It’s undoubtedly very pleasant to laugh or smile. Americans especially like to have fun, a good time. Starting with post-WW2 entertainment became an almost universal pastime. Indeed, why be sad when it’s possible to be cheerful? Multiple styles of entertainment starts to dominate the scene. Over-excitement, over-smiling, over-eating, over-doping, over-laughing, over-gunning, over-sporting, over-consuming and, of course, over-money-making started to make US the most cheerful and attractive place in the world. And TV entertainment added to more and stronger laughter. “Optimism” came to define American taste. Entertainment and pizza both started to gain weighty prominence.

When Boris Yeltsin (1931 – 2007) – the famous Russian provincial alcoholic – visited US, the country became even more cheerful. Yeltsin’s legendary personal pleasure was to pinch the female secretaries. In Russia it was a common occurrence when Yeltsin in Kremlin pinched female parts he produced a loud laughter, probably then feeling younger and more energetic. Angela Merkel the German Chancellor had the privilege of being the target of Yeltsin’s pinching indulgence – Americans had their national equivalent when it was Bush Jr. who allowed himself the same pinching liberties with the German Chancellor.

In the upper left photo Bill Clinton behaves as Yeltsin’s impresario. Yeltsin is not laughing in the manner of Russian opera – he was just presenting his smile to the public. In the moments of saying something Yeltsin talks about how Russians and Americans are similar when it comes to cheerfulness, generosity and kindness. He emphasized that Americans and Russians should “live together” as friends – that this will be amazing experiment for both nations in peace, laugh and love! Clinton’s task was to mediate Yeltsin alcoholic positivity not just by smiling but producing a more exciting, over-generous cheerful laughter. In the first photo on the left Clinton is enjoying Yeltsin, as if, they were on the way to dinner eating smiles and have drinks together. In the second photo Clinton has reached the limit of his Presidential laughing enthusiasm – yes, such a serious person as the American President should keep himself in hands and be silent, briefly. But in the third snapshot on the lower left Clinton started with calming gestures of mutual love between the eccentric Russian leader and the audience of a democratic Americans. Finally, in the fourth shot something exotic and perplexing happens with Bill Clinton, something like… as if, he wet his pans – Russo-American togetherness demands eccentricity, but with care and caution.

As attentive viewers noticed later, it’s always necessary to be very careful with the unconditional friendships between countries as exuberant as US and Russia. Bombastic excitement does not necessarily lead to reliable friendship. Smiles and laughter need to slowly develop into further contact between countries, heads of the States and, of course, between many other minds sharing serious mutual respect without bragging about technical achievements, military might and without desire to dictate and dominate. Smiles and laughter are often result of misunderstandings and the desire to cover up the real motivations and problems.