In the history of mankind, many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state. TR


Obama’s Bus and Strelnikov’s Train

A couple of readers noted that the video I ran yesterday of Obama’s sepulchral looking bus caravan, appearing first as a phantom in the distance and only growing in scariness as the ominous black bus emerges into the foreground, reminded them of the scene from Dr. Zhivago when the train of the People’s Commissar Strelnikov passes through a Russian town.

These two thoughtful comments by YouTube viewers of the Strelnikov train clip provide a good analysis of what is going on, and hint at some other comparisons between the movie scene and the bus tour.

Strelnikov is a rather sad figure. On one hand he is a very sympathetic young man with a strong desire for change, but on the other hand he is corrupted by power and becomes and fearsome and callous commander. This was a problem rather common among the Bolsheviks, since they had a great cause initially, but misused the power given to them and became tyrants themselves. Tragic in many senses.


On the left is the past (old Russia) on the right moving out of the way is the present Russia, barreling through them both is the future Russia with all its ferocity. The face of it is seen as Pasha (now known as Strelnikov) looks to the past from the back of the train and moves Russia forward into the unknown. Neither the past or present is able to go forward as events represented by the speeding train make them unable to see into future. They have been left behind.

Have a look-see. Here’s the Obama video. Watch this first.

And here’s the link to the Dr. Zhivago video.

7 thoughts on “Obama’s Bus and Strelnikov’s Train”

  1. Another comparison could be the red and black. Train was red and black. Obama’s buses are red and black. Guess the color choice for the buses was the Secret Service’s decision as well?

    One other thing Keith, the first quoted comment (“Strelnikov is a rather sad figure…”) appears to have been deleted.

  2. Now that’s just creepy Keith, but oh so correct! I just watched Dr Z a couple of weeks ago. Hadn’t seen it in years and now having gone to Russia it meant so much more.

  3. To me, the bus video is a copycat of this old movie by Spanish director Berlanga…

    [Welcome Mr. Marshall! (Spanish: ¡Bienvenido, Mr. Marshall!) is a 1953 Spanish comedy film directed by Luis García Berlanga and considered one of the masterpieces of Spanish cinema. It tells the story of a small Spanish town, Villar del Río, which hears of the visit of American diplomats and begins preparations to impress the American visitors in the hopes of benefitting under the Marshall Plan.]
    Don’t miss this golden minute!

  4. Why isn’t it being reported that the bus tour is not a bus tour? He flies on Air Force One between stops, hops on the bus and rides into the event then back to Air Force One.

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