To be honest, I feel ashamed, pained, and disgusted. No, I don't like the pensioners. They irritate me with their intransigence and malice, their rejection of all that's new. But if one reflects on the conditions that most of them live in!... We, the young people, often think: it was you who built this kind of state for us, so now you can reap the harvest! But we are being unfair: they fought a war, and then rebuilt the country... Most of them spent their whole lives working full time, in factories, or in responsible posts, and never got much relaxation or ever owned anything much. And these people have been given honour and respect on dates when the authorities are going to make long speeches and blow out their cheeks: the 62nd anniversary of the lifting of the blockade of Leningrad, and the 60th anniversary of Victory. But words are only words. And the deeds are these: a simultaneous abolition of free benefits and an increase in the price of fares. When the conductor tries by yelling to get the money from the passengers, and they tell him, yelling, that they heard on the radio that they didn't have to pay, and both are right, and both are extreme, though they're not to blame for any of it, I feel so ashamed for my GREAT COUNTRY! I want to just get the hell off that bus or trolleybus - or pay the damned 10 roubles for everyone... How degrading all of this is - for us, who are young and healthy!
- One Who Was Born In This City And Who Lives In It
Monday, January 17, 2005
From an online discussion of the Russian pensioners' protests, at Fontanka.ru:
Posted by David McDuff at 2:03 pm