Modern Russia is a country coming to terms with a modern world. Or, more accurately, it has a plethora of citizens who want to know what they need modern stuff for. Much like here they have people who resist change. Any change. They would march against light bulbs if they were presented anew. And, just like here, the dichotomy between what’s coming and what came before grows wider and more ominous. In parts of the US, for example, they are testing driverless cars. Here in Illinois we can’t even make a road stay flat for an entire winter. I can”t wait to see one of those wonder cars hit a Chicago pothole. In Russia the differences are even more stark. While the country is not as religious as America they are rabidly anti-gay. When you ask why you will get the following answer; “Why? Because …. (screw) you!” They are very puritanical, if I may use an Americanism here, but cheered on wildly when Vladimir Putin appointed Maria Kozhevnikova, a former Playboy model with no political experience, to a sensitive ambassadorial post. Since war hasn’t broken out I guess she’s done okay but how would you like to be the country on the receiving end of that gesture? Especially since her claim to fame before getting naked was doing low brow comedy on TV. Doesn’t that just scream respect?
Russians always talk about how their country deserves international respect and then they announce the Krivovo cow dung tossing festival. Now, normally, quaint rural customs can be fun. See the entire life of Route 66 here in the U.S. as example “A”. But if that’s your “go to” event, you’re in trouble.
RiaNovosti, an English language Russian site notes some more fun.
Elsewhere in Russia, the tiny town of Kologriv in Kostroma Region is known for its Goose Day, and select cities across the country hold regular Monstrations, or public rallies marked by absurd slogans such as “In Sex We Trust,” “Do You Know How Squirrels Sound?” and “Eyjafjallajökull for President.”
And, yes, this is the same county where Pussy Riot was jailed for chanting “Punk Prayer – Mother of God, Chase Putin Away!” So that chanting thing still has some bugs to work out.
Russia, pre-freedom (such as it is), used to be known for its art, culture, circuses, vodkas and cutting edge space program. Now? Not so much.
Sure they were a totalitarian regime, but they were a totalitarian regime that offered the world something. And they made great villains in Tom Clancy novels.
Now? I’ll let RiaNovosti tell you what’s new and exciting.
Russia never sanctioned a gay pride rally, but maybe it is because those just are not quirky enough: After all, this is the country that is about to hold a celebration of its flying pests, with an “army of blondes” to support it.
The first Russian Mosquito Festival will take place in Perm Region’s town of Usolye in the Urals on July 19-21, organizers said on their website, Ruskomar.ru.
The program will include a mosquito-catching competition, an enigmatic event titled “The Tastiest Girl,” a children fashion show and contests for the best mosquito-themed song and the tastiest shashlik, or meat grilled on skewers – a prerequisite of Russian outdoor parties.
Alcohol will be banned, but organizers plan to enlist a volunteer “army of blondes” to make the event more entertaining.
In 1998, in an effort to promote family values, Russia lowered the age of consent to 14. There were lots of good reasons that all made sense if you weren’t paying too close attention. In 2003, after a spate of VERY young girls turned up in “naturist” videos designed to entice older men to spend their money at nudist resorts, and that’s the polite stuff that happened, they raised the age back to 16.
Oddly, while the age of consent law protects any one of any gender identity, the same people who wrote it voted 436-0 to outlaw “gay propaganda” or pride rallies.
I noted above that the majority of Russians are not religious. The same can not be said of Russia’s current political elite.
A widespread hostility to homosexuality is shared by much of Russia’s political and religious elite. Lawmakers have accused gays of decreasing Russia’s already low birth rates and said they should be barred from government jobs, undergo forced medical treatment or be exiled.
The State Duma passed another bill on Tuesday that makes offending religious feelings a crime punishable by up to three years in prison. The legislation, which passed 308-2, was introduced last year after three members of the Pussy Riot punk group were convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” for an impromptu anti-Putin protest inside Moscow’s main cathedral and given two-year sentences.
Thank God there will be an army of hot blondes to keep me on the hetero path at the mosquito festival.
One thing that is the same the world over is this; people who are afraid of human sexuality are big fans hyper-violence and female exploitation.