The president of Europe´s bully of a big brother was not seen for ten days. You have probably read uncountable amount of news about it, heard all the possible and impossible theories and perhaps even discussed his disappearance yourself with your friends behind a nice bottle of beer. So what ever happened to The Big Vlad?
The answer is, it is not important. More interesting is the fact, that for these ten days, Putin was the headline of newspapers all over the world. It was the number one topic in all media, which seemed to have put all its journalists brainstorming about the most riddiculous explanations.
It is hardly a surprise, that media lives to entertain and distract. It is a great tool for everyone smart enough to use it. Putin, as you might guess, is smart enough. At least media stopped going on about Nemtsov, right? Or perhaps he needed to prove some higher forces, that he is still important for the world, that people still believe that he is running the game. And even if it was not just a trick, it definitely got a lot more attention than it deserved.
For people who don´t read the news every day and could hardly care less of foreign politics or the rise and fall of ruble, Putin´s disappearance was almost as exiting as guessing which color the dress was. You know what dress I´m talking about, don´t even pretend you don´t.
The thought, that our main sources or knowledge are all at once greeting us with headlines such as “Is Putin dead?” or “The leader has returned to his homeplanet” is quite terrifying. It is not even a question anymore if you can trust the news, when they are clearly subjecting themselves to ridicule. On the other hand, if we don´t know about the problems, we cannot solve them. What would be the alternative? Stress free life in ignorance about the real state our world has come to?
I´m quite confident that the media is not going to face any big changes in the coming years. Why should it, if there is enough people, enough clicks to keep the money flowing in. People love nothing more than conspiracy theories, especially those that are connected to world leaders, not to say dictators. And this is why, for ten days, people all over the world were playing “Where´s Waldo?”, because an old man was abducted by aliens.
Talvike Mändla is an Estonian graduate with a degree in Special Education. She is currently volunteering on a one-year placement in Zugdidi, Georgia. You can read more of here work on her blog.