Russian Men at the Beach

Vladimir Putin is infamous for his former KGB affiliations, media suppression, gay rights antagonism, pontification against American foreign interventions, but perhaps most notably for his penchant of going shirtless in numerous photo opportunities. His body can best be described as a fleshy barrel, a thick, hairless keg of supposed masculinity. I’d always assumed he was proud of his body and the presumed power than comes from confidence in one’s shape. Continue reading

Worship and Devotion

It’s only been about two weeks in Vietnam and already I’m feeling overwhelmed by temples, pagodas, shrines, tombs and memorials. They are beautiful, awe-inspiring testaments to creativity and construction. But, what strikes me as odd is the reason for these wonderful monuments. They are to praise kings usually, or sometimes gods. I am no fan of gods, organized religion nor monarchy. As an quasi-anti-theist American, I have no reverence for gods nor kings. Continue reading