Bald and Bankrupt and definitely Brave!
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth
By Vincent C. Towerpast
BELARUS (CHERNOBYL) – When an old stranger jumps into your rental car and commands you to “drive,” would you listen and take him? Bald and Bankrupt, the latest English viral vlogger, would.
Mr. Bald, 47, whose real name is Benjamin Rich, has done more than walk the proverbial mile in someone else’s shoes.
This modern-day Gulliver’s traveller has created an amazing series of YouTube videos that have reached millions of viewers simply by walking, biking, hitchhiking, driving and venturing with any means of transport he is able to find with the mission to document the bulk of his journeys by using a simple selfie camera.
Bald is bald. Meaning raw energy. Unfiltered and no spin. A charismatic smiling Englishman with the gift of gab and who knows how to banter non-stop. During these selfie adventures, he suddenly drops a few tidbits about his past: he was married to a Bela-Russian woman and thus explains partly why he is fluent in Russian. He is Bankrupt, apparently for a failed business that went belly up in his native home, England.
Bald just presents life “as is.” He shows the daily routines and celebrates life and living. He is able to strike up a conversation with anyone and can make standing at an abandoned bus stop seem as if we were watching Da Vinci paint the Mona Lisa. An educated Forrest Gump on Prozac who meets, engages and more importantly — listens.
Two mountains will never meet, but two humans eventually will. (Russian proverb)
In one touching episode, entitled The Last House In Chernobyl Village, which has gained more than 2.6 million views so far, Bald is flagged down by a stranger, an old man named Koyla.
Koyla, estimated age, roughly 70 something, appears to be suffering from Parkinson’s disease or some other ailment.
After a long and uncertain drive, Bald helps Koyla find his “home.” A beaten-up shack with no electricity, running water, heating or any of the basic essentials.
“Being human is hard at times,” Koyla says. This aging Russian gives new meaning to the word isolation and being alone. And as if sharing a personal secret, Koyla takes Bald to a cemetery. The only place that seems to be well kept and preserved in the damned condemned zone. There we see Koyla’s entire family is dead and buried.
It is heartbreaking when Bald says goodbye and the two depart. Even more heartwarming when Bald digs into his own pockets, starts a T-shirt campaign for his down and out companion and returns to the radiated forest to take his friend shopping at a supermarket for glorious food, smokes and Vodka!
The saga with Koyla continues as his fans and followers await Bald’s third return to Koyla’s house.
Koyla was as of Sunday, December 15, 2019 — missing!
Bald created a cliffhanger greater than who shot JR Ewing. The latest video leaves us with the daunting message: “To Be Continued.”
UPDATE – Monday, December 16, 2019
Episode – Look Who I Found In The Chernobyl Zone
Bald has found Koyla. The hug and embrace are touching. Bald’s search for this character who can be found out of the pages of a Dostoevsky novel is fascinating.
Bald once again takes Koyla to a convenience store where we learn that a woman remembered Koyla, also nicknamed Stalin, for showing up at the club with black and white shoelaces.
“I’m a simple collective farmer,” says Koyla. “I am a simple man.”
“Koyla, I have a question. Do you know what the internet is?”
“Internet. YouTube. Internet is an English word.”
“No. Explain it.”
“You can put videos there and show things to friends and people,” says Bald. We as the audience are getting the subliminal message Bald is communicating to the many ethical reporters and vloggers face regarding exploitation, involvement and objectivity.
“In human terms, it is right,” says Koyla.
“You don’t mind if I show my friends who you are?”
Koyla. like a baby who nurses a milk bottle, takes a good chug out of his beer.
“It is right to do. Good Gracious. The world is built on such things.”
Bald on the drive back to Koyla’s shack, hands him the sausages along with the packs of cigarettes and beer bottles he bought for him.
And like a scene from Apocalypse Now, we see Koyla sitting in the darkness of his living quarters, smoking a cigarette and coughing hard.
“I will never change Belarus for another motherland. It is better to be a small potato but on your own land.”
As the evening arrives, Bald saddles up, receives the greatest hug of appreciation and warns Koyla about the cold.
“A coward does not play hockey,” says Koyla.
Bald and Bankrupt is a Blast
Bald’s mission is not only based on philanthropy and jumping into old Saint Nick’s shoes. The guy likes to party and flirt. He is just as comfortable escorting the “hotties” as he calls them around town, scooter around old Soviet remnants and/or enjoy a meal and a drink in a popular restaurant.
Definitely worth the watch is to see Bald and his sexy Russian girlfriend sneaking into Stalin’s sanatorium, despite being kicked off the premises the first time they tried to enter. It is notable to watch how this enormous Soviet building has hidden the haunting memories of the Kremlin’s dictatorship and Bald reminds us of mother Russia’s bloody past.
Bald maybe with his faults. While some skeptics and trolls have smeared him with unsubstantiated comments, his foibles make him all the more interesting. The guy often arrives in the middle of damn nowhere, in the freezing cold, under dressed and living on the mercy of the people; hoping by the grace of God that someone will give him a lift to civilization.
In conclusion, Bald is a road map of places we dare not visit. God Bless a man who ventures into the forest to provide food and drink to the handful of people in the forgotten Chernobyl disaster.
“Goodnight John Boy.”