Pussy riot – and why it’s all bullshit






As anyone that reads this blog knows, I don’t usually touch the political stuff (apart from the odd rant about the opposition and blasting Russia today) but I decided to make an exception for Pussy Riot.
I’ll also be resisting the temptation to make endless vagina word-play jokes – I may be almost thirty years old (which in itself is scary), but my humor is still on a ten-year old level - just where I like it.

The problem with Pussy
When it comes down to it, pussy riot is a cheap publicity stunt that has been blown into epic proportions of ridiculousness - it’s no more and no less. Sure, they might not like Putin, but they are a punk group for fuck sake, how many establishment-loving punks do you know? As much as papers like the Guardian would like to think, this does not make them messiahs of free speech that they are being portrayed as.

They’ve pulled plenty of other stunts in the past, where they basically crash public venues, but there's not much singing, shit,  they don’t really even have songs. They’re just a bunch of pissed of girls, no different from any other group screaming out for attention. 


                                                             Pussy Riot - the younger years

What I really don’t understand is why the Russian government played into the whole thing - if they had played their cards right and ignored the whole thing, the entire story would be nothing more than a tiny paragraph in some Russian paper.
It would run something like this:

“a female punk rock group attempted to stage an anti-Putin protest in the church of Christ the Savior on tuesday, but police intervened, removed them from the premises and fined them 1000 roubles”.
End of story

Instead, what happened was the church got on its high horse, the government arrested them and the world media monster was fed plenty of food to keep its shareholders happy.
As a nice bonus, by imprisoning the group, the Russian government has given them the kind of name and reputation that millions of PR dollars wouldn’t be able to buy them - they have basically turned reactionary poop into liquid gold.


                                                                                    thanks Vlad

What is basically a poor-quality punk ‘group’ (that has no albums or even a song list) has now become famous all over the world as some kind of voice of justice. Everyone has totally missed the fact that Pussy Riot are anti-establishment, doesnt matter who's in power. 

Now they'll probably do some time and will then will be able to publish a sweet book, get a stupid amount of media time, bolster sales for shitty albums (if they actually release any) and probably even get a movie made about them that will also be totally distorted and contrived.

The problem with the pussy riot angle is that it’s just too good for media to pass up on because, like any popular piece in the media, it polarizes and creates a storm.

One the one hand, you have the church angle - plenty of religious Russians are more than happy that the girls will be getting jail time. Nothing pisses off orthodox Russians like people pulling a stunt in a church (although they will turn a blind eye to things like patriarch Kirill’s ostentations 40 thousand dollar watch that he lied about wearing, whoops) and they’re more than happy to see the group do time for it, even if this is a hollow victory if ever there was one.

Then of course you have world media who love writing about corruption and oppression in Russia. PUTIN OPRESSES VOICES OF FREEDOM!!!


                                            you better brace yourself for some serious repressing!

This kind of angle is like dream fuel for editorials and other media pieces, with the authors and experts waxing some serious mother fucking lyrical about freedom, violations of rights and how Putin is an ex KGB fluffer.
But the fact is, Russia is just as free as it was ten years ago, not much has changed in terms of political control. Anyone coming to Russia expecting some kind of Utopian democracy needs a major reality check.

I’m sure once the verdict is handed down on Friday that someone like Madonna will probably cry out for the justice of pussy riot, which is almost ironic because she’s pissed of the church more than a few times to advance her career.

                                                                  i can smell the album sales from here

If anything, the pussy riot drama serves as a reminder that a lot of media needs to be taken with a grain of salt, especially in the online, blog-fuelled, impressions-per-page type of media that we have today.
We all have our agenda and the only reason the Pussy piece got picked up was because it had a mention of Putin in a time when there is such a thing as an opposition in Russia and, for good mention, a bit of church scandal - a magic formula that is like crack cocaine, especially for foreign media. Package whatever non-story you want, as long as you get the key ingredients in.

This should also serve as a very good lesson in PR and media manipulation too. Just remember, if you want to publish, for example, a book on Russia, follow this recipe:

First make sure you do a spontaneous protest in a Russian church (preferably naked, or in a speedo)

Call Putin a dick and say bad things about the government

Preferably get arrested

Package your case to the media as repression of freedom of speech

Enjoy free PR and publish that mother flipping book!


                                                             coming to a bookstore near you






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