Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Russian humor to help us through

As more and more of us awaken to the fact the brief, *glorious rise* of our upstart American nation, from an 18th Century pack of rabble rousing revolutionaries to 21st Century empire in utter collapse (save for our unwitting leaders hell bent on charging head-on toward the oblivion of unforgiving history), I thought it might be nice to take a step back for a moment, to distract us with a little humor as we slide from most envied nation on Earth to nation most feared or hated.

And so, as we become increasingly more irrelevant, I thought I'd turn to our friends and former enemies, the Russians, who experienced the collapse of their Soviet Union on the heels of their tragic failure to conquer Stone Age Afghanistan a mere two decades before us; to borrow from them some of the wonderful humor of our nascent Russian family members who were still able to laugh despite their impending doom.

What follows are a few old Russian jokes I've taken the liberty of modifying for current American relevance (or, as previously noted, irrelevance?). With apologies if they're not as funny as the joke the United States is becoming globally. Transitions such as we are undergoing can make humor a wee bit difficult. But it's important, I believe,  we retain  a sense of it much as our Russian brothers and sisters during their demise.

Here, then, they are:

How do you relate to the government in Washington?
Like a wife: part habit, part fear and wish to God I had a different one.

Two Gulf Coast citizens meet while strolling on a tar-balled beach.
'How's life?'
'Do you read the papers?'
'Of course! How else would I know?'

What sort of a job should you take, so as never to be unemployed?
Climb up on the Statue of Liberty and watch for its return.

In 2008 a man ran through the streets of Washington shouting: 'Cheney is a swine!' He was seized and given twenty-one years: one year for defamation, and twenty years for leaking state secrets.

Okay, so it's typical Russian humor born of their historical flirtations with seemingly endless pessimism.  Finding the humor in it is their talent.


Fran said...

I like the Cheney joke best.

Anonymous said...

Jerry Brown, our once and future governor, predicted this result in his presidential campaign, equating our decline with that of Rome. He warned that this would happen if we didn't learn from history, and here we are, a crumbling civilization like ancient Rome and the USSR, still fighting unnecessary wars and squandering our treasures, on our way to actual bankruptcy having already succumbed to moral bankruptcy. ~Nona

Dada said...

@Fran: Me too. That's why I saved the Cheney one for last.

BTW, I see where he's STILL in the hospital (out of ICU though) from his heart surgery in early July. As much as I don't give a flip re his health, on a different planet where justice reigns, maybe he'd do a little hard time before departing his Earthly plane.

No such luck on this one.

Dada said...

@Nona: There's a letter to the editor in today's paper complaining about how the author's leftist friends all hate America.

"To them, America is a terrible place. We do everything wrong...This is amazing considering the widespread prosperity and well-being that we enjoy here. They must be blind," its writer says.

Well, I like to think we both love America, left and right. It's just that the right sees nothing wrong with the status quo: bombing the shit out of innocents, *free* enterprise, corrupt and robbing the citizenry blind and bankrupting the nation (there's a story on today's Democracy Now! of insurance companies like Prudential and MetLife defrauding families of dead soldiers of their full,rightful benefits [unfettered Crapitalism realized!])

"We have great libraries, schools" (crumbling w/class sizes soaring) "and places of higher learning" (one must hock their futures to attend). "Clean, modern hospitals with the latest technology are everywhere" (Where 3 nights stay can cost upwards of $50,000.) Blah, blah, blah, he continues to expound.

We're just seeing the nation from opposite ends. I'm looking into its fangs, while our letter writer has his head buried up its other end, so deep he can't smell the fumes of its impending exhaustion, leaving me to ask, "Who's really blind?"

Be nice if we could have a meeting of the minds, but I suspect, in the end, we'll just end up shooting each other. (Oh, and let ME stereotype here, "Which group is armed to the hilt?" ~grin)

~Dead Meat Dada

D.K. Raed said...

Dear "Dead Meat Dada" ... I have a favorite Russian joke but can't figure out how to tie it in to any of your points, so I'll just blurt it ... actually it's supposed to be true (because I read it in TIME).

Putin and Medvedev go into a restaurant. Putin orders a steak. The waitress says, "and what about the vegetable?" ... Putin says, "he'll have the steak, too".

Dada said...

D.K. - I like that. I suppose we could change Putin to Cheney, Medvedev to Bush?

Re the current administration, I'm not sure. So many vegetables, so little meat.

D.K. Raed said...

LOL, either of those alliterations work. see that's why you get paid the big bucks, dada! ok ok, so they are only blog bucks, good for a free Starbucks or somesuch, still better than "dead meat".

Your avatar ... "How to Throw it" ... hmmm ... are you stocking up on rotten veggies or scheduling a stoning?

Dada said...

D.K. I have stolen the Soupy Sales tome of my youth, "How to Throw It!"

While I was never sure what it was he was reading up on how to throw, I strongly suspected it was *bullshit* -- and well read, indeed, was he, being as he was my favorite BS'er (and funny, too, for many 19 and 20 year-old college kids at just the right stage of life for servings of subtler meanings and innuendos).

I suspect that's what I often try to do here at Dada's (with far less success, obviously).

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