Monday, August 10, 2009

Vladimir's Big, Busy, Shirtless Day

Well, since it's August, you know what that means. That's right. Time for Vladimir Putin to take off his shirt!

Wait. Time...time for...? What now?

Time for Vladirmir Putin to take off his shirt, that is correct. Putin (or The Pooter, as I'm sure he likes to be called. Try it sometime and see!) is the former President of Russia and he's currently the Prime Minister. In Russia, "Prime Minister" is equivalent to "Dude Behind the Scenes Who's Really Calling the Shots". He was elected President twice and according to the Rules of Electing Russian Leaders, you can only be elected twice. But if he had been able to run for a third term, he would have likely won. So they figured, why ruin a good thing? And that's how he came to be named Prime Minister!
Clearly, if they had wanted him for a third term, it shows that he's pretty well liked over there. In the 7th year of his Presidency he was enjoying President Barry-esque approval numbers which hovered around 70%. Considering how big Russia is, that's pretty impressive. And also considering how unpopular the past leaders of Russia have been, it's a wonder that the folks over there would admit to liking anyone.

But back to the Shirtless Augusts. Perhaps one of the reasons that The Pooter is so popular is that he seems to be the model of fitness for a 57-year old male living in Russia (which is part of the deal; you have to live there if you're going to be all leader-y and stuff). And it seems like every August he shows off that fitness by engaging in various outdoor activities somewhere in the vastlands of Russia so that he can be photographed so that all the world can see his 57-year old hairless torso in all of its glory. Behold!
It's a bit unnerving is what it is. The guy is like a real life action figure complete with all of the accessories. And he wants everyone to know it. Behold!

And yes, this has happened for the past three Augusts. Things are just moving along smoothly in the world and then BAM! There's Putin without a shirt and on some sort of rugged testosterone holiday.

I can't help but wonder, in the phallic photo below, if he's doing some sort of mental comparison between that tree part there and his own Russki manhood. If I had to guess, I'd guess Putin wins. Great. Another reason for this to be slightly unnerving.

If I recall correctly, it was right around the time that Not-Yet-President Barry was photographed in his swim trunks in Hawaii that the shirtless Putin pics began to get more notice. I think The Pooter had something to do with it. He was going to make sure that everyone knew that he was just as buff as our own Changey McOptimism was. But he was also going to make sure that everyone knew how versatile he and his physique could be. And he also wanted to make sure that we saw the sensitive side of the former KGB agent who allegedly has a talent for poisoning those he needs to "be gone"! Allegedly. And all the while looking like he could kick President Barry's arse. Behold!

After looking at a bunch of these pics, I started to feel like I had stumbled into some sort of Russian GQ photo shoot.

All of this definitely highlights his versatility as one who can survive in the wilderness AND kick your ass, as well as someone who enjoys long walks and animals. Here he is as the fishing Prime Minister:

And here he is as the sensitive, walking atop pebbles alongside the shallow river Prime Minister.

Here he is in a submarine diving to the bottom of the world's deepest lake (just because he could).

And here he is stopping to pet a little dog (or to entice him to get closer so that he can have a snack. Putin, not the dog).

Here is the Putin trifecta consisting of his judo, his hunting, and his shirtless,crucifix wearing fishing motifs.

And here he is on his way to audition for "Brokeback Mountain in Moscow".

Are we sure he isn't gay and opening for The Village People somewhere in Vegas?

Huh. No, I guess we don't know that at all, do we?

I'll tell you this: If he is ever looking for work, maybe he could do a tampon commercial. He can go swimming and hiking and fishing and horseback riding...!!!

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