Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Church of the Poisoned Mind

Whenever I despair with NZ politics, I look overseas and feel better about our patch.

Take Russia, for example. My old man was invited to Russia back in the 1990's to help with the privatisation of its state assets that would lay the foundations for today's oligarchs. He wasn't having a bar of it. He may or may not have foreseen their rise, but he wasn't going to be damned for the sizeable and inevitable Peoples' clusterfuck, whatever shape it took.

This year's model of Russian political fallout from that power shift has taken the unlikely form of a punk feminist collective called Pussy Riot, and their imprisonment and impending trial for blasphemy:
The crime in question occurred on 21 February and took precisely 51 seconds. The five women and a film team, plus various supporters and a couple of journalists, entered the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, jumped over a gold rail, stood on the steps of the pulpit (a place where only men may stand) and performed the opening bars of a punk song. You can watch it on YouTube. It starts out as a religious hymn, then mutates into something Sex Pistols-esque, the women kneeling, genuflecting, crossing themselves, jumping up and down and, after a few seconds, being intercepted by security guards and led away.
The Russian Orthodox Church is donkey deep in the Russian state apparatus. It was bought off by a mammoth shopping spree which started in the 1990's as clients (both private and government) sought to buy legitimacy from the church with lavish restorations and donations of icons. The church aristocracy got into the funny pages earlier this year with a shitty Photoshop job trying to hide a priest's $30,000 watch. These cocks in frocks are as bent as the Volga.

Amnesty International has a campaign to support the imprisoned members of Pussy Riot, who have been refused bail before their trial. Help get these non-violent performance artists out of prison. If you don't, the cocks in frocks will win.