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Beats, Rhymes and Mother Russia

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Over at reason.tv's Rough Cut video blog, a bizarre clip from CNN's recently aired documentary Czar Putin, hosted by Christiane Amanpour, of the Putin Youth (Nashi) denouncing Gary Kasparov as an American agent (represented in the group's posters noshing on McDonald's' french fries, naturally), rapping about their glorious leader (nothing American about that), and playing with American flag-draped piglets in front of the U.S. embassy:

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  1. I see Putin has just designated his successor. It will be interesting to see if Medvedev makes a bid to be his own man in the coming four years or if he will be content to be Putin’s stooge.

  2. May I be the first one here to say:

    “Preved, Medved!”

  3. I see Putin has just designated his successor. It will be interesting to see if Medvedev makes a bid to be his own man in the coming four years or if he will be content to be Putin’s stooge.

    I would assume that all the top people are all buddies and would all benefit from a stable system of rotation. Now that doesn’t mean someone won’t get greedy, but the best way to go about it (for them) would be to be content as puppets. None of them get killed, and the center remains strong and unified.

  4. paul

    I’ll have fries with that.

  5. Off-topic: statistical analysis of the last Russian elections (alas, in Russian) http://0serg.livejournal.com/103883.html convincingly shows falsifications.

    Aresen – are you proposing grinding “fucking nashists” into hamburger? Not a bad idea, mind you, but do you really want to eat that crap?

  6. Ah, the Nashi. A gang of youth thugs turned into a potent political force through state support.

    That’s Putin – restoring Russia to a position of global leadership by making it a leetle bit more like central Africa.

  7. cb

    On second thought, I’ll just have fries and a coke. Peopleburgers don’t really appeal to me.

    However, feel free to grind away.

  8. joe

    I agree, although I’d compare Putin’s Russia more to Mexico under the PRI.

  9. Putin’s use of Nashi to promote his political ends is the most classically fascist of all the moves he’s taken. Mussolini would have plenty to admire about Nashi; the mean-clever propaganda strikes, the way they divert the blame for politically-necessary violence, even the breeding programs they hold youth festivals to promote. They’re a clear indication of the creepy mentality of Russia’s leadership — excuse me, I mean the health and virility of the Russian state!

  10. I agree, although I’d compare Putin’s Russia more to Mexico under the PRI.

    I would agree with that for the most part. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think the PRI was quite as bad as Putin has been in suppressing opposition (although I do believe they tended not to let opponents on the ballot?) in that it was more of a political machine and didn’t really kill writers and suppress newspapers, at least not to the extent that Putin has.

  11. paul / cynical bastard – …? ???? ?????!

    I so want the price of gas to go down, if only to set the stage for the come-uppance shit like Putin and Chavez so richly deserve.

  12. I caught some jackass on NPR over the weekend, someone from Putin’s Kremlin, defending the re-sovietization of recent years.

    The interviewer kept trying to ask a simple question, “how can a state controlled media exist in a free society?”

    The Russian’s response? Classic soviet doublespeak… about how opposition is good, but not right now, because Russia is in a time of crisis, and it’s too “unstable” right now, and that stability is the most important thing, etc…

    I was sitting in fear, like I felt in the hours after 9-11, trying to come to terms with the fact that we will be in another cold war by the time I (if!) have children.

    Fuck, do I miss the 90’s. It might have been our last golden age…

  13. Taktix? – Once I learned Russia’s political history back to forever, I realized that what we consider freedom and democracy would not exist there anytime in the near future.

  14. whoops —

    Continuing, however I had hoped that they would make some progress.

  15. Let’s just hope Putin and his gang of reactionaries don’t smarten up and put women in positions of power.

    Russian men are the only reason the world isn’t ruled by Russian women.

  16. Ah, the Nashi. A gang of youth thugs turned into a potent political force through state support

    Isn’t this one of the central recurring themes of the last 1000 years or so of Russian history?

  17. Russian history has been dominated by a large and corrupt nobility for 700 years. Before Lenin, it was the boyars. Before Yeltsin, it was the Communist Party.

    Using this model, the Nashi are just another political militia, nothing special and with no real power. They are just foot soldiers working for free in hopes of getting a paying job with the gang.

  18. Baked penguin,

    I don’t think that is correct grammar.

    If you are male – ybal

    if female – ybala

    What you typed is “yoblya.”

    I could be wrong, I was seven when we left, so my spelling and grammar aren’t that great.

    BTW hope you both had a good time. What do they smoke there now? All I remember is Kozmos.

    😛

  19. Baked Penguin – ???? means “fucking” (n), as in “He gave her a royal fucking”, whereas it is ?????? – “fucking” (adj., m.) that you were looking for, as in “fucking Putin”

    Welcome to the Russian Obscenities 101. 😛

  20. Ok, let me give this a shot:

    ?????? Giuliani
    ?????? Romney
    ?????? McCain, Huck and Fred

    ?????? Clinton
    ?????? Obama and Edward
    I wish the were all ?????? dead!

  21. Mexico under the PRI is a pretty good analogy actually. There was no single dictator and a peaceful transfer–although entirely within the party–of power.

    Though the elections were not like the “elections” held in the Soviet Union and Baathist Iraq where the ruling party would get 99% of the vote, PRI always managed to get above 60% through various methods–much like Putin.

  22. No, Taktix, Clinton (unless it’s Bill you’re referring to) would be the feminine form, “??????”, as appropriate for the gender she claims to have.

    On a related note:
    -why Hillary is not eligible to run for President?
    -Because she already served two terms, that’s why.

  23. Cesar,

    Correct me if I wrong, but the PRI didn’t assassinate journalists and imprison people for political activism, did they?

  24. joe

    In 1968, the police gunned down over 200 protesters in the main square of Mexico City. The government claimed only 25 died, but many families were given the bodies of their children who “died in accidents” and were told to ask no questions.

    I visited with an upper class Mexican family about a year later. One day, their 15 year old son took me to the leather market. I soon noticed that, every time he passed a policeman, he lowered his voice to a whisper. I realize this is anecdote, but I think it was symptomatic of a pervasive fear of the government.

    Mexico also had people “disappear” in the 70’s and 80’s, like many Latin American regimes.

    The PRI was also probably responsible for the assassination of the main opposition candidate in the 2000 election, which Vincente Fox subsequently won due to voter disgust.

    PRI and Russia United are pretty comparable IMHO.

  25. In case any of you’ve forgotten Yeltsin appointed Putin and
    The Reason why Yeltsin appointed Putin his sucessor was because he was the most hated person in all of Russia and he wanted to save his corrupt ass

  26. Taktix –

    Tak tochno.

    cynical bastard –

    “No, Taktix, Clinton (unless it’s Bill you’re referring to) would be the feminine form, “??????”, as appropriate for the gender she claims to have.”

    I think in this case Taktix had it right the first time.

  27. cynical bastard – Dermo. It’s been a while for me (not that my grammar / spelling was ever that good). I could have sworn I saw ‘yoblia Yelstin’ graffiti years ago, and I just replaced the name.

    Ah well, my ‘matb'(or is that ‘mat’?) needs work.

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