Linguistics expert Michele Berdy, writing in the Moscow Times:
Порву!: I’ll rip it, beat you up, and win
Unless you’ve been out of the country or under a rock, you’ve probably seen the new “Hot Chicks for Putin” video. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. A Hot Chick strolls on 10-centimeter heels down a Moscow River embankment to meet up with her Hot Chick friends. As they chat seductively on their cell phones, you get a chance to finally understand an untranslatable Russian word. The camera lingers on close-ups of pneumatic breasts bursting out of tight tops … with chaste gold crosses dangling above them. That, my friends, is пошлость (vulgarity, falsity, cheapness).
At the end, one of the babes — excuse me — one of the soldiers in the self-described Армия Путина (Putin’s Army) uses her lipstick to scrawl on her T-shirt: Порву за Путина! (I’ll rip it for Putin!). Then рядовая Диана (Private Diana) lets it rip.
I didn’t get it. I mean, I get that sex sells everything, but why rip your T-shirt?
My Russian friends set me straight — well, after they picked themselves up from the floor, where they were rolling around in laughter. There’s nothing like a dumb foreigner with a poor command of slang to make a native speaker’s day.
You see, it’s a pun — quite an elaborate one.
Порвать means to tear or rend. This can be innocent: Коля вчера опять упал в грязь и штаны порвал. (Yesterday Kolya fell in the mud again and tore his pants.) But порвать рубашку (to tear your shirt) is like King Kong beating his chest — one of those testosterone-fueled gestures of manly threat that can be seen in bars from Ukhta to Zanzibar. Flash your pecs, and they faint.
But порвать can also mean to give a beating, to tear someone from limb to limb. Она этого Пирата на куски порвёт! (She’ll tear that Pirate to pieces!) Sometimes this is used with a simile: Она его порвёт как Тузик грелку. (She’ll rip him to pieces like a dog with a bone, literally a “hot water bottle” — that is, the way a dog tears a rubber toy to pieces.) But порвать is more commonly used alone: Мы порвём их в одну секунду! (We’ll beat them to a pulp in a second!)
The violent threat in порвать can, of course, be used ironically. You’re sitting around the table, shooting the breeze, and someone makes a joke about your favorite actor. Молчать! Я порву за Брэда Питта! (Shut up! One more word about Brad Pitt, and I’ll rip your head off!)
Порвать can also mean to beat someone spectacularly in a game or sport. Команда неплохая — она немцев порвёт! (The team isn’t bad — they’ll beat the crap out of the German team!)
So the Sexy Soldier in Putin’s Army rips her T-shirt in a (possibly ironic) gesture of threat and declares Порву за Путина! — describing what she’s doing and (possibly) promising to beat the daylights out of anyone who insults her idol or (possibly) swearing to do anything to see him win his (possible) electoral campaign.
Get it? I get the pun, but I still don’t get the point. Why would anyone in his or her right mind think that images of sex kittens stripping while uttering threats would be a good advertisement for any politician?
What’s the message? Vote for Vladimir Putin — a chicken in every pot and a feisty babe in every bed?
Oh. Got it.
That’s “Berdy” not “Brody”:)
Thanks for the correction!
I understand russian whores – who can resist volodia putin, a dwarf at 5.2″, sixty going on seventy, bold with strangely shaped head, fat, short legged pedophile – who can beat that????
You can, mccusa.
‘Swedish’ Russian Baboon; apparently you agree with my descritption of Monsieur Putain…..
Tы страшно скучный и неумный, старый болтун.
Won’t harm Putin much, as most russian females 12-40 are unable to make any decent living in the new capitalist russia, whores make up a enormous proportion of the population either as mail order brides or filthy alley cats who line up in pedestrian tunnels according to price. All the same really.
Modern Russia: a dirty brothel with petrol bowsers out the front.
What a paragon of LR’s admirer! What a logical, stereotype-free, fact-based conclusions. It is just missing a link to Nemtsov’s report and a blog of a Russian female aged 12-40 who expands on how she cannot make any decent living in the new capitalist Russia.
It is actually a competition. Girls are called to send in their videos. They should demonstrate what they are ready to tear for Putin. Not sure what is the 1st price. A night with the “dwarf at 5.2″, sixty going on seventy, bold with strangely shaped head, fat, short legged pedophile”?
Does anybody have examples of political figures using a similar approach in an eclection campaign?
Mor chicks ready to kill for Putin:
I wonder what is more stupid: unbalanced young girls “ripping it for Putin” or investing your time and effort in searching for and re-posting links to videos featuring such girls.
Good question, AT. Both can be fun, probably.
If this is your idea of fun, please go ahead and enjoy, after all, I am not La Russophobe who knows what the Pope, Putin and the vast majority of Russians should do…
Admittedly, Max, maybe this IS the best use for your time and effort.
Better than seraching for blogs which depict Putin as the antichrist…
I did it as an example to show that some of your posts here constitute hate-mongering. Exposing hate-mongering is something I don’t mind investing time and effort in.
I think that the Kremlin is actually quite happy with the negative image Russia has, because it allows them to tell their people “look, all the world hates us, If we weren’t there to protect you, they would come and finish you off”.
And I doubt that Russia’s negative image comes from Western demonizing only. Of coures this exists, but the opinion about Russia if mainly formed by the performance of this country and his leadership.
I actually don’t hate Russia, I just find it sometimes ridiulous, somtimes annoying. And I’m happy that I don’t have to go there anymore.
I did not say you hated Russia, but you are making statements that would be qualified as hatred statements if you did it with respect to another ethnicity, religion or country. And I cannot comprehend how the Kremlin’s opinion is relevant here. I am from Russia, and I personally have not been observing anything that would suggest the Kremlin would “tell their people” something like this. From what I know, the Kremlin is consistently (and quite effectively http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_requirements_for_Russian_citizens) trying, for example, to help “their people” travel the world as freely as possible showing the world to Russia and the Russians to the world, thus reducing the hatred and the stereotypes, just the opposite of what you are doing.
I think if more Russians are shown to the world, the hatred and the stereotypes will be only enhanced not reduced. To say nothing about more spies being introduced into the civilized world.
Much of the same was said about your own race, RV.
I am a Caucasian, what about my race?
Much of the same was said about your own people, RV.
and the fact that you think so completes your picture as a narrow-minded and prejudiced man… this perfectly compliments your cheapness and your level of maturity — what else one would expect from someone who cannot buy his own socks…in fact, I am really sorry your character perpetuates some of the stereotypes about Jewish people…
What, 10 or so Russian spies just deported from the U.S. a few months ago — is that my invention or a fact? They had to jump some hoops to penetrate the American society. Abolish visas — and you will make the KGB’s job of introducing new spies just so much easier
I am sure, RV, the Russian spies will be present in the US, as well as the US spies will be present in Russia regardless of any visa regime between the two countries. In any case RV, either you are smarter than governments of 95 countries or you are an idiot.
At, you make racist comments that are hate speech all the time, mainly about non Russian ethnicities in the RF or former Tsarist/Russian empire.
Hypocrisy is your trademark
Andrew, please enough of “all the time” already. Please provide a link to one SINGLE such quote of mine.
And yes, lying is your trademark, as well as your overt support of Hitler’s statements.
Example, little man, of your racism.
AT | June 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
Robert, I don’t doubt atrocities were committed by both sides. I, however, did not find one single link in your messages exposing the Chechen atrocities. Having heard a few stories of Russian refugees from Chechnya, however, there is no doubt in my mind that barbarity was universal. Yet, in the true propaganda fashion you provide plenty of half-truths in your posts. Well, whatever, let those slave trader families celebrate the ECHR awards.
AT | June 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
Oh, those black hundreds. I just failed to grasp the relevance. But I guess this is not a problem for a person who can answer any question with “and by the way, Slain Chechen Slave Trader’s Family Celebrates an ECHR Award”.
Now AT you are a racist little pig, who frequently lies through his teeth, for example the comment that Georgian “settlers” in Tamarasheni deserved to be victims of ethnic cleansing, when
1. Nobody deserves that.
2. They are the indigenous population and the Ossetians are the settlers.
You denigrate former victims of Russian imperialism for deigning to free their countries of the baleful influence of Russia, you deny the crimes of the Russian state perpetrated over the last 300 years.
You claim that Georgian ministerial meetings are held in Russian, having been to a few I can guarantee that is not the case, they are held in Georgian, and in some cases English, but certainly not in Russian.
Young Georgians in most part don’t speak it, and have no desire to.
You really are a repulsive little lying chap.
Andrew, yes, I said that barbarity in Chechnya was universal and perpetrated by representatives of all ethnicities. Yes, slave trade was rampant in Chechnya by this is hardly a race factor, rater an economic and cultural factor. I’ve never said that anyone deserves ethnic cleansing. I regretted many times that Georgians made Ossetians and Abkhazians take drastic steps to gain their independence, and I called for a solution that would address problems of all parties, regardless of race and ethnicity.
I did not quite understand about “denigration”. Maybe you are also misinterpreting my statement. Tell me which one, and I will expose your lies again.
Well, I was in Tbilisi, and I spoke in Russian with Georgians who work for government in their offices.
But probably you could point out first what exactly racist in the two quotes above. I pointed out that Chechens engaged in slave trading under the Islamist regime, just like the Americans had before 1861. Just like the Russians were engaged in serf trade. Just like Ancient Greeks and Romans were trading slaves. Slave trade, unfortunately, is universal, just like barbarity and atrocities — as I pointed out in my statements. All these ugly things are not racial traits. So is this the best tangible proof of my racism. Maybe you are not a liar but just an idiot.
Among those 95 countries there are no important countries that count. You are right that no visa regime can guarantee that no spies will come, but it will be certainly easier to introduce them when no visa is necessary. Spies is only one concern, The second problem is that the U.S. has enough illegal aliens already. Open the gates to the hordes of destitute Russians, and we’ll never get rid of them.
@those 95 countries there are no important countries that count – bravissimo. They do count to me, as I go to Turkey, Mexico, Brazil and Israel often. As far as the hordes of “destitute Russians” concerned, Israel had the same concern before dropping the visa regime. Turned out there are no such hordes.
In any case, RV, you’ve changed the subject. First of all in my view, any government can and must define its immigration policy so that any real or perceived threats be addressed. My post was in response to another commentator’s statement that the Russian regime is deliberately trying to isolate the Russians from the world to consolidate support for itself. My argument was that the regime is actually doing a lot to achieve the opposite, including the promotion of visa-free travel from Russia and to Russia.