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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/19/12

Putin's p*ssy Problem: From America with Love

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On Friday, August 17, three female members of the band, p*ssy Riot, were sentenced to two years in prison for staging a piece of political theater. In February, 2012, The p*ssy Rioteers had--if you will pardon the expression--the balls to perform a song containing an anti-Vladimir Putin message (see the entire lyric below) at the main cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. p*ssy Riot staged this stunt as an act of protest against the Russian Orthodox Church's tacit approval of Vladimir Putin's ongoing, anti-democratic tyranny over Russia. For example, in March, 2012, Vladimir Putin succeeded in being re-elected as the president of Russia by "skewing" the election: widespread reports of pro-Putin ballot-stuffing and "carousel voting" triggered massive protests in the wake of the universally-disputed election. 

p*ssy Riot's protest was an exceptionally courageous act because of Vladmir Putin's infamous knack for disposing of political critics in a heavy-handed fashion. In short, Putin's critics usually end up in prison or dead. Indeed, if I were a Russian citizen, I and my family* (*Putin likes to play rough and send clear and terrifying messages to his critics) could very well end up dead for defending p*ssy Riot and for denouncing Putin and his vile regime.

At this point I would exclaim for the record: Thank god I'm not a Russian! Russians are going to suffer every damned day that Putin succeeds in extending his loathsome grip on power. Don't get me wrong, I don't blame the Russian people for sustaining Putin's reign. If they could kick the bum out, then I'm sure they would have done so a long time ago. But Putin's a tenacious bastard and he fights dirty. The Russians aren't going to get rid of Putin until the rotten son-of-a-b*tch* (*My apologies to Canis familiaris) drops dead. Good luck with that comrades. Hope springs eternal. However, I'm afraid that Putin is going to put a lot more good people in their graves before his opponents succeed in dislodging that particular scumbag from office.

Am I a fan of Vladimir Putin? By now, I'm sure you must have concluded that I am not.

Am I afraid of Vladimir Putin? As I mentioned above, if I was a Russian, I would be scared sh*tless, but the good news--for me anyway--is that I am an American, so I do not have to be afraid of Putin or any other contemptible Russian tyrant. Sure, Putin could hire some thugs to carry out a hit against me or my family, but I don't think he will. Why? Putin has enough trouble maintaining spin control over the Russians that he terrorizes. Much as he may be tempted to do so, if Putin starts "accidentally" killing Americans, he's going to buy more trouble than even he can handle.

The beauty of being an American is that our government guarantees free speech. I could criticize Vladimir Putin until I was blue in the face, and the US government would never dream of silencing me. Now that's a country with principles worth fighting for! Indeed, I could even criticize US leaders and the same principles would apply. In the US, our leaders know how to stand up to criticism. You see, public criticism actually helps Americans breed better, stronger leaders. Although I doubt that he is educable, Vladimir Putin could learn a lesson from that. Good, strong leaders should be able to listen to criticism and respond--not by killing the messengers!--but by becoming, better, more thoughtful and responsive leaders.

What an idea! Though it's a statement of self-evident fact in the United States, the thought just occurred to me that Vladimir Putin may never have encountered such a radical idea: Honest, open public criticism often helps politicians become better leaders. It seems to me that if Vladimir Putin has never encountered such a radical, democratic notion then, as an educator (I am a professor after all) I am duty-bound to acquaint Vlad with the merits of democratic principles. So, here's a crazy idea, and let's just see if it goes anywhere:

CHALLENGE: If the Russians can't get rid of Vladimir Putin, then the very least that I can do is try to help the good, honest and oppressed citizens of Russia to live in a more enlightened regime. Therefore, I would like to challenge Vladimir Putin to meet me any time or anywhere in the world for a civics lesson. If Vladimir Putin can stand it--and I don't think he can--I challenge him to meet me and debate the merits of American-style democracy versus Putin-style tyranny. Heck, if Putin is willing to buy me a round-trip airline ticket, I would even be willing to have our little meeting in Moscow. Like I said, I am a free-speaking American, so I have nothing to fear from Vladimir Putin.

So, what do you say, Vlad? The ball is in your court. I have challenged you to a mano-a-mano debate about politics. I will defend the virtues of US-style democracy, while you can advocate the merits of poisonous Putin-style tyranny. May the best man win--and I am certain I know who that is.

Do you?

p*ssy Riot Punk Prayer Lyrics


St. Maria, Virgin, Drive away Putin
Drive away! Drive away Putin!

(end chorus)

Black robe, golden epaulettes
All parishioners are crawling and bowing
The ghost of freedom is in heaven
Gay pride sent to Siberia in chains

The head of the KGB is their chief saint
Leads protesters to prison under escort
In order not to offend the Holy
Women have to give birth and to love

Holy sh*t, sh*t, Lord's sh*t!
Holy sh*t, sh*t, Lord's sh*t!


St. Maria, Virgin, become a feminist
Become a feminist, Become a feminist

(end chorus)

Church praises the rotten dictators
The cross-bearer procession of black limousines
In school you are going to meet with a teacher-preacher
Go to class - bring him money!

Patriarch Gundyaev believes in Putin
b*tch, you better believed in God
Belt of the Virgin is no substitute for mass-meetings
In protest of our Ever-Virgin Mary!


St. Maria, Virgin, Drive away Putin
Drive away! Drive away Putin!

(end chorus)
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Prof Tim teaches sociology at CSU-Pueblo and he writes books about social change, such as... A Formula for Eradicating Racism, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/113759974X

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