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Soviet Bear For Student Council
May 7, 2014 12:04 PM   Subscribe

N KAPITALIST AMERICA YOU RUN FROM BEAR...SOVIET BEAR RUN FOR YOU Tired of Soviet Bear making front page? Crimea River.
posted by Cookiebastard (66 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
The worst part -- there are some genuinely good non-Soviet-Bear signs in there, but Soviet Bear just demolishes them all.

SCARF IS COLOR OF ENEMY
posted by Etrigan at 12:10 PM on May 7 [6 favorites]


I was going to flag this when I thought it was a single image, but the more I scrolled down the more I started liking it.

SOVIET BEAR INDOCTRINATES NON-BELIEVER
posted by Curious Artificer at 12:12 PM on May 7 [5 favorites]


I like that each of the signs has a little initial indicating that yes, some administrator approved of Soviet Bear.
posted by dismas at 12:15 PM on May 7 [9 favorites]


This kid is going to do well.

My personal favorite was CLASS IS TOOL OF THE ENEMY. Surprisingly percipient...
posted by schmod at 12:18 PM on May 7 [17 favorites]


Many moons ago, when I was a senior in a Catholic all girls' high school, some of my civic-minded classmates decided to help the freshman class organize their student council elections. They chose a candidate, Mary Alonzo, and helped her make her posters and spread them around. Mary Alonzo did pretty well in her run, but she didn't win. Good thing, because she didn't exist.
posted by janey47 at 12:19 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]


Don't forget the followup.
posted by Carillon at 12:22 PM on May 7 [5 favorites]


I realize this was done (presumably) by a high school student, but aside from the competent graphic design work, it's pretty vacuous and trite. I suspect whoever did it has a bright future in advertising/content manufacturing.
posted by clockzero at 12:27 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]


Thanks Carillon!
posted by Cookiebastard at 12:29 PM on May 7


Soviet Bear doesn't even go here!
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:33 PM on May 7 [17 favorites]


Pedro vs. Soviet Bear vs. Rob Ford in this years run-off.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:37 PM on May 7 [5 favorites]


I'm not sure what you mean clockzero. It's a student council election, of course it's somewhat vacuous. And I'm not sure why you think it's trite? Seems pretty fun/original to me.
posted by Carillon at 12:39 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]


I'd vote for Soviet Bear if I wasn't already voting #1 quidnunc kid, like all right-thinking MeFites.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:41 PM on May 7 [26 favorites]


This is fantastic. I am applauding.

Where is this school? I can't imagine any of the schools here in my corner of Indiana letting the kids get away with this. They would probably be suspended.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:43 PM on May 7


Right-thinking Mefites?

Do we still have any of those?
posted by Naberius at 12:43 PM on May 7 [2 favorites]


The progression of posters kills me. Soviet Bear's student council opponents are uniting to campaign against a fictional candidate.

Fearsome bear.

(Also is shortening student council to "StuCo" new? Do kids say "vacay" instead of "vacation" now? Do I have to allow the kids this terminology in exchange for being old enough to drink in public?)
posted by greenland at 12:45 PM on May 7 [2 favorites]


When I was a wee lad, in the time of the dinosaurs, I ran for Senior Class Treasurer of my high school using surrealism as a campaign tactic. I recall one slogan was "Do you want a treasurer who smiles like a banana?"

I won, decisively.


...of course, I was running unopposed....
posted by blob at 12:47 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]


I'd vote for Soviet Bear if I wasn't already voting #1 quidnunc kid, like all right-thinking MeFites.

Soviet Bear is for left-thinking MeFites.
posted by Kabanos at 12:49 PM on May 7 [7 favorites]


indicating that yes, some administrator approved of Soviet Bear.

SOVIET BEAR HAS OPERATIVES IN KEY ADMINISTRATIVE POSITIONS
posted by The Whelk at 12:49 PM on May 7 [10 favorites]


I realize this was done (presumably) by a high school student, but aside from the competent graphic design work, it's pretty vacuous and trite. I suspect whoever did it has a bright future in advertising/content manufacturing.

You say that as if advertising/content manufacturing were somehow different from what passes for politics these days...
posted by Morriscat at 12:51 PM on May 7


Two campers were hiking in the forest when all of a sudden a bear appears on a ridge a couple of hundred yards away, sniffs, looks directly at them, lets out a blood curdling roar, and starts running towards them.

One of the campers starts to put on his running shoes.

His partner says, "What are you doing? You can't outrun a bear!"

His friend replies, "I don't have to outrun the bear, I only have to outrun you"

In Soviet Russia, running shoes are made of reprocessed gulag meat product, thereby attracting bear.
Strong proletariat feet much better than bourgoise lifestyle accessories.

posted by lalochezia at 12:55 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]


After reading all of those posters, "Stuco" is starting to sound like an actual Soviet committee name, along the lines of "Kombed" or "Gosplan."

Штуко.
posted by Iridic at 12:55 PM on May 7 [19 favorites]


SOVIET BEAR ALWAYS KNOWS WHERE YOU LIVE SOVIET BEAR ALSO KNOWS YOUR BIRTHDAY

HAPPY BIRTHDAY COMRADE!

Thats subversively brilliant, not vacuous or trite, the "class" one is the same.
posted by bitdamaged at 1:00 PM on May 7 [3 favorites]


штука.

Well it is a stunt.
posted by Kabanos at 1:01 PM on May 7


I realize this was done (presumably) by a high school student, but aside from the competent graphic design work, it's pretty vacuous and trite. I suspect whoever did it has a bright future in advertising/content manufacturing.

Soviet Bear is competing against graphic design stalwarts that include a hand-drawn American flag with 35 stars and 15 stripes, and a giraffe wearing a neckerchief. Soviet Bear is also very possibly an amalgam of Yakov Smirnof and animation from a video game that prominently features George Takei as the emperor of an alternate-timeline Japanese empire.

Which is to say: lighten up, Francis.
posted by Mayor West at 1:01 PM on May 7 [17 favorites]


To be honest, I'd vote for Mr. Giraffe. He seems like a cool guy.
posted by mhum at 1:02 PM on May 7


having just gotten caught up with The Americans I wonder where Soviet Bear keeps his massive secret wig room.
posted by The Whelk at 1:05 PM on May 7 [4 favorites]


To be honest, I'd vote for Mr. Giraffe. He seems like a cool guy.

But he's already thrown his support to Kelista!
If nominated, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve.
-William Tecumseh Giraffe
posted by Iridic at 1:07 PM on May 7 [2 favorites]


We had Ben Dover as a candidate for my junior high student council.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:10 PM on May 7


We had a guy who didn't campaign at all, and then just did some sick hacky-sacking on stage when it was his turn to make a speech. He won of course.
posted by Kabanos at 1:22 PM on May 7 [3 favorites]


I like how Know Your Meme thinks there's a candidate named "StuCo" running for STUdent COuncil.
posted by klangklangston at 1:26 PM on May 7 [2 favorites]


From the knowyourmeme page linked in the original post: "Soviet Bear is an advice animal image macro series..."

Soviet is Russian for advice, which makes Soviet Bear a literal advice animal.
posted by ringu0 at 1:29 PM on May 7 [6 favorites]


His friend replies, "I don't have to outrun the bear, I only have to outrun you"

No, no, no. Jack and Clem are camping in the woods, and they're sitting around their campfire one evening when a bear suddenly charges into camp and tackles Clem. And they're rolling around on the ground and the bear's roaring and clawing at Clem and Clem's punching at the bear, and Jack's freaking out but he can't just leave his friend to die a horrible death.

Jack yells "I'll help you, Clem, I'm coming!" and he runs over and aims a solid kick at the bear. But the two of them are moving around so much he hauls off and kicks Clem square in the head. And Clem bellows in pain and Jack figures he needs something more serious to drive off this bear.

So he grabs one end of a burning stick from the campfire and he yells, "I'll help you, Clem!" and he waves the burning end at the bear and jabs at him with it, but again Clem and the bear are rolling around something fierce, and Jack ends up poking Clem in the back with the burning stick, and Clem howls and the bear's still clawing and biting at him and it's such a fearful uproar that Jack figures he's got to take desperate measures or his friend's going to get killed.

So Jack yells "I'll help you, Clem!" and he runs over and grabs his gun. Now by this time, the adrenaline is high and Jack's shaking with fear and having a hard time steadying his aim. And Clem and the bear are still rolling around on the ground having at each other. But Jack figures he's got no choice. He fires the gun, and he hits Clem right in the ass.

But the noise scares the bear, and it drops poor Clem and takes off again into the woods.

So Jack rushes over to his friend, and Clem is a beat up mess, and he's pretty ticked off. He says "Damn it, Jack, what were you trying to do? It's not enough I'm getting mauled here. First you kicked me in the head, then you burned me, and then you went and shot me in the backside. What in God's name were you thinking?"

And Jack figures okay, it didn't exactly go how he planned, but it seems Clem could at least show a little gratitude for rushing into danger to save his life. And he says "I was trying to help you, wasn't I?"

And Clem says back, "Well next time, HELP SOVIET BEAR!"

That's how I heard it anyways.
posted by Naberius at 1:31 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]


klangklangston: "I like how Know Your Meme thinks there's a candidate named "StuCo" running for STUdent COuncil."

That really confused me when I first read the reddit thread. Who is Stuco??? Oh.
posted by Big_B at 1:32 PM on May 7


I like how Know Your Meme thinks there's a candidate named "StuCo" running for STUdent COuncil.

Corporations are people too, bro.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:49 PM on May 7 [3 favorites]


Vote Hogboy Worcestershire for Class President:
"Undermining teenage democracy since 1985"
posted by chavenet at 2:03 PM on May 7


I'm not sure what you mean clockzero. It's a student council election, of course it's somewhat vacuous. And I'm not sure why you think it's trite? Seems pretty fun/original to me.

I appreciate the context and such, and I don't mean to rain on the parade (the thing itself or the thread). Not everything has to be serious and dripping with significance.

I said that it was trite and vacuous because the bear has been used to symbolize Russia since way before the Soviet state emerged and because this use of the symbol is sort of like a conflation of Communism with the Soviet system with Russian cultural iconography which is somehow less than the sum of its parts. I guess, to be perfectly honest, I found it annoying because it seemed like it would be more funny if you have only superficial and impressionistic knowledge about Russia and its history, and as a career pedant that's just deeply vexing to me in a totally irrational way.

So there's nothing in particular wrong with it, in the sense of being offensive or factually wrong or anything like that, but it comes across as something that looks like a joke (about...Soviet propaganda posters?) without actually being one. It's weird. At least Chairman Meow had the animal-sound onomatopoeia thing going for it.

But that's just my opinion, and I can also see how it would come across as cute and funny to someone, too.

Which is to say: lighten up, Francis.

Fair enough.
posted by clockzero at 2:05 PM on May 7 [2 favorites]


I guess, to be perfectly honest, I found it annoying because it seemed like it would be more funny if you have only superficial and impressionistic knowledge about Russia and its history,

Like, say, a high-school level understanding?
posted by Etrigan at 2:15 PM on May 7 [14 favorites]


Interestingly enough, the admins at Reddit decided today that the AdviceAnimals sub will no longer be part of the defaults; I wonder at the timing of this, and if the suddenly-popular Soviet Bear meme had anything to do with it.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 3:20 PM on May 7


Like, say, a high-school level understanding?

I admit, it's not rational.
posted by clockzero at 3:21 PM on May 7


I'm think I should incorporate Soviet Bear PAC and start running ads in various congressional districts.
posted by humanfont at 3:31 PM on May 7 [4 favorites]


Interestingly enough, the admins at Reddit decided today that the AdviceAnimals sub will no longer be part of the defaults; I wonder at the timing of this, and if the suddenly-popular Soviet Bear meme had anything to do with it.

Probably it's a result of the much-discussed post on /r/TheoryOfReddit five days ago, entitled "The Case Against The Defaults".

The reaction from the subreddits chosen as the new defaults has not been as positive as the Reddit administrators expected. It resembles that of a Native American tribe being told that a football team has just decided to "honor" them.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 3:56 PM on May 7 [2 favorites]


Seems pretty fun/original to me.

Yeah, it is kind of a tired old stereotype tbh.
posted by elizardbits at 4:24 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]


Soviet bears taking over elections are tired? I want to live in your world then. I get that the animals thing is being done of course but is this something you've run into a lot of before?
posted by Carillon at 4:34 PM on May 7


Interestingly enough, the admins at Reddit decided today that the AdviceAnimals sub will no longer be part of the defaults; I wonder at the timing of this, and if the suddenly-popular Soviet Bear meme had anything to do with it.

More likely the torrent of misogyny, homophobia, and racism that makes up an average day's memes in /r/AdviceAnimals. It reflects really, really badly on the site. Which, you know, is fairly accurate in reflecting the content of Reddit.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:35 PM on May 7


Clockzero: because the bear has been used to symbolize Russia since way before the Soviet state emerged and because this use of the symbol is sort of like a conflation of Communism with the Soviet system with Russian cultural iconography which is somehow less than the sum of its parts

I understand what you are saying. It's similar to mixing the dragon, a symbol of Imperial China with modern Communist China.

But I wouldn't tell you to "lighten up". Sometimes these symbols are intentionally conflated for propaganda. I think there is something to the timing of "Soviet Bear", as it comes at a time where Americans are seeing a resurgence of a less cooperative Russia.

Etrigan:Like, say, a high-school level understanding?

Are we supposed to let them off the hook because they're younger and therefore more ignorant? Yet, high school students are probably already bombarded with a high level of messaging from advertisers and all sorts of media out there. It would be a good time to teach them about the use and misuse of symbols and images for propaganda purposes. I mean, they are young, but in four years or less they'll be voters and soldiers and people making all sorts of independent decisions that are going to affect everyone.
posted by FJT at 4:38 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]


So, what you're saying is this is serious business?
posted by The Whelk at 4:53 PM on May 7 [7 favorites]


That's how I heard it anyways.

well, you heard it wrong

there were these two bears in the woods and this guy starts chasing them

so they ate him, but spat out the tennis shoes, because they didn't want to get the runs
posted by pyramid termite at 5:15 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]


It's refreshing to see this level of fun / anti-establishment still prevalent at the high school level. To me, the message is pretty clear, this person mocks the whole STUCO (which is a really stupid acronym) fun shiny totally irrelevant posters with something smart and a little humorous. I dig it.
posted by Benway at 5:21 PM on May 7 [3 favorites]


I was confused that people were told to vote for stucco on what is clearly a concrete block column.

I have also ran as a jokey communist candidate in various silly elections when I was younger, but this was in Canada.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 5:31 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]


Does the bear have a huge talking cat as a running mate?
posted by Bromius at 5:40 PM on May 7


The Bear is Searching...
posted by ovvl at 5:42 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]


Now.... voting for stucco... totally behind that! Stucco Wall for STUCO.

"I may crack, but smoking crack's not my game. "
posted by Benway at 5:42 PM on May 7


Ok so! Back in early-90's high school, a friend was running for student council, and her sister and I helped with her campaign posters. We procrastinated until the night before, and at the last minute we scrambled and designed 60 or so one-of-a-kind signs with black Sharpie on bright red printer paper. Because she was running as a Communist, see.

The one that read "Gina is a Hard Worker" decorated with the hammer and sickle got us in hot water. The one that read simply "Sharpie Markers Make Me Dizzy" with spirals and stars? No problem citizen, here's your stamp.
posted by pajamazon at 7:23 PM on May 7


greenland : Do kids say "vacay" instead of "vacation" now?

I have heard this in use from people about 5 years younger then myself, yes.
posted by Canageek at 7:49 PM on May 7


I'm just glad that high school kids are at least peripherally aware of a time period when Soviets existed.
posted by Brocktoon at 8:01 PM on May 7 [3 favorites]


Makes me wonder what memes will spawn out of the taliban in 30 years

something something drones, I bet.
posted by rebent at 8:31 PM on May 7 [2 favorites]


I'm just glad that high school kids are at least peripherally aware of a time period when Soviets existed.

Soviet whats?
posted by clockzero at 9:01 PM on May 7


"I have also ran as a jokey communist candidate in various silly elections when I was younger, but this was in Canada."

And you won an NDP riding.
posted by klangklangston at 9:19 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]


You could also play dead when the bear comes into your camp, but that can be kinda mean.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:26 PM on May 7


From Carillon's followup link:

caressing stations??
posted by Omnomnom at 12:37 AM on May 8


Speaking of the torrent of homophobia, misogyny, and racism that is /r/AdviceAnimals, this thread from the announcement of the new default subreddits absolutely slays me.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:48 AM on May 8


Are we supposed to let them off the hook because they're younger and therefore more ignorant?

Soviet Bear seems pretty innocuous compared to a campaign I remember from high school, where the candidate's name was Rob Kooley and his slogan was "Drink the Kool-Aid! Vote for Rob Kooley!"
posted by lollymccatburglar at 3:55 AM on May 8 [1 favorite]


Am I the only person mildly disturbed by the fact a school administrator signed off on a "my hips don't lie" poster? WTF.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:47 AM on May 8 [1 favorite]


After reading all of those posters, "Stuco" is starting to sound like an actual Soviet committee name, along the lines of "Kombed" or "Gosplan."

I assumed that was the inspiration for Soviet Bear.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:42 AM on May 8


I'm think I should incorporate Soviet Bear PAC and start running ads in various congressional districts.

sarah palin can see soviet bear from back yard.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 7:06 AM on May 8


Soviet Bear Strikes Again!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:24 AM on May 8 [1 favorite]


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