Night Shift Logic: The Good, The Bad, and The Bloodhound Gang

Posted on August 4, 2013

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Barely a day goes by without Russia, the largest country in all of the world, being in the news. There really aren’t many countries in the world that bring on as strong an immediate opinion as Russia, almost always an opinion based on one piece of news plus a host of assumptions. This is to be expected, as it was the other side of an almost 50 year ideological conflict. Even before that though, Russia has been treated with suspicion and hostility since time began. The history of Russia is completely unrivaled in it’s horror and influence however, and it’s difficult to deny that it is one of the most important countries in the history of the world. So let’s have a gander at some good and bad of Russia recently.

Good: Not caving in to Western pressure regarding Syria
As the West jumped emphatically into more conflict post-Libya when tensions rose in Syria, Russia stayed out to begin with. The mass propaganda made the rounds (and still does) in our media, portraying it as an honest and desperate fight for democracy. Indeed, for the first nine months or so you could be forgiven for believing that the Syrian Rebel Army was made up entirely of women, children, sad old people and pugs. As the picture became clearer that the truth was a far harder thing to swallow and that both sides were immensely shitty, it was too late for the West, whose eggs had been in the Rebel basket so long that they were beginning to hatch. Russia is the only thing stopping an all out blatant military invasion (as opposed to the covert arming of the rebels that was happening, but there we go), and for that they should be applauded. This is not the time or the place for geopolitical point scoring.

Bad: Russia, it’s 2013. What’s up with your anti-gay piffle?
Ridiculous, ridiculous. A law passed a few months back banning public propaganda talking of non-traditional sexual relations, which is defined as any relationship that cannot bring life into the world. Of course, heterosexual couples who can’t conceive are exempt from this, so it’s basically an anti-gay law. A good example of the nations particularly blinkered view on the subject comes from the fact that supporters of the law say that it isn’t about punishing gay people, but to stop people becoming gay. It’s 2013 Russia. Despite your socially conservative, heavily religious orthodox society, it is 2013. What other individuals do with their genitals doesn’t concern you. It’s quite clearly a move by Putin to consolidate political power with the conservative society, as statistics show that a majority in the country oppose same sex marriage. BUT WHY DOES IT MATTER WHAT OTHER PEOPLE DO?! If you really care that much, you are incredibly dumb. The police have been particularly harsh on the crackdown as well, and this is something that will get a lot worse before it gets better.

Good: Snowden. Edward Snowden.
Back on the positive, as the country provided refuge for Edward Snowden, the chap who revealed that the US was practically wire tapping the globe. His journey started in Hong Kong, but China couldn’t hold the hot potato for long so it was tossed to Russia, who stalled. The plan was for Snowden to go to Venezuela via Cuba, but this door closed, so he was stuck in ol’ Russiya. Initially they distanced themselves out of a desire to avoid quarreling with the United States, and many in Russia were anti-Snowden anyway. Believe it or not, most of the media in Russia is owned by pro-west media lords, so this tightrope had to be walked as well. The situation went from the ridiculous to the downright insane when the Bolivian president’s plane was grounded and searched in Europe because of a suspicion that Snowden might have been on board. Imagine what the reaction if this went the other way, and Obama’s plane was grounded somewhere over, I don’t know, Angola. Anyway, after the US gave Russia a promise that Snowden wouldn’t get the death penalty or be tortured (yeah, right), Russia made the decision to grant him refugee status. This is far from over, but for the time being, well done Russia.

Good/Bad: The Bloodhound Gang are banned from Kuban
I’m on the fence with this one. Now, banning a band from playing a festival because they put your flag down their pants is so unbelievably silly, but then this is The Bloodhound Gang, and I can’t blame Russia for finding any reason to ban them. The whole thing happened during a show in Odessa (Ukraine), when bassist Jared Hasselhoff stuffed the aforementioned flag down his pants, and asked the crowd to avoid telling Putin. He was then questioned by police (ridiculous) and the band were banned (HAH) from a forthcoming festival show in Kuban. The Russian culture minister was quoted as saying; ‘Bloodhound Gang is packing their suitcases. These idiots will not perform in Kuban’. The rest of the world was merely surprised that they were still going.

So what we have is a country who defend human rights when it shows them to be strong against the US, but also a country that has ridiculous anti-gay laws and an archaic mindset in general. Let’s see what the next few months throw up. I’m off to listen to ‘One Fierce Beer Coaster’.*

 

*I’m not really.

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