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.
>>>>>>>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.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I’m sorry but they’ve choosen to protest Putin because they could’t get any media attention on MSNBC if they’ve simply screamed “!@#$ the church! !@#$ the police!”
Well, your impression was correct - I’d not seen them. Following your links, I watched the one in the church and another one that appeared to be in a court room. Worth the trip to fill out the picture, so thanks.
The Wiki entry on them doesn’t quite correspond to Cunning Fish’s narrative, as the group wasn’t formed as such until August 2011, though it emerged from the group CF referred to. And, obviously, they can’t be punished in this case for what they did on some other occasion.
The translation of the lyrics to their “song” at the cathedral didn’t contain profanity beyond the word “crap,” but that in itself is not very signfiicant.
Giving due regard to the videos, I grant the point that the disruptions they caused are sufficient to warrant their physical removal from the premises and their arrest on very minor charges. If all I knew was the videos, and nothing of the court statements, I would have very little sympathy for them. But their court statements are eloquent and compelling for the reasons that are obvious if you read them. The protests themselves, not so much. They are also on a slippery slope of self-justification, insofar as what they think is appropriate to do.
May I suggest we agree that (1) their deeper message as set out in their court statements has merit; (2) their time, manner and place of expression were legitimately curtailed at the time; and (3) they were excessively punished thereafter?
This group exists since about 2008. I don’t think it makes any difference if they took a name “Pussy Riot”(for PR reason) in 2011.
That is their earlier videos, you can see all that same faces:
Spraying urine on police officers and playing outrage over illegal arrest. Pay attention to babies these vermins always hang with them to make police soft on them:
Humiliating a cop at his home. A flashmob in a small towns police station involving harassment of random policemen and disrupting their work.
A simple Google query brings up all kinds of articles that indicate otherwise.
And if Obama acted like Putin, would you still feel the same way?
I still don't see the "vandalism" and "desecration" in the cathedral that another here was claiming, either.
How dangerously disobedient. Wannabe, power-tripping rent-a-pigs everywhere, are enraged by such conduct.
But that's the only thing they faced trial for. Chew on that for a while.
From the links... One showed some government vehicles burned. Now that is a bit of "havoc". Were the girls on trial for that? I DIDN'T THINK SO.
The rest is disruptive, but not quite "havoc". The trial they disrupted... interrupting the hearing set to send 2 leading curators of contemporary critical art in Russia to prison. needed interrupting.
Simply respectfully "protesting" outside wouldn't accomplish diddly squat. That action most certainly WAS civil disobedience. Yet how exactly did they get all that equipment into a court-like hearing room? Inquiring minds would like to know.
The one with the guy running on foot over the top of the "KGB" political police official's car qualifies as a form of civil disobedience. It was funny in a way. The guy making a fool of himself did a good job of making a fool of the political minders/ political police.
The girls kissing other girls -- whom cunning fish termed "attacks on police cadets" --- were "attacks" of unasked for hugs and kisses. Oh the horror!
Do you guys ever listen to yourselves talk? jailed forever?
Do these people complaining about Putin ever complain about the Saudis’ treatment of women?
yes, the Patriarch could defuse it as you said. I do see that PR is playing into the hands of Putin (whether deliberately or not, it’s anyones guess)
Exactly. Straightaway these "useful idiots" have pushed away people who were fence-sitters or just confused. it has already been wonderful for Putin to paint all opposition as PR-type.
The opposition like Kasparov should not be considered the same as PR, but PR's antics have besmirched them, pushing back the moral authority of the opposition.
Solzhenitsyn never would have supported what PR did in the church.
Yes, that's true - good point. Those earlier "activities" give a more complete picture of these women and the rest of their group. But the three women were charged for only the church protest.
They were charged with Russia's version of a hate crime against religion. It carried a maximum sentence of seven years, but the prosecutor asked for three years. They were sentenced to only two. When the story first broke, at first, two years seemed a bit much for one incident - I would've agreed with you there. But, when I found out how much of a public nuisance they've been, I lost all sympathy for them.
I didn't notice these women speaking out against hate crime legislation in their statements. Considering their left-wing positions, maybe they agree with hate crime legislation. Which would be ironic.
I read through their statements earlier. Indeed, they are well-written statements. (I did wonder if they themselves wrote the statements, or if someone else did - or if the translator used creative license...) But, in those statements, they were trying - as you noticed, too - to justify their actions. Also, the way they compared their trial to Stalin's "troikas" and "purges" in their statements - that was quite a stretch.
Well said. It’s hard to believe that these people are serious about their political positions when it seems all their forms of protest are some act of deviance. Really, the thing with the chicken-I could have lived all the rest of my life without knowing that-is a serious act of political opposition? That’s what they consider effective?
I’m seeing a lot “the ends justify the means” rhetoric from their apologists, and that’s a leftist meme. It was their responsibility, if they felt so strongly, to find a venue of protest which didn’t assault people of faith’s reverence. This is exactly what the left here does-any means of protest, no matter how outrageous and disrespectful, is “justified” by the righteousness of their cause. Greenpeace, Occupy, the Weathermen, all of them. The difference with them and the Revolutionaries is that the Revolutionaries were serious men and willing to take the consequences.
And the eloquence of their statements doesn’t justify their actions either. I’ve read them. I didn’t think they were all that eloquent. They didn’t explain why the action they took was the only one possible or what it did to forward their cause. Patrick Henry it wasn’t.
Yes, that's true. Who knows why they weren't charged for other crimes. But, in any case, under the law, they faced a maximum sentence of seven years for this one crime. They were sentenced to two years - far less than the maximum.
I can't find the group's position on hate crime legislation. To be honest, in searching for it, some of the websites are just too vile. But, considering the group's left-wing politics - according to Wikipedia, they oppose abortion restrictions and support "LGBT" issues - it wouldn't be surprising if they themselves support hate crime legislation (oh, the irony of it all).
Anyway, why are people so supportive of these women? Is it because they're "girls" - more specifically young women in their 20's? They probably look harmless as they skip away from the security guards at the cathedral. Here's a website with more info on what they were singing about and the words they were using.
Suppose these were men doing the same thing? Would they have come across as so harmless? Would so many people be as supportive? Consider how the women were walking up to police women to forcibly kiss them. Would men get away with doing the same thing? We might not have even heard the story if not for the name - PR.
You may be both right and wrong.
AFAIK group claimed it’s responsibility for burning a truck but no one was prosecuted for this act because authorities had no evidence to charge any exact person.
They were prosecuted for public pornography, throwing cats at McDonalds, their “performance” in courtroom and damaging another police car, thus they weren’t sentenced to any real jail time.
I got your point but that is your achilless heel vs this kind of agitators.
These people are targeting public morals and institutions designed to defend it. It may look pretty innocent at the very beginning but if you won’t stop it at that moment it won’t be that funny in near future.
Their idea is to make unrest a fact of daily life and accepting it will bring followers. Burning a government vehicle and desecrating church by one group today may lead to full scale attack on public institutions and burning down dozens of churches tomorrow.
“Girls kissing girls” is not innocent. I haven’t seen if one was pleased with such an attack.
44% of Russians supporting this trial simply knows a history of their country.
I’m not complaining that they were punished...I just think two years in prison is way too harsh for a public disturbance where no property was damaged and nobody was physically injured. If you held up a sign at some leftist gathering and said some things, do you think you should get two years in prison?
Good statements. This firmly exposes that Vladimir Putin remains an unrepentant unreconstructed Chekist. These women might not have experienced the repression of the Soviet Union firsthand, but they are not ignorant of it. Just what did Putin have on Yeltsin to be his designated successor?
There's considerable inconsistency in claiming to be serious political dissidents - when it's useful to impress some people - and at the same time claiming they shouldn't be punished because they're just delayed adolescent merry pranksters doing a little sexual posturing for fun.
Just like our "progressives," such serious "causes" providing their justification to copulate and eliminate in public. Nothing I've read on this thread has changed my original opinion, which was that if "our" media and the Zero administration are supportive of this demonstration, then it must be destructive.
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