Mercurial Russians Contagion

I use a few historical references as a segue to Moldova’s Eurovision entry and to document the success stories of two young Romanian actors, and a few other Romanian-Chinese people, who are all , in my view, members of the Romanian diaspora.

painting showing a wide-eyed man holding the bloodied corpse of a younger man with Putin's boobs (left) and S. Stan as Tommy Lee (right) superimposedVarianta în limba română pe FaṭăCarte Meta.

  • Continuing history lessons, I start with a look at Ivan the Terrible’s mercury poisoning and how it may have changed his personality.
  • Being mercurial has been co-opted as a Machiavellian political strategy and even artistic personality trait.
  • A few young Romanian-roots actors worth remembering have probably employed a more disciplined approach for their success.

Shortly after having published 10 lessons, I felt the need to comment or add more on some of them, but I resisted stoically and managed to write this instead. Of all the additions I could make, the most important to me is Ivan’s mercury poisoning (by the time he was dead, he could hardly move because of high mercury concentration in his body).

Mercury poisoning (Mad Hatter) is quite different from lead poisoning (how W sucked E).

That’s important because, as I’ve mentioned before, I once entered a dentist’s office with sensitive teeth and came out with botched porcelain interdental cavities work, fixed with 8 large amalgams, all done without X-rays or my permission. Since then, I’ve been going down the rabbit hole of reading on Hg poisoning effects, even Ontario Minamata but really, when it comes to low doses, nothing’s clear.

One hint of what mercury does is the definition of “mercurial personality”, which has a rather “idealized” definition (pt-merc). Whereas this particular “personality” is described with a plethora of attributes that are all over the map (from monogamous romantic attachment to hope), the synonyms to mercuriality are more understandable, being “inconstant, fickle, capricious, unstable”, which also seem to better describe Ivan and his killing of Ivan Jr. Here’s a direct quote: [Ivan] was described as intelligent and devout but also prone to paranoia, rage, and episodic outbreaks of mental instability that increased with age. This fickleness, which was possibly a result of Hg, had already been described by Machiavelli as a successful strategy, and continued through Nixon’s madman’s theory, Trump’s “I’ll keep you guessing” and Putin parading his submarines and boobies.

Some of those traits seem to have been passed on to an entire people. I would put the vandalizing of the painting (rfe-paint) to that. And if we accept that Russians are a bit crazy, (“crazy Russians” is a trope, really), we need to figure out how much has this “craziness” rubbed off us. Case in point: our Moldovan brothers and their song on trains (explained a while back), which, according to Liliana Barbarosie (rfe-kshnvtrn), comes very close to being political and thus rejected by Eurovision (as an aside, anything can be too political, that’s a BS rule). As for reactions, wiwbloggs doesn’t like it and neither do Jude Kennedy, ESCunited, LukeWhite, EuroDrama, Eurovision Hub (underwhelmed, though polite), yet BalkanGuy, Mila from Kiev, Jordan Davis, do.

Nowadays, success requires a more disciplined and/or shocking form of creativity; “authenticity” by itself is insufficient. And, I suspect, that’s how Sebastian Stan managed to score a leading role in a TV series dedicated to Pam and Tommy Lee, replacing James Franco, or how Anamaria Vartolomei won best actress for her work in Happening. I’ll be watching them both (imdb-av, imdb-ss), as they impress me more than Florian Munteanu aka RazorFist, Emma Raducanu, or Haan Palcu-Chang / Angelina King (cbc-kngplcu).

I quoted Radio Free Europe in particular not only because I liked their investigative journalism in Romanian plagiarism (rfe-plag) but also because Russia’s censorship demands confirm they’re still doing a good job (rfe-censor). LE: Putin wrote about the "unity of Russia and Ukraine".

LE: Here's an article going into Russian historical dictatorship tendencies with greater detail.

Sources / More info: rfe-paint, rfe-kshnvtrn, pt-merc, imdb-av, imdb-ss, imdb-fm, rfe-plag, rfe-censor, cbc-kngplcu


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