August 22, 2012

"If Jennifer Lopez or Madonna just showed up in a place of worship, stripped down to their skivvies and started dancing around the altar..."

"... would that fly in any Western democracy?"

42 comments:

The Farmer said...

Of course not, but they wouldn't be sentenced to prison at all, let alone for a couple of years.

chickelit said...

Madonna lost her mojo and couldn't keep the French hard last I checked a couple weeks ago. They asked for their money back.

I never thought I'd say it, but Sean Penn dodged a bullet.

pduggie said...

Not sure what to think.

http://calvinistinternational.com/2012/08/17/rossiya-riot/

wef said...

Hmmm. Protesters did a little desecration at Saint Patrick's almost 23 years ago - defiling the Eucharist at Communion and tossing condoms about in the cathedral. Don't think anything happened to the "AIDS activists" - got some publicity. They were mad at the Cardinal O’Connor, because he was so mean.

garage mahal said...

We're all Pussy Rioters now.

cold pizza said...

Fertility temple? Let's hear it for Isis, Hera, Freya, and Petulia! -CP

The Crack Emcee said...

In one of yesterday's posts I linked to an article making a simpler point:

Western heretics are subject to a subtler, less severe, but no less constraining form of external pressure: informal censure usually from self-styled progressives.

Over recent years, there have been countless examples of the ‘you can’t say that’ sentiment which inhibits and informs so much of public life today. Ironically, one of the things you can’t express in public, without feeling the soft hand of liberal censure on your shoulder, is religious dogma. Think, for instance, of the fury vented a couple of years ago both at the guest-house owners who refused homosexuals entry to their lodgings and the then Tory shadow home secretary Chris Grayling who defended them. Or think also of the wacky Christian campaign group, the Core Issues Trust, which, a few months ago, was forced by the London mayor Boris Johnson to remove posters promoting its belief that homosexuality is curable through therapy and religious teaching.

And when it comes to environmentalism, criticism or dissent isn’t just collectively frowned upon by the right-thinking set, many of whom were to be found last week wearing tights and balaclavas in support of Pussy Riot; it is also seen as a sign of mental derangement, of ‘being in denial’. Whereas old-fashioned religious dissenters were accused of being in league with the devil, contemporary dissenters from the creed of global warming are accused of being in league with big corporations.

What is orthodox and, consequently, what is effectively blasphemous in the West is not decided by the church any more - it is decided by those self-same illiberal liberals currently clamouring for Pussy Riot’s release. No wonder they cannot identify, let alone defend, instances of parallel blasphemy in the West. As I say, shrillness is to be avoided here. While some, such as ranting Twitter tool Liam Stacey, received a prison sentence for ‘racially aggravated abuse’, many contemporary heretics do not suffer legal punishment. Invariably they are sent to Coventry, not a penal colony. But make no mistake: the informal straitjacket in which free speech is constrained, in which certain issues are deemed de facto sacred, is at work in the West. While I have no desire to defend daft or racist sentiment, for instance, the ‘you can’t say that’ attitude is just as offensive, suggesting as it does that we, the masses, will be incapable of hearing a statement without either unthinkingly acting upon it or becoming incredibly upset by it.


All the Todd Aiken haters, listen up,...

Nonapod said...

Of course Putin's nasty little oligarchy responded incorrectly to this. If they were more politically savvy, they would've just fined them and had them do a couple hundred hours of community service rather then throwing them in prison for 2 years. But they're idiots, which I suppose is a good thing in a weird way.

Michael said...

The toothpaste is, as they say, out of the tube. The churches are on their last legs and are now useful to the young only as props in their theatre of self absorption and self love. Pduggie, the article you linked was interesting. Like the modern church it was this and that and on the other hand wrapped in a nice historical essay with misty conclusions(?). I am also not sure what to think.

I do know, that if you substitute the word Mosque for church you might have your mind going in a different direction. Pussy Riot, of course, know enough not to pull one like that even if the setting matched up with their theme.

They'll get sprung in a few months if they serve any time at all. Meanwhile I think you can pray in peace in the churches of Russia.

jeff said...

Are we restricted to just those two? Cause if we have some flexibility here, my answer changes.

Carnifex said...

I got no problem with what Akin said. I do have a problem with someone who thinks that a womans body works this way. We have some neighbors, the woman was told by her doctor that she needs a hysterectomy. Her husband won't allow it, because she'll turn into a man. I wouldn't let this guy run for village idiot, I don't see why I should give Akin a pass.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

What The Farmer said. This sort of thing wouldn't "fly" in the US in the sense of being popular, but I can't see any punishment worse than a fine, community service, and (maybe) overnight stay in jail.

Ann should've quoted the first graf:

If Justin Bieber or the Rolling Stones suddenly decided to stage an impromptu concert in a public place somewhere in America without a permit, would the authorities ignore it and shrug it off? Doubtful. Even buskers performing in the New York City subway system can’t play without formal authorization from the city.

NYC used to be a tolerably free place, where it was possible to play a musical instrument in public without a permit. (I had friends at Juilliard who did this to keep themselves in food, violin strings, and other necessities.) That it's no longer so really isn't to our credit.

Carnifex said...

As far as Rootin' Tootin' Putin. All the little libtards should be happy. He's restricting free speech just like they want to do.

I always had the idea that God really didn't care a whole lot if someone called him an asshole. He was bigger than that. If he really was that offended, he'll let ya' know. I mean, I don't get offened when the flies I swat think of me as an asshole.

Carnifex said...

If Madonna does show up at your local church and strip down in it, the law says it is perfectly legal to burn that church down...preferably with her in it.

Jay-Lo, you just have to disinfect the place with bleach and sunlight.

That's whjat Stephen King said at least.

Marshal said...

The Farmer said...
Of course not, but they wouldn't be sentenced to prison at all, let alone for a couple of years.


First post winner.

antiphone said...

As far as Rootin' Tootin' Putin. All the little libtards should be happy. He's restricting free speech just like they want to do.

So the Right Wing News is part of the liberal media? What an idiot.

Paul said...

Damn wouldn't fly with me or my Church.

Those two can just go strip all they want in the cesspool they live in. But not IN MY CHURCH.

Savvy?

rhhardin said...

It would raise church attendance, for one thing.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Pussy Riot is not an established brand like Jennifer Lopez. It was like an impromptu choir reaching back to the time of the Romans and the poetry the Church inherited form the Roman state, i.e. the Aeneid and its opening line Arma virumque cano,'I sing of arms and the man' which one might stretch to celebrating a person's individuality and right of self defense, which is kind of what they were singing about.

Amartel said...

I thought this was going to be about the skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee (supposedly an affront to Christians). turns out to be about pussy-rioting. Disappointed!

Revenant said...

The comparison is idiotic. Here -- or in any decent country -- they would be charged with a misdemeanor if they were charged at all.

But the people who think Putin messed up are mistaken. He doesn't care about criticism from foreigners, because he knows nothing will come of it. This is entirely about strengthening his personal authority in Russia.

The Farmer said...

Paul said...
Damn wouldn't fly with me or my Church.

Those two can just go strip all they want in the cesspool they live in. But not IN MY CHURCH.

Savvy?


If Madonna stripped in my church I'd gouge my eyes out.

The Farmer said...

J-Lo is another matter entirely.

Carnifex said...

@RETARD I mean Antiphone.

What right wing news is you talking about? NPR, CBS, ABC, CNN, NBC, MSNBC...etc?

And what does ANY news organization have to do with this story?

Project we much?

antiphone said...

And what does ANY news organization have to do with this story?

Use the link.

Lindsey Meadows said...

I don't think the issue is how would this fly in a western democracy but rather in a western church.

government isn't the church here... not yet anyway. that was something of a slip don't you think?

creeley23 said...

I've noticed a certain amount of favorable regard for Pussy Riot emerging among conservatives and Christians, see here and here.

In one of those links, the author quotes another blogger, Helen Szamuely:

I have been blogging quite a lot about them and been following the case quite closely. I can assure you that their court statements are in keeping with their letters from prison. I read some of them and translated Tolokonnikova’s first one. According to it, she spent the first week-end reading and making notes on the Acts of the Apostles and seems to have read Dostoyevsky, Berdyayev and a few other Russian religious writers. I think it’s genuine. What a lot of people in the West who were quick to criticize them failed to understand (though a reading of the punk prayer would have explained it) is that they attacked the entire Orthodox hierarchy, who are mostly crooks and KGB agents, you will not be surprised to hear, calling on them to pray to God not to Putin.

You can find much more in her blog on Pussy Riot.

I was initially put off by Pussy Riot myself, but there is more to them than meets the eye. Those, like Rachel Marsden, who casually lump them in with Occupy as media bamboozlers may not have give the matter much thought.

Colonel Angus said...

I've listened to some of their 'music' which by itself should mandate a sentence in Siberia.

ricpic said...

The churches are on their last legs...

Sez you. Get out of your beautiful people ghetto and you'll find there's a whole world of SCARY believers out there. Our only hope actually.

n.n said...

Jennifer "la cabrona" Lopez would probably escape unscathed. She is, after all, a member of a protected class of people. Madonna, on the other hand, is liberal, so she too would escape unscathed. They would probably just assign her to a different bully pulpit. The left loves the principle of out-of-sight and out-of-mind, but not more than a selective reality which reorders to accommodate dreams of personal gratification.

furious_a said...

The Russians pronounce it "POO-SSEE".

Bill Clinton has offered to mediate on the young ladies' behalves.

I've listened to some of their 'music' which by itself should mandate a sentence in Siberia.

Shostakovich they ain't.

Michael said...

The point here (as has been explained elsewhere) was not to disrespect the Church as such, but to embarrass the state-linked Orthodox Church organization of corrupt placemen and KGB agents.The Pussy Riot ladies are closer to Luther, actually, than to the AIDS activists at St. Pat's.

Lem said...

Jenifer Lopez is on a no-fly list?

After nearly 10 years, Homeland Security still not flying straight.

jimbino said...

To the extent that the USSA maintained a state church as Russia does, hell yes, we atheists and secular humanists would all make a beeline to desecrate the altar.

Seems like that's exactly what's happening here with the state-sponsored religious funeral services for fallen warriors, only the civil rights protesters are very religious folks.

Synova said...

"The comparison is idiotic. Here -- or in any decent country -- they would be charged with a misdemeanor if they were charged at all."

I think this is right. At least in the US.

I don't think they'd get arrested unless they committed vandalism while they were at it. The police would come and haul them out of the building, but even a "disturbing the peace" or "trespassing" charge would be unlikely the first time around.

creeley23 said...

What J-Lo or Madonna might do here is a whole 'nother thing in Russia. Pussy Riot is more like that lone brave man standing up to the tank column in Tiananmen Square.

As has also been explained elsewhere, Pussy Riot does have support from Orthodox Christians and from heavyweight Russian dissidents such as Garry Kasparov.

Westerners who dismiss Pussy Riot are showing their provincialism.

It isn't nice to block the doorway,
It isn't nice to go to jail,
There are nicer ways to do it,
But the nice ways always fail.
It isn't nice, it isn't nice,
You told us once, you told us twice,
But if that is Freedom's price,
We don't mind.

It isn't nice to carry banners
Or to sit in on the floor,
Or to shout our cry of Freedom
At the hotel and the store.
It isn't nice, it isn't nice,
You told us once, you told us twice,
But if that is Freedom's price,
We don't mind.

-- Malvina Reynolds

creeley23 said...

They'll get sprung in a few months if they serve any time at all.

Michael @3:54: They've already served 5 1/2 months. I feel no assurance their time will be reduced. Their sentence was a slap on the wrist in Russian terms.

Their best hope is exile in the West or else they may join all the dead journalists in Putin's Russia. I don't know that they are famous enough to survive as Kasparov has and who knows how close to death he has been.

Their best hope for now is continued media awareness.

John Lynch said...

Civil disobedience. You intentionally get arrested and pay the consequences. In Russia, there isn't much free speech left (although still a lot more than there was 30 years ago.)

It seems obvious to me that Pussy Riot was trying to get arrested for some reason, so I'll be charitable and assume that they were making a point about speech and not trying to start a career in music.

What point Madonna or Lady Gaga would be trying to prove by doing the same thing escapes me. I suppose they'd get arrested for trespassing, there'd be a media hubub, then they'd go home after paying a fine. Two years in jail? I find that unlikely.

Alan said...

One of the unwritten rules of tyranny: uncouth, not-fully-coherent blowhards who rail against you are an asset, not a liability. Internet trolls are a prime example. Trolls make the faction they identify with look bad. Trolls look rude and dumb, people you can't take seriously.

Pussy Riot is lamer than the average troll. Read the lyrics.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/20/pussy-riot-new-single-lyrics?newsfeed=true

http://freepussyriot.org/content/lyrics-songs-pussy-riot

The only reason these chicks matter is because of an excessive criminal punishment stemming from a 2,800-page indictment, more words than the bastard child of Ayn Rand and Leo Tolstoy could put together in a single tome.

Before the arrest they were comedy fodder Putin could have exploited. But the sentencing, whether or not Putin had an actual hand in it, makes Putin look really small and petty.

creeley23 said...

Alan: With respect I don't think you are aware of the specifics here.

One of the unwritten rules of tyranny: uncouth, not-fully-coherent blowhards who rail against you are an asset, not a liability. Internet trolls are a prime example.

I confess a similarly negative reaction when I first read about Pussy Riot. It's easy to underestimate them.

Pussy Riot is lamer than the average troll. Read the lyrics.

No. Their lyrics are standard 80s hardcore punk -- not to be confused with Joan Baez or the Beatles. Additionally, their lyrics are not out of bounds with the riper lines from Vladimir Mayakovsky, the greatest poet of the Russian Revolution.

The only reason these chicks matter is because of an excessive criminal punishment...

Check their closing statements. These are deep, serious women. I've read the court transcripts of Joan of Arc and found a similar blunt, innocent clarity.

We respect religion in general and the Orthodox faith in particular. This is why we are especially infuriated when Christian philosophy , which is full of light, is used in such a dirty fashion. It makes us sick to see such beautiful ideas forced to their knees.

-- Pussy Riot, court affidavit

Mick said...

We are not a Democracy. The US is a Constitutional Republic (or it WAS).

Alan said...

No. Their lyrics are standard 80s hardcore punk -- not to be confused with Joan Baez or the Beatles

Maybe that's why hardcore punk is politically irrelevant.

Punk bands, like most bands, typically play for their own niche. Pussy Riot is a flash mob with guitars and amps. They play for anyone that happens to be passing by.

If the girls want to affect public opinion, they need something to hook the audience other than martyrdom. First of all they need to become better musicians. many who are not into that genre will grant that the Sex Pistols could play a catchy tune. Above all, the lyrics must contain a message that normal folks can take seriously.

The singer must come across as somebody who really knows what the problem is and has some idea what to do about it. Their songs make the girls of Pussy Riot look like blowhards who really don't have much to say beyond "Putin and his cronies suck."