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The Guys You'll Meet on Earth But Not in Heaven: Bad Vlad
What has Bad Vlad done? What kind of pokazuhka has he pulled off?
Years ago, referring to Bad Vlad generally caused people to conjure up scenes of Vladimir Dracula sucking blood from unsuspecting souls. But these days, Bad Vlad clearly refers to the man now serving his 3rd term as president of Russia---Vladimir Putin. This Bad Vlad has been described in Forbes Magazine as "the world's most powerful man," who simultaneously appears to be getting rid of his enemies and Russian democracy.
So, who exactly is this Bad Vlad?
He was born 61 years ago, and he is 5 foot 5 inches tall. He had an academically oriented education, finishing up with a Ph.D in economics, though some have accused him of plagiarizing various parts of his thesis. At the age of 23, he took a different direction and joined the KGB to work as a spy in East Germany. Working in the Soviet version of our CIA became a major part of his career as he remained there until 1990.
Over time, he developed a reputation as a very tough guy. He got a black belt in judo, has been often photographed without shirt hunting or fishing, piloting planes and riding on polar bears.
Putin took over as the president of Russia on December 31, 1999, replacing Boris Yeltsin. In 2008 when his second term was ending, Putin's protege, Dimitri Medvedev became president, but it was clear to all that it was Putin who remained in power as prime minister. In 2012, Putin was formally elected president for a 3rd term.
Over the course of Putin's 14 year reign as "CEO of Russia," many of his actions can be described by a cute Russian word---"pokazuhka" which means something we do that is only for show. Vlad's pokazuhka is seen not only by his going shirtless while engaging in macho pursuits, but also by some very costly decision making. As the Russian economy has floundered with large decreases in its major exports of oil and gas, Putin has not found a solution. As Russian billionaires have invested more and more of their money into Europe rather than Russia, Putin has not found a solution.
So, what has Bad Vlad done? What kind of pokazuhka has he pulled off?
Firstly, he has appealed to Russian nationalism by annexing Crimea, which is an industry-rich former part of the Soviet Union.
Secondly, he is now trying to incite more nationalistic fervor by talking about taking over more parts of the Ukraine.
But perhaps his most publicized pokazuhka was his spending over $50 billion to showcase the 2014 Winter Olympic games in Sochi. To put this in perspective, Canada spent $7 billion on the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver!
And if you watched closely at the opening of the Sochi games, you would have seen Bad Vlad's gymnast girlfriend, Alina Kabayeva, holding the olympic flame! By the way, Putin married Lyudmila Putina back in 1983 and had 2 daughters in 1985 and 1986. But, guess what? The Russian public very rarely saw or heard a word about his family until Vlad divorced his wife in 2013. And, oh yes, Alina was born in 1983!
So, how do we put this all together?
What can explain this combination of machismo, pokazuhka and world-shaking decisions demonstrated by Bad Vlad?
Well, some point to his height of 5'5" and remind us that short guys in power can overdo it. Historical examples include Napoleon, Stalin and Mussolini. But, we can't go too far with this hypothesis, considering that Gandhi and Churchill were short guys, too.
There is one hypothesis that can explain why Bad Vlad is so bad. There exists a personality type indicator called the Myers-Briggs, that is often used to describe the 16 different types of people who live on this planet. The Myers-Briggs looks at the 4 different ways we view the world in order to function and make decisions.
Area 1. Where do we get our energy from to make decisions?
If mostly from other people, we call this "E" for Extroverted. If mostly from our own inner world, we call this "I" for Introverted.
Area 2. Where do we get our information from to make decisions?
If mostly from our 5 senses, we call this "S" for Sensing. If we get our info mostly from our own inner mind, we call it "N" for Intuitive.
Area 3. How do we make our decisions?
If we decide based on how we think others will react to our decisions, we call it "F" for Feeling. If our decisions are made only based on what we think, then we call it "T" for Thinking.
Area 4. How do we react after we make a decision?
If we are affected by how others react to our decision, we call it "P" for Perceiving. If our decisions are done deals no matter what others think of them we call this "J' for Judging.
So, with 16 different personality types based on these 4 areas, it is very interesting that only 2% of human beings are considered "INTJ"-- introverted, intuitive, thinking and judging. These rather rare types of persons are often also described as very intelligent, mysterious, self-confident bookworms, who are very insightful and decisive in their actions. They know what they know, and they don't respect those who do not agree with them. By the way, INTJ personality types are mostly guys, and if they have any weakness it is usually in the romance
So, over the last 70 years, some Myers-Briggs experts have looked at world leaders and tried to figure out what type they might be. And, guess what?
Julius Caesar, JFK, Hannibal and Thomas Jefferson appear to be INTJ along with guess who? Vladimir Putin!!
So, watch out world!
Because "From Russia, Without Love" comes Bad Vlad, and he keeps coming!
Michael Jackson once sang a song that describes Bad Vlad pretty well, so listen up to "Bad," really, really bad!