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In Soviet Russia, Cats LOL You
February 2, 2009 10:53 AM   Subscribe


 
In Soviet Russia, cheeseburger asks for you.
posted by jquinby at 10:58 AM on February 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


Best one. http://rolcats.wordpress.com/2009/01/29/99/#comments
posted by Science! at 10:58 AM on February 2, 2009


INVISIBLE HAND OF THE FREE MAR --

Oh. Wait.
posted by hifiparasol at 11:00 AM on February 2, 2009 [5 favorites]


Awesome. Thank you.
posted by ZakDaddy at 11:03 AM on February 2, 2009


OMG RUSSIANS ARE COMMIES!! I MAEK KLEVER JOAK!!! LOL!!!! OH LOOK IN SOVIET RUSSIA!!! LOLOLOLOL!! NATALIE PORTMAN!! GOATSE!! MR. T ATE MY BALLS!!!!
posted by nasreddin at 11:09 AM on February 2, 2009 [11 favorites]


Brandon, I think I might love you for this.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:10 AM on February 2, 2009


(Those aren't translations, by the way. The actual text is mostly cutesy stuff about the seasons and stuff like that.)
posted by nasreddin at 11:10 AM on February 2, 2009 [5 favorites]


I CAN HAZ DUSTBIN OF HISTORY?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:15 AM on February 2, 2009


Cmon nasereddin, you know that Americans have a genetic predisposition to making retarded Commie/Russian jokes. I'm as PC as the next liberal but this is harmless.
posted by Avenger at 11:15 AM on February 2, 2009


I'd like to know how they got the horse out of the hole. Unless they shot it in which case don't tell me.
posted by DU at 11:16 AM on February 2, 2009


This is so fantastic.
posted by kbanas at 11:17 AM on February 2, 2009


Did anyone actually think these were translations? I can't read Russian, but come on.

Mother, if my constitution is unfit for gymnast… The grist mill shall become my pommel horse and daily labor my reward!

I'm putting that caption on a picture of the baby and sending it to my wife. Is there a mock-cyrillic font banging around somewhere?
posted by fleetmouse at 11:18 AM on February 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


Excellent find. I lost it at, "Harvest my connective tissues so that the Motherland may restock her glue reserves."
posted by wastelands at 11:18 AM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's harmless, sure, but really stupid. Approximately the equivalent of walking up to a Chinese person and going "Ching chong wing wong! What'd I say, c'mon, what'd I say?"
posted by nasreddin at 11:19 AM on February 2, 2009 [12 favorites]


the relationship between the russian and the english is non-existent... though the english is quite funny!
posted by njohnson23 at 11:19 AM on February 2, 2009


It doesn't appear to me that these English captions have anything to do with the Russian ones. It kinda looks like a cheap shot at Russia, and it would be interesting to see what the Russians are coming up with for jokes on these pics.
posted by crapmatic at 11:19 AM on February 2, 2009


It's good to see Yakov Smirnov making a comeback.
posted by boo_radley at 11:20 AM on February 2, 2009


(Those aren't translations, by the way. The actual text is mostly cutesy stuff about the seasons and stuff like that.)

Suuuuure, tovarisch. Suuuuure.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:20 AM on February 2, 2009


It doesn't appear to me that these English captions have anything to do with the Russian ones. It kinda looks like a cheap shot at Russia, and it would be interesting to see what the Russians are coming up with for jokes on these pics.

They're just stale post-meme-death lolcats, probably created by bored housewives in Vitebsk. Even more unfunny than Soviet Russia jokes, if that's possible.
posted by nasreddin at 11:21 AM on February 2, 2009


"It doesn't appear to me that these English captions have anything to do with the Russian ones. It kinda looks like a cheap shot at Russia, and it would be interesting to see what the Russians are coming up with for jokes on these pics."

Probably malicious java scripting in the image get requests, stealing credit card numbers from everyone who views them.
posted by klangklangston at 11:22 AM on February 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


In Soviet Russia, joke ruins you.
posted by netbros at 11:24 AM on February 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


Alexey Stakhanov once produced 14 times his quota of LOLcats.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:26 AM on February 2, 2009 [6 favorites]


... additionally, the site is poisoning you. With polonium. eh? eh? Get it?
posted by boo_radley at 11:29 AM on February 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


Approximately the equivalent of walking up to a Chinese person and going "Ching chong wing wong! What'd I say, c'mon, what'd I say?"

I don't see any equivalence. If you said that to a Chinese person, it would be making fun of only the way Chinese sounds to a Western ear.

This is not mocking the way the Russian language sounds to American ears. Rather, it is mocking a conception to life in Stalin's Soviet Russia. The target here are Stalinists, not Russians per se. That it uses the lazy shorthand of "Stalinism = Russia" is to its discredit. However, it pretty clearly is aimed at Stalinist (and maybe those neo-Marxist jackasses that you see at every protest rally pining for a return to the old USSR days).

None of which means that they are funny. Just that there is something more to these jokes than just a "ching chong" comment.
posted by dios at 11:31 AM on February 2, 2009 [8 favorites]


It's worth it just for that first one...
posted by Mister_A at 11:32 AM on February 2, 2009


As a recovering Communist, I think these are excellent.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:33 AM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]




See clip for a wave of 130 cats greeting cat lady (via English-Russia). (because it's a stampede of little cat paws)
posted by hellboundforcheddar at 11:37 AM on February 2, 2009 [6 favorites]


Typical bourgeois Menshevik defeatist recidivism. Probably Georgian, definitely counter-revolutionary.

*speed-dials Cheka*
posted by gompa at 11:38 AM on February 2, 2009 [5 favorites]


Next phase in the never-ending evolution of LOLcats: Klingon!

Remember folks, you heard it here first!
posted by tommasz at 11:39 AM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


The target here are Stalinists, not Russians per se

What? No. The only reason to make fun of Stalinists is because of the belief Russians are all Stalinists on the inside, or whatever. If you take a lolcat with unrelated Russian writing and put a ridiculous Stalinist slogan on it, the only joke you've made is "LOOK AT THEM BACKWARDS RS, THAT MUST BE SUMMA THAT COMMIE SPEAK!! LOL RUSSIANS R COMMIES!!" Otherwise you could have just had the slogan.
posted by nasreddin at 11:39 AM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I bet one of these on the front page every morning could raise the circulation of the Morning Star.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:40 AM on February 2, 2009


Mayor Curley, do you ever find yourself slipping into bouts of recidivism?
posted by boo_radley at 11:41 AM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


On metafilter, nasreddin overthink YOU.
posted by dersins at 11:49 AM on February 2, 2009 [11 favorites]


What? No. The only reason to make fun of Stalinists is because of the belief Russians are all Stalinists on the inside, or whatever.

You seemed to be sensitive about this, so let me just restate what I said earlier that it is sloppy to make an equivalence between "Russian" and "Stalinist." But aside from the sloppiness there, reading the messages makes it clear that the mocking is directed to life in Stalinist Russia. If the title said "English translations of Stalinist lolcats," then I think the webpage would be better off for it. But I fail to see anything attacking Russian people apart from making fun of Stalinism. And because it is making snarks at a substantive mindset, there is something more than just making fun of the sound of someone's words, as you suggested above. It might be lame, unfunny, and offensive. But there is a target here, and it is a substantive one.
posted by dios at 11:51 AM on February 2, 2009


The only reason to make fun of Stalinists is because of the belief Russians are all Stalinists on the inside, or whatever.

You're right, there is no other comedic potential in Stalinism except to use it as the basis for a humorous fallacy of composition. Oh, wait, no there are tons, including those that originated from the Soviet Union.

A racist version of the joke would have had the Cyrillic characters be gibberish or worse, faux Cyrillic. As it is, it's just a variation of the well-worn inappropriate translation joke. For example, the Monty Python Hungarian Phrasebook sketch or the Kids in the Hall "I'm sorry, I speak no English" sketch.
posted by jedicus at 11:54 AM on February 2, 2009


So nasreddin, you're against this?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:03 PM on February 2, 2009



You seemed to be sensitive about this, so let me just restate what I said earlier that it is sloppy to make an equivalence between "Russian" and "Stalinist."


Uh, yeah, no shit.

But aside from the sloppiness there, reading the messages makes it clear that the mocking is directed to life in Stalinist Russia. If the title said "English translations of Stalinist lolcats," then I think the webpage would be better off for it. But I fail to see anything attacking Russian people apart from making fun of Stalinism. And because it is making snarks at a substantive mindset, there is something more than just making fun of the sound of someone's words, as you suggested above. It might be lame, unfunny, and offensive. But there is a target here, and it is a substantive one.

Are you living in the '50s? There's no such thing as Stalinism anymore--as in the ideology that would actually make slogans like this. There's no "serious" version of these slogans that anyone would endorse anymore. Yes, there are old ladies in Russia who pine for Stalinism, but they're not ideologues, they're just conservative. "Stalinism" is just a stand-in.

The reason this exists and is "funny" is that there is a widespread perception of the equivalence of Russians and Stalinists. You can't deny this unless you're also willing to say that, for instance, racist caricatures of black people eating fried chicken are just making fun of the specific kind of black person who eats fried chicken, and are in no way meant to reflect upon black people in general.

Just to be clear, I'm not offended. I just think it's dumb and unoriginal humor that, if it was related to another ethnic or national group, would be considered unfunny and borderline offensive. I also think it's an opportunity for people to reflect about this particular blind spot in their ideas about national stereotyping.
posted by nasreddin at 12:05 PM on February 2, 2009 [9 favorites]


"Ching chong wing wong" == "Your language is incomprehensible and foreign to me, the only thing I recognize is a tonal pattern to it." said in an uncouth manner.

ROLCats == "Lets take a popular meme and apply it to intelligently written phrases that reflect a perceived stereotype of Russia's former self." said with kittens.

Hardly equivalent.
posted by furtive at 12:05 PM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


No tractors... FAILSKI
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:05 PM on February 2, 2009


Hardly equivalent.

What's the difference? The quality of the writing?
posted by nasreddin at 12:06 PM on February 2, 2009


and really, shouldn't it be RUcats?
posted by boo_radley at 12:10 PM on February 2, 2009


I'd feel more guilty about smiling at this site's broadly poking fun at Stalinist slogans if "Uncle Joe" hadn't been recently been named Russia's third-greatest historical figure (to name just one incident in the current nationalist movement to rehabilitate him).

But why can't we take this moment to reaffirm our common struggle: The Internationale LOLCats unites the human race.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:10 PM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Those cats made me forget I was a communist.
posted by mesh gear fox at 12:12 PM on February 2, 2009


The Russians in the lab down the hall thought it was funny.
posted by hellboundforcheddar at 12:15 PM on February 2, 2009


Zed: yeah, that poll was pretty awkward to deal with. Yet America is not without its issues as well. Many still venerate Reagan, for instance.
posted by boo_radley at 12:16 PM on February 2, 2009


I just think it's dumb and unoriginal humor that, if it was related to another ethnic or national group, would be considered unfunny and borderline offensive. I also think it's an opportunity for people to reflect about this particular blind spot in their ideas about national stereotyping.

You can has sense of humor now, PLEASE.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:16 PM on February 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


Are you living in the '50s? There's no such thing as Stalinism anymore--as in the ideology that would actually make slogans like this...The reason this exists and is "funny" is that there is a widespread perception of the equivalence of Russians and Stalinists.

Right, no one would ever make political jokes about extinct political systems. There is just no humor value in mocking the past. Clearly the only reason to jest about, say, East Germany is because, deep down, all East Germans still pine for the DDR.
posted by jedicus at 12:18 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


and really, shouldn't it be RUcats?

My cat has been known to "yaol" occasionally.
posted by Johnny Assay at 12:18 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nasreddin, please CTFO when any thread comes up that might have to do with Russia, Soviet culture, etc. It's kind of unbearable.
posted by nonmerci at 12:19 PM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


ching chong wing wong. (oops...wrong thread!)
posted by nosila at 12:21 PM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Zed: yeah, that poll was pretty awkward to deal with. Yet America is not without its issues as well. Many still venerate Reagan, for instance.

And Jackson, who was literally genocidal, is on our most commonly used currency.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:23 PM on February 2, 2009


Reading the thread before clicking the link you might think there was a whole lot to this.

Thank god that's not the case.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:24 PM on February 2, 2009


The reason this exists and is "funny" is that there is a widespread perception of the equivalence of Russians and Stalinists.

I don't think this is true. Is that the only reason people think Yakov Smirnoff is funny? Because this is essentially the same joke. I don't think Yakov's audiences are laughing at Russians; I think they're laughing at bureaucracy and political correctness run amok, the same way they laugh at Dilbert.
posted by equalpants at 12:25 PM on February 2, 2009


Also...

"The reason this exists and is "funny" is that there is a widespread perception of the equivalence of Russians and Stalinists. You can't deny this unless you're also willing to say that, for instance, racist caricatures of black people eating fried chicken are just making fun of the specific kind of black person who eats fried chicken, and are in no way meant to reflect upon black people in general."

Surely you don't think linking to a Russian LOLCATS website and making a post title about Soviet Russia is comparable to historically and culturally pervasive racism against African-Americans? You are not helping yourself here.

I have no problem with you, Greg, but if every single time an FPP is made about something related to Russia you're going to feel the need to race into the thread and repeatedly make comments, either shitting on the FPP or other posters, you might want to step back and take a deep breath instead. You can be a valuable resource in a lot of the Newsfilter Russia posts, but your constant commenting in this thread is really obnoxious. State your displeasure in a non-abrasive way, and move on. Making unhelpful analogies to racist behavior isn't helping anyone, and it only makes you look shrill and emotional. Just remember--jokes about Soviet Russia =/= jokes about you, your family and your people.
posted by nonmerci at 12:28 PM on February 2, 2009


Great, they've replaced the African-American "Amos n' Andy" racist lingo for something even more offensive.

Good job, as usual.
posted by Zambrano at 12:29 PM on February 2, 2009


[soldier offers cat a dandelion]

Your floral offering serves as no deterrent to the inevitable, betrayer.

You will now join me in oblivion.


Well, I'll give them this; they really nailed that kitten voice. This is exactly the kind of thing mine says to me all the time.

Then comes the pain and the screaming and the hiding under the bed. I'll tell you this; it's a tight fit under there when you have a couple of cats hunting you down.
posted by quin at 12:34 PM on February 2, 2009


I really objected to how the cats were portrayed.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:34 PM on February 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


Don't forget the horse, that poor stereotyped horse.
posted by Science! at 12:38 PM on February 2, 2009


No tractors... FAILSKI

So I look up "LOLtractor" and I find this. No, it's not funny; it's a tractor. It's the fact that "LOL Tractor" means something that's funny.
posted by SPrintF at 12:39 PM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


"Nasreddin, please CTFO when any thread comes up that might have to do with Russia, Soviet culture, etc. It's kind of unbearable."

No, ignore this.

This site is stupid, shopworn and shallow, and does play on Stupid Russkie bullshit that should have been left behind with Rocky IV.
posted by klangklangston at 12:40 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


You can has sense of humor now, PLEASE.

Laughing at something doesn't mean we're obligated to surrender all our critical faculties. Humor has historically been a very potent tool in fomenting various kinds of jingoism and hatred, which is not a reason not to laugh at something, but certainly a reason to ask why we're laughing.

But feminists who complain about sexist jokes are all just humorless prigs, amirite?

I don't think this is true. Is that the only reason people think Yakov Smirnoff is funny? Because this is essentially the same joke. I don't think Yakov's audiences are laughing at Russians; I think they're laughing at bureaucracy and political correctness run amok, the same way they laugh at Dilbert.

I think that's certainly part of it, but by no means all of it. Smirnoff made his career by tapping into Cold War stereotypes about Russian people. If he'd just been some dude from Fort Lauderdale, he would never have become famous.

Nasreddin, please CTFO when any thread comes up that might have to do with Russia, Soviet culture, etc.

This isn't about me personally. Please take it to email if you like.
posted by nasreddin at 12:42 PM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


But aside from the sloppiness there, reading the messages makes it clear that the mocking is directed to life in Stalinist Russia.

Since nobody here, and probably nobody who will ever see the linked site, experienced life in Stalinist Russia (or, frankly, knows much about it), it's hard to see what the point of the mockery is, unless (as nasreddin says) it's just a shorthand way of mocking Russians.

Nasreddin, please CTFO when any thread comes up that might have to do with Russia, Soviet culture, etc. It's kind of unbearable.

Yeah, it's really annoying when someone actually knows what they're talking about. Can't you just leave us to our ignorant yuks?

I have no problem with you, Greg, but if every single time an FPP is made about something related to Russia you're going to feel the need to race into the thread and repeatedly make comments, either shitting on the FPP or other posters, you might want to step back and take a deep breath instead.

Tell you what, Allison, let's take a look. What did he race into the thread to say?

(Those aren't translations, by the way. The actual text is mostly cutesy stuff about the seasons and stuff like that.)


Ooh, shitty! How can he... Oh, wait, he's just making a useful point that someone might have wondered about. In fact, I was going to say the same thing until I saw he'd preempted me. Then people started attacking him for saying it. Or how about this vicious attack on MetaFilter?

They're just stale post-meme-death lolcats, probably created by bored housewives in Vitebsk. Even more unfunny than Soviet Russia jokes, if that's possible.


Oh, wait...

No, I'm not seeing it. I don't think the problem is with nasreddin.
posted by languagehat at 12:53 PM on February 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


nasreddin, I won't dispute that most of these are resolutely unfunny, even for lolcats.

But... geez. Stalinism and stalinists aren't funny because OMG EVERYONE THINKS RUSSIA IS STALIN IT'S A SLANDER ON YOU STUPID FOREIGNERS!!!

Stalinism and stalinists are funny, when they are, because they used big, chunky graphics combined with bombastic, awkward text to get their message across, especially when they're translated into fairly deadpan English. It's aping the the overblown earnestness of Soviet propaganda posters.... I think. You would have to have actually seen Soviet propaganda posters for it to work that way.

It's funny, to the very limited extent that it is, because "Cease your protests, the deal is done! You are to make a fine wife for uncouth American businessman!" is text that you might have seen on a propaganda poster in 1940 or 1962, right next to the ones showing how cultural performers faired poorly in the west. I mean, it's a lot clumsier than the real posters, but still.

It's occasionally funny because "Your ascent to the cosmos will strike terror into the West!" could almost be a press release issued on Korolev's behalf.

It's funny, almost, because "We sleep with vigor. Content with the knowledge that Lenin’s body shall never decay…" wouldn't be that out of place under a graphic of men sleeping against their T-34.

And I'd swear I'd read stuff almost as stilted and goofy as "Harvest my connective tissues so that the Motherland may restock her glue reserves…" in some Soviet SF in translation. Some sort of first contact thing where someone agrees to be killed and autopsied by the aliens in the spirit of socialist fraternity with their new comrades, or something like that.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:04 PM on February 2, 2009 [5 favorites]


But feminists who complain about sexist jokes are all just humorless prigs, amirite?

Uh... yes.
posted by shii at 1:04 PM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


No, I'm not seeing it.

I don't have a dog in this fight, but if you somehow missed this comment by nasreddin,

OMG RUSSIANS ARE COMMIES!! I MAEK KLEVER JOAK!!! LOL!!!! OH LOOK IN SOVIET RUSSIA!!! LOLOLOLOL!! NATALIE PORTMAN!! GOATSE!! MR. T ATE MY BALLS!!!!

then you aren't looking very hard.
posted by Pyry at 1:07 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


but the Russian cats sound so much smarter than the American ones. They speak in whole sentences, without grammatical error.
posted by Maias at 1:08 PM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Stalinism and stalinists are funny, when they are, because they used big, chunky graphics combined with bombastic, awkward text to get their message across, especially when they're translated into fairly deadpan English. It's aping the the overblown earnestness of Soviet propaganda posters.... I think. You would have to have actually seen Soviet propaganda posters for it to work that way.

I see your point, but then why use completely unrelated Russian lolcats?
posted by nasreddin at 1:09 PM on February 2, 2009


Since nobody here, and probably nobody who will ever see the linked site, experienced life in Stalinist Russia (or, frankly, knows much about it), it's hard to see what the point of the mockery is, unless (as nasreddin says) it's just a shorthand way of mocking Russians.

I cannot get in the poster's head. So maybe that is what he intended. In my world, there is a clear difference between those two things, so I can see it as mocking Stalinist Russia while not mocking Russian people. Perhaps I give the author of this website more credit than he deserves. Just as I think some joke about the Roman Empire does not reflect upon the wonderful Italian people like my friend Giulio who I recently stayed with, I do not think these jokes reflect upon my Russian friends.

Which again, isn't to say that the jokes are unfunny, rude, racists or whatever. Just that I see them as mocking something different than the people. Like a historical curiosity. But again, that's how they appear to me. Perhaps the creator of the link really does not see a difference.

I don't have a problem with nasreddin's refined point: that these are racist and jingoist and unfunny.

I just pointed out these are substantially different than a "ching chang chong" joke. They clearly are mocking something in particular beyond simple linguistic differences.
posted by dios at 1:10 PM on February 2, 2009


These are teh funny! You'd have to remember the Cold War I grew up in to get it, though.

For a taste of old school communism writ modern, I like to refer my friends to the KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY!
posted by Xoebe at 1:10 PM on February 2, 2009


I think that's certainly part of it, but by no means all of it. Smirnoff made his career by tapping into Cold War stereotypes about Russian people. If he'd just been some dude from Fort Lauderdale, he would never have become famous.


Sure, I think you're right; that's definitely part of it. But I think there's also an element of universal identification there. Everyone knows someone who's PC and humorless--a boss, an HR person, a holier-than-thou fellow churchgoer, a "think of the children" type, etc. The Cold War stereotype is that Russia has been conquered by people like that. So Yakov's jokes are, on the face of it, about Russia, and they do take advantage of that stereotype. But they're also about PC-ness in general, with "Russia" just being a convenient shorthand for "place overrun by PC-ness".

I think these lolcats are doing something similar. The real joke here is "this is what lolcats would look like if they were made by people with no sense of humor". Stalinists are a well-known group of humorless people; you could substitute HR lawyers, overzealous feminists, or even Nazis, and the joke would still work. Stalinists were chosen because Yakov is big on Slashdot.
posted by equalpants at 1:12 PM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Last weeks racist jokes, today.
posted by bizwank at 1:19 PM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Я люблю эту страну
posted by not_on_display at 1:20 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fundamentally, this site fails to recognise that Russia has changed. The days are long gone when free speech was suppressed, dissidents feared for their lives, and the populace was captivated by a nationalistic cult of personality.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:21 PM on February 2, 2009 [12 favorites]


OMG RUSSIANS ARE COMMIES!! I MAEK KLEVER JOAK!!! LOL!!!! OH LOOK IN SOVIET RUSSIA!!! LOLOLOLOL!! NATALIE PORTMAN!! GOATSE!! MR. T ATE MY BALLS!!!!

For the record, I thought that one was pretty good too.
posted by digsrus at 1:21 PM on February 2, 2009


Sure, I think you're right; that's definitely part of it. But I think there's also an element of universal identification there. Everyone knows someone who's PC and humorless--a boss, an HR person, a holier-than-thou fellow churchgoer, a "think of the children" type, etc. The Cold War stereotype is that Russia has been conquered by people like that. So Yakov's jokes are, on the face of it, about Russia, and they do take advantage of that stereotype. But they're also about PC-ness in general, with "Russia" just being a convenient shorthand for "place overrun by PC-ness".

I think these lolcats are doing something similar. The real joke here is "this is what lolcats would look like if they were made by people with no sense of humor". Stalinists are a well-known group of humorless people; you could substitute HR lawyers, overzealous feminists, or even Nazis, and the joke would still work. Stalinists were chosen because Yakov is big on Slashdot.


Again, I see what you mean, and I'm by no means implying that all possible jokes directed at Stalinism are equivalent to jokes about Russian people. I just think that in the current context, they often do play that role--and the inclusion of irrelevant cat pictures with Russian writing on them just reinforces that message. There isn't anything particularly humorless (as opposed to unfunny), PC, or authoritarian about the original pictures. They're just lolcats that happen to be in Russian. So why the association with Stalinism?
posted by nasreddin at 1:23 PM on February 2, 2009


It never occurred to me that these were actually repurposed Russian lolcats. If that's the case, then yeah, there's something kind of "engrish" about the whole venture. But even so, I hope that is the case, because dude: There are actual Russian lolcats?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:23 PM on February 2, 2009


Uh, yeah. Lookit the commie kitties. Their culture's all weird and stuff.

On one hand, these "funny translations" are weak and stupid and not at all funny. On the other hand, figuring out what they really say will make for a fun school project.

I've got a new rule: I'm not going to bother reading anything about Russia that's written in English if the English article includes the Я as a stand-in for the English "R." That letter doesn't sound a thing like our R and never stands in for it in Russian transliterations of English words. It's like slapping a "did no research" sticker on your project.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:28 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I see your point, but then why use completely unrelated Russian lolcats?

That's the joke, innit?

I mean, you take text that would almost make sense if it were on a poster with some grizzled, tired tankers next to their T-34, a sign reading "<-- BERLIN 200KM" in the background, their stern faces reminding you that whatever you're putting up with it's their asses out there against the Fascists so QUIT YOUR BELLYACHING AND PRODUCE, but the picture is actually of kittens sleeping.

NB: I think you're a little bit correct about the LOL RUSSKIES AMIRITE. Just not all correct.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:31 PM on February 2, 2009


On the other hand, figuring out what they really say will make for a fun school project.

#1:"We didn't order any cats! Get back in the box, we'll ship you back to sender, registered mail!"
#2: "My service is boring and tiresome/And I haven't smiled for a month/I'm supposed to guard THIS thing/But all it knows how to do is sleep!"
#3: "You go home right this minute! March is still a long way away! / Let me go! March isn't a month, it's a state of mind!"
#4: "The fascists didn't recognize the spy. Stirlitz was truly incomparable." (a reference to an old Russian miniseries about a Soviet spy, Stirlitz, undercover in Nazi Germany)
#5: "Hey, Mikhalich! Toss me that 32cm wrench, will you?"
posted by nasreddin at 1:35 PM on February 2, 2009


The site is mocking a dead culture that, for most Americans, was something we were raised to fear and/or ridicule. See also, Nikolai Volkof, Ivan Drago (leave behind Rocky IV, the most absurd, hilarious one of the bunch? Never!), Boris and Natasha. The rolcats is just a continuation of a kind of humor that a lot of people can relate to/find humorous. It's not a direct attack on Russia, or Russian culture, in that the culture being mocked is dead and gone. Good or bad, that's something that tends to happen to dead cultures.

For a modern day take on this, I highly encourage watching North Korean news broadcasts. It's not a language mocking thing, it's how they present the news, in a vaguely strident, military, yet cheerful (as in, the viewer must be cheerful with me, or something is wrong with them). And, well, hilarious in a delusional kind of way.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:44 PM on February 2, 2009


(and maybe those neo-Marxist jackasses that you see at every protest rally pining for a return to the old USSR days)

No, the people pining for the old days are the poor bastards who put up with a lot of hardship because they were promised health care and pensions and jobs for life, and are now cold and hungry and reduced to selling wildflowers (or just plain begging) on street corners.

The collapse of the USSR fucked a lot of vulnerable people, and as they get older things aren't getting any better for them. They aren't jackasses, they are people who've been cheated, and who want the dignified old age they were promised.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:56 PM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Never explain why something is funny to you. You cannot win.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:03 PM on February 2, 2009


YOLCATS?

Backhanded and antiquated jokes about eastern Europeans don't strike me as particularly funny. But I guess old habits die hard.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:07 PM on February 2, 2009


My fave retread of stalinist culture has to be worker and parasite, or Bruce McCall's "Soviet Mechnod-Foto Hello!" (with the suzy baker that converts iron ore into slag).
posted by joelf at 2:20 PM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


МетаФитыр: Никогда не объясняйте почему что-то забавляет вас.
posted by Coyote Crossing at 2:33 PM on February 2, 2009


Meatbomb, I thought dios was heaping scorn on marxist protestors in the US.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:43 PM on February 2, 2009


#5: "Hey, Mikhalich! Toss me that 32cm wrench, will you?"

I don't get it. A wrench with a 32cm opening would be so large and unwieldy that it would probably require two men to comfortably lift. It would certainly be far too large to toss -- even if one had the strength, to do so would be unsafe.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:45 PM on February 2, 2009



I don't get it. A wrench with a 32cm opening would be so large and unwieldy that it would probably require two men to comfortably lift. It would certainly be far too large to toss -- even if one had the strength, to do so would be unsafe.


I think I meant 32 mm. Whatever a "size 32" wrench is. I don't know anything about wrenches.
posted by nasreddin at 2:53 PM on February 2, 2009


I see your point, but then why use completely unrelated Russian lolcats?

It's for a English audience, it doesn't really matter what the Russian says, as long as it's clearly Russian.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:58 PM on February 2, 2009


it's how they present the news, in a vaguely strident, military, yet cheerful (as in, the viewer must be cheerful with me, or something is wrong with them). And, well, hilarious in a delusional kind of way.

Leave Matt Lauer alone! He's trying, but it's just not the same without KC.
posted by morganw at 2:58 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's for a English audience, it doesn't really matter what the Russian says, as long as it's clearly Russian.

Well, duh. That's what I'm saying.

Just to be clear, you guys would think it was really hilarious if someone took innocuous lolcats written in German and "translated" them as "Exterminate the cockroaches" and "All glory to the Master Race," right? You wouldn't think that was stale and played-out at all?
posted by nasreddin at 3:09 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Brandon - Cuz Russian's funny-sounding in the first place?

Seriously, man, even if you don't speak a word of Russian or have a lick of interest in the language, on some of these the sentences and punctuation don't even match up. And again, the English portions are painfully unfunny, almost twenty years out of date and dripping with ugly cultural stereotypes.

To my mind, the "it's just a joke" defense collapses when the material in question contains no laughs.
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:16 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


оveяяeдктioи
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:26 PM on February 2, 2009 [5 favorites]


I cannot disagree with nasreddin's criticisms here and suspect that in order to enjoy this on any level you absolutely need not to be able to read a word of Russian. If I knew what the original text meant I too would find it jarring and be more struck by the nasty racist undertones than I am. Nevertheless that one with the kitten and the flower keeps making me giggle, and I'm not learning Russian now just to be able to stop giggling. I am a bad person, clearly, and I should feel like a bad person.

Here are the (some?) real Russian lolcats, from which all the OP material was sourced. A better post on this might have had both, plus maybe versions in other languages or something. Are there rirechats? *looks*. No, they are BDRchats. That wasn't hard. Etc.
posted by motty at 3:40 PM on February 2, 2009


You wouldn't think that was stale and played-out at all?

For me, it would probably depend on the individual cartoons, but my sense of humor doesn't have much to do with my personal beliefs. I'm nothing sayin that's good or bad, but just answering the question. I didn't find all of the Russian ones funny, but me and several other people were cracking up over others. No offense was meant, though. I didn't see it as slur against Russians, but more poking fun at insane bureaucracy and the people who go along with it.

Seriously, man, even if you don't speak a word of Russian or have a lick of interest in the language, on some of these the sentences and punctuation don't even match up.

*shrugs*

The humor wasn't in having the languages match up, so it's odd to me why you even bring up the point.

To my mind, the "it's just a joke" defense collapses when the material in question contains no laughs.

Humor is subjective.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:18 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just to be clear, you guys would think it was really hilarious if someone took innocuous lolcats written in German and "translated" them as "Exterminate the cockroaches" and "All glory to the Master Race," right? You wouldn't think that was stale and played-out at all?

If they did it really well, that could be funny, sure. It'd be hard to do well, though.

All I'm saying is: it's possible to tell a stereotype joke, and to laugh at one, without believing the stereotype, and without intending to actually disparage the subject. Have you never heard someone tell a racist joke about their own race? You don't have to buy into the surface content for a joke to be funny; there's an art in the telling itself. (Especially so for offensive jokes, where somehow conveying that you don't buy into the racism/whatever is part of the game.)

I don't think the author of these lolcats is trying to put down Russians; I think he's just trying to tell a good offensive joke. He's not all that good at it, to be sure. And if he's not Russian, then it's pretty rude of him. But I got the impression that he was aspiring to more than just LOLRUSSIANS, at any rate. He might be clueless as to how funny he is, but I don't think he's so clueless that he actually thinks all Russians are Stalinists.

I wonder if there's anyplace on the web where people actually translate lolcats? That would be pretty cool to see...
posted by equalpants at 4:19 PM on February 2, 2009


Humor is subjective

Sure, one man's ignorant slur is another man's lulz. Fair enough.
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:23 PM on February 2, 2009


One thing that strikes me about the captions, is that the person who came up with them seems to have a pretty comprehensive knowledge of Soviet propaganda.
posted by jefeweiss at 4:25 PM on February 2, 2009


Sure, one man's ignorant slur is another man's lulz. Fair enough.

What are you hoping to accomplish here?

posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:35 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


What are you hoping to accomplish here?

Maybe point out that defensiveness is correlated with whose ox is being gored?

*shrugs*
posted by languagehat at 4:46 PM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


All I'm saying is: it's possible to tell a stereotype joke, and to laugh at one, without believing the stereotype, and without intending to actually disparage the subject.

You can laugh at a stereotype joke without buying it, sure, but I don't think it's possible to laugh at a stereotype joke without disparaging the subject. That's what stereotypes do.

Humor, to me, doesn't have to be smart, or graceful, or even particularly sensitive. But kicking someone having it rough isn't funny to me; it's just mean-spirited and belittling. The one with the old lady going to cook the cat, for example. Mocking the Soviet power structure is fine, sure, but making a joke related to the people who starved under the Soviets? Not so much.

The tired eastern European stereotypes bandied about in these lolcats are often way off target. Laughing at the poor isn't funny to me.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:47 PM on February 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


Okay, Brandon, here's the thing. This year, my school offered a pretty comprehensive program on Russia - the culture, the history, the language. It has been fascinating and rewarding, but the reactions of some of my coworkers and even family members has been disappointing. I tell them I'm studying Russia, they talk like I'm studying Stalin. I tell them I'm learning to speak Russian, they say, "Russian just sounds angry to me." I guess this year of studies has really opened my eyes to just how much of a cold war hangover we still have here in the west, how dim our view of this amazing country and culture still is, more than a decade after the fall of the USSR.

So I apologize if I've been hostile, but I find "humor" like this offensive and embarrassing - the fact that they're expecting their readers to just see the Russian phrases as blocks of babbling that need not be examined closely is frustrating as well.

Furthermore, judging from nasreddin's translations, the jokes in the original Russian are much funnier - actual translations of these pictures would have made for a much funnier page and a much better post. As it is, it's just icky.

Ceiling Cat help us if this is the best of the web.
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:56 PM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


ohmigod, i've never seen such bean-plate overthinking...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:01 PM on February 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


in order to enjoy this on any level you absolutely need not to be able to read a word of Russian

Well, of course. If you can read Russian at all, then you know that the subtitles are false. For the purposes of the joke, it's just Cyrillic letters on a jpeg. Likewise, if you can't understand a word of German, those subtitles-over-Downfall bits can be almost funny... almost. If you speak German, I'm sure they're not remotely funny.

And yeah, the one about the old lady eating her cat was well into the land of the actively unfunny.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:15 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


You can laugh at a stereotype joke without buying it, sure, but I don't think it's possible to laugh at a stereotype joke without disparaging the subject. That's what stereotypes do.

Fair enough, although I think that's kind of a tree-falls-in-the-forest question: if nobody believes the nasty thing that was said, and the speaker didn't intend for it to be believed anyway, has a disparagement still occurred?

The one with the old lady going to cook the cat, for example. Mocking the Soviet power structure is fine, sure, but making a joke related to the people who starved under the Soviets? Not so much.

Hey, no disagreement there. I didn't think that one was funny either. Hell, I didn't think most of them were funny. The horse one I liked.
posted by equalpants at 5:36 PM on February 2, 2009


Fantasy: LOLiberal Catipalism; major contribution to LOLology, cheezburger tastes like stimulus package.
posted by doobiedoo at 5:51 PM on February 2, 2009


doobie, you mean like this
posted by Maias at 5:56 PM on February 2, 2009


No, the people pining for the old days are the poor bastards who put up with a lot of hardship because they were promised health care and pensions and jobs for life, and are now cold and hungry and reduced to selling wildflowers (or just plain begging) on street corners.

Yeah. Same in Hungary. Incidentally, I'd never seen the Hungarian Phrasebook Monty Python sketch before. I had no idea that "My hovercraft is full of eels" was a Python reference. So all in all, this thread seems to have been a positive for me. Go figure.
posted by Michael Roberts at 6:03 PM on February 2, 2009


I not only thought all Russians were thick eye-browed, broom-like mustachio'd, Stalinists but I also I was dead sure they were all stocky, steely-eyed, well muscled, wore furs year-round, and drove goat pulled sleighs and kept achondroplastic dwarves as magical pets to help them farm radioactive cabbage.

I hope this mistaken beliefe offends no one.
posted by tkchrist at 6:24 PM on February 2, 2009


They also like vodka. A lot.
posted by Evangeline at 6:33 PM on February 2, 2009


Yeah. Same in Hungary. Incidentally, I'd never seen the Hungarian Phrasebook Monty Python sketch before. I had no idea that "My hovercraft is full of eels" was a Python reference. So all in all, this thread seems to have been a positive for me. Go figure.

That sketch offends the shit out of me. They don't even HAVE hovercraft in Hungary.
posted by tkchrist at 6:33 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]




They also like vodka. A lot.


You have gone one step too far Madame. That's the sort of generalization that leads to world wars and holocausts! The clear implication being that all Russians are alcoholics. This kind of generalization is so dangerous as it might convince a neighboring country that the noble Russian people are passed out in the radioactive cabbage fields and may be vulnerable to invasion. (Since we all know that those that drink vodka in any capacity are certainly raging alcoholics).
posted by tkchrist at 6:39 PM on February 2, 2009


Well, not without eels, anyway.
posted by Michael Roberts at 6:56 PM on February 2, 2009


Let me point out that vodka is made from the potato, a plant that is strongly linked in the popular imagination to the island of Éire, home of the Irish, known, according to stereotype, to tip a few back. Yet the potato is actually indigenous to the Western Hemisphere, land of the so-called "Indians", who are known in the popular imagination to get really drunk on "firewater". The potato is the root of all stereotypes about drunkenness!

FUCK YOU, SATAN'S TUBER!!!
posted by Mister_A at 6:58 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Get it?





Root.
posted by Mister_A at 6:58 PM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't think the author of these lolcats is trying to put down Russians; I think he's just trying to tell a good offensive joke.

I think he is trying to be as absurd as possible. Since, you know, CAT'S AND DOGS CAN'T TALK. Not Russian anyways.

It is humor of the absurd and is using a sterotype to frame the humor. And that stereo type is the absurdity of what WE thought about "Soviet Russia."

To me it's like when people laugh old silent news reel footage because people move so fast and dress so funny, and then somebody gets upset because, OMFG, that was the depression and real people were starving! The frame of reference is exotic (to some) and the hook completely absurd when you are removed from the context taking place in the real photos (and also the real language in this case).
posted by tkchrist at 6:58 PM on February 2, 2009


You blew my mind Mr. A.
posted by tkchrist at 7:01 PM on February 2, 2009


Everything I know about Russia I learned from Chekhov. The crops are dying, the forests are disappearing, and you people are worried about lolcats?
posted by Evangeline at 7:10 PM on February 2, 2009


But kicking someone having it rough isn't funny to me; it's just mean-spirited and belittling.

I'm a betting man. And I will wager 10 kuatloo's that we wouldn't have to plumb very deeply to find examples of "kicking somebody having it rough" as sometimes being HI-LARIOUS. In fact the further removed we are in time, culture, and context I would wager the easier it is laugh. And laughing at other peoples foibles isn't necessarily symptomatic of cruelty or a lack of compassion. Sometimes we laugh instead of crying.

For instance for me my friend who dressed as Baby Jessica (the little girl who fell down the well) one Halloween was a laugh-Olympics to, well over 300 hundred people at a costume party. Since he won the contest. And statistically it would be improbable for all 300 people to be complete assholes. Not impossible. But unlikely.
posted by tkchrist at 7:11 PM on February 2, 2009


Everything I know about Russia I learned from Chekhov.

Me too. I learned that Russia invented scotch,the lightbulb, and the telephone.

AND I learnedt: "Отрегулируйте ваш пистолет лазера к сну" is Russian for "set your Phasers to stun." And that "Kyiptun" means Captain.
posted by tkchrist at 7:15 PM on February 2, 2009


"I'm a major turn-of-the-century playwright, captain, not a..." Oh, am I thinking of Bones?
posted by Evangeline at 7:19 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you speak German, I'm sure they're not remotely funny.

I speak enough german to know basically what's going on, and the resubs can still be amusing.

I was amused by these, but I completely disconnected the jokes about stalinism from russians in general. I don't speak or read a single character of russian, but Cyrillic is not an automatic stalinism reference for me even though; it took the clear linguistic references in the english to bring that up.

At the same time, seeing nasreddin and languagehat's responses remind me that I'm likely in the minority there, and since the connections are automatic for a great many people I can see how they could be offensive.

I'd still laugh at the theoretical german equivalents though, so I may not still be on the same page...
posted by flaterik at 7:25 PM on February 2, 2009


Speaking of Stalinist Russia, the novel Child 44 is not worth reading.
posted by chinston at 7:28 PM on February 2, 2009


Huh.

Well I thought it was funny.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 7:41 PM on February 2, 2009


Speaking of Stalinist Russia, the novel Child 44 is not worth reading.

I kind of liked it. Hey. It was better that Gorky Park.
posted by tkchrist at 7:48 PM on February 2, 2009


"I'm a major turn-of-the-century playwright, captain, not a..." Oh, am I thinking of Bones?

Oh You. Stereo typing 18th Century Russian Trekies again.
posted by tkchrist at 7:49 PM on February 2, 2009


(Runs in, out of breath, late for the thread.)

INVIZIBUL TROTSKY!

(Stops, reads through thread.)
(Slllllowly backs away)

posted by PlusDistance at 8:00 PM on February 2, 2009


Did anyone notice that their blogroll appeared to have a link to an actual LOLCats in Russian?
http://kotomatrix.ru/

Since that site has a .ru domain, is it true... is there really a russian LOLCats site?

Because, to me, that sounds much more interesting (and their translations would be most welcome), then deciding if LOLCats jokes are in taste. Because for the love of god people, LOLCats started at 4chan and somethingawful. Its like arguing if a dead russian baby joke is in bad taste.
posted by superchris at 8:42 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


superchris: Yes, that's right, there IS a Russian LOLcats site. Unfortunately, quoting nasreddin upthread, "They're just stale post-meme-death lolcats, probably created by bored housewives in Vitebsk. Even more unfunny than Soviet Russia jokes, if that's possible."
posted by daniel_charms at 8:54 PM on February 2, 2009


PlusDistance: INVISIBLE TROTSKY COLLIDES WITH INVISIBLE KAMENEV AND ZINOVIEV
posted by daniel_charms at 8:56 PM on February 2, 2009


I'm a betting man. And I will wager 10 kuatloo's that we wouldn't have to plumb very deeply to find examples of "kicking somebody having it rough" as sometimes being HI-LARIOUS.

This is why I qualified my remarks as refering to my personal taste/sense of humor in this situation. I didn't think it was funny, and said why, but I don't presume to lord that over anyone else. And what do I know from humor, anyway? I think Azumanga Daioh is freakin' hilarious. So far, I seem to be the only person in the English-speaking world who thinks so.

Arguing about what's funny or not funny, and telling other people they're wrong for disagreeing, would be like someone starting a thread declaring strawberries the world's greatest fruit, and then the subsequent comments consisting of, "What are you, simple? Plums, man." - "Plums? You, sir, are an imbecile." and so on.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:21 AM on February 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Fuck plums
posted by flaterik at 12:47 AM on February 3, 2009


Mirabell-ist. There, I said it.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:07 AM on February 3, 2009


Oh and,

or a modern day take on this, I highly encourage watching North Korean American news broadcasts. It's not a language mocking thing, it's how they present the news, in a vaguely strident, military, yet cheerful (as in, the viewer must be cheerful with me, or something is wrong with them). And, well, hilarious in a delusional kind of way.

Seriously, step outside for a little bit and American TV is incomprehensible.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:09 AM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


But wait, there's more!

"Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die." -Mel Brooks.

Have a nice day.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:11 AM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, I visited this thread for a second time after seeing it mentioned in a newer thread. On the one hand, I want to say, "It's just for lulz, why are these people taking it so seriously?" On the other hand, nowhere else on the 'net would you find this kind of nuanced argumentation, where most people aren't resorting to ad homs. Bravo, MeFi.
posted by wastelands at 1:33 AM on February 3, 2009


Seriously, step outside for a little bit and American TV is incomprehensible.
Hell yeah. I love it when I've gone long enough without TV to forget it. Commercial breaks are like tiny little dadaist film festivals.
posted by hattifattener at 1:48 AM on February 3, 2009


Very interesting, but stupid.
posted by pianomover at 2:28 AM on February 3, 2009


So, wait, are these Russian lolcats declawed or what?
posted by No-sword at 3:49 AM on February 3, 2009


Seriously, step outside for a little bit and American TV is incomprehensible.

This, absolutely.

"Murder! Are your children safe?!? And titillating celeb gossip!! But first..."
"Buy this useless shit."
"You need this medicine for the condition you didn't realize you had."
"Are you in debt? Let us take advantage of you."
"We're back! Murder, murder, danger, black men. Coming up: titillating celeb gossip!! You might almost see a nipple!! But first..."
(repeat ad infinitum)
posted by Meatbomb at 4:34 AM on February 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


You: In Soviet Russia, Metafilter writes slogans for.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 4:54 AM on February 3, 2009


On the other hand, nowhere else on the 'net would you find this kind of nuanced argumentation, where most people aren't resorting to ad homs. Bravo, MeFi.

Just like a fucking honky to say that.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:18 AM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Seriously, step outside for a little bit and American TV is incomprehensible.
The most serious culture shock I've ever had was in 1991, when I returned to the US after living for 6 months in London. I hit Dulles, and I felt like the entire country was screaming at me at the top of its lungs. My completely instinctive response, bizarrely, was to put my hands over my eyes to cut out the noise from the billboards. And the televisions. Even public radio sounded hectoring and overwrought.

I'm not even sure you need to live outside the country any more for American TV to seem incomprehensible. Just mute it, and you're deep into bat country in about ten seconds.
posted by scrump at 9:39 AM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm done with this side of the internet. By that I mean anything related to or a bout or references lolcat
posted by gabecal at 11:35 PM on February 4, 2009


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