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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ohryzko Rejected Again

As expected, the Anticrisis-controlled parliament turned down Yushchenko’s pick for Foreign Affairs Minister. Word of advice for Ohryzko: If you really want this job, take a crash course in unlearning Ukrainian.


Anonymous said...

In order to get the job it is not so much as unlearning Ukrainian or conversing only in Russian but NOT being perceived as being "effective". PoR have no problem with someone who will wallow in incompetency while being pro-West. They just don't want someone who is a 'closure'.

Taras said...

It looks like somebody else has already got the job:)

I'd say "unlearning Ukrainian" (sarcasm) goes way beyond linguistics. It’s the opposite of learning to respect yourself. And it's a question of cultural closure: The Russians will never learn Ukrainian as long as we Ukrainians always speak Russian. The baby who always gets carried will never learn to walk.

I'm not a big fan of Ohryzko. Nor am I convinced of his incompetence either. Let’s see how Yatsenyuk performs. But even at this point, we could say that the issue of divided loyalty will haunt Yatsenyuk throughout his foreign affairs stint.

Anonymous said...

au contraire Taras - obviously ur experience with babes is limited - of course a carried baby will learn to walk (nature will out!). It is in one's genetic code to walk.

But culture is learnt. And that is where the imp. of television, school, "low culture" (yep, all those movies and videogames and mystery stories) come into play. Why was the Soviet state so powerful? Because it got the young 'uns and controlled the educational system.

Currently Ukraine has a Min. of Education whose goal is to protect the state (those currently in power). And who does not speak Ukriainian. My only ques. is How are politicians able to get away with this? Conducting official business in an un-official lang.?

Taras said...

Touché! I haven’t considered getting a PhD in developmental psychology yet:)

But I do believe the analogy to be accurate. It boils down to this: Environmental understimulation increases the likelihood of mental retardation.

Certainly I wasn’t referring to sensorimotor and cognitive skills but rather to a host of cultural issues deeply embedded in Ukraine’s political context.

As you know, starting with the early 80s, the Soviet system lost contact with the young generation. Perestroika failed to put it right. And that was one of the reasons why the USSR wouldn’t make it past the early 90s.

Now, I do agree with you that Soviet-style educators still dominate Ukrainian academia. The fact that many of them speak Ukrainian doesn’t make them any better.

And with Proffessor in power, we can’t seriously expect any major changes in this area. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to be a scientist in this country.

Anonymous said...

Environmental understimulation ...

Agree totally which is why I think of Skinner placing his kid in a box for "imprinting" was horrific.

Which is why every hospital, orphanage, school, home for disabled, prison colony --- has me gagging. From medieval wrapping of newborns (official reason: so their limbs grow straight), to lack of activities/trips/intellectual stimulation in institutions, --- the vicious cycle of no money, low wages, no expanded social support network, etc.

(btw the last 2 urls on ur post do not work)

Anonymous said...

off topic - I do know of one case where yes, children deliberately were raised to be unable to walk - practice of female Chinese foot-binding.

Taras said...

You need to use Internet Explorer for URL #3. No idea what’s wrong with URL #4:( It runs well on my computer regardless of the browser. In any case, you haven’t lost a thing. There’s nothing sensational about those links.

Totalitarian regimes around the world have learned quite a few tips from the Chinese and the Holy Inquisition.

In Ukraine, that vicious cycle has found its way back to government policy. Today, we talk about the Yanukovych box: “The less money they have, the easier it is to manipulate them, the more money we have.” Same folks, same formula.