Sunday, July 15, 2007

Making fun of the president

There are quite a few parody websites making fun of the new Latvian president Valdis Zatlers:
"Zatlers blog" on blogspot was the first one that cropped up, the next day after Valdis Zatlers was nominated as a candidate for being the Latvian president. The people running it managed to pass it off as "Zatlers' official campaign website" to several newspapers, before the journalists realized it was a parody.

It has grown more and more intricate since then. The blog now purports to detail the life of a fictional character, "Zaldis Vatlers" who is "the chief resident of Latvia". And it's supposedly run by "Vatlera Draugu Kopa (VDK)" which translates to "Vatlers' Group of Friends" but, most importantly, abbreviates to VDK... which is also the Latvian abbreviation for KGB. The site is non-sensical but funny... those who know Latvian can go and read it.

It's quite a change from our past president, Vaira Vike-Freiberga. She was an authority figure who was almost always right. VVF was to be worshipped, rather than made fun of. Zatlers looks different:

Zatlers has his flows. His scandal with gifts that he received as a doctor. The scandal has died out by now and opinion polls say that only 17% of Latvians have a negative opinion of Zatlers. The remaining 83% either approve of him or are going to wait and see how he turns out as the president. Nevertheless, I doubt he will ever become Vike-Freiberga-like "moral authority" figure. Zatlers will be like most of our politicians - to be made fun of, even if he ends up being relatively popular.

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