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Haven't had a burger in a while. Lunch with Obama at Ray's Hell Burger.
June 24, 2010 4:21 PM   Subscribe

Russian President Medvedev is tweeting his trip to the US (English, Russian). So far, no comment on Putin belittling him to the French press.

He also likes to post pictures.
posted by grobstein (25 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Has he managed not to poison anyone so far?
posted by Artw at 4:27 PM on June 24, 2010


Well, at least this verifies one thing: there is no Russian word for "tweet" -- the Russian feed uses "сообщение" which is "message."
posted by griphus at 4:28 PM on June 24, 2010


Hm. You'd think someone with such obvious power wouldn't need to make such petty displays of it.
posted by edguardo at 4:35 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


For reasons I can't articulate I find the idea of a Russian dignitary ("head of government" is far too lofty a term for Putin's lieutenant) eating a burger with jalapenos on it delightful.
posted by a small part of the world at 4:36 PM on June 24, 2010


Putin, that is. It ... seems bad for business, so to speak, and highly unsubtle for a supposed cloak-and-dagger type.

I mean, if Putin really is the power behind the throne, why does he need to remind the world of that? Why not just his dancing медведь?
posted by edguardo at 4:42 PM on June 24, 2010


I love how the U.S. and Russian presidents are chowing down on burgers at a tiny table with a poster for "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" hangs on the wall right behind them. There's a joke in there somewhere, but I got nothin'.
posted by zardoz at 4:57 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I mean, if Putin really is the power behind the throne, why does he need to remind the world of that? Why not just his dancing медведь?

Because there's no need for cloak-and-dagger in this case, but the world still needs to know who runs the place. Russians have no illusion over where the power lays -- no one was electing Medvedev thinking he was going to lead the country in anything but name -- but the rest of the democratic world, where this sort of thing is at least bothered to be covered up, needs to know it just as clearly.
posted by griphus at 5:08 PM on June 24, 2010


Obama makes adorable mistake, calls it "Twitters"
posted by emilyd22222 at 5:17 PM on June 24, 2010


Mayor Newsom's twitter post about Medvedev's first twitter post in Russian [NOT-NOT-ETWEETIST]
posted by finite at 5:18 PM on June 24, 2010


Russia’s Medvedev to See Google but Not Co-Founder Brin
posted by homunculus at 5:31 PM on June 24, 2010


There must some "In Soviet Russia" jokes here.
posted by vidur at 5:53 PM on June 24, 2010


Russia’s Medvedev to See Google

But that's where all the top secret microfilm is stored!
posted by Sys Rq at 6:06 PM on June 24, 2010


Executives from Google’s main rival in Russia, Yandex, are accompanying the Russian delegation to Silicon Valley.

I could see Crazy Vaclav saying "Google? No, no, no. Yandex!"
posted by ignignokt at 7:20 PM on June 24, 2010


No fighting in the server room!
posted by Artw at 7:22 PM on June 24, 2010


Letter-for-letter, the word for hamburgers in this is "gamburgerov". Also, Barack Obama's name is Barakom Obamoy. Russian grammar is neat.
posted by alexei at 8:48 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Ray's Hell Burger summit will one day be remembered at the beginning of the great alliance between a resurgent democratic russia and a booming green American economy. We will recall it with the likes of Yalta and the Fall of the Berlin Wall. You will remember nothing of the volcano, the oil spill, Haiti, or even the wars. Afghanistan and Iraq. Years later you will be asked to recall by your grandkids, where you were when these two great leaders in command of their countries sat for a simple meal of ground beef and baked bread.
posted by humanfont at 8:52 PM on June 24, 2010


When I was studying in Russia, the student convenience store at the school had an array of so-called гамбургер (gamburger) concoctions, usually a beef or chicken patty with lettuce (and mayo, no doubt; it is Russia after all). Anyway, there were a couple of us from the US there, and we'd always screw up saying the word when we got up to the counter, usually with a crush of Russian students clamoring to get their order in. It wasn't quite like "hamburger" with a "g." The "a" needed to be a little fancier. And both "r"'s needed to be rolled a bit, the first being less pronounced than the last, the "gur" needed to be stressed just so, and so on. One of the guys in the program was the weakest Russian speaker of our group, and he always wanted one of these burgers. It started out a straight "gamburger," exactly like "hamburger" but with a "g." The shopkeeper couldn't understand. "GAMburger." Nothing. "gamBURGer." Nothing. "gamburgER." Nothing. Pronunciation, or at least stress, isn't immediately obvious from spelling in Russian, and that difficulty combined with what should be a straightforward transliteration from the English made getting a hamburger one of the most difficult language tasks during our study in the country.

Days of experimentation followed, he always trying to better the previous day's pronunciation. The most effective, after a while, turned out to be some bastard combination of the Count and Bela Lugosi trying to be a "serious" theater actor, and seemed like you needed to be twiddling a handlebar mustache to say it just right. The first syllable was "gahm," short and quick; next was the big flourish "BOOOOOr" with an r both rolled a little and quieter than you'd want; and the final dwindling "gerrrr," rolling the final "r." It worked; he'd get his burger.

Every time we were there with the guy, we'd hang back and wait as he approached the perpetually-angry middle-aged Russian lady behind the counter. "What do you want?" she'd drawl in the slower, Ukrainian pronunciation common to the region. Quickly, he'd get out the first part of the sentence, "Please give me a..." (Дайте мне пожалуйста один...) and then, he'd slow down, his voice, raised but lacking confidence, "...gahmBOOOOOOrgerrrrr."
posted by msbrauer at 9:44 PM on June 24, 2010 [8 favorites]


Kremlin.ru is kind of a badass domain name.
posted by delmoi at 10:02 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Has he managed not to poison anyone so far?

that was the last guy.
posted by delmoi at 10:07 PM on June 24, 2010


that was the last guy.

Meet the new boss, suspiciously similar to and handpicked by the old boss.

I do like his site with photos, though.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:54 PM on June 24, 2010


Say what you want about how corrupt you think Russia is. Be as cynical as you want about politics and politicians. At least the current US policy with respect to Russia is no longer based on whether or not the American president can look into the Russian president's eyes and "get a sense of his soul," as was the case with the previous pair of presidents. Sharing some burgers together is a much better indicator of the leaders' characters, it seems to me, and I whole-heartedly support a little frivolity between our respective countries.

I must say, however, that with a Russian president named Dmitri, and high-level American generals getting shuffled around, I can't help but be reminded of Dr. Strangelove:

"Now then, Dmitri, you know how we've always talked about the possibility of something going wrong with the Bomb... The *Bomb*, Dmitri... The *hydrogen* bomb!... Well now, what happened is... ahm... one of our base commanders, he had a sort of... well, he went a little funny in the head... you know... just a little... funny."

But maybe that's just me.
posted by tempestuoso at 11:59 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, Barack Obama's name is Barakom Obamoy.

Not exactly. That's Obama's name when he is being referred to as, for instance, "with Barack Obama." I'm terrible at explaining grammar, but that's just a conjugation of the name in the same way we conjugate verbs. His proper name in Russian is still "Barack Obama."
posted by griphus at 8:27 AM on June 25, 2010


Sharing some burgers together is a much better indicator of the leaders' characters, it seems to me, and I whole-heartedly support a little frivolity between our respective countries.

While I agree, it's important to remember that FDR did that with Stalin, and came away with the impression that he was a swell guy. (Stalin thought Roosevelt was a weenie, though.) (Also, Churchill was there.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:51 AM on June 25, 2010


Yes, the preposition с (s, 'with') requires its object to be in the instrumental case. See also this Language Log discussion about the declination of 'Barack Obama' in Russian.
posted by Bukvoed at 11:50 AM on June 27, 2010


Bukvoed: "Yes, the preposition с (s, 'with') requires its object to be in the instrumental case. See also this Language Log discussion about the declination of 'Barack Obama' in Russian."

I did in fact know this, I just found it funny for the same reason the author of the article did-- for which thanks, it's a good read.
posted by alexei at 9:44 PM on July 2, 2010


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