Putin Has a Pussy Riot in his Pants

While every Reporters Without Borders article may start with the hippie-esque, oft-irritating “Reporters Without Borders condemns…” and quotes on the site are consistently from themselves, they’ve been honest about Russia (and everything) for as long as they’ve existed.

Most know that free speech in Russia doesn’t mean the same thing there as it does in the Western World, but what seems to be missing from your everyday enlightened news is just how much of an Iron Curtain Putin still casts over the country. As condemned by RWB, independent journalists die there all the time. Their deaths may be under “mysterious” circumstances, but there is nothing to solve when it comes to figuring out why the voices of truth are silenced again and again in the former Soviet Republic. Their own reporters and radio hosts receive no reprieve from the country’s god of mortal origin, and why should they? Russia is a totalitarian regime. This was surely the case with Pussy Riot: a trio from a sect of young girls on trial for demonstrating against the rule of Vladimir Putin, who they say represents a lack of democracy in their powerful nation. The only special treatment these girls will receive is that their deaths will have to look more like an accident than those who did not receive the same kind of mainstream attention.

The charges against Pussy Riot are clear: Hooliganism against the Orthodox Church’s God. Why? They performed a spectacle prayer to the Virgin Mary, Russia’s most valued saint, in Moscow’s largest cathedral telling her to expel Putin from power.

Thirty years ago, their demonstration would not have been so much of a problem. The Orthodox Church was against the rule of Communism and protected those that shared the belief to the best of their ability. The modern reality is that Putin is smart. Through is reign, he has given the church an increasing stake of land, and therefore power. As he grows, so do they. This is assuming they uphold his godly mandate to control everything-forever.

Pussy Riot is not the epitome of punk. Despite the prior actions of some of their members, they are not as much of a Fuck-The-Establishment movement as they are a Fuck-Putin one.

The lyrics that led to their predicament:

Virgin Mary, Mother of God, put Putin away
Рut Putin away, put Putin away

Black robe, golden epaulettes
All parishioners crawl to bow
The phantom of liberty is in heaven
Gay-pride sent to Siberia in chains

The head of the KGB, their chief saint,
Leads protesters to prison under escort
In order not to offend His Holiness
Women must give birth and love

Shit, shit, the Lord’s shit!
Shit, shit, the Lord’s shit!

Virgin Mary, Mother of God, become a feminist
Become a feminist, become a feminist

The Church’s praise of rotten dictators
The cross-bearer procession of black limousines
A teacher-preacher will meet you at school
Go to class – bring him money!

Patriarch Gundyaev believes in Putin
Bitch, better believe in God instead
The belt of the Virgin can’t replace mass-meetings
Mary, Mother of God, is with us in protest!

Virgin Mary, Mother of God, put Putin away
Рut Putin away, put Putin away

… Perhaps they came out against the Church/establishment during their protest as well, but they apologized for that; it’s hard to take on a god and God simultaneously.

As a group they have generally been keen to focus their protests on the one grand issue that is Vladimir Putin, in contrast to going off on everything that’s wrong in their world like Occupy did (rightfully but blindsidedly so). And who’s really going blame them? When his dictatorship “expired”, the government/aristocracy re-instituted the role of Prime Minister so that the people would know that their chiselled, judo-master, hunting-manly-man was still in charge. Russian democracy is akin to Facebook privacy. It just doesn’t exist.

When Putin announced his re-run for presidency, people took to the streets. Their voices were quashed and their idyllic potential leaders were silenced through threats and election fraud. This is why Russian “democracy” is “worse” than the brand we in the west are familiar with: it’s fallacies are blunt.

The three captured Pussy Riot members will do two years in prison. This is not because of the fair and justified nature of the Russian judicial system saving them from serving the maximum term of seven. This is because the world took notice.

Putin was scared, and rightfully so. These young girls saw something that was wrong and took their protest to a new, colourful level that hasn’t been seen in recent years. They weren’t young-jobless hippies being led by the old-jobless hippies of the Sixties as seen in the Occupy Movement. They were clean-looking, skinny youth who knew that Putin being in power was wrong. At least, that’s how they’ve been portrayed in the west. Their message is clear but nice.

In the modern world where cat memes generate more attention than great powers gearing-up to break every established political convention (I’m referring to Britain nearly invading the Ecuadorian embassy to damn Julian Assange), Nice is the only force you can’t stop.

Of course, State media did mock Pussy Riot. They made them out to be heathens. The only thing standing in the way of Putin’s mandate in this scenario was that rest of the world isn’t forced to watch Russian State Media (think Fox News) to get their information. Protests erupted in freer places across the globe in support of the gang and what can only be described as the harmless antics they engaged in.

Harmless. That’s the problem. Putin is manly-man and had the world not taken notice, you can bet your asses that these three innocent girls would have faced a more severe punishment.

Pussy Riot supporters in Toronto took to the Russian consulate Friday morning, the day of the verdict. While they were out after the judgment was handed down (again, Putin is s-m-a-r-t.), it was a clear sign that the oppression of these mostly young girls (pregnant public orgy star, Yekaterina Samutsevich is the oldest at 30) is just the kind of thing to get the thinking-left mobilized. Though the protests were peaceful, that didn’t prevent several people in Marseilles from being arrested for disobeying Frances antiniqab law by adorning colourful balaclavas like the ones worn by Pussy Riot members. Which leads me to my point.

What is happening to these girls in Russia is no less worse than what happens when any of their citizenry have thoughts of their own. A pre-verdict poll by the Levada Centre found that 33% of Russians thought the prison term of two to seven years for the trio was adequate (24% didn’t know or were discounted). While we may be lucky enough to freely speak out in less-dictatorial parts of the world, lefties and liberals are largely seen as pussies, vegans and naive youth. Rather than energized, aware and active.

The bulk of the blame surely lies with those who are unwilling to educate themselves, despite unbridled internet access. The rest of it lies in the oppressive nature of power that remains impossible to avoid anywhere on our beautiful blue planet; outside, say, Buddhist temples. In North America, it’s what leads to there even being a question as to whether Romneys and Harpers will be legitimately elected to positions of power. Resistance trends through culture, but ignorance is ingrained. People in most of the world don’t check their facts and hold elected officials accountable for representing their interests. We also have a habit of forgetting important societal events if they haven’t made the headlines in the past six months.

I’ll give you one guess as to what this year’s most popular Halloween costume will be.

About Seamus Gearin

Séamus once found a $100 bill and gave it to the first person who passed by. He's regretted it ever since.