Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 10:40:50
14 December 2018


  The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Architecture and unexquisite corpses

by Alice E.M. Underwood

Decaying architecture, decaying morals

1. A church’s domes caving into the altar. A once-fuming factory overgrown with greenery. The kinds of bridges you see collapsing in action movies. These are some of the stunning, but saddening sights to be found across Russia, where budget cuts, battles, and plain old emigration have led to ancient churches in disrepair,abandoned cities, and Soviet murals propagandizing the future to empty towns.
  

2. A transgender couple finagled their way into a legal wedding in Moscow by using their pre-transition passports. That means the paperwork says the partner who now lives as a man is the wife (and vice versa). But after all the legal hoops to tying the knot the couple sees it as a victory, even with the switcheroo. It is a country whose religious leader calls some human rights “heresy,” after all.
 

3. Speaking of heresy, Moscow’s ARTPLAY Design Center is getting flak for displaying artwork that may or may not be “morally unacceptable.” Ads for their new Hieronymus Bosch exhibit were dismantled without warning, all because city officials can’t handle artistic anal play featuring a bouquet of flowers.


In Odder News


RosKultLit 

Russian Cultural Literacy
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…no wait, wrong Star Wars. On March 23, 1983, U.S. President Ronald Reagan announced the Strategic Defense Initiative, better known as the Star Wars program. And cinema hasn’t been the same since.

 


Quote of the Week

“[The Church] must operate within the limits of the Constitution and the laws…Because that's how a secular state works, where not everybody is a believer, and not every believer is an Orthodox Christian, but everyone is a citizen."

— Petersburg lawmaker Boris Vishnevsky, on Patriarch Kirill’s statements that some human rights are “heresy.”

A new direction for US-Russia relations?
A new direction for US-Russia relations?

The news in the U.S. is news for Russia, too. Here's how Russians are thinking about a Trump presidency – and it involves cats and burgers, as well as political ponderings. 

Clowns, corruption, and overdue library books
Clowns, corruption, and overdue library books

A group of humanitarian clowns is set to conquer sadness in Russia. Whether they can also combat corruption, questionable legal cases, and adorable baby foxes is another matter.

Giving thanks: Russian beauty, culture, and cats
Giving thanks: Russian beauty, culture, and cats

We thank our readers for another year of living, loving, and learning about Russian life. With some extra pictures and cultural exploration to keep you grateful.

Art and politics on thin ice
Art and politics on thin ice

Should ice dancing with a Holocaust theme be totally taboo, or can it be done with respect? That and Fidel Castro, Siberian cats, and a few fish puns. 

Cartoons, reality TV, and other art forms
Cartoons, reality TV, and other art forms

Masha and the Bear tops the charts, Ramzan Kadyrov picks Chechnya's next top admin, and the arts in general are a big bowl of kasha. 

Of mutts and men
Of mutts and men

With puppies and provinces on the line, Russia-Japan relations are a bit ruff. Plus bobsledding bedlam, diplomatic dirt, and more holiday dogs. 

We Fish You A Merry Christmas (and Hanukkah)
We Fish You A Merry Christmas (and Hanukkah)

Just in time for the holidays, Russians unearth (unsea?) some fish that look out of this world. Plus, anticipating the New Year, the U.S. view on Russia, and political jokes. 

Exercise! Frozen bikes, illegal yoga, and sturdy stolen statues
Exercise! Frozen bikes, illegal yoga, sturdy stolen statues

The year's coldest ride, hottest statue, most scandalous yoga teacher, and best way to learn the names of all of Russia's federal subjects. And it's just the first TWERF of the year.