Staunton, Dec. 26 – In December 1991, one contemporary anecdote ran, two Russians meet in Red Square. The first asks “have you heard any good political jokes recently?” The second replies, “no, not a one.” Then first says that he has a Polish friend who has explained this phenomenon: “when times are bad, people tell political jokes; when they get worse, they stop.”
One involuntarily recalls that exchange now that VTsIOM has identified subjects Russians have decided are not appropriate (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2022/01/jokes-about-bosses-and-social-problems.html) and especially after Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has echoed the end of Costa-Gavras’ 1969 classic film, “Z.”
That film about the events leading up to the seizure of power by the colonels in Greece end with the arrest of the deputy who is investigating corruption and then on a blank screen scroll all the things that the new powers that be arrested ranging from chewing gum to democracy.
Putin’s spokesman has now listed the subjects he thinks are “closed” as far as humor is concerned. “One must not joke about the war, about religion or about heroic but sensitive issues of our history … there is no place for humor about them,” at least from the perspective of the powers that be in Russia today (fontanka.ru/2021/12/17/70325222/).
Sibreal commentator Vladimir Yakovsky in recounting what those powers that be have been doing over the past year to the peoples of the Russian Federation regretfully concludes that Peskov is right. There really is no place for humor in a country that is experiencing what the Kremlin is putting Russian through (sibreal.org/a/net-mesta-dlya-yumora-itogi-2021-goda/31621474.html).
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