The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
Thursday, December 01, 2016
Controversy, Castro, Cat Videos
1. Two Russian figure skaters are getting heat for a Holocaust-themed ice performance. Their act is based on Life is Beautiful, a movie about surviving a concentration camp by making it a game, but many saw the ice dance as a bit too gamey. It’d be nice to divorce art from politics, but the fact that one of the skaters is married to Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov didn’t curtail the critiques. Is their dance a mockery of tragedy, or a call to remember the horrors of the past so that they can never happen again? Watch now to decide for yourself:
2. Cuban Leader Fidel Castro is as controversial dead as he was alive. Most Kremlin officials expressed praise, recognition, or sympathy, President Putin calling Castro “a symbol of a whole era.” Opposition figures, on the other hand, focused on the struggling Cuba he left behind. A communist to the end, Castro had his ups and downs with the Soviet Union in its time, but remains a symbol of revolution in Russia and elsewhere.
3. Streaming cat videos could have been a thing of the past. But Russia’s much-rumored lawsuit against YouTube has turned out to be a no-go. The last few days saw a frenzy over a proposed law to limit foreign ownership of companies providing audio-visual services to a daily audience of over 100,000 (a.k.a., what YouTube does). But government officials have confirmed that the restrictions will not apply to YouTube. Celebration is in order: cue up the baby animal videos.
In Odder News
Quote of the Week
“We should be thankful for anything being made about resistance during the Holocaust and about spirit, whether it’s a book, a film, a dance, or whatever.”
—Alla Gerber, the founder of Moscow’s Holocaust Center Foundation, on the backlash to a Holocaust-themed ice-skating routine.
Want more where this comes from? Give your inbox the gift of TWERF, our Thursday newsletter on the quirkiest, obscurest, and Russianest of Russian happenings of the week.
Burger King makes money (its own), broke taxi passengers turn green, and summertime snow. Plus, a ballerina with a backup plan, Borodino, and the Museum of Death.
How to be patriotic to a nonexistent country, get a proper education, and deal with a highway through your house. Plus buildings, bridges, and bratwursts to die for.
Clown horror is horrid for clowns, a ballet scandal on the silver screen, and a pack of protesting porkers.
Heroes who caused deaths, heroes who saved lives, questionable movie heroes, and the heroes who make art and cheese. Which is your favorite?
A record-breaking cake, a robot breaking (conceptions of) art, and a space station breaking international boundaries. Plus, flying cars and how to live on Mars.
The glorious deeds of a famous spy, the smaller deeds of everyday spies, and a whole new horizon for female fighter pilots.
For Putin's birthday, a fake burger, a real burger, and a puppy. Plus, St. Petersburg rooftops, frogmen, and how to bathe in crude oil.
Arcade cars, patriotic circuses, and administrative festivities. Also, some crazy murals, Moscow's transformation, and the secrets of Peter the Great.