Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

Assaulting psychics, lol

August 23, 2010

There is probably some good Yakov Smirnoff joke appropriate for this story. The best I’ve got is, In post-Soviet Russia, psychics get beat up by some guy who then goes on to kill two witnesses of the assault. Maybe that one belongs here. From the Moscow Times:

A man was jailed by a Kemerovo region court on Thursday for assaulting a Gypsy fortune teller who predicted that he would be jailed, the Investigative Committee said.

It sounds like…

she didn’t…

*takes off sunglasses*

see that coming.

YEEAAAAH!

And by “that,” I mean the assault. You know, the part of the story which is kind of important to her and the two unfortunate witnesses.

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Russian politician under investigation for possibly giving information to his alien abductors

May 10, 2010

This story brings up one of my favorite themes in interesting news stories. It’s one thing for someone to say or do something a little crazy, but where it gets interesting is when that spurs on another crazy reaction from some other party. And then things just take off, where the momentum of accumulated kookiness picks up with every new participant until it turns into an almost unstoppable Möbius strip of nutjobbery. If each unhinged reaction were a piece of debris, this story would be a massive ball from Katamari Damacy.

The Russian governor, bottom right.

So what happened is that Russian governor Kirsan Ilyumzhinov had an experience where he claims he was abducted by aliens. That’s kind of interesting because it’s kind of rare for these claimants to not be inbred hillbillies. But it gets better:

Now a Russian parliamentarian wants Ilyumzhinov questioned, fearing he may have given the aliens “secret information,” according to the Echo of Moscow radio station.
And not just interrogated by anybody, but by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Maybe I’m just a victim of stereotyping by the media here, but I always thought the Russians had it together a little more than this. I can see the claim of alien abduction by a government official in a large bureaucracy of the biggest country in the world. But to get the president to investigate? That’s fucking crazy.

So maybe we should take advantage of this tendency the new administration seems to have towards investigating this stuff. Someone please call up Medvedev and ask him if his refrigerator is running or if he has the whereabouts of Prince Albert, who was last reported being forced into a can.

Vladimir Putin

November 17, 2009

I’ll just cut straight to the awesome headline from Reuters:

Russia’s Putin wins respect at hip hop party

A lot of politicians with their own skeletons in the closet or fanatical devotion to a particular ideology or whatever else are sometimes referred to as a “gangster” or some other similar term. Dick Cheney is a case in point. The illegal wiretapping, torture, suspending of habeus corpus, etc. are all certainly things that wouldn’t be too surprising to your average mafioso. But the terminology is used as a form of derision because the target of such often believes him or herself to have too much power to be lumped in with people whom they may consider to be common criminals.

But those who would make that kind of response would be right in a sense. There really is a difference between signing off on some extraordinary rendition from the comfort of your air-conditioned office and, say, actually killing someone for talking to a journalist. Or being the journalist in question. Or being related to the journalist. Or looking like him or her. One is ‘gangsta,’ while the other is just pathetic, impotent, old bureaucrats reliving their tedious childhoods playing with Army dolls or whatever it is they did.

But Putin is a different story, which is why these kids respect him. Sure, he’s bloodthirsty and power-mad and probably a criminal many times over, but he’s also a hell of a lot closer to the American Dream mythology of a “self-made man” than any American politician. So that’s probably why they were apparently chanting “Respect, Vladimir Vladimirovich,” even after Putin told them about his drug and alcohol induced breakdancing injuries. Or something like that.