Yanni Kostonis is Professor of History and Russian&Slavic Studies at NYU. He is also the founding director of the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia.
January 12, 2019
The White House
Dear Mr President!
My team worked all night to come up with this short trailer for your upcoming meeting with President Putin. The last one we did, on you and Kim, was misunderstood. The Fake News Media thought it was about two countries instead of two Leaders who overrule the noise of the nay-sayers. As Ivanka’s adorable children’s book says, “It Takes a Leader.”
“Dreamworks Presents”: I made up the name because only you, Mr President, can dream of a better future. I’m checking to see if it’s ever been used before.
Here’s the opening scene:
The rubble of a nuclear war. A baby carriage alone on a deserted street. An abandoned Dunkin’ Donuts on a typical American street. Or is it a Russian street? Maybe we’re all the same after all, united under strong Leaders. It’s the “Triumph of the Leaders,” or something like that. We’re still working on it.
Cut to a sky. An airplane cuts through the clouds and begins its descent to a rendezvous with History. Looking out the window, aware of his destiny, is Our Leader, President Donald J. Trump. Another plane descends from the other direction. On it is Their Leader, President Vladimir V. Putin. Both are thoughtful, both are determined. Both are making History.
Here’s some pics, you’ll see what I mean:
Music: I lifted this piece off the internet, I heard it in an action movie, it’s called the “Flight of the Valkyrie.” Can’t you just feel the history and your importance? I tried the theme song from Titanic but the singer was Canadian. Gag! I’m still trying to find Wagner to check on permissions, but there’s a lot of Wagners!
The two men walk across an airfield: I’m thinking of that abandoned airport in Berlin, there’s no traffic and the architecture is old, it shows we’re trying to get back to better past. It just screams “Great Again!”
The two Leaders approach a stadium full of adoring supporters, Real Americans and Real Russians.
The cheering loyal followers all hold flags in one hand, and they hold a can of beer in the other. They all have big bellies and they’re not ashamed, just like you’re not ashamed, Mr President! We can photoshop President Putin to give him the same confident belly. It really says: We’re alike, united under strong Leaders!
Huge banners are draped over the stands, vertical and awesome! If we do red, white, and blue it’s the Russian flag, I know because I looked it up. So we can take the red and white from our flags and add black, it’s serious and neutral.
“Two Leaders. One Destiny. One Will. Do they have the Strength and the Leadership to overcome their citizens? Their representatives? The courts?
“The choice is ours. We can make this…
“THE TRIUMPH OF THE WILL”
I’d like to take credit but Steve B. came up with it and I just loved it. He has such a sense of history. He said that those who know history will understand and he sent me this link. As if I speak German!
I’ll get back to you on the really hard deal you’re driving with President Putin. You’re just a genius, Mr President: Russian investment in American-made real estate in exchange for Crimea. We’ll call it “Condos for Crimea”, it’s catchy.
Mr President, only you can do this. Hail to the Chief! Hail to the Leader!
I can’t write my name, it’s not about me, it’s about you!!!