From Pavel Sheremet to Trumputin: my summer 2016 links for your reading pleasure

From Pavel Sheremet to Trumputin: my summer 2016 links for your reading pleasure

I don’t usually archive the links to the work I do elsewhere, but it’s been a long summer with few updates, and I thought you guys might like to take a look at a few of these anyway:

An important online flashmob on sexual violence recently began in Ukraine and quickly spread to Russia and Belarus. These are NOT the countries you associate with any kind of frankness on the topic. So it was a pretty big deal. And being a big deal, it attracted plenty of trolls and critics. I wrote about how the flashmob and the reaction to it are great examples of this region’s collective PTSD.

Also in Ukraine, a very prominent and gifted Belarusian-Russian-Ukrainian journalist was tragically killed by a gangland-style car bomb. I wrote about what happened – and the implications.

But of course in the States, all we can really talk about the election. And Trump. And, nowadays, Trumputin. I wrote about the bad bromance between the Republican presidential nominee and the Russian leader – and how it may not work out that well for the Kremlin (in spite of every other American writer currently pointing out how Putin is the one who’s playing Trump. Which is true, by the way. He is playing him. But it will be hard to play him in the long term – and the Kremlin is remarkably bad at long term planning).

Last but not least, a link to my essay on Eurovision, Jamala, the Dakh Daughters, and Ukraine’s new femininity. I finally got to use the phrase “kill your boner” in a serious piece. I don’t know if it gets any better than that.

In Russia, August is traditionally associated with disasters. May we all avoid them to the best of our ability. Stay beautiful. Stay fabulous.

walk walk fashion baby

Congratulations to Russia AND Ukraine

Thank you for a fun Eurovision. It’s not cool to care about these contests, but whatever. Screw you, stiff-upper-lippy types, and screw everyone nattering on about “we need to have a contest just for Western countries! Why I was livid that these creatures, who ought to be hoovering my living room or performing a different kind of suction (their lovelies are great as long as they don’t talk), banded together to prop up and celebrate each other! How thoughtless and rude!”

I’m not a huge fan of Dima Bilan or Ani Lorak, Verka Serdyuchka beats them both by a mile, but they’re fun performers. Dima is a huge, huge sex symbol (and will probably make an appearance as one of the beautiful people regularly featured on this blog), and Ani Lorak is one of those people who actually helped popularize the very idea of a Ukrainian-language pop scene.

I am in awe of this contest as seen through the prism of furious activity on LiveJournal. Some Ukrainians are de-friending all Russians, some Russians are doing the same to Ukrainians, others are speculating on Dima Bilan’s sexuality/Ani Lorak’s “actual gender.” But all of this, upon closer inspection, is actually really, really light-hearted. Perhaps my LJ friends are not representative, but, once again, who cares? They fun. Even more fun than the pop musicians.