Category Archives: humor/satire

Horsepower for Gazprom

An equine solarium

An equine solarium

Novaya Gazeta reports:

Gazprom’s website has published a request for bids. It’s soliciting a contract for the supply of equipment to its equine stables in the village of Bogorodskoye, in the Leninsky District of the Moscow Region.

The company is requesting the installation of a Warendorfer Standard II Solarium with a set of built in thermal showers, to be completed by the end of this year, with a maximum contract price of 338,000 rubles (roughly $12,000). Only experienced tradesman are solicited.          

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More on the Russian Joke

The Chicago Sun Times reports:

A joke circulating among Russians these days has Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev waking up in the Kremlin in 2023 with vicious hangovers.

Putin says to Medvedev: ”Which of us is president and which of us is prime minister today?”

”I don’t remember,” Medvedev replies. ”I could be prime minister today.”

”Then go fetch some beer,” Putin says.

The new odd couple in Russian politics has become ideal fodder for keeping the cherished, and in Soviet times, once dangerous Russian tradition of poking fun at leaders through satirical jokes called ”anekdoty.” The latest crop of jokes plays on Russia’s new power-sharing agreement — where Medvedev will be sworn in as president on May 7 and Putin, his stern mentor and predecessor, will serve under him as prime minister. The jokes tend to tap into the widespread speculation that it’s really Putin who will be the boss. Puns are crucial in many of the jokes about Medvedev, whose last name stems from the Russian word for bear.

In one, Putin is asked if he will have Medvedev’s portrait in his office.

An angry Putin replies: ”I’ll put his hide on the floor instead.”

Anekdoty have long been a litmus test of public opinion and individual liberties in a country where in the past people faced exile, prison or worse for expressing their opinions directly. ”Anekdoty sometimes live for a day and sometimes survive for centuries,” said linguist Sandjar Yanyshev. ”They remain the main genre of oral tradition in Russian folk culture.” George Orwell once called the joke ”a tiny revolution.” Nowhere was that taken more literally than in the Soviet Union, where people circulated jokes at their peril about the nation’s communist leaders.

Soviet citizens told stories lampooning Josef Stalin’s heavy Georgian accent. His successor, Nikita Khrushchev, was ridiculed for his redneck joviality. Leonid Brezhnev was mocked for his mumbling speech and his later senility, while Mikhail Gorbachev was ridiculed for his reputedly domineering wife and for his short-lived campaign to eradicate alcoholism. Even after the Soviet Union, the anekdoty tradition survived. Russians told tall tales built around President Boris Yeltsin’s heavy drinking, and even the popular Putin could not escape barbed jokes about his KGB history and his use of salty slang. Anekdoty remained mostly an oral tradition until the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the first printed anthologies often outsold serious novels.

In an online poll at anekdot.ru, one of the most popular Medvedev jokes is one that clearly pinpoints the puppeteer in Russia’s politics.

In the joke, Putin takes Medvedev to a restaurant and orders a steak. ”What about the vegetable?” the waiter asks. Putin looks at Medvedev and says, ”The vegetable will have steak, too.”

The Sunday Cultural Supplement: Dark Humor Returns in Neo-Soviet Russia

Paul Goble reports:

A rising tide of black humor spreading from Russian websites to that country’s mass media, a wave that is frightening many parents and politicians there, underscores that all is not well with Russian society, according to a leading Moscow specialist on the media. In an article posted online last week, Marine Voskanyan, chief editor of the information technology site CRN/RE, argues that this growth of cynical and nihilistic humor suggests that for most Russians, “none of the ideological alternatives on offer in politics, culture, or social life [is] convincing or morally justified.” Instead, she continues, the rise of black humor in Russia today suggests just as its earlier rise in other countries at times past that for an increasing number of people there, “everything around them appears to be completely false” and unworthy of their support.

And while black humor has always existed in every society, its dramatic rise in the Russian Federation now and in some other countries as well represents an understandable if not entirely happy “reaction to the absurdity and cruelty of the contemporary world in which much that used to be unacceptable is now seen as normal.” By making fun of this, she continues, individuals and groups win “a kind of victory over the absurdity of existence, however illusory such a triumph may be.” But when such humor dominates the situation, it should set off alarm bells because “the destruction of any social system or ideology begins when people start to laugh at it.” The power of such laughter, of course, is well know to public relations specialists and political tacticians. If you can make people to laugh at your opponent, she notes, “you have seriously weakened his position.” But when people are engaging in black humor about the system as a whole, that can be more serious, she continues. In such cases, black humor become more often than not a means of compensating for the lack of freedom, the lack of choices, and the inability of having an impact on life that many people feel especially in times of stress. And the more people feel that way, she says, the more likely they are to tell this kind of joke. In order to bolster her argument, Voskanyan draws attention to what makes black humor to work as well as to new research carried out in Moscow concerning how Russians have employed such jokes in reaction to terrorist attacks and disasters both natural and man-made.

According to the Moscow media specialist, black humor generally works only if there is a certain temporal or territorial distance from the events that are its nominal subject. Thus, in the 1970s, jokes about fascist concentration camps were relatively common in the USSR, because for many, the war had become something distant. But now, no one she knows tells such jokes because, she says, unfortunately in the cities of today’s Russia, “the chance of falling victim to skinhead Nazis wearing SS regalia is not equal to zero.” Consequently, telling jokes there about Nazi concentration camps could in fact prove dangerous. If black humor requires a certain distance to work, it may also help people distance themselves from the tragic and dangerous such as plane crashes, terrorist acts or wars, Voskanyan says, or alternatively to help them cope with any situation over which they have no control. Thus, during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, many Russians told black jokes about the consequences of that conflict. One that Voskanyan cites, goes as follows: “Oh, Watson!” Sherlock Holmes says. “I see you’ve just come from Afghanistan.” “Yes,” Watson answers, “but how did you guess?” “Elementary, Watson! You’re in a casket.”
Voskanyan is not alone in focusing on this phenomenon.

A group of scholars at Moscow State University recently published research on the kind of jokes and anecdotes that have appeared on the .ru Net in the wake of terrorist attacks and natural disasters. In the week following the September 11th attacks on the United States, the investigators found, the number of ordinary anecdotes fell dramatically, but black humor jokes began to appear already that evening. Within 48 hours, their number peaked and then rapidly fell off, with traditional jokes returning. The Moscow State specialists concluded, in Voskanyan’s words, that “terrorist acts frighten people strongly but not for long, whereas for jokes about air catastrophes, potentially the audience is always ready, new tragedies only ‘enliven’ its fears and reaction to them.” Given that some people will always turn to black humor, protests against “the absurdist cruelty” of such jokes while perhaps understandable are in and of themselves “to a certain degree absurd,” Voskanyan suggests. But when such jokes overwhelm other kinds of humor, then there is real reason to worry. And she points to another problem as well. The rise of black humor in Russia threatens to push that country into precisely the same trap that Heinrich Boll has suggested his fellow Germans have long been in, one in which people tell jokes less to make fun of the great than “to deny greatness in anyone.”

The Sunday Funnies: Time Magazine Special Edition

“The way I understand it, the Russians are sort of a combination of evil and incompetence… sort of like the Post Office with tanks.” – Emo Philips

Our South African Cartoon Master offers a Time magazine special edition:




Images of Peter Pan

Peter Pan, U.S.A.-style

Peter Pan, Russia-style

The Sunday Mystery

In the Russian Truth is Stranger than Fiction Department, the Moscow Times reports:

Moscow region prosecutors have asked the police to reinvestigate the death of a cat whose owners say he was catnapped and killed by rabbit-breeding neighbors at their dacha, near the town of Ruza. An official with the Moscow Region Prosecutor’s Office, who refused to give her name, said the request had been made after animal rights organization Vita had asked them to look into the death of the animal, named Motya. “We took our cat to the dacha, and our neighbors, who are very strange people, killed him,” said the cat’s owner, Yulia Ilyukhina, 29. She said the neighbors suspected the cat of attacking their rabbits. Ilyukhina said Motya was lying in the sun on Aug. 5 when the neighbors — Viktor Martynenko, his daughter Tatyana Klychnikova and her husband, Alexander Klychnikov — raced up in their Lada and snatched the cat. “He was sitting in the sun, dreaming. He was very friendly — you could just walk up and pet him,” Ilyukhina said. “They grabbed the cat and drove away. They were driving very fast.” She said the neighbors had also accused the cat of keeping their child awake. Ilyukhina said Martynenko had threatened to kill Motya with a stick. “If the rabbit is bigger than the cat, how could he attack it,” said Ilyukhina, who added that Motya was less than 2 years old. She said the cat had been kept locked indoors after the neighbors complained. Ilyukhina said the neighbors later returned and dumped the dead cat where it had been laying. When she went to the police, they failed to interview a number of people who had been witnesses and refused to take any further action, Ilyukhina said. Ruza police refused to comment when contacted by telephone. Attempts to reach Martynenko were unsuccessful. An autopsy performed on the cat after the police failed to take any action revealed that Motya died from five to 10 minutes after being hit with a blunt object, Ilyukhina said. Vita president Irina Novozhilovo said very few cases dealing with cruelty to animals actually made it to court. “It depends on people’s enthusiasm,” she said, adding that cases only make it to the court after people continue to complain when the police turn them down. In a high-profile case that did make it to court, the owner of an American Staffordshire terrier was sentenced last year to one year of community service after he set the dog loose on a on a group of stray puppies. His dog killed two of the puppies and the man killed another two himself.

Talk About Being Hard up for Heroes!

If this isn’t a sign of the neo-Soviet apocalypse then we don’t know what is: Vladimir Putin casts about for a hero to pin a medal on, and the best he can come up with is . . . wait for it . . . a sheep saver! The Moscow Times reports:

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday bestowed the country’s highest honor on a shepherd who saved 500 sheep from armed marauders and wildfires. Babu-Dorzho Mikhailov became the first shepherd ever to receive the Hero of Russia medal, which Putin presented to him in the Kremlin’s ornate Yekaterininsky Hall, outshining dozens of artists, doctors and scientists who received lesser state honors. Mikhailov thanked Putin for the award and his attention to agriculture workers. “I am happy,” the 54-year-old Siberian told reporters after the ceremony. Apparently tongue-tied in front of television cameras, the modest, quiet Mikhailov let an Agriculture Ministry official do the talking. In October, Mikhailov saved 500 sheep — worth 4 million rubles ($160,000) — by fending off an armed attack by thieves trying to steal them for mutton, said Feliks Pavlusenko, an aide to Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev. In April, the shepherd rescued his flock from a fire that scorched the steppes in the Chita region, Pavlusenko said. Mikhailov rounded up the sheep, “sat on a tractor and plowed soil around so that the blaze wouldn’t spread,” Pavlusenko said, adding that the “combination of the two heroic deeds” led to the award. “Among shepherds, he is the first” to receive the Hero of Russia, said Pavlusenko, adding that Mikhailov had worked as a herder for 32 years. While Mikhailov is the only shepherd to receive the award, he is not the only one to be recognized in recent years for his service to the county. In 2002, Putin presented Georgian shepherd Levan Telidze with the medal of courage for warning Russian border guards about the plans of an armed gang to cross the border into Chechnya. Georgian special services, however, doubted that he had passed any information to Russian border guards and questioned the very fact of the shepherd’s existence. Izvestia said at the time that Telidze was under protection of the Federal Security Service and that he would likely be given a new identity and a home in Russia.

Pathetic. Breath-takingly, mind-bogglingly pathetic. Russia, in a nutshell.

If That is "My Country", When’s the Next Rocket to Mars?


Just a question: What do you think the world would do if it found it found out one of Germany’s most significant and time-honored pop stars had just added new song to his repertoire which sounded something like what follows, the lyrics of crazed neo-nationlist Russian pop star Oleg Gazmanov’sMade in the USSR” reworked by a reader? Mind you, this is based on a real Russian pop song which is basically the same thing except with Soviet references, including Stalin, that we’ve already blogged about some time ago.

“Made in the Mighty Third Reich”

Poland and France, Czechoslovakia and Russia
That is my country
North Africa, Turkey, and certainly England
That is my country
Belgium, Holland, Latvia, Estonia
Lithuania, Italy, Spain and Portugal too

I was born in Nazi Germany
I was made in the mighty Third Reich
I was born in Nazi Germany
I was made in the mighty Third Reich

The Kaiser, the Hapsburgs, Himmler and Hitler
They are my country
Brecht, Goethe, Heine and Jahn
They are my country
The Russian churches we bombed out, the ones that replaced them
The Reichstag and the first printing press

I was born in Nazi Germany
I was made in the mighty Third Reich
I was born in Nazi Germany
I was made in the mighty Third Reich

Olympic gold, the races, the victories
This is my country
Rommel, von Rundstedt, VWs, ICBMs
This is my country
The skinheads and beggars, the might and the ruin
The spies and Gestapo and the great scientists

I was born in Nazi Germany
I was made in the mighty Third Reich
I was born in Nazi Germany
I was made in the mighty Third Reich

Beethoven, Brahms, Bartholdy and Handel
Schumann and Wagner, Gropius and van der Rohen
We invented the bicycle and also the motorcyle
Oh! Our Navy, our Army, our Air Force, our Marines!

I was born in Nazi Germany
I was made in the mighty Third Reich
I was born in Nazi Germany
I was made in the mighty Third Reich

Beer, pretzels, the Autobahn, the ICBMs
The sturdiest women on the planet
Football, ballet, the best opera
Just tell me something we haven’t got

Now Europe is trying to form a union
And we’re going to be the boss of the whole thing
Sure, we caused both World Wars
But hey, we also invented plastic!
Dissolve the borders, there’s no need of passports
Without us you’re nothing, together we’re friend
s

In fact, forget about the world. Just think about what Germans would do if one of their own started singing a song like this, and you’ll see the difference between a civilized, intelligent country that capable of facing and learning from its mistakes (Germany) and a childish, barbaric state that can only deny and hide from its mistakes (Russia).

Marchers Don’t Bother Putin One Bit

Another gem from the virtual pen of Ellustrator, and one which you hardly need to know Russian at all to make perfect sense of. In the top frame, Putin offers the quote that burned up the wires over the weekend, that he’s not bothered one bit by the “the marches.” In the bottom frame, the drill sergeant tells his boys they’re going on a 15 kilometer “march” this morning which doesn’t disturb the president a bit. It’s a lovely play on words, Putin loves this kind of “march” and, because of it, he doesn’t even see, much less get bothered by, the “other [Russia]” kind after this kind has cracked a few skulls and thrown a few hundred into the pokey.

Marchers Don’t Bother Putin One Bit

Another gem from the virtual pen of Ellustrator, and one which you hardly need to know Russian at all to make perfect sense of. In the top frame, Putin offers the quote that burned up the wires over the weekend, that he’s not bothered one bit by the “the marches.” In the bottom frame, the drill sergeant tells his boys they’re going on a 15 kilometer “march” this morning which doesn’t disturb the president a bit. It’s a lovely play on words, Putin loves this kind of “march” and, because of it, he doesn’t even see, much less get bothered by, the “other [Russia]” kind after this kind has cracked a few skulls and thrown a few hundred into the pokey.

Marchers Don’t Bother Putin One Bit

Another gem from the virtual pen of Ellustrator, and one which you hardly need to know Russian at all to make perfect sense of. In the top frame, Putin offers the quote that burned up the wires over the weekend, that he’s not bothered one bit by the “the marches.” In the bottom frame, the drill sergeant tells his boys they’re going on a 15 kilometer “march” this morning which doesn’t disturb the president a bit. It’s a lovely play on words, Putin loves this kind of “march” and, because of it, he doesn’t even see, much less get bothered by, the “other [Russia]” kind after this kind has cracked a few skulls and thrown a few hundred into the pokey.

Marchers Don’t Bother Putin One Bit

Another gem from the virtual pen of Ellustrator, and one which you hardly need to know Russian at all to make perfect sense of. In the top frame, Putin offers the quote that burned up the wires over the weekend, that he’s not bothered one bit by the “the marches.” In the bottom frame, the drill sergeant tells his boys they’re going on a 15 kilometer “march” this morning which doesn’t disturb the president a bit. It’s a lovely play on words, Putin loves this kind of “march” and, because of it, he doesn’t even see, much less get bothered by, the “other [Russia]” kind after this kind has cracked a few skulls and thrown a few hundred into the pokey.

Marchers Don’t Bother Putin One Bit

Another gem from the virtual pen of Ellustrator, and one which you hardly need to know Russian at all to make perfect sense of. In the top frame, Putin offers the quote that burned up the wires over the weekend, that he’s not bothered one bit by the “the marches.” In the bottom frame, the drill sergeant tells his boys they’re going on a 15 kilometer “march” this morning which doesn’t disturb the president a bit. It’s a lovely play on words, Putin loves this kind of “march” and, because of it, he doesn’t even see, much less get bothered by, the “other [Russia]” kind after this kind has cracked a few skulls and thrown a few hundred into the pokey.

The Sunday Funnies: Icarus-Putin Flies too Close to the Neo-Soviet Sun

Source: Ellustrator.

The Sunday Satires

Source: Ellustrator.
Translated by: Vova Khavkin (click to enlarge).

Note: Vova has translated as “terminate with extreme prejudice” the Russian verb “mochit’” — the same verb Putin famously used to describe what he would do to the Chechen rebels whilst they were sitting on the toilets in their outhouses.

Note: The translation of the top group of buttons was lost due to technical issues. The top line on the remote control reads “beat them up” and the numbered buttons indicate the number of whacks to be delivered.

The Sunday Satires

Herein we post a Russian cartoon without translation. We feel that it’s interesting enough because you can probably figure out what is going on even if you don’t speak a word of Russian; in addition, we invite our Russian readers to provide a verbatim translation in the comments section.

In case you need a hint: A commenter at the source state “Это могло-бы быть смешно если-бы не было так грустно….” In other words, it would be funny if it weren’t so sad. And so true.

люди и собаки

Source: Ellustrator.

Annals of the Other Russia Protest: Prior Restraint

The doggie is holding a sign which reads “Opposition March.”
The big bad Russian bears are whimpering for the police to save them.

Source: Ellustrator.

Reuters reports that the Kremlin’s forces moved preemptively to destroy the “Other Russia” march before it began, including arresting Garry Kasparov before he could get to the Square and blocking Kasyanov from entering it (that’s him pictured below center in the arms of the stormtroopers, via Zaxi). A second march is planned tomorrow in St. Petersburg.

Russian riot police detained dozens of opposition activists, including chess champion Garry Kasparov, in Moscow on Saturday as they frustrated attempts to hold a banned protest against President Vladimir Putin’s rule. Police pounced on protesters as they appeared in small groups near the city centre square, about one km (half a mile) from the Kremlin, which was the scene of the planned protest, a Reuters witness said. Those detained were loaded into buses by police. An aide to Kasparov, one of the leaders of the Other Russia opposition coalition that organised the protest, confirmed he was among those detained.

Other Russia, a disparate coalition of Kremlin opponents, called the “March of Discontent” to express their protest at what they see as an erosion of democratic freedoms under Putin. Kremlin supporters say Other Russia is trying to scuttle stability — with help from abroad — ahead of the 2008 presidential election, when Putin says he will step down. Police declared the protest illegal after Moscow city authorities refused permission for the protest on the grounds that pro-Kremlin youth activists had already booked the venue for their own rally.

A Reuters photographer and two members of a Reuters camera crew were detained by police at the scene and ordered onto buses. The camera crew was released but the photographer was still being detained. The camera crew were among several journalists detained as they filmed Mikhail Kasyanov (above center), another of the Other Russia leaders and a former prime minister.

“What is happening with our rulers? Are they sane or have they gone quite mad. They have brought in riot police from across the country,” Kasyanov said before police in camouflage fatigues and helmets moved in. There was a massive security presence around the venue at Moscow’s Pushkin Square. At least a thousand police could be seen in the square and on the streets leading into it. Some were wearing helmets with visors and body armour. A water cannon truck and several police trucks were stationed on the street leading from the square to the Kremlin. Insignia on the police vehicles showed that many of them had been drafted in from outside Moscow. Police herded everyone on the square who was not taking part in the pro-Kremlin rally — including shoppers and journalists — into a subway. Other Russia has marginal influence as the vast majority of Russians support Putin, who has overseen rising incomes and political stability. The group says it is using peaceful protest to pressure the Kremlin into holding free and fair elections in 2008. But the Kremlin and its supporters are wary of Other Russia, alleging the group is using street protests to stoke an uprising against Putin’s rule. Boris Berezovsky, a Russian multi-millionaire now living in London, said in an interview published on Friday he was fomenting a revolution to topple Putin.

What’s up with Iran and Russia?

AHMADINEJAD: Why haven’t you delivered our Uranium?

PUTIN: You shouldn’t have Ahmadinejadized.


Source: Ellustrator.

Has Russia thought better of providing nuclear power to Iran? Has Western pressure forced its hand? Is it all just a show to take the wind out of the West’s sails? Did Russia dupe Iran, never intending to actually supply a working reactor? Or is Iran actually short of cash? Maybe it was the Iranians who duped the Russians, never intending them to get much influence in the Iranian energy sector, but rather only intending to use Russia to get it’s foot in the door?

Publius Pundit is running two polls on these interesting questions where readers are invited to give their input. Stop by and do so if you have a chance, and feel free to leave your comments.

What’s up with Iran and Russia?

AHMADINEJAD: Why haven’t you delivered our Uranium?

PUTIN: You shouldn’t have Ahmadinejadized.


Source: Ellustrator.

Has Russia thought better of providing nuclear power to Iran? Has Western pressure forced its hand? Is it all just a show to take the wind out of the West’s sails? Did Russia dupe Iran, never intending to actually supply a working reactor? Or is Iran actually short of cash? Maybe it was the Iranians who duped the Russians, never intending them to get much influence in the Iranian energy sector, but rather only intending to use Russia to get it’s foot in the door?

Publius Pundit is running two polls on these interesting questions where readers are invited to give their input. Stop by and do so if you have a chance, and feel free to leave your comments.

What’s up with Iran and Russia?

AHMADINEJAD: Why haven’t you delivered our Uranium?

PUTIN: You shouldn’t have Ahmadinejadized.


Source: Ellustrator.

Has Russia thought better of providing nuclear power to Iran? Has Western pressure forced its hand? Is it all just a show to take the wind out of the West’s sails? Did Russia dupe Iran, never intending to actually supply a working reactor? Or is Iran actually short of cash? Maybe it was the Iranians who duped the Russians, never intending them to get much influence in the Iranian energy sector, but rather only intending to use Russia to get it’s foot in the door?

Publius Pundit is running two polls on these interesting questions where readers are invited to give their input. Stop by and do so if you have a chance, and feel free to leave your comments.

What’s up with Iran and Russia?

AHMADINEJAD: Why haven’t you delivered our Uranium?

PUTIN: You shouldn’t have Ahmadinejadized.


Source: Ellustrator.

Has Russia thought better of providing nuclear power to Iran? Has Western pressure forced its hand? Is it all just a show to take the wind out of the West’s sails? Did Russia dupe Iran, never intending to actually supply a working reactor? Or is Iran actually short of cash? Maybe it was the Iranians who duped the Russians, never intending them to get much influence in the Iranian energy sector, but rather only intending to use Russia to get it’s foot in the door?

Publius Pundit is running two polls on these interesting questions where readers are invited to give their input. Stop by and do so if you have a chance, and feel free to leave your comments.

What’s up with Iran and Russia?

AHMADINEJAD: Why haven’t you delivered our Uranium?

PUTIN: You shouldn’t have Ahmadinejadized.


Source: Ellustrator.

Has Russia thought better of providing nuclear power to Iran? Has Western pressure forced its hand? Is it all just a show to take the wind out of the West’s sails? Did Russia dupe Iran, never intending to actually supply a working reactor? Or is Iran actually short of cash? Maybe it was the Iranians who duped the Russians, never intending them to get much influence in the Iranian energy sector, but rather only intending to use Russia to get it’s foot in the door?

Publius Pundit is running two polls on these interesting questions where readers are invited to give their input. Stop by and do so if you have a chance, and feel free to leave your comments.

The Sunday Question

This post is just an obscura for the Russian speakers. Others, pay it no mind.

Have a gander at this cartoon from ellustrator:


Is this funny? If so, why? LR would dearly love for somebody proficient in Russian to tell her.

She gets that it is a play on words about the two artificial, Kremlin-concocted political parties, “Yedinaya Rossiya” (“United Russia” — the first ticketholder) and “Spravedlivaya Rossiya” (“Fair Russia” — the second ticketholder). The enforcement officer (on a train or bus?) says, “Citizens, show me your tickets.” The first guy says, “I have a whole one” (using the same word, “yedinyy”as you would for the party). The second guy says, “I have a fair one” (using the same word for the other party). There were unusually few comments by readers. One called it a “great play on words.” Another one commented that the choice in Russia is between a “Russia that united but not fair, or fair but not united.”

After that, LR is lost. What’s the point? Is it a subtle linguistic thing? Do you just have to be Russian? Can anybody help?

The Sunday Funnies

The psychopaths at Russia Blog ask: “What if those were Mohammed’s fangs?”
Interesting. LR doesn’t recall Mohammed building a Gulag archipelago, arresting and murdering priests and blowing up churchs by the score, murdering and torturing all manner of artists and intellectuals, terrorizing and enslaving smaller, defenseless countries and ultimately driving his nation to absolute destruction. Did LR miss something, dear reader? Or are the goons at Russia Blog simply utterly dishonest, propagandizing maniacs?

A better question to ask would be: What if Germans elected a proud Gestapo officer president? And what if a blog run by an expat German insidiously seeking to promote intelligent design over evolution then sought to rationalize that election and help the Gestapo maintain their grip on power? What then?

***

Bush says: “I’ve looked in Vladimir’s eyes. We can trust him.”

Source: Ellustrator

A joke via Global Voices from the Russian blogosphere:

Two Soviet violinists are in the same train compartment, on the way back home from abroad, from an international music competition. The first one, a “plainclothes” violinist [an undercover KGB agent], finished last, but is happy in general. The second one is a very promising young man – he came in second and is pulling his hair in despair. To console him, the first one says:

- Why are you so upset? Second place isn’t that bad…
- You see, the man who won was allowed to play [Paganini’s] violin!
- So what?
- Let me explain: For me, to play Paganini’s violin is like for you to shoot from [Dzerzhinsky’s Mauser].

Can you imagine raising your children in a country that has such jokes, and people who think they’re funny, and elect the spawn of Dzerzhinsky president of the country?

Russian Gaming Innovation is Breathtaking to Behold

Ah, Russia, land of technological innovation. Pioneer for the 21rst Century and beyond. Land of the brightest imaginable future. The Joystiq gamers site reports:

Leave it to Russia to find a new way to drink with your mates long distance. For those who wish to not take shots alone, there’s now a special shot glass where that connects to your computer via USB. While logged into a special chat room, the glass keeps track of how much alcohol you have left, just to make sure you’re keeping up. (In Russia, it’s considered rude not to finish your shot.) We’re not sure about the finer details of how it works, but we do know one thing: an intercontinental drinking match between top World of Warcraft guilds would rock. Or the first and last place of an Unreal Tournament match. Oh, the possibilities are endless.