A group of men with a lifetime of Eastern European authoritarianism to their names and the epaulettes and mustaches to prove it. Singing Daft Punk. The official name of this group is the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs Choir. Ahh, Russia.
The spectacle is so wonderfully weird as to look like a Will Ferrel skit. It’s not ironic(?), but it looks ironic. Ironically. America’s going to love it, as the world did the first time around, when this went viral. Click to watch:
What’s the best outcome for Sochi? I’ve been reveling in the widely publicized inconveniences of journalists— no shower curtains, hot water, basic cleanliness—because I’ve got to believe they’re making Vladimir Putin wince at every link. Knocking him down a peg on the world stage is great. Showing how corruption and graft have made Sochi the most expensive (and likely among the least impressive) games in years is a plus. Doing all of that while praying that none of it devolves quite to the point of major terrorist attack is ideal.
Update: I meant to applaud Russian snowboarder Alexey Sobolev for this pretty badass move.
Alexey Sobolev took part in the slopestyle qualifying on Thursday and as he waited for his scores, he turned the top of his snowboard to camera. The illustration on his board was that of a knife-wielding woman in a black ski mask. It’s the same outfit worn by the feminist rock group Pussy Riot, whose members were jailed after a show an impromptu show in a Moscow cathedral last year…
Russian media asked Sobolev whether his board was meant to be a protest statement and he danced around the question.
“Anything is possible,” he said. “I wasn’t the person who designed the board.”
— Смерть неизбѣжна (@death_is_invtbl) February 6, 2014
It may all be a happy accident, which Sobolev seems to be embracing, to his credit. The artist who designed the board says it’s not an homage to Pussy Riot, but “It’s too bad I didn’t offend the Russian government on purpose though.”