Remember back in the summer of 2009 when His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Russia traveled to Ukraine and delivered furious, fire-and-brimstone condemnations of Western conspicuous consumption, implying that the West was evil and Ukraine should rejoin the holy Russian fold?
Remember how it soon came to light that while making these righteous utterances His Holiness was sporting a $30,000 Breguet watch, an item that cost the equivalent of four Russian average annual salaries? That was a rather embarrassing situation, to be sure, a new low you might say in the annals of Russian corruption and incompetence.
Well, you may have forgotten about it by now but the lackeys who work for His Holiness certainly have not. For this reason, when they spotted Kirill in a publicity photograph once again showing off his costly timepiece (see there below, proudly displayed on the left wrist) . . .
. . . they quickly pulled out their Photoshop software and removed it before the photograph could see the light of day
Unfortunately for His Holiness, however, they did not notice that the watch had been reflected in the shiny, costly surface of the shiny, costly table at which His Holiness was seated. Therefore, they did not remove such reflection along with said watch, leaving a tell-tale sign of their mendacity.
Russian bloggers pounced, and the His Holiness was forced to retract and apologize. But Kirill himself continued to maintain the watch had never been on his wrist.
So instead of doing the moral thing back in 2009 and getting rid of this devilish watch, selling it and giving the cash to Russia’s sick and poor (who number in the millions, Russia does not rank in the top 125 nations of the world for average life expectancy), and instead of doing the at-least sensible thing and wearing it only in private, Kirill’s “solution” is to go right on brazenly displaying this obscene item and to have his henchman Photoshop the watch off his wrist. At least, that is, until they get caught red-handed.
It may seem horrifying, but what else can one expect in the most corrupt major civilization on this planet? Nothing more, of course, not even from the man who is supposed to be the nation’s moral compass.
And so goes Russia.