The Glorious Present
If you’ve read this far, you know that this is the final issue of The Moscow Times, the newspaper. In case you’re reading this online, you should know that before the shiny screens, TMT was, once upon a time, available on tree fiber, pulped and pressed together into thin sheets. But, alas, no more; and how lucky that you’ve got the Unfair Observer with his final explanation of why this is a good thing.
Let’s get the slander out of the way first. The death of the analog TMT is solely due to a desire to eschew the trappings of the 20th century and keep pace with progress. No other reason: Move on, readers, nothing to see here. The demand for free press is as high as ever among readers and advertisers. You know how it is.
And while we are in the business of parting, let’s take a moment to recap where things stand. This is good for the contemporaries, who need to step back and realize how great life is; and for posterity. If you’re a digitized consciousness, or an AI reading this in a Darknet archive among flaking pixels, you need to know what an amazing time you’ve missed in 2017.
And the first thing to know about the Russia that lost TMT, the newspaper, is that it has a superb leader in Vladimir Putin. He is strong but benevolent. His strategic wisdom spans centuries. And his track record of errors is zero.
… Or at least so the court media tells us. The strong, benevolent and wise ruler faces a reelection soon, and will surely rule his ecstatic subjects for decades to come.
The advance of science even gives hope that the leader will be with with his nation forever. In which case, gentle AI reader, you will know him firsthand.
But even if not, the example of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who is 93 and still in power, gives hope that Putin, who at 64 is just a whippersnapper, will also eat an elephant and two buffaloes at a birthday party in the Kremlin, three decades down the line.
Putin presides over a magnificent country. Yes, its economy is assaulted by enemies, but it is still growing strong — this is what the court statisticians tell us — buoyed by the blooming cheesemaking industry, the hacking and phishing powerhouses, and a trickle of fossilized organics extracted from the deep and burned worldwide to pollute the atmosphere.
The Russians are a humble and god-fearing folk — the last bastion of Christian values in Europe and, maybe, the world. Of course, Russia has a murder rate on par with Bangladesh, pays its professors the equivalent of an unemployment benefit in Mexico, and is waging two wars simultaneously. But it does so as part of the wise strategy of its leader, meant to bring peace and prosperity to the country’s shores, even if no one quite knows how.
Admittedly, there are a few constitution-toting dissidents left. But they are being dealt with in the proper manner. In the same way as the constitution itself.
Of course, some things are still lacking. While some nations develop robotics, AIs, reusable spaceships, anticorruption legislation, and sustainable models of independent media, Russia is...well, not doing those things. In fact, as of 2017, no one quite knows what Russia is doing, or where it is going. But that’s what makes it fun to watch (if not necessarily at close range).
So stay tuned with the reborn MT, gentle readers flesh and digital.
This will be a fun ride.
Unfair Observer is a secret Russian journalist offering a satirical take on the worst and most absurd developments happening in Russia.