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Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Sunday "Funnies"

The Wonkette blog has a fantastic, horrifying survey of the barbarism, racism, xenophobia and plain old insanity to be found in Russian political cartoons (to see larger images of the small cartoons, click on the desired image):

Remember the good old days of the cold war, when all we had to worry about was total nuclear annihilation of the planet? When the bad guys were the Russians, who even at the time were vaguely comical, with their funny accents and furry hats and five-year plans for more efficient collective tractor production and whatnot? And they were mostly white and wore ill-fitting suits and such? Anyway, these Russian fellows are still around today, and while they occasionally pull radioactive poisoning stunts out of James Bond knockoffs, nobody really pays them much attention anymore.

Still, what if we could look into the Russian heart? Would we find that these hearty Slavs really aren’t that different from you and me, as a young Joaquin Phoenix discovered in the movie Russkies? Well, actually, as Cartoon Violence readers know, we would discover that they get off on deprave fantasies featuring vulture-vampire Jews vomiting out money at sexy blonde ladies as foreplay:

That comic was such a big hit that this week we take a trip down St. Petersburg way to see what’s going on in the world of Russian political cartoons.


What the hell is going on? George W. Bush, dressed like a member of a gay barbershop quartet and heavily rouged, is turning some kind of enormous crank that is in turn somehow deflating the Capitol.

No, but seriously? It’s not clear if Bush is supposed to be monstrously tall (since most Russians believe that Americans are inhuman beast-men) or if so-called “Capitol” is a scale model used for symbolic deflating purposes.

But what does it mean? No matter what the bizarre action of the cartoon is supposed to represent, we can recognize the look of unfocused ennui on Bush’s face as he gazes to the right. He’s showing the world-weariness of the Russian soul, the awareness that no matter how often he deflates Congress, it’s just going to inflate again and pass laws that he’ll be forced to ignore.


What the hell is going on? Newly-minted British Prime Minister Gordon Brown menaces the noble Russian people with his freakishly distended lips, massive eyebrows, and copious saliva. Fortunately, Vladimir Putin is there to protect his people with a oversized novelty copy of the Russian Constitution.

No, but seriously? Note the shadowy figures lurking under the Scottish Brown’s kilt. These two are no doubt supposed to be Russian dissidents of some sort, probably (due to the extreme ugliness in which they are depicted) Jews, hewing closely to Brown’s genitals lest they get quickly dead.

But what does it mean? The Russian Constitution is good for absorbing spit and phlegm, apparently.


What the hell is going on? A group of comical ethnics — a Mexican who can’t even afford a decent sombrero, a swarthy Middle Easterner wearing some flavor of turban, and a refreshingly non-stereotyped African — can only look on dumbly as a snooty croupier twice their height scoops their winnings into a gunny sack.

No, but seriously? Like poor people everywhere, these three Third Worlders thought that they could turn their lives around with a little luck on their side. Unfortunately, they never learned the first rule of high-stakes gambling: when you’re betting on a compass, never put your money on South. Now they’ve lost all their most treasured possessions: their diamonds, their oil derricks, their 1950s-era symbols of atomic power, and, most cruelly, the Pyramids.

But what does it mean? It’s a metaphor, I think. We rapacious First Worlders are always stealing the natural resources of the Global South. Plus, it’s a little known facts that the Pyramids of Giza have been purchased by an American consortium and are in the process of being dismantled and moved to King’s Dominion.


What the hell is going on? A new cold war is brewing — a literal cold war! The Americans and Russians are squaring off in the conveniently labeled Arctic! A walrus is threatened by a bevy of periscopes! What about the walrus? Won’t someone please think about the walruses?

No, but seriously? Note that the walrus is sitting in a hole in the middle of a tiny, donut-shaped ice floe. Thanks to global warming, that’s all that’s left of the Arctic ice pack. You hear that, carbon-belching humans? Why do you hate the walruses?

But what does it mean? Well, the Russians are apparently planting their flag on the North Pole, so this one is a little easier to parse than most. I’m still worried about the walrus, though. Poor tusky bastard, living in a world he never made.


What the hell is going on? There’s only one way America can salvage victory in Iraq: by breeding an army of genetically engineered forty-foot tall supersoldiers who can shrug off car bombs and IED blasts as a mere annoyance and crush terrorists in their Volkswagon-sized fists.

No, but seriously? George Bush is so excited by this triumph of American ingenuity that he’s riding the supersoldier’s size 465 EEEEEEE boot like a rodeo horsey. Unfortunately, there are still a few bugs in the system: a team of wranglers are needed to help the supersoldier move his feet and walk properly.

But what does it mean? Fucked if I know. Anyone who can explain it will get a shiny virtual Medal of Cartoon Violence Freedom.


Chertiozhnik said...

The men hiding under Brown's kilt are surely Boris Berezovsky and Akhmed Zakayev?

La Russophobe said...

Indeed so. And Mr. Berezovsky is a Jew.

Chertiozhnik said...

And is wanted, whether justly or not, on criminal charges relating to his business career.

I don't buy the anti-semitic angle, it's all about extradition, isn't it?

La Russophobe said...

Well, they certainly do appear to have been made to look Jewish. We wonder how many Russians can identify Zakayev on sight, much less give good information about why he's wanted. Many quite possibly would see "just another Jew" hiding there.

The "not" part is key, isn't it? You're making a good point, though. If Russia wants to slap a "refugee" protection on Mr. Lugovoi, it would then have legitimate basis to deny extradition, as opposed to the utterly phony "constitutional" claim it is using now. Doing so, of course, would render the Kremlin an even more naked sham.

Just to be clear, we think it's clear from the way in which state-sponsored RTR was willing to Photoshop a British headline in order to attack Berezovsky that he couldn't get a fair trial in Russia. And for the same reason, neither could Lugovoi.

Chertiozhnik said...

Agreed with that! Thanks for your replies.