The Phantom of the Opera was a novel written by Gaston Leroux in 1910 and made into a hit musical by Andrew Lloyd Weber in 1986. It concerns the behind-the-scenes machinations and manipulations of a badly scarred and elusive man in the bowels of the Paris Opera House. I thought it is a reasonable metaphor of the delusional Mr Putin who wishes to direct and control the world according to his perverse and scarred world view from the labyrinth of his subterranean mind.
Putin directed and starred in his own stage production of lies and bombast on the 18th of March in the packed World Cup stadium in Moscow and his crowd was definitely bigger than Trump’s even if many had to be coerced or bussed in. I’m not sure his lies were bigger though and the jury is still out on the question of whose ego is bigger. Where Putin beats Trump hands down, though, is in his Machiavellian nature. As Churchill once said about a fellow politician, “He took off his face to reveal his mask.”
Things didn’t end well for the Phantom and hopefully so too for his re-incarnation.