October 20, 2006

"What a mighty man he turns out to be! He raped 10 women..."

"... I would never have expected this from him. He surprised us all - we all envy him!"

So said Vladimir Putin
, who -- we're told -- was joking and didn't mean to be overheard. Plus, you're reading a translation, and Russian is a subtle language, "very sensitive from the point of view of phrasing."

33 comments:

Forty_Two said...

Given the moronic nature of hypermasculinity, I doubt his admiration was insincere.

Sloanasaurus said...

Sounds like a hit piece by the BBC. I would believe Putin before the BBC any day.

The BBC has no credibility they are a leftist anti-american outfit.

StrangerInTheseParts said...

"The BBC has no credibility they are a leftist anti-american outfit. "

Whereas Putin is a right wing pro-american who emerged from the culture of integrity the KGB is so famous for.

Fenrisulven said...

No, sloanasaurus is correct. I would trust the KGB before the BBC.

MadisonMan said...

If you need to explain the joke, you shouldn't be making it in the first place.

Sloanasaurus said...

The BBC makes the Democratic party look like honest Abe.

Icepick said...

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov admitted: "Yes really, these words were pronounced."

Well, they (the Kremlin) are admitting it was said, Sloanasaurus & Fenrisulven. You know, even the BBC gets things right from time to time.

MM wrote: If you need to explain the joke, you shouldn't be making it in the first place.

Context is everything with humor. If I described an interview with a word association test wherein a white interviewer kept using racial epitaths in front of a black man, you would be offended that such a thing happened. However, in a different context, in might be hysterically funny.

Lacking any kind of context, or any knowledge of the russian language, I would be hesitant to make any judgements about Putin's comments. It certainly sounds crude and in poor taste, but then most commedians make their fortunes in that manner.

Mark Daniels said...

Sloan:
Uh, Putin is Russian, not American. So, the anti-American bias that you identify in the BBC's news department is irrelevant to this issue.

And you find a former KGB agent who can't seem to work up any enthusiasm for democracy more credible than the BBC? Regarding a rape joke that Putin doesn't deny he made?

What I found interesting about the BBC article is that Putin is pictured not with Katsav, but with Israeli PM Ehud Olmert.

Mark Daniels

altoids1306 said...

BBC or not, shouldn't this be something that everyone should condemn without reservation? I mean, really...

Mark Daniels said...

Altoids is right. Something about not seeing the forest for the trees.

Joseph Hovsep said...

X

Sloanasaurus said...

Uh, Putin is Russian, not American. So, the anti-American bias that you identify in the BBC's news department is irrelevant to this issue.

Duh!

However, the fact that the BBC is an anti-american bias leftist outfit is without question.

Fenrisulven said...

Well, they (the Kremlin) are admitting it was said,

No. The BBC is saying that the Kremlin admits it was said. Really, there's a huge difference.

And yes [if true] its obviously something to be condemned without reservation. I just need a credible source first.

Fenrisulven said...

test

Cedarford said...

altoids1306 said...
BBC or not, shouldn't this be something that everyone should condemn without reservation? I mean, really...


I mean .....really....no!

It was typical savage sarcastic Russian humor - which was told to a visiting Israeli delegation about Putin's Israeli counterpart. To laughter. Because Jews may not share much with Russians, but they do share a sense of irony.

Putin also delivered Dick Cheney quail-hunting jokes TO Bush at a meeting the two had.

Rape jokes? I'm afraid in our PC culture, which is nowhere near and bad as what the Transnational Progressives have forced on the UK and Canada..ought to lighten up. The jokes and cracks are still are out there, and are multiplying...especially n****r jokes, anti-American jokes, Muslim jokes. Just suppressed until an outlet like a group of young black guys, the Internet is found.

In fantasy - I expect a delegation of feminists to grimly get up on stage and announce that rape jokes will be permitted. But only if told by legitimate female Victim Class people - not Oppressor Class types. To show through humor that rape is everywhere and must be liquidated ruthlessly. Also to show that committed Marxist gender activists have as fine a sense of humor as other people.

Then the feminists tell a lame joke about Paul McCarney's savage sexual subjugation of his wife being only because a old Predator like Sir Paul could outrun her. No laughs. The feminists stomp off stage muttering about a repressed, unenlightened audience.

Elizabeth said...

I would believe Putin before the BBC any day.

At least the BBC hasn't had any journalists assassinated lately.

JorgXMcKie said...

Personally, my favorite epitaph, icepick, is:

Here lies Lester Moore.
Shoot to death with a .44.
No Les,
No More.

I suspect even some Black guys might find that a funny epitaph.

Goesh said...

What former KGB boss wouldn't be mortified and on his way to therapy what with American intellectuals on his back? I see by the paper that Russia has suspended a whole slough of human rights groups. The headline says Russian law suspended their activities. Look out suspected Chechnyan terrorists! You'll wish you were in Abu Ghraib wearing women's underwear on your head once Ivan and his lads start questioning you now! I don't see a call for any petitions to be signed showing solidarity and moral disgust on our part....

Icepick said...

At least the BBC hasn't had any journalists assassinated lately.

But Elizabeth, do you KNOW that the BBC didn't have them killed instead, and just blamed it on Putin?

Jorg, you're right, I screwed that up. But what word was I looking for? Too many spreadsheets destroy the mind, I tihnk....

Charles Giacometti said...

There are currently 602 articles about the Putin story indexed under Google news.

But, sure, this is some sort of "lefty" conspiracy.

I am with altoids 100%, and I am intrigued again at the use of deflection on this to avoid discussing the issue. Was Putin's joke reprehensible, or not?

I say yes, by the way. If the charges against the Israeli president are true, people should be speaking up for the victims and not telling lame jokes.

Daryl Herbert said...

"I don't think that the proper translation is able to reflect the meaning of the joke."

The meaning of the joke, if it was a joke, is irony. He is saying one thing (Katsav is a mighty man) while undermining it with a contrary statement (Katsav is a serial rapist).

There is nothing difficult, confusing, or complicated about this. It does not require a language with subtle elements (though such elements could be used by the joker to make his sarcasm more clear).

The only question is whether Putin--or any of his listeners--actually took it un-ironically.

rafinlay said...

Best is when you use epithets as your epitaph, I think.

Anonymous said...

To Mark Daniels:

The reason Putin was pictured with Olmert and not Katsav is because he was having a meeting with Olmert
at the time and directing his humor to him.

Mark Daniels said...

Alcibiades:
You're right. My bad.

Mark

Fenrisulven said...

Charles Giacometti: I am intrigued again at the use of deflection on this to avoid discussing the issue.

Still bleeding from yesterday, I see.

grrizzli said...

Russian is my native language and I've just read what Putin said in Kommersant, the Russian newspaper that originally reported the incident. The English translation of Putin's words is absolutely correct and there's nothing subtle in his words in Russian. And no, it's not funny in Russian either. Knee-jerk BBC-bashing looks dumb though.

Fenrisulven said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Fenrisulven said...

We're not "knee-jerk bashing" the BBC, we simply don't believe a word they say. I'm sure they got today's date right too - but I'll still get confirmation from another source.

Kommersant is good enough for me.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Yes, but perhaps the "humor" is in the idea that raping 10 women -- and the tone might have suggested at once -- is a very difficult task, and the guy they were talking about is not particularly known for his masculinity or strength or virility and in fact is known to be a mild-mannered wimp.

Elizabeth said...

But Elizabeth, do you KNOW that the BBC didn't have them killed instead, and just blamed it on Putin?

Icepick, that sounds like an MI-5 (Spooks in UK) plot.

Synova said...

Daryl has it: "The meaning of the joke, if it was a joke, is irony. He is saying one thing (Katsav is a mighty man) while undermining it with a contrary statement (Katsav is a serial rapist)."

I might not joke about that subject but it's definately the sort of humor common to the community in which I was born. That and practical jokes set up and carried out over long periods of time, even years.

Hypermasculinity doesn't admire rape any more than it admires paying for a prostitute because either thing means that the man is not man enough to seduce a woman. (Try to imagine a man *bragging* that he'd paid for sex.)

Mortimer: "...and the guy they were talking about is not particularly known for his masculinity or strength or virility and in fact is known to be a mild-mannered wimp."

In which case it may be a rather cruel joke, or it may simply be that the idea of a man known for being mild-mannered, raping 10 women is a silly juxtaposition of conflicting mental images.

Here's a joke... told way to short to be funny at all because it lacks set up (plus you *had* to be there). An American officer delivered the expected celebratory sheep to his Iraqi counterpart and told the translator to explain that "It was to eat. Not for a girl-friend." All underlings are certain that this is going to be very very bad and the translator wants to refuse to do it, but he does. The officers, of course, both think it's the best joke ever and relations are improved by the demonstration that they can joke together.

I'm not saying that's Putin, too. I'm just saying that for the vast majority of non-punchline humor, you really do have to be there. If we can't joke, particularly about the painful things, our future is really going to suck.

Daryl Herbert said...

I don't see the joke as being that he's so tough, he was able to rape 10 women simultaneously. That would be a sick joke, even by my standards.

The thing is, I don't think Putin, of all people, would "envy" a rapist. We're talking about one of the most powerful men in the world. A former spymaster.

If he wanted to rape women, he could. It's that simple. He's properly expressing disgust for Mr. Katsav, in a typically Russian way (bitter, dark sarcasm).

On the other hand, the Russian people are much more in tune with Russian culture. I don't want to impose my own interpretation or biases on what he's said. If the Russian people are convinced he wasn't being sarcastic, and that he wasn't really condemning rape, that would go a long way to convincing me.

Noumenon said...

We're not "knee-jerk bashing" the BBC, we simply don't believe a word they say. I'm sure they got today's date right too - but I'll still get confirmation from another source.

You realize that this makes you completely impossible to talk to about anything. It's like trying to argue with a creationist while keeping in mind that all evidence from fossils, astronomy, genetics, radioactive decay, continental drift, and archeology don't count. Not worth the effort.