March 07, 2019

Absence (of Sugar and Corgis) Makes the Heart Grow Fonder


Absence (of Sugar and Corgis) Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
It’ll be tricky sweetening this rocky deal. Elena Silich

Throwback Thursday

Nutcracker dance
The Nutcracker. / La Russ Restaurant and Show

Are you a Nutcracker fan? Then this day’s for you. Today in 1892, the suite from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker premiered in St. Petersburg.


Excesses of TV References, Dearth of Movies

1. Did someone say rock candy? A Tyumen resident was making herself tea and decided to add sugar. She opened the box of sugar she had recently purchased (photo at top of post), only to find…rocks. And she wasn’t alone: when she went to the store to complain, they told her that many others had found rocks in their sugar boxes. No one knows how the rocks got in the box; the only clue is that all boxes with rocks have a cross on the back. Stay tuned… We expect the investigators to leave no stone unturned.

2. They killed Kenny, in Kazan! If someone names their new apartment complex “South Park,” there’s only one thing you can do: make an in-joke. When a Kazan builder put up a “South Park” sign, someone took the opportunity to install a gravestone to Kenny McCormick, alluding to a running gag on South Park where a character named Kenny dies every episode and is inexplicably resurrected. Some people were happier than others; eventually the builder took down the grave. Even so, in its announcement, it made one last wisecrack about South Park, demonstrating how hard it is to resist making in-jokes.

Kenny's grave Kazan South Park
Kenny's grave. / overhearkazan

3. A dog’s life for corgi fans. Russian movie theaters were looking forward to showing the Belgian animated flick The Queen’s Corgi on March 7. However, at the last minute, the Ministry of Culture postponed the premiere until late March. As it happens, March 7 is the day a cartoon co-funded by a Russian company is slated to air, and God forbid it should share theater space with a Western cartoon. Movie theater owners are threatening to boycott the Ministry’s movie if they can’t run The Queen’s Corgi, but the Ministry is digging in its heels. It seems the dog days of cinema are nigh.

Blog spotlight

Mark the fourth day of Maslenitsa with Alisa Goz’s analysis of Maslenitsa paintings, from the realist to the postmodern.

In Odder News

  • Well, I’ll be @#$%ed! A new VTsIOM (Russian Public Opinion Research Center) survey reveals that 60% of Russians use mat, or profanity, in their daily lives.
  • Rise and shine! Just in time for spring, groundhogs are coming out of hibernation at the Moscow Zoo.

    Groundhog in spring
    Wakey wakey. / @moscowzoo
  • Ever wondered what Pushkin would do if he lived in the twenty-first century? Thanks to an upcoming exhibition of speculative Pushkin drawings, you need wonder no more.

Pushkin with computer
"It's cold, but I still need to work." Me too, dude. / Evgenia Dvoskina

Quote of the Week

“At this moment, [they] have taken producers, distributors of a domestic film, and children — who will have to survive without fresh cartoons this coming weekend — hostage.”

Russian media company MVK commenting on boycott of the movie they co-funded, whose premiere conflicts with The Queen’s Corgi

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Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

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The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

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The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

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At the Circus

At the Circus

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Moscow and Muscovites

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