Some friends and I have been discussing the next big fad on the Russian consumer's horizon: Chia politburo figures. That's right! Soon Russians will be able to invite favorite Soviet-era heroes into their homes to give them the tender loving care and attention that Soviet leaders gave the people for so many years. Consider it a way of saying "thank you" for all the good times gone by...
[Since this blog now has many international readers, and since I don't know how far the 1980s Chia Pet fad made it around the globe (not far, I hope), a brief explanation of the Chia Pet concept: a terra cotta figurine (originally a sheep, I believe) is filled with water and "painted" with a coating of seeds. Within a few days the seeds sprout and eventually the lovable figurine has grown a shaggy coat of tiny little plants. Isn't it wonderful? Why go outside and make real friends when you have a Chia friend to care for? How can you doubt the greatness of American culture when you hear about something like that?]
In fact, we anticipate that the Chia politburo figurines will have widespread appeal among the Russian public, as recent public opinion surveys have revealed a large percentage of the population yearn for the Soviet Union and consider its collapse to be a great tragedy. Nor is any leader taboo: a recent survey (wish I had a reference, but I don't) revealed that only about 40% or so of Russians consider Stalin's policies to be a crime. And so, we can trim Joseph Vissarionovich just as lovingly as he "trimmed" the Soviet Union!
Artist renditions of the initial offerings (ok, just renditions because I'm not an artist) can be seen below. While the first series will be distributed with the standard chia plant seeds, future releases will include herb and vegetable seeds, allowing for more productive use at the dacha.
And so, the Chia figures:
Chia Marx (yes I realize he was neither Russian, Soviet, nor a member of the politburo. In fact, he never even thought a revolution could succeed in Russia. But with a beard and hairdo like that, how can we rightly leave him out of the series?):
At one point it was debated whether Vladimir Putin belonged in the Chia Politburo series. Despite the fact that he might be in good company with regards to his governing style, he was eliminated on the grounds that he simply doesn't have enough hair to make a good Chia pet.
Thus, we would like to recommend that Russian voters make their choice in the upcoming 2008 presidential elections based on a candidate's suitability for inclusion in the Chia politburo series. After all, since your vote doesn't really matter much, why not spend it on something that will bring joy to your fellow countrymen?
On second thought, maybe this type of voting strategy is a bad idea. After all, we can all agree that the National Bolsheviks' Eduard Limonov would be the hands-down winner in a modern Russia Chia elections. Despite the allure of his wacky hair, beard, and mustache, the National Bolsheviks are not a risk any Russian should be willing to take...