Global Voices Online
Sunday, April 2, 2006
Post-Soviet bloggers continue a good old Soviet tradition of coping with reality and expressing dissent through political jokes (politicheskiye anekdoty) - seemingly innocent stuff that's not really fit to print in a repressive society and is unlikely to make it to state-owned TV in a country like Belarus. Below are some jokes (all translated from Russian) that appeared on Belarusian LiveJournals during and after last month's protests against the rigged presidential election.
LJ user vadea posts a joke about the absurd and paranoid atmosphere in Belarus:
Two KGB officers are traveling on a train and telling each other political jokes.
- Hold on a second, I'll change the tape, - says one.
- Don't bother, you can copy from mine later, - says the other.
LJ user chernidar shares a joke that used to feature former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma during the 2004 Orange Revolution; the recycled version is, of course, about the Belarusian president Aleksandr Lukashenko:
The president [...] is walking through a forest and gets lost. He sees a boy:
- Little boy, could you show me the way out of the forest? I'm the president, I'll reward you with a Hero's medal!
- I'll ask my mama.
An hour later:
- Uncle President, and will you give me a postmortem award?
- Why postmortem?
- Because mama said that if I showed you the way, she'd kill me!
LJ user morreth posts another one on how Belarusian people feel about Lukashenko (aka known as Bat'ka, 'father'):
One day Bat'ka is driven through a village in his limo. They run over somebody's pig. Bat'ka, an honest person, stops, gives his driver $100 and tells him to find the killed pig's owner and apologize. The driver leaves and isn't back until two hours later, dead drunk. Bat'ka yells at him: "Are you crazy?" The driver replies: "I haven't done anything wrong: I took the money, put the pig into the sack, placed it on my back, walk down the village street and yell - Dear people! I'm Lukashenko's driver and I've just killed this pig! - and suddenly they're all running towards me, with tears of happiness in their eyes, and start pouring me drinks, one after another..."
A joke about the election results, from LJ user macsim_by:
[Head of the central election commission] Yermoshina enters Lukashenko's study and says:
- Aleksandr Grigorievich, I've got two pieces of news for you, good and bad. Which one should I begin with?
- The good one.
- You've been elected president.
- Okay, and what's the bad one?
- No one has voted for you.
A joke on the violent end of the March 25 rally, from LJ user geroi:
During the demonstration that took place in Minsk, 500 women, elderly people and children have attacked and hurt 2,000 riot police with snowballs and air balloons. "We assembled for action as ordered, drew our shields close together, and attempted to gently push the protesters away with our riot batons. But they rushed at us violently, as animals, and started beating me on the helmet with flowers, on and on and on, bastards," one of the victims said and began to cry right away.
From LJ user mirilde, a joke from the tent camp on Oktyabrskaya Square in Minsk:
Lukashenko wakes up in the morning, goes into his study and addresses his own portrait on the wall:
- So, Aleksandr Grigorievich, what are we going to do about the situation?
- Ah, nothing special: we'll just switch places with you.
- In what way?
- Very simply: I'll be taken down, and you'll be hung.
Finally, a joke about embellishments and lies broadcast by the state-controlled TV in Belarus, from LJ user kurt_bielarus:
Lukashenko has died. A devil greets him and gives him a tour of Paradise. Everything's very righteous-looking there, dignified and calm: birds are singing, flowers are blooming, various decent people are talking to each other. No zest whatsoever.
Lukashenko begins to wonder: and what is it like in Hell? The devil says, "You can see it for yourself!" and shows Hell to him. It's very lively there, beautiful young women are walking around, and life's in full swing in general. Lukashenko gets excited and cries, "I want to be in Hell!"
And finds himself in boiling water right away.
He cries to the devil: "But where is everything that I've seen - girls, fun?"
To which the devil replies, smirking: "I - just like you - have my own [Belarusian TV]!"