Monday, January 6, 2014

Russia: home of democracy

This story is so evil and so Russian. And so funny!
The first public screening in Russia of a documentary about the activist group Pussy Riot was canceled by the government at the last minute on Saturday, organizers said. 
You're laughing already, right? Russia cannot control its authoritarian impulses, even in these few, crucial weeks before the Sochi Olympics, when the world is watching their every move. They just can't help themselves. But wait, it gets better:
The film, “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer,” was to have been screened in Moscow on Sunday afternoon, less than a week after two members of Pussy Riot were released from prison...

But on Saturday, the directors of the Gogol Center, a state-financed theater, received a call from the authorities threatening their jobs if they screened the documentary, said Maxim Pozdorovkin, who directed the film with Mike Lerner. A letter from the Department of Culture in Moscow formally banning the screening followed. 

The letter, which was posted online by one of the center’s directors, accused the artists and filmmakers involved of being provocateurs, and said their brand of culture had no place in a government building.

The role of art, it said, “is to save the world, make it better, not to inflame the public with scandalous stories that have no cultural merit.” 

“Let’s hold tight to those principles,” it concluded, “and keep everybody safe.”
Always principled, these Russians. Seriously, isn't that the funniest thing you've read all week? Next stop: the Sochi Anti-Gay Bombing Olympics. It seems Russia is turning into a cartoon. (Okay, so it was always a cartoon. Still, this is world-class funny.)