December 12, 2019

Exorcising the Spirit of Upside-Down Christmas

Exorcising the Spirit of Upside-Down Christmas
Putin vs. Ded Moroz: They’re both famous Russians, but only one will give you free candy. Sergei Fedoseev

Quote of the Week

“Yes, Russia is really degenerating. Christmas trees on the ceiling… If you think this is normal and you don’t find this strange, then why don’t you go out in the street with a children’s potty on your head.”

— One VK user reacting to an upside-down Christmas tree

The Dog Days of Noël

1. Putin better watch out, Putin better not cry — Santa Claus is coming to town. After a shaman was sent back to Siberia when on his way to perform an exorcism of Putin, his accomplice Ded Moroz — specifically, journalist Viktor Yegorov — took the reins. Yegorov has been trekking westward from Tyumen since November, with a mission to personally deliver a New Year’s message to the Kremlin. He was detained in Yekaterinburg a few weeks ago, but that hasn’t slowed him down. At every city he’s stopped in, he has picketed with a sign saying “All power to the people.” And of course, he hasn’t forgotten his Christmas duties: In case his New Year’s gift plans don’t pan out, he’s been handing out an early present in the form of candy.

2. In more Christmas news, some kindergarten parents went head over heels for the spirit of Christmas. In fact, when they put up a Christmas tree in the classroom, they hung it upside down from the ceiling. It’s unclear what their exact thinking was — hanging a pine tree in this way doesn’t quite “spruce up” the room. But it’s possible they were trying to copy these Christmas trees — that is, “trees” made of colorful ribbons that you can hang upside down. Regardless, it’s the spirit that counts. Even if you can’t put gifts under the tree, the real gift was the fun all the VK commenters had on the way.

Upside down tree
“Decorating the tree will be… interesting,” remarked one commenter. / ChP Omsk

3. Swedish archaeologists have unearthed an 18,000 year old puppy in Siberia. They’ve been trying to see if it’s a wolf or a dog, but increasingly, they are suspecting that the puppy is from an even more ancient population: the ancestor population of both dogs and wolves. Naturally, this makes this cool dog just that much cooler, and it also means that Russians might have domesticated the first dog. Accordingly, the archaeologists let their Russian colleagues name the puppy. He now goes by the name Dogor (not a pun — “dogor” means “friend” in Yakut).

Even after 18,000 years, Dogor is still a Good Boy. / @love_dalen

In Odder News

  • Dirt doesn’t have to be ugly. One Russian Instagrammer has been using the dirt buildup on the backs of trucks to make drawings. He uses his finger as a brush.
Dirt drawings
You don’t even need to watch The Mandalorian! / proboynick
  • A widely used exit from a Moscow metro station was sealed off, but you had to round a corner to see it was closed. Hijinks ensued.

One snarky Instagrammer labeled the video “work” / “drinking beer.” / Москва 24
  • Moscow’s former mayor Yuri Luzhkov died on Tuesday. To commemorate his nearly twenty years in power, take a look at ten wacky buildings that appeared in Moscow during his tenure.
Egg house
Who needs eggs when you have an egg house? / Wikimedia Commons

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