Out of blue, criticism - verging on, and perhaps boiling over the limits - exploded at around Noon today, in the Estonian-language social media, against an American. The American in question is the US action-film star of the 90s, Steven Seagal.
Apparently the endless repetition of the paraphrase that the war in Ukraine changed everything bears a lot of truth at least in Eastern Europe. Amazingly, just in an instant, with a lash of the media whip, it managed to turn this good, though forgotten, blue screen kung-fu fighter from the politic-less, ethnic-less and religious-less, entertaining figure, into “a KGB co-worker”. The local media just informed us of coming of a foreign TV star and posted pictures of him, endorsing Vladimir Vladimirovich’s annexation of Crimea. It has Steven Seagal of the 90s destroyed, and reborn, evil. Perhaps like any proper media should have.
Tensions remain high everywhere in the Europe's parts of the former USSR, perhaps even further than that. Smaller clashes and fights are breaking out over Ukraine here and there, numerous examples abound. With everything exceptional that we have, that we have built in our country over the last 25 years, in Estonia, where it is now sometimes hard to recognize the signs of the former sovietness anymore, we are not as exceptional as we would like to think. We are not coming out of this gargantuan crisis unscathed.
It does not matter how much the organizers of a public entertaining event of sorts, in Haapsalu, an Estonian city, try to portrait Steven Seagal’s coming as just that. Both Ukrainian-sympathizers and Russian-sympathizers are mobilizing. I follow, in the social media how Russian-sympathizers gear up to show up at the show-entertainment, many of them the only time in their lifetime, to get to this Western-Estonian city, to show support to the man, who their media just introduced as a staunch supporter of the Kremlin.
Ethnic non-Russians discuss options how to stand up to what they consider a Russian stooge, an enemy, in their home soil.
Although somewhat surprised by this development, still, I unite with my compatriots asking the film star to turn back. Mr Seagal, spare us some broken glass.
This is not the time for you to come. This is not the time.