Thursday, November 30, 2006


I'm currently slaving over a hot essay and so I'm not going to be elaborating on my travels for a while, I'll just leave my one person readership in suspense for a while.

In the meantime I thought I'd share something I noticed whilst idly wikisurfing away from what I was supposed to be looking at - I think it was Aristotle’s poetics, but I'm not sure; and how on earth I got from there to here is beyond me.

I ended up looking at the page on the FSB (Russian security services) and then on the page about the KGB (soviet security services), both of which have been in the papers a fair amount recently due to their alleged involvement in the death of some ex-KGB/FSB agent who turned conspiracy theorist and fled to the UK complaining of persecution and threats to his life. Although, in a country where you can hire a hitman for a few quid and a sandwich, you don't have to do anything particularly unpleasant to be at risk of being shot at. It's getting a lot of attention over here because it's dramatic, gruesome, and has all the fun of a conspiracy theory whilst pandering to the (possibly not unjustified) suspicions many have of the Russian government.

Anyway, Here are the logos of the FSB and the KGB

Interesting iconography. The shield, symbolising protection, the sword symbolising strength, might and the ever present threat of nastiness and the emblem of the government for which these powers are being exercised. One notices that the only substantial changes that they made to the logo with the collapse of the soviet union was to change the emblem on it from the Hammer n' Sickle five pointed star jobby of the Soviet Union to the eagle thingy of the Russian Federation and to make an attempt to conceal the sword, with the threat of violence it entails, behind the shield.

I've not got any real point to make or axe to grind here, I don't know enough about Russian politics and there is way to much wild speculation going on around this anyway. I'm just saying that really they could have chosen their iconography in a way that is slightly less easily interpreted to mean 'democracy = we are more sneaky about doing away with those we don't like'. I'm sure I'm not the only who has noticed this, and I expect that there are already plenty of venomous editorials using this iconography to indicate that we should nuke them, invade them, cuss their momma etc..

anyway. I've got work to do.