of times (in the book "Archetype and Symbol" Young in an article attitude of the state, the church and the individual psyche very well discussed in the Reformation context.) Therefore, and you have people Martyr and tsya in search of answers , and get drunk, because in a state of alcoholic trance, the "spirit of God" blows through an empty Russian body (remember the theory and other pneumatology of the early Orthodox Church.) "Russian folk" songs and other romances are the howl of the wind in empty rooms or outside the window on a long snowy night", - one commentator wrote to me under the post about Yefremov. And, of course, he is ontologically right.
Alcohol is not swaggering power, it is lack of will, degradation, fall. But also a ritual made almost a duty. For many years the writers were outraged that I did not lead a bohemian lifestyle, in literary circles they whispered in bewilderment: "Alina does not drink." It was some kind of vice, a mental flaw, and was seen as a strange challenge.
The majority of the Russian population, living on the brink of poverty and working for wear and tear, lives in an altered state of consciousness. Multiplied by alcohol, it gives rise to national intoxication. In such a state, society cannot make adequate decisions, resist violence and injustice. Alcohol is considered a depressant. And here's a riddle. As if something masochistic controls the people's soul, forcing it to experience a senseless and vulgar catharsis from delusional alcoholic "insights".