December 08, 2016

Cartoons, reality TV, and other art forms


Cartoons, reality TV, and other art forms

Of Cereal and Censorship

1. If a little girl and a bear can live in a forest together, who’s to say they can’t dominate the tech world, too? An episode of the cartoon Masha and the Bear has topped 1.8 billion views to become the sixth most watched video in YouTube’s history. That means more people want to see the toddling Masha try to dispose of an overflowing pot of cereal in innovative and occasionally explosive ways than want to watch Adele sing “Hello.” Not bad. To boost the number, watch here.

2. Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov is perhaps the only government leader to star in a reality TV show and be hospitalized for a boxing injury in the same week. The show was a competition for a spot in Kadyrov’s administration. The German-born, U.S.-educated winner might seem like a strange choice in a mainly Muslim region, but some say the show aimed to showcase Kadyrov’s leadership and Chechnya’s tourism potential rather than reach its citizens. As for the injury, thanks to Chechnya’s doctors, he’s on the mend.

3. Putin met with representatives from Russia’s art community and reassured them of the government’s belief in artistic and creative freedom. At least, that was the first part; he also said that it’s the artist’s job to “take responsibility” not to create insulting or provocative works. Does finding the fine line mean compromising creativity, or is it the best way to avoid bigger problems?

In Odder News

    rbth.com
    • Ever wonder how to catch a spy? Read the blow-by-blow of how a Russian operative on Wall Street was identified, followed, and arrested.
    • Is MMA (mixed martial arts) as dangerous as it sounds? Sure, it landed Ramzan Kadyrov in the hospital, but he also set up his own sons to fight. Get in on the debate.

    Quote of the Week

    “[The show is] a gift to a man who has everything.”
    —A TV critic on Komanda ("Team"), the reality TV show in which participants compete for the post of "strategic development advisor" in Ramzan Kadyrov's administration. Typical challenges include boxing, firing crossbows, and cooking shashlyk.

    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.

    Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

    Some of Our Books

    The Latchkey Murders

    The Latchkey Murders

    Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...
    Fearful Majesty

    Fearful Majesty

    This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
    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.
    Murder at the Dacha

    Murder at the Dacha

    Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.
    The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

    The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

    This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
    Russia Rules

    Russia Rules

    From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.
    Steppe / Степь

    Steppe / Степь

    This is the work that made Chekhov, launching his career as a writer and playwright of national and international renown. Retranslated and updated, this new bilingual edition is a super way to improve your Russian.
    The Little Humpbacked Horse

    The Little Humpbacked Horse

    A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.
    A Taste of Russia

    A Taste of Russia

    The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
    A Taste of Chekhov

    A Taste of Chekhov

    This compact volume is an introduction to the works of Chekhov the master storyteller, via nine stories spanning the last twenty years of his life.
    The Best of Russian Life

    The Best of Russian Life

    We culled through 15 years of Russian Life to select readers’ and editors’ favorite stories and biographies for inclusion in a special two-volume collection. Totalling over 1100 pages, these two volumes encompass some of the best writing we have published over the last two decades, and include the most timeless stories and biographies – those that can be read again and again.

    About Us

    Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

    Latest Posts

    Our Contacts

    Russian Life
    PO Box 567
    Montpelier VT 05601-0567

    802-223-4955