December 09, 2021

Evil Etsy, Nutcracker Shortages, and Rudolph on His Way


Evil Etsy, Nutcracker Shortages, and Rudolph on His Way
In Odder News

In this week's Odder News, reindeer get their heart rates up, "The Nutcracker" is a nightmare, and Etsy gets sanctioned.

  • Things got real when Russia temporarily shut down Etsy, the whimsical handmade crafts marketplace, over allowing the sale of knockoff designer goods pretending to be Gucci, Dior, and Chanel. Roskomnadzor, Russia's internet watchdog, banned Etsy for about one day until the site took down the knockoff page.
  • The Russian internets cannot stop watching a reindeer racing with a train on a bed of fluffy white snow in Yamal. The video has been set to many different soundtracks, including one that seems quite fitting right now: the Christmas song "Sleigh Ride."
  • Like a scene out of a Hollywood movie, police in the Khabarovsk Region escorted a pregnant woman out of a traffic jam and to the hospital to safety. The eight-months-pregnant woman was not in labor, but she was in pain and her baby might well have been lost in the traffic jam. Police jumped to her aid and whizzed past the fray with sirens blaring and lights flashing. Everyone's emotions were "off the charts." After reaching the hospital safely, mother and baby are doing fine.
  • Want to see The Nutcracker in Moscow? Good luck! All you have to do is stand in a line for a day and a half with 600 other people. There are only 20 performances of "The Nutcracker" in late December and early January at the Bolshoi every year, and you must stand in line to get the tickets, priced at R1,500-20,000 ($20-$270). The Bolshoi has a Kafkaesque, bizarre, and unofficial system that is not publicized anywhere: You need to show up on December 3 to get your name on a list that will entitle you to a bracelet at midnight on December 4, which enters you into the contest for tickets. If you win a ticket, you have to return a third time to get it. The actual performance requires you to come back a fourth time. Apparently, this whole labyrinthine process is to prevent "scalpers" from making money on tickets. Meanwhile, over in St. Petersburg – where "The Nutcracker" was first staged in 1892, you can buy a ticket online. Like a normal person.

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