January 23, 2018

"A few weeks ago, fourteen Russian first-year air-transport cadets made a parody of a fifteen-year-old music clip, and now it’s all a lot of Russians can talk about."

"This is a story of spontaneous solidarity, self-organization, and, ultimately, just possibly, the triumph of freedom over bureaucracy," writes Masha Gessen, in The New Yorker, showing us New Yorker readers this:



We're told they didn't mean for that to go up on line. Whatever. But when it did, the air-travel ministry said it would “investigate all circumstances and causes of this outrageous incident.” That led Russian news TV to entertain the Russian people by showing the clip over and over and pointing out the "clear expressions of homosexuality." That led to lots more #Satisfaction clips, which The New Yorker helpfully links to and instructs us to watch in order — "construction, agricultural... emergency services... jockeys... stable boys... theatre troupe... nurses... women’s biathlon team... Medical... Deep-sea divers... mixed-gender group shot in a sauna... retired women of St. Petersburg...."

What does it all mean? Gesson says:
Given Russia’s official and highly politicized homophobia, these parodies are pure protest, raunchy and playful. They demonstrate that Russians can still form horizontal connections, despite the state’s monopoly on the public sphere, and despite the threat of harsh penalties for protest in general and “propaganda of homosexuality” in particular. Each clip is at once a show of solidarity with a group of young strangers and a show of ordinary people’s ability to organize and act together—an ability that the state would seem to have stamped out....
The original video has a power tools theme...



... and Gesson ends with a "power tools" witticism: "Performing homoeroticism is, as it turns out, the real power tool when it comes to sticking it to the authorities."

29 comments:

JML said...

Are you sure that wasnt a Navy recruiting video?

Quaestor said...

The Ruskies in charge of Aeroflot must get started on those cadets pretty early because all of those kids look to be about 15. Not only are they young, they look like clones. Except for the color of their underwear, they look the same, like twins or octuplets or something. Weird.

But funny.

But weird.

Rusty said...

I must be doing it wrong.

Hagar said...

The Soviet Union is gone, Communism with it, and Russia has reverted to the Empire of All the Russias - still a second rank power.

Mac McConnell said...

The Aeroflot cadet video plays to the stereo type that male airline stewards are gay, at least in Russia.

The original video reminds me of the old Rigid Tool calendars hanging in just about every maintenance shop in America decades ago.

MadisonMan said...

It's taking the one guy a long long time to eat that banana.

Quaestor said...

The original video reminds me of the old Rigid Tool calendars hanging in just about every maintenance shop in America decades ago.

Rigid Tool ?!?!? Holy shit.

Quaestor said...

It's taking the one guy a long long time to eat that banana.

It takes as long as it takes.

Clyde said...

I can't get no Satisfaction.

There was certainly nothing gay about that original video. I was glad to see that all proper safety equipment was worn.

traditionalguy said...

Power Tool envy.

Clyde said...

One other thought: The fact that the Russian people are able to even do something like this tells us how much the world has changed in the past thirty years. In the days of the Soviet Union, the internet would have been seen as a threat to the power of the State. Today, it's such a force multiplier for knowledge that any nation without an internet presence is a technological backwater in danger of falling behind other nations. And in places like China, where the internet is heavily censored (often with the complicity of Western tech providers), people still find ways to route around the censorship. It's little cracks in the wall like these subversive videos that eventually lead to the walls toppling.

Leslie Graves said...

Great camera work. And brava to the props wrangler.

MaxedOutMama said...

All the Russian clips seem to be a rather close copy of this British Army "Satisfaction" vid that's dated 2015:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_bQa2H1-Ck

I think this is gaining strength on the basis of pissing off Russian Mother Grundies, but I am not sure whether it is about homoeroticism or just a sort of "Footloose" type thing.

AlbertAnonymous said...

TG; DW

Bob Boyd said...

How come the Althouse commenters haven't organized to make one these videos yet?

MaxedOutMama said...

Bob Byrd "How come the Althouse commenters haven't organized to make one these videos yet?"

Titus would not be caught dead among our aged, less-than-cool bodies.

FleetUSA said...

The Russkies seemed to be stuffing their shorts with a lot of tissues.

Mike said...

but I am not sure whether it is about homoeroticism or just a sort of "Footloose" type thing.

Embrace the power of "and" as they say...

Bob Boyd said...

"Titus would not be caught dead among our aged, less-than-cool bodies."

Are you saying geriatric-eroticism isn't fab?

Bill Peschel said...

I wasn't aware of the video, but I was aware of the song. I collect good mash-ups, and someone used this for the base of "Pop that Satisfaction B*itch"

https://soundcloud.com/xserengeti/benny-benassi-rl-grime-ft-luda-french-montana-pop-that-satisfaction-btch-dj-billy-c-bootleg

Nothing else to add. I find it interesting how bits of information can be disassociated and disseminated with interesting results.

Rusty said...



Blogger traditionalguy said...
Power Tool envy.

No shit, right?
I go to Menards and get a new Bosch drill/driver and no barely legal hot chicks to show me how it works.
I mean if they were there demonstrating that cart would full to overflowing.
Damn right sex sells.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Can we please come up with a better term to describe anti-homosexual than "homophobia"? They have it backwards. Russian homosexuals fear the Russian government, not the other way around.

Rusty said...

Lewis Wetzel said...
"Can we please come up with a better term to describe anti-homosexual than "homophobia"? They have it backwards. Russian homosexuals fear the Russian government, not the other way around."

Maybe Putin is hiding something.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Liberal people seem especially phobic to acknowledge the transgender (i.e. physical or mental "orientation" transitions) spectrum, and go out of their way to discriminate between homosexuals, bisexuals, transvestites, and crossovers. It seems to be motivated by the same faith and religion that normalized selective-child and diverse euphemisms to massage their perception of reality and give them comfort.

Xmas said...

"Who's Your Daddy" is a better Benny Benassi video.

mostly NSFW and really late 70s/early 80s vibe

Though, if I'm trying to get motivated for the day, I'll start with Destination Unknown or "Throatful of Glass" by Combichrist, which is not club music.

Eric said...

Power tools? I didn't see any power tools in that video.

Oso Negro said...

If Russians have had a look at the West, and decided that they don't want to permit promotion of homosexuality, who can blame them? It isn't like it has worked out all that well for us. It isn't like there aren't homosexuals there, but homosexuality isn't promoted in elementary school and no one is forced to bake them a cake.

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