Skip to comments.How Pussy Riot Bamboozled the Media
Posted on 08/22/2012 4:31:56 AM PDT by Kaslin
If Justin Bieber or the Rolling Stones suddenly decided to stage an impromptu concert in a public place somewhere in America without a permit, would the authorities ignore it and shrug it off? Doubtful. Even buskers performing in the New York City subway system can't play without formal authorization from the city.
What about taking such a musical performance into a church? If Jennifer Lopez or Madonna just showed up in a place of worship, stripped down to their skivvies and started dancing around the altar, would that fly in any Western democracy? Not likely.
So why, then, are three young women in Russia getting so much sympathy from the mainstream media for doing precisely this inside a Russian Orthodox church?
Last week, three members of the activist group Pussy Riot were each sentenced to two years in prison for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. The group's members are part of a larger protest group called Voina, which has previously been involved in various acts of public nuisance, including group sex in a museum and shoplifting a whole chicken from a supermarket by stuffing into an activist's lady parts.
Voina and Pussy Riot are the Russian version of the Occupy Wall Street protest crowd. Their modus operandi is to use "art" in its various forms as a cover for acting like jerks and flaunting police warnings. They exploit the sentiment that artists worldwide generally should be given more behavioral license than the general public because they've historically pushed the boundaries of free expression.
One would hope that the public is able to tell the difference between Pussy Riot and, say, Voltaire -- who was thrown into a French prison for criticizing government and the Catholic Church in his extensive body of writing. Voltaire's career was writing, while Pussy Riot's entire career consists of hooliganism with a sprinkling of poor-quality "music" thrown in. Voltaire published several novels, plays, poems and essays, and in doing so, just happened to tick off the powers that be. Pussy Riot hasn't even recorded an album. Their credibility as artists is poorly established, unlike their activist background.
Boiled down, the Pussy Riot case is just another example of the social media generation's demand for instant gratification and attention in the absence of any sustained hard work. The protesters chose the shallowest form of subversion possible, their rationale apparently being that by doing a lewd can-can-girl number in a church, they can successfully overturn the government of a G8 country. That's some serious stoner logic.
The longer game of subversion would have required them to spend years working to get into a key position within the power structure, then influencing and subverting the system to change what they don't like. The effects of such an effort would have been more organic, credible and durable.
Or, at the very least, they could have practiced for several years to hone their "art" in the event that they were serious about being artists and not just serious about being hooligans. That's why Madonna can say all sorts of nonsense from a concert stage and constantly push the boundaries of free speech without getting arrested -- because she's actually earned the "artist" label and the leeway society affords it.
Somehow Russian President Vladimir Putin has been dragged into all this, presumably because this story is sexier with a Bond villain -- and because it's always preferable to hold someone else responsible for one's own bad behavior. Pussy Riot supporters claim that Putin has the long knives out for the band because they mentioned him in a song. The idea of Putin sitting around blubbering over being badmouthed by some girls in a YouTube video certainly undermines any evil image. The smearing of Putin as hypersensitive and vindictive would have been more credible had they intelligently addressed Putin's policies without breaking any laws, or associated themselves with a larger group of activists known for flaunting it relentlessly and treating it as a joke. Pussy Riot didn't keep its powder dry.
It's not as if Putin just invented the Russian law against hooliganism. The penalty of up to seven years in prison wasn't concocted especially for Pussy Riot. In fact, the same crime of religious hooliganism in Germany carries a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment -- a year more than the sentence Pussy Riot members received.
The Western media should save its tears for those who truly deserve them.
You seem to be really upset about Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church. I’m not upset, although I might be, if I were following current events in Russia more carefully. This is why I’m discussing general principles, unemotionally, rather than repeating slogans and buzzwords as if they were self-convincing or self-evidently right.
Anyway, have a nice day.
So then protest that collusion somewhere else. Insulting all the pious Orthodox believers in Russia by desecrating their church did not accomplish what it was meant to. It only gave fuel to the anti-Christian fires and would have led to more of the same if the perps were not punished fairly severely.
It confused the two issues of secularism and anti-Putin opposition, too, which may have been its real goal or its secondary one. It was a win-win situation for the agitators. Can’t you see that? And the people begging for a lighter sentence are falling right into the trap.
Yep, liberty for me but not for thee. Can't imagine why anyone would be concerned about such. I mean, this can't happen here. Oh yeah, other than the guy they've involuntarily committed in Virginia for Facebook posts that contained no bona fide threats.
But he's a truther, so I guess I should be like you guys and applaud his being locked up in an Orwellian nightmare because I loathe trutherism.
Except I realize that the next person locked up for inconvenient viewpoints may well be me.
The pious Orthodox should be taking to the streets with pitchforks for Putin putting his own ex-KGB toadie in charge of the ROC. I guess I don’t have a lot of sympathy for folks who don’t take action when their own church has been usurped by fascists. They lost their moral right to be offended by Pussy Riot when they refused to be offended - and act on that offense - by what Putin has done to their institution. It is the silence of such masses that makes it possible for the likes of Putin to stay in power.
I know what we would NOT do. Last time I checked the liberals had made a mockery of the national cathedral, and the Riverside Church was the home of the communist anti-nuke movment. I don't see the Tea Party organizing physical acts against these churches that have strayed. There are churches all over this country which are little more than a branch of hard left liberalism, etc. We have the Phelps monstrosity of a "Baptist" church doing its best to enrage people. No tea party member has led a mob of protestors into the interior of that bogus and horrible "church" to make a point. We have countless black urban churches which serve as props for the advancement of communism and we would not dare enter them and dance about grotesquely at their altars. We have Louis Farrakhan and his cult promoting some of the nastiest things imaginable and still, we know it would do us no good or our cause no good to bust into his mosque precisely because it would demean us and what we stand for.
The pen is a powerful tool, people should consider using it before resorting to defiling religious institutions, however disagreeable or political they might be.
If they didn't vandalize or harm anything (other than someone's feelings) then don't erroneously claim that they did. It doesn't help.
As for "desecration"---- what exactly did they desecrate? Did they spray paint a statue or something? Or is the charge of desecration itself also fluffed up?
Perhaps I missed credible reports of actual damage.
You touch here on an important element, for Putin gets to punish some of his critics, painting them as disgusting hedonists, while the church gets the blame for him doing so.
Which serves to leave him king-of-the-hill, with the church beneath, in effect cutting off any further power of dissent from that institution and direction, making it more politically difficult for persons of faith in Russian society to oppose him.
So what do you think? Is PR simply serving as a sort of self-starting group of "useful idiots"?
Does the rabbit hole go deeper than we actually know (but some suspect & speculate upon) and these over-active libertines are to an extent being craftily manipulated?
I'll go for the combo platter, in that I'd wager only a few of them are Putin/government directed infiltrator/agent provocateurs, with the rest of the 'Riot' crowd just doing what comes natural.
The Russian Patriarch could defuse this, if he carefully (with enough prayer) were to ask for a reduction, or setting aside of the sentence.
Why not use the moment to help define Christ, while drawing people more closely to the church? It could possibly be done. This lack of forgiveness, this hardness of heart which he displays, certainly does not outwardly appear of the Lord.
There is still time, both now and later, for the church to set itself somewhat above and apart, amid calls for mercy and forgiveness towards the wretchedly sinful.
It can forgive offense aimed towards itself easily enough (and should!)...although in this instance, the real offense committed by PR was to try and embarrass the church away from being so much under Russian government influence, while taking a stab at expressing opposition to Putin's government, at the same time...
All the more reason to find the right way for the church to ask the government to amend the sentencing...
Doing so would both call Putin's bluff (that he is in actuality a Christian) and weaken those in opposition to the church, making it more difficult for them to point and say "Putin= church & church authorities".
A *brilliant* move it is to give one's enemy the opportunity to play defender of the faith. Putin could not have asked for better helpers.
That people defend this behavior and even compare it to "classic" Russian dissidents like Solzhenitzen is galling.
Their trial has galvanized opposition to Putin within Russia in a way that nothing has in years.
All I’m saying is that if a weakened Russia is your wish, be careful what you ask for....the Muslims are looking at Russia as their big prize, and their numbers are growing throughout the country.
My only complain with Putin is his continued support of Iran.
Russians have suffered enough. The ones still alive are not the ones who put themselves and their loved ones in great danger but the multitudes who kept the faith quietly in the hope that God would rescue them. Both roles take courage.
In any case, they are not about to protest in a church. That’s the issue, not whether the people are activist enough. And if they were not activist enough for some, that doesn’t mean they merit this kind of blasphemy.
Somehow, I think Solzhenitzen would be much more sympathetic to what Pussy Riot did than to those who fail to stand up to Putin by going to church and not demanding their church be a house of worship instead of an organ of a fascist state.
Did I say that? I said take to the streets with pitchforks. The real fight is against Putin and his goons, not the church elders. But the church elders have to know their flock won't be led down that path before they will take a stand.
If you’ve not done so already, I encourage you to actually read their statements to the court. They quote Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsin, Bukovsky and scripture, among others, and refer to the trials of Socrates and Brodsky. You may chose to reject their claim because they have a punk aesthetic that you do not find congenial, or because you are offended they sang a song not found in the Russian Orthodox hymnal, “Mother of God, Drive Putin Out, but it is crystal clear that they explicitly place themselves in the Russian intellectual and Christian dissident traditions. To my eyes they have a fully articulated and indeed quite eloquent rationale for doing so.
So what is the proper punishment for these dimwits creating a disturbance? Five years? Ten years? Life? Capital punishment? Two years in prison for acting like an idiot is a tad harsh. I would say if they destroyed things or physically harmed people, but I didn’t read about them wrecking anything or hurting anyone.
News reports have been stating that most Russians do not back this so-called “band” (protesters). Their support seems to be coming from outside Russia.
Your messages are giving the impression that you haven’t seen the video (and other videos) of what these women did and have been doing (together with some men) in Russia.
Here is the profanity-laced (in Russian language) “impromptu performance” they gave in the cathedral:
As you can see, they’re creating a big disturbance... and using profanity in front of the visiting public. Security is trying to remove them gently, and they keep running back to their spots.
But that’s not the only thing they ever did...
Please check out cunning_fish’s post #77 at the link below. There are links to more videos documenting this group’s public protests. There’s a big difference between civil disobedience and what this group has been doing. They’ve been wreaking havoc. You’ll recognize the women’s faces in the videos:
(Ping to cunning_fish)
Do get a grip. The ROC is not an “organ of state fascism.”
Because of their nature (existing without an authority outside of their national or linguistic boundaries, since the Patriarch of Constantinople is not exactly a force anymore and hasn’t been one for probably a millenium or so), Orthodox churches are often more nationalistic than, say, the Catholic Church in a given state. However, it’s a far cry from that to say that this means the ROC is an organ of state fascism.
Pussy Riot picked the church because they wanted to shock and insult; if they had simply wanted to protest some Putin policy, there are many other places they could have done so.
Sorry, Pussy Riot was not making a bold political statement but was like the AIDS “protestors” doing their thing with condoms at St Patrick’s Cathedral.
They deserved a jail sentence, just not such a severe one - although, as I say, by Russian standards, they probably got off lightly.
Many thanks for your ping, Tired of Taxes!
An idea of my post is it’s not acceptable to accept unacceptable.
We may not support these NWO agents there and more important every sane person has to be ready to treat agitators like that upon their arrival to a city near you as if they are a bubonic rats.