Don’t Be Ridiculous: Proposal to Normalize Swear Words Rejected by Putin at Culture Council
Vladimir Putin traditionally sums up the results of the year at the meetings with the members of the presidential councils. This week he conducted the meeting of the human rights council and the culture council. The culture, of course, played the main role. All the more so that the year to come is declared the Year of the Theater.
This week, one could easily lose count of the meetings and events conducted by the President that were dedicated to various extent to the topics connected to the culture. Of course, there are a lot of problems in this field: wages, deterioration of buildings. But what is definitely beyond complaints, I think, is the amount of the President's attention. He discussed in detail all the most pressing and not so pressing issues that are considered important by the cultural figures.
Shakhnazarov got a note, passed it to Medinsky, in a second it's in the hands of Kirienko to reach the final destination, Putin's hands. The opposite side of the table also sees a great activity. They made their mind to impress the President with the amount of paper. Bondarchuk passes on a whole pile of documents.
It soon gets to Bashmet who waves his hand toward the only possible recipient, Putin. The sheets go through Matviienko, come to Golodets who keeps them for some time, and, in the end, the vice-prime minister asks the President to have a look at them. Notes to Putin arrive from every direction. And he even shows to somebody how many he already has got — too many questions at the culture council. From the librarians' wages to the proposals to consider the swear words to be the norm since they're so extensively used on the Internet.
Vladimir Putin: “Your proposal to allow it to everyone is quite revolutionary. Let's start right here and right now, at the culture council. But why is it so funny? Because we're people of a certain circle. But we need to make it funny for everyone. So that they just don't want to. We all have certain body parts, yet we don't show them to the public every time when it's hot or cold, you see? It's the part of the culture.”
Lyudmila Verbitskaya knows everything about the Russian language. Putin comes to an ordinary house in St. Petersburg to visit and congratulate her. In November, the honorary president of the Russian Academy of Education was decorated for her contribution to the unity of the Russian nation. But due to her illness, she couldn't attend the ceremony in the Kremlin.
Vladimir Putin: My congratulations!
Lyudmila Verbitskaya: Hello to you! I'm so glad to see you!
— I'm glad too.
It's Verbitskaya whom the President, as he once said, calls to ask for advice when in doubt about the word stress or the usage of a certain word.
Vladimir Putin: How do you feel?
Lyudmila Verbitskaya: I'm OK, but the things you're doing…
— It's OK.
— It's just…
— It's OK, it's just work. I need to work. At the end of the month, I get my paycheck so I need to get some work done to earn it.
The cameramen left, closing the doors behind them. Putin and Verbitskaya had a private conversation. That very evening the President attended the concert dedicated to Yuri Temirkanov's 80th anniversary. It's not very often that we see this side of Putin.