Putin Will Teach You to Love the Motherland: Pussy Riot's new song
February 21, 2014 1:59 PM   Subscribe

Pussy Riot's new song and video, "Putin Will Teach You to Love the Motherland", rocks. This video features both Nadia and Masha (just released from jail) performing in public and hugging the Winter Olympics mascot - before being beaten with whips by cossack soldiers. And the song is actually catchy...
posted by colie (34 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Solid brass.
posted by notyou at 2:07 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


One posters catchy is another posters unending terrible noise...

Anyone find it incongruous that the security apparatus is busy arresting the band while the camera man is allowed to continue filming? Wouldn't that be day one shit at evil security henchman school? Remove the cameras from the scene and then continue being evil.
posted by Keith Talent at 2:09 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


Watched one of the cameramen for some of the vid there being whipped by the cossack militia on the news three nights ago. It was pretty full on, and very impressive that he kept filming.
posted by Ahab at 2:14 PM on February 21


Wouldn't that be day one shit at evil security henchman school? Remove the cameras from the scene and then continue being evil.

It's not neccesarily to the regime's disadvantage to be seen beating up on the women.

Yes, some people see the video and are outraged... but read, e.g. the Russia Today version of the story and some of the comments there. It's not neccesarily seen by the regime to be a bad story.
posted by Jahaza at 2:16 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


That is, Western liberals (in the broad European sense) are not the only audience.
posted by Jahaza at 2:17 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Remove the cameras from the scene
Really?
posted by Mblue at 2:17 PM on February 21


Does anyone know what happened in between the "Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina are not part of Pussy Riot anymore" story and the "Pussy Riot members including Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina get whipped by Cossacks" story? Is there a schism, or was this resolved, or is there really no real organization at all?

Between this and Ukraine, it's been a hell of a week for Putin with regards to Western media angles....
posted by papayaninja at 2:20 PM on February 21 [8 favorites]


(And a terrible week for citizens of Ukraine.)
posted by papayaninja at 2:24 PM on February 21


Has everyone seen the Daily Show piece on how much happier Tea Party types would be in Russia?

Also, I think Putin is having a fine week by his lights. He sure isn't upset if we don't like the way his puppet dictators operate.
posted by bearwife at 2:34 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


What Jahaza said. Presence of both some senior guy showing papers, and members of a poorly regulated imported militia doing the whipping, beating and hair pulling suggests they had their targets sorted from the word go, and deliberately used a paramilitary force without solid legal authority so that they could disavow it if they really want to. They clearly don't.
posted by Ahab at 2:37 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Russian's a good language for punk
no flies on this.
posted by philip-random at 3:12 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


One posters catchy is another posters unending terrible noise...

Partly why I posted this was because I felt PR had created something music-wise that was not just a vehicle for their ideas. The timbre of the voices throughout, rolling their 'R's away like crazy in that exotic (to me) language really has something, and the Arctic Monkeys-inspired guitar beginning does too.

The intensity of it - I mean, where else do you get that? The Strokes or The White Stripes whining on about maybe having a bit of sex?
posted by colie at 3:16 PM on February 21 [12 favorites]


Punker than punk, yo.

Papayaninja, according to Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina's statement, "Anybody can be Pussy Riot, you just need to put on a mask and stage an active protest of something in your particular country, wherever that may be, that you consider unjust." It's a collective, not a band, so membership is ill-defined.

Anyone find it incongruous that the security apparatus is busy arresting the band while the camera man is allowed to continue filming?

As noted, they actually want this to be seen, in their own twisted way. But there's also the fact that this was really an unofficial security force -- several reports explained that real police showed up but did nothing.
posted by dhartung at 3:25 PM on February 21


Their music is scattered over Youtube. I think this is the complete collection: Like A Red Prison, Putin Lights Up The Fires, and the six-song Kill The Sexist EP: Death of jail, freedom of protest, Deliver Pavement, Kill The Sexist, Kropotkin-Vodka, Virgin Mary, Put Putin Away (the original "Punk Prayer"), and Putin Zassal.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:47 PM on February 21 [13 favorites]


It's not neccesarily to the regime's disadvantage to be seen beating up on the women.

If you want a vision of the future, picture a youtube video of a boot stomping on a human face while linkinparkguy84 comments "lol fukkn face deserves it", forever.
posted by metaman livingblog at 4:31 PM on February 21 [24 favorites]


My facebook status after watching the news: I just watched real live Cossacks attack people on tv. With whips. It was like a horrible living history museum w Pussy Riot playing the Jews
posted by atomicstone at 4:38 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Between their absolutely wonderful interview with Colbert and being beaten by the Cossacks after returning to Russia, I have a really sick feeling that Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina are going to end up dead. :(

I hope I'm wrong. We need them.
posted by mudpuppie at 6:08 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Has everyone seen the Daily Show piece on how much happier Tea Party types would be in Russia?

Not everyone in Canada without those unblocking thingys.
posted by ovvl at 6:20 PM on February 21


Is there a schism, or was this resolved, or is there really no real organization at all?

I don't know the specific circumstance here, but when part of an activist collective is publicly outed it is the norm for the anonymous and public members to create distance and deniability to avoid charge and to prevent individuals actions and words being misconstrued as representing the group. Their methods of achieving their goals may have changed, they may have decided to capitalise on their fame, someone may have dropped out just before the performance,or they may have just had a change of heart. I hope they all stay safe. Right now being followed by western cameras is probably what is keeping the three of them alive.

BTW, a punk prayer is an amazing documentary. Go see it!
posted by saucysault at 6:23 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Actually, I was also really hoping to see more rainbow ribbons openly flaunted by the medal award winners. If we saw more of this, then the Sochi Olympics would be way more fun.
posted by ovvl at 6:31 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Is there any doubt that anyone identified as being a Pussy Riot member isn't having their family threatened and not just themselves? "Say you disavow these two or your mom goes to prison camp," is bound to work on someone, assuming the quotes are even genuine. Which is what makes the bravery of those who do continue to speak out stand out even more starkly. As others have said, they're a collective as much as a band; it's not a rigid organization. You can assume that they are all trying to keep doing their work while staying alive, which is going to influence what they say or do.

Their bravery astonishes me.
posted by emjaybee at 8:36 PM on February 21


mudpuppie: "Between their absolutely wonderful interview with Colbert and being beaten by the Cossacks after returning to Russia, I have a really sick feeling that Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina are going to end up dead. :(

I hope I'm wrong. We need them.
"

Thank you for posting that link. I love those women! Puck Futin!
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 11:23 PM on February 21


The intensity of it - I mean, where else do you get that? The Strokes or The White Stripes whining on about maybe having a bit of sex?

I want to step up here a smidge in defense of rock bands who whine about not having enough sex. "Intensity" is in many ways just a proxy for the expression of strong sentiment - or maybe loud sentiment.

Parsing your comment literally, it seems like you think that The Strokes and The White Stripes do sound as intense as Pussy Riot, they just get there from a more blah place. (I'd actually say that a band like Lightning Bolt sounds more intense than Pussy Riot, and I have no idea what place they're coming from.) (Yes, ok, Rhode Island) But I don't see why the origins of that emotional intensity should necessarily render the actual sentiment invalid. Indeed, probably most of us can much more easily relate to issues in our personal lives than the specific issues facing Pussy Riot. (Should simplistic yells of outrage at a tyrant be considered more "intense" than primitive yells of outrage about a woman passing you by? What if they're more well written?)


Without a doubt, the story of what's happening to the band members is part of the music's appeal - the two things are inextricable. But how far must this go to legitimize intensity? The 90s riot grrls were certainly up in arms about the treatment of women in society, and to my ears sounded pretty similar to Pussy Riot. (Little Mouth, Rebel Girl) But, of course, they were hardly experiencing the same kind of oppression.

If similar types of oppression are the key factor, well, you've got Caetano Veloso, Fela Kuti, Tinariwen, and Plastic People of the Universe -plus goodness knows how many others- as historic bands that have been cracked down on by the government.

If it's more about the words than and volume than it is about authentic experience, well, punk as a whole has trafficked in politics for ages. Rage Against The Machine is a mainstream act that has made oodles of money while yelling about how we should smash the man, and Public Enemy -albeit with some amount of authenticity- also spoke to politics in the main charts. (Well, the rap charts. But they were certainly known in the mainstream.)

And if we disregard the requirement of loud volume and shouting as a proxy for intensity, the quantity of political music becomes pretty large.

This isn't to knock the music, which is great, or the amazing endurance and courage of the band's members in the face of oppression. It's just to say that in terms of form, content, and history, considered as independent elements, I don't think it's particularly novel, any more so than a love song by the Strokes.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:30 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


Related thread.
posted by homunculus at 12:07 AM on February 22


Going to Maine, those are good points about the search for 'authenticity' in music, whether it springs from the actual political background to the music or from revolutionary aspects in the form itself. Usually I argue that the quest for authenticity is always dissatisfied in pop music but that doesn't negate the reasons why we embark on it.

The Nick Cave Grinderman track you linked to, however, does kind of make my point for me. I didn't really hear 'primitive yells of outrage' - the singer was actually performing firmly within the vaudeville comedy genre of cod-melancholy songs about sex. He even did funny little comedy faces. The distorted guitar meme provided a sheen of faux-intensity over what was in fact a successful man (who's married to a model) making a few knowing gags about mowing the lawn of a woman and hoping for sex like George Formby did. I liked it, but Cave's not exactly a threat to the ruling class or even a radical artist in either the form or content of what he does, so comparison with PR doesn't quite work for me.
posted by colie at 1:58 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


papayaninja: "Between this and Ukraine, it's been a hell of a week for Putin with regards to Western media angles...."

There's this other thing going on in Russia right now that seems to be taking up ALL of the "western media" time so I think he's probably going to be fine.
posted by Big_B at 6:21 AM on February 22


Путин научит тебя любить родину! [Putin nauchit tebya lyubit' rodinu!]

(for those who want to sing along)
posted by languagehat at 9:08 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


The Nick Cave Grinderman track you linked to, however, does kind of make my point for me. I didn't really hear 'primitive yells of outrage' - the singer was actually performing firmly within the vaudeville comedy genre of cod-melancholy songs about sex

I definitely think that the "No Pussy Blues" isn't an authentic track, but to me it channels a very raw sound, one that creates a good proxy for the sentiment of not getting any. I suppose that this goes back to me not fully getting your original comment - I was thinking that you were referencing the Strokes and Jack White because their own complaints about not getting any weren't actually authentic. I was more trying to go for the idea that the the track had better lyrics -or at least, more complex ones- than a Pussy Riot track. That is, while the emotion might be artificial (& rather crude), perhaps by tying together a bunch of good lyrics you could create a similar kind of intensity.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:26 AM on February 22


Pussy Riot, the last great punk band.
posted by evilDoug at 6:41 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Has everyone seen the Daily Show piece on how much happier Tea Party types would be in Russia?

I'm pretty sure this was mentioned in a past thread or even got it's own FPP, but they are actually deeply interlinked already.
posted by emptythought at 2:20 PM on February 23


I support everything associated with them except their music, which sucks. It's late 90's idea of what punk is. It's funny, for russian culture they are 'outrageous'. For western culture, very run of the mill...
posted by judson at 11:02 AM on February 24


Pussy Riot members arrested in Russia (again): Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina were protesting a trial in Moscow
posted by homunculus at 6:04 PM on February 24


Pussy Riot Members Attacked With Paint and Trash at McDonald's
posted by homunculus at 3:16 PM on March 6


Pussy Riot's Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina Launch Prisoners' Rights NGO
posted by homunculus at 5:44 PM on March 14


« Older Have you met Jack?...  |  The emotional experience of ma... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments