A Funny Thing Happened to Me on the Way to the Ukraine

 Apr 29, 2019 9:00 AM
by Marcel Strigberger

     Congratulations to Volodymyr Zelensky, the new president of the Ukraine.

     Volod Z is actually a comedian who won a landslide victory over the incumbent. He starred in a television series called “Servant of the People”, where he played a destitute school teacher who unexpectedly becomes president of the Ukraine. It seems that reality has now mirrored fiction.

     His victory was apparently a protest vote against the status quo. The people were fed up with corruption, the failing economy and the conflict with the Russians.

     However, the new president allegedly offered a nebulous platform with few concrete policies, other than pursuing anti-corruption which was what he was ranting about in his television role. In other words, it looks like his platform is virtually about nothing. This reminds me of Seinfeld, where George Constanza in pitching his series to network executives, when asked what it would be about, proudly proclaimed, “about nothing.”

     I believe the comedian president must be a devout fan of Seinfeld. The similarities in this man’s campaign to Seinfeld situations are spooky. Many of the expressions or Seinfeldisms readily fit into what is transpiring in the Ukraine.

     For example, Zelensky no showed at a debate he was going to have with his adversary. His actions are reminiscent of the Seinfeld soup Nazi, the implication being, “No debate for you”.

     He has also avoided or nixed talk shows, big interviews and press conferences. I guess if asked what his policies are, he told them, “I want to reduce corruption. I am talking about shrinkage.”

     If pressed for more information, he no doubt would have added, “I have already answered your questions. Yada, yada, yada.”

    The Seinfeld series of course has several characters. I wonder if they will be somehow replicated in the new cabinet. It may not come as a surprise if he appoints a Minister resembling Kramer. I can already visualize his Minister of External Affairs, being a fellow with a high stack of hair, bursting through the door into a chamber at the Kremlin and disrupting Putin. I suppose Putin might feel a bit uncomfortable and call him a “close talker”.

    And Mr. President might also appoint a parallel to Elaine, perhaps as Minister of Health. She can make decisions of who is “sponge-worthy.” Whatever woman he appoints, I am certain she will not have “man hands.”

    And of course, it would be natural to install a George Constanza type Minister. I don’t know what portfolio he would give him. Maybe Zelensky would create a new department; the Ministry of Nothing. I am a certain about one thing and that is that this minister would make sure nobody goes around “double-dipping the chips”.

    Furthermore perhaps now there will even be an end to the conflict with Russia. The new president will achieve “serenity now”.

    Can anything like this actually happen now in the Ukraine? Hey, look at what transpired so far. Voters convincingly elected a comedian with no political experience to lead a country of 45 million inhabitants. The better question can anything like this happen in other countries? We have yet another lesson here from history. If the voters are not satisfied with their political leaders, all standard bets are off and anybody or anything can get onto the table.

   The time may not be long before we hear lots of laughter in the House of Commons. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”.


 


  

 

 
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