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.
OK, what if an American denomination was deeply in bed with the Obama Administration in a hypothetical Obama second term and approved of Obama Administration crackdowns on dissent.
Would you disapprove of protestors going into a church to stand against that church's kowtowing to Obama?
I think too many people are taking sides for the wrong reasons here. Putin is trying to make this an affront to Christianity when it was a protest against his persecution against dissent and the Orthodox Church being in bed with him.
I see. So because you disapprove of their point of view, they are not legitimate, even if they are standing up to a tyrant and his toadies.
BTW, we don't have 'legitimate' in the First Amendment over here.
and, the law which remember has existed for some years is the law. This was not "simple trepass" as you state but disrespect for the Orthodox Church.
And what if that Church has allied with the corrupt Putin power structure, as Garry Kasparov has noted in the WSJ editorial I posted?
We've had a truther involuntarily committed in Virginia in recent days for what appears to be completely bogus reasons. I loathe truthers, but I also disagree with the tactics used by the state here, so I will disagree with the action taken even though I also vehemently disagree with the man's views.
If we go along with persecution against Pussy Riot because they protested in a church (when that church is making itself part of the fascism problem in Russia), then we lose the moral standing to fight persecution in our own countries as well.
Putin is using the Orthodoxy Church for moral authority to crack down on dissent. I guess for some folks, fascism is OK as long as the folks going into jail are the folks they disagree with politically.
What happens in Russia is their own business, as long as they are not trying to expand their empire like the Soviets did.
Perhaps if you read their court statements you would understand that the Orthodox Church is now the handmaiden of the Putin regime and that their protest, which you demean as a mere trespass without any political content, was actually directed at the corrupt relationship between the Church and Putin’s gangster government.
These women are not airheads. They are Russian dissident intellectuals with a direct lineage to Soviet Refuseniks. They are citing Dostoevksy and scripture in their Court statements to put their protests into the historical, theological and political context that gives them meaning. Your arguments are as valid as those of the prosecutors of all the refuseniks. They have general statures against offenses against public order that use to lock up anyone they don’t like. And you’re cheering them on.
I cannot believe the endorsements of locking them up I am reading on this page on a website that is supposedly populated by people who hold political liberty and free expression dear to their hearts. It is just stunning.
It is their name, I have been chanting it like a mantra since the story broke.
The last time we pretended European fascism wasn't our business, we ended up in a pretty big war defeating such.
I think a lot of folks are seeing this through the filter of OWS and/or left-wing affronts against Christianity in this country. And that, IMO, is a mistake. The Russian Orthodox Church is in bed with the fascist Putin, as opposed to, say, the Catholic Church which is fighting Obama's own attempts at fascism when it comes to forced insurance coverage of contraception. And instead of demanding free stuff like OWS, Pussy Riot was protesting real fascism and political repression.
Man, you just don't want to get it. You look at Pussy Riot and all you see is OWS, instead of a protest against fascism and an unholy alliance between Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church.
If we had such a situation in this country, would you applaud if a left-winger stood up to such fascism and got jailed for two years, just because you disagree with his politics?
I already have. Apparently fascism is OK with you as long as the right people get jailed.
Maybe you should read their court statements instead of just pretending they are an OWS offshoot.
If someone jumped into a Reform Jewish synagogue and did what PR did in the Church in Moscow, then yes they should have the law against them. The question is what law -- in Russia there has been a law against disrespect to the Churches and that's what was used against PR, not some new random judgement.
And what happened was in Russia, not in the USA.
you are jumping from topic to topic, first linking PussyRiot as a voice of the Russian opposition, then when being pointed out that they are NOT the voice of the opposition, you go in a tangent
on the contrary Pussy Riot is disruptive to the anti-Putin crowd, making it easy to label all opposition as somehow this kind of crowd that wants to destroy Russian culture. If you want to say PR is the voice of the anti-Putin opposition then you are supporting Putin and his point of view