The end of the end? St. Pete legislature seeks ban on ‘apocalyptic propaganda’
19 Sep, 2012 14:54
The St. Petersburg governor has been asked to limit propaganda about the end of days. A member of the legislature in Russia’s second-largest city has proposed the law be introduced.
The deputy, Andrey Gorshechnikov, writes in the official letter to Governor Aleksandr Poltavchenko that eschatological moods are growing in the community and the mass media, always thirsty for ratings, only add up to general panic. The tendency is especially obvious today, in view of the end of the Mayan calendar, which runs out on December 21 this year.This causes the ordinary citizens to seek consolation in alcohol and illegal drugs, prompts growth in the crime and suicide rates, Gorshechnikov claims. The deputy then asks the governor to take measures against the informational boosting of social hysteria by “considering legal limitations on the propaganda about the end of the world.”The legislature approved the address, but only after heated discussion.The head of the Fair Russia party in the chamber, Aleksey Kovalev (Gorshechnikov was elected from the same leftist-centrist party), supported the initiative saying that “the federal TV channels’ search for ‘tasty’ plots was effectively debilitating the population.”He added that the spreading of mysticism was depriving ordinary people of their coordinate grid. The parliamentarian was especially angry at the mass media for “spreading Fomenko’s crazy ideas that there were no Middle Ages and that Jesus Christ and Genghis Khan are the same person.”Here Kovalev referred to the ”Alternative History” theory, suggested some time ago by Russian mathematician Anatoly Fomenko, which states that known historical documents could be repetitive copies of the same ancient originals and therefore the real human history is several times shorter than the one we are all used to. The chairman of the legislature, Vyacheslav Makarov, suggested that the author of the request himself sought media attention rather than people’s peace of mind. “Personally, I am not worried by the end of days,” said Makarov who represents the United Russia party.Grigory Yavlinskiy of the pro-democracy liberal party Yabloko said that the people’s worries about the apocalypse were a symptom of deeper problems in society. At the same time he opposed the direct limitations on certain reports, saying that valerian tincture is more helpful in such cases.Communist Party Deputy Vladimir Dmitriyev said that for him the end time was a thing of the past, as it happened with the breakup of the Soviet Union. At the same time he tried to calm fellow parliamentarians, claiming that he personally knew of scientific reports proving that the planet Earth would exist in its present form for at least several billion years.