Wait we’re talking Riot Fest????
As I write this, the closing ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics are on in Sochi, Russia. These games have had their usual wonderful Olympic moments, but have also faced controversy due to poor accommodations and Russia’s laws against gay propaganda. A newer, smaller story that has come out of the games is the continued tale of Russian punk band Pussy Riot (link is to their Wikipedia, as their apparent official site is in Russian).
To briefly recap: Back in February of 2012, five members (they have a couple dozen in total!) performed in Moscow’s Cathedral Christ of the Savior. Before church security stopped it, they made a music video of the performance titled “Punk Prayer – Mother of God, Chase Putin Away!”. They were protesting the church’s support for the re-election of Vladimir Putin as President. Three of them, the above pictured Nadezdha Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, were arrested for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”. Convicted, they were sentenced to two years in prison, although Samutsevich was freed in October of that year. The other two were released after amnesty was granted this past December.
Those releases are still pretty fresh, but now the band is back in the news because of their visit to Sochi late last week and “Putin” out a video (heyo!) criticizing the Games and Putin. While filming it, the Cossack – an auxiliary police force – horsewhipped them, which is really just crazy. They’ve been “held accountable” according to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, and Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were detained for a few hours while in Sochi as well.
It’s an odd thing, this Pussy Riot scenario. When you’re that kind of band, obviously your goal is to make noise and get in people’s faces regarding your views. But, considering just how barbaric things can get in a country like Russia, if you’re a member of Pussy Riot do you ever think to yourself, “I’m going to get killed doing this”? For me, if my life is in danger, I don’t know that I’m as actively vocal. Maybe that’s easy to say when you live in a peaceful and free country, but some things just aren’t worth it at the end of the day. But, the members of Pussy Riot clearly do this because they want to and don’t necessarily fear the consequences, so I guess you just gotta say more power to them. You just can’t picture Propaghandi or Anti-Flag getting horsewhipped.
Oh, if you’re thinking “well is this group actually any good by the way?” well here’s the aforementioned “Punk Prayer” video and here’s a song called “Putin Lights Up The Fires”, which I think is pretty cool. Of course they sing in their native tongue, but you could still be “Russian” to be “Putin” on the Riot!
…C’mon though right? In Soviet Russia, wordplay do you!