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May 15 2015

MerelyGifted
22:58

Russia is the funniest country in the world. Some countries, like America and England, are funny mostly on purpose, while others, like Germany and France, can be funny only unintentionally. (But that counts! Being funny is tricky, so any way you do it counts.) Russia, however, is funny both intentionally (Gogol, Zoshchenko, Bulgakov) and unintentionally (Vladimir Putin singing, as he did at a televised event a few years ago, “I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill”). Given the disaster Russian history has been more or less continuously for the last five centuries, its humor is of the darkest, most extreme kind. Russian humor is to ordinary humor what backwoods fundamentalist poisonous snake handling is to a petting zoo. Russian humor is slapstick, only you actually die.

Surveys that measure such distinctions often rate Russians among the world’s least happy people. To judge from the Russians I know, this information would hold little interest one way or the other. To Russians, happiness is not the big deal it is to us; the Declaration of Independence they don’t have makes no statement about it. On the street or otherwise encountering strangers Russians don’t paste big grins on their faces, the way we tend to do. They look sternly upon reflex smilers. Their humor is powerful without a lot of jollity, and it’s hard to imagine Bulgakov, say, convulsed and weeping with laughter, as I have been when reading certain scenes in his novel Heart of a Dog.

Daniil Kharms, a Russian writer who came of age in the worst of Soviet times, is categorized as an absurdist, partly (I think) because it’s hard to know what else to call him. To me he makes more sense as a religious writer. He is really funny and completely not ingratiating, simultaneously. I believe he knew he was funny and tried to be funny in his work, but I can’t find a single instance of him using the word “funny” in any of his writings, except at some distance from its straightforward meaning. In his personal notebooks, published for the first time in English in 2013, he never exults in how funny he has been or boasts that a witticism he said or wrote had ’em rolling in the aisles. For an American humorist or comedy writer such diffidence would be out of character, if not unheard of.

Kharms’s life gave him a lot not to be jolly about. He was born Daniil Ivanovich Yuvachov in St. Petersburg in 1905. Formerly his father had been one of many young revolutionaries plotting against the life of Tsar Alexander III, a pastime that got him imprisoned for four years and then sent to a labor camp on Sakhalin Island for another eight. Later, Ivan Yuvachov became a Soviet in good standing and head of accounting at a power station. Kharms’s mother, Nadezhda Kolyubakina, was from an aristocratic background and a graduate of St. Petersburg’s Smolny Institute for Noble Girls.

Kharms offered a number of stories about his birth, such as that he was pushed back in after he came out, or that he hatched from caviar. Hunger to the point of starvation recurred in his youth, as he moved among relatives during World War I, and in his twenties and thirties in Leningrad when his notebooks record periods of going without food for days. He often got kicked out of things: from the city’s preparatory-level Peterschule at sixteen, from a college of engineering at twenty, and from the Leningrad Union of Poets at twenty-three.

He took the name Kharms when he was nineteen and he wrote under it for the rest of his life. A connection may have existed between it and the English words “charm” and “harm,” both evoking his interest in magic. It is pronounced with the same hard, throaty h that enlivens the Russian pronunciation of names like Hemingway and Huckleberry Finn. At that point his life was more than halfway over. The next year he met Alexander Vvedensky, Leonid Lipavsky, Yakov Druskin, and Andrei Oleinikov, his future literary collaborators and friends. Kharms wrote hard-to-categorize plays, published two poems (the only works of his for adults to come out in his lifetime), and with Vvedensky, Nikolai Zabolotsky, and others formed a movement called OBERIU, an abbreviation made from letters in the words “Union for Real Art.” Public performances by OBERIU participants angered audiences to near riot and received threateningly negative reviews.  ...

A Strangely Funny Russian Genius by Ian Frazier | The New York Review of Books


My pal Keef hipped me

April 13 2014

10:09

March 04 2014

MerelyGifted
01:06

March 03 2014

MerelyGifted
21:29
Actually... LIVE in UN
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MerelyGifted
20:34
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actually...
Reposted fromgreensky greensky
MerelyGifted
20:31
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Oh and here is the one I've been looking for.
Reposted fromgreensky greensky
MerelyGifted
20:31
5706 0b15
The longer the better
Reposted fromgreensky greensky
19:21
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Historically incorrect map created in 1907-1912 by unknown author for book by Mykola Arkas: Istoriya Ukrainy-Rusy showing erroneous toponyms from different periods (also named Ukraine in 11th century - i.e. at Kyiv Rus)

wikimedja commons

05:10
1618 65bb

MarcusStuart need no longer suffer!

giphy

Reposted bywarkoczpatzidaorakelgifluvbrianstormMrCoffesimpsonskarofornicationconsommeTheCrimsonIdolStadtgespenstsofaggotnaichsoadystaPoxergeek4lifethrill-killerCartman128viceerAnneBonnyranaidl3xh0p3geogeoschaafsplinterpiemollitaubedrink-meolgush
02:02
01:45

February 10 2014

MerelyGifted
23:14

February 09 2014

MerelyGifted
20:19
19:41

February 08 2014

22:49

September 03 2013

08:49
9565 dd7d

We stand with citizens across Russia who are calling on their government to stop the crackdown against lesbian, gay, bi and trans people that is fuelling anti-gay violence.

We urge leaders around the world and within Russia to work to eliminate all anti-gay laws and protect all citizens from violence and discrimination in Russia.

(via The anti-gay Olympics? - All Out)

August 16 2013

21:11
6822 d27a

Tell the International Olympic Committee to protect Olympic athletes and fans by moving the 2014 Winter Olympics out of Russia.

Russia is waging a war on gay people — and Russian politicians have made it clear that they will enforce the country’s draconian new anti-gay rules on both fans and athletes at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

The “gay propaganda” ban makes it illegal to be openly gay and has harsh consequences for anyone convicted of sharing what is considered to be “homosexual information” to minors. A same-sex embrace or carrying a pro-gay sign can lead to arrest and imprisonment. What’s more, the Russian government can detain foreigners for up to 14 days before expelling them from the country if their behavior runs afoul of Russia’s harsh anti-gay statutes. …

via Don’t let Russia arrest gays at the Olympics | CREDO Action

December 31 2012

01:11
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… The super duper awesome contrabass balalaika
These are the Russian equivalent to a stand up bass. They are loud, dorito shaped (they do not taste like a dorito, trust me!) and stand out in a music group.
They are tuned to EAD. I was once in a metal band where I played the contrabass balalaika and tuned it to DAD. It was fun, the eyes were always on my giant dorito bass. …

Via my way cool BF & The amazing bass balalaika and contrabass balalaikas. - TalkBass Forums

Reposted bysiriusminerva siriusminerva
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