31 August 2009 г., 13:56

Photo Feature of the Week: MJ's B-Day RU / "Thriller" in Moscow

Moscow celebrates Michael Jackson's birthday with yet another Thriller flash bomb, complete with undead Pioneers, undead Russian schoolgirls, brides, balloons, crotch-grabbing and Goths Lite.

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28 August 2009 г., 14:13

Lj Round-Up 08/28/09: Atomic Bunkers for Sale, Russian's Bosoms '92

The Russian blogosphere conveniently, if bafflingly, revolves around LJ. Each week, RUSSIA! scans the chatter and brings you the top five topics.

• Deacon Andrey Kurayev youtubed discourse on why he (and the church) hate chess slivers its way through LiveJournal. Apparently, chess is condemned because as people associate themselves more with their minds than muscles, the personal hurt of losing an intellectual battle inspires the purest of racial hates, the Deacon explains via an example complete with racial slur. Classy, Father. Response: "I bet he sucks at chess." [Андрей Кураев]

• Art blogger dar_jan  presents — "Russian's Bosoms: An Erotic Almanac" circa 1992, an awesomely gaudy mag-artifact with a treatise on breasts, lots of nude commie-flag action and nifty model profiles, featuring environment-loving Natalia and poker table-loving Victoria. Not just rare pre-internet-Russian-amateur porn-explosion treasure for fetishists, it's a prime historic document for erotic anthropologists. Riiight... right? Response: "Where are they now?" Where indeed. [Эротический альманах 92-го года.]

• Ru-Lj community fail_art  apologizes for their legacy of humorous-to-obscene scribbles left in textbooks as former students (or possibly, modern day forgeries), adding some "context" to the dull old pastorial and wartime pictures with ridiculous nudity, blood, peasants with nun-chucks and various insults to the Russian army. Response: "My eyes and stomach hurt." Ditto. [Ребятушки... простите нас за это]

• Realty-buff yoursecondhome  shares a unique opportunity to purchase Lychen II, an abandoned Soviet military base, currently decomposing in a German forrest. Browse the enticing gallery of classic dilapidating warchitecture, rusted atomic bunkers, random rotted-through rooms, a cobweb and foliage-buried toilet and Russian sauna paraphernalia! So authentic, the red stars still hang on in painted bits to concrete signs. It can all be yours, until August 31st. Posts opens one commenter's old wounds: "Shit, I laid in a hospital over there." [Играем по серьезному!]

• History-philiac hasid shows how the trend of inserting Soviet political leaders into Eastern Orthodox icons and religious paintings lives on with Medvedev's calm smug-mugness painted, all Olde Rus and Holy-like all over the place lately. Commenters add to the absurdity by confusing the phoenix on Medvedev's shoulder with a penguin. [Художественнное мифотворчество]

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09 August 2009 г., 23:12

Lj-Round Up 09/07/09: Grandmas Fight Police, Bloggers Expose Themselves

The Russian blogosphere conveniently, if bafflingly, revolves around LJ. Each week, RUSSIA! scans the chatter and brings you the top five topics.

• Proving that Russian goth subculture is undead and well, here're some photos from blogger pushba's wedding—shave-backed-forehead Medieval chic, sky-high stilettos, snow-white groom dreads, ruffles and all. Response: old timer's confusion drowned out by compliments from the familiars. [Свадьба 1] [Свадьба 2]

• A prominent Moscow square once again exploded in a demonstration by the "Oppositioners!" and brave photographer zyalt dove fearlessly in, dragging out awesome visual trophies of modern Russian politics: angry grandmas disapprovingly poking out their tongues at four different kinds of city/military forces, punky-looking youngsters with gas masks, wailing girls, cops pulling all suspicious individuals out of the crowd and the resulting pile of cop-on-protestor-on-cop-on-eldery-on-special-forces violence. You know, the regular stuff. [Марш Несогласных! Москва.]

• Hipster blogger miumau asks for her readers to comment with their portraits and dreams, revealing some of our weekly LJ-round up fodder providers. The illustrated parade includes a blue-haired designer yarning for the ocean, programmers, beer drinkers, bunny-petting, coyness, a sprinkle of androgyny and various deliberate understatements about their artistic careers. [Развиртуализация?]

• Blogger zina-korzina once again analyzes Soviet life through its cultural relics, namely the classic, Oscar winning Moscow Doesn't Believe in Tears film from 1980. It follows the lives of three heroines, new Muscovites, as they assimilate and struggle, rustle in stereotypes and meet their character-inherited fates—a steady working class family for the simple girl, a clamor of a marriage to a hockey player for the sexy fame/gold-digger, a new chance at life at 40 for the determined single mother. Insights include a briefly irritated feminist analysis stemming the theory on the over-naive depiction of men. Comments separate bloggers into age groups like an industrial strength filter—"Those were the times..." and "Am I too young to get this or something?"[Москва и слёзы и любовь...]

• After practicing in the bathtub, photographer Alexey S. Yushenkov takes a first jab at underwater photography on the set of Alexander Chernayev's new film, resulting in a bright little photo essay featuring fictional synchronized swimming world champions from Kazakhstan and a drowning fat guy. Response: photo techie jabber, "wow"s spelled out in Russian. [20 сантиметров под водой.]
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03 August 2009 г., 12:09

Photo Feature of the Week: Airborne Forces Day meets Holy Day

This week, we're snagging an awesome photo report fresh from the LJ-press, namely varlamov.ru . Yesterday, the celebration for the Day of Airborne Forces and day of the Eastern-Orthodox prophet Ilia overlapped in celebration in the Red Square, which makes perfect sense as the that particular prophet is known as the defender of the Russian Land and the protector of the elite Russian military. Enjoy: traditional religious procession, really happy army guys in striped tank tops.

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01 August 2009 г., 14:34

Lj Round-Up 07/31/09: Gory PSAs and an Anti-Religious Alphabet Book

The Russian blogosphere conveniently, if bafflingly, revolves around LJ. Each week, RUSSIA! scans the chatter and brings you the top five topics.

• Journalist kic_c_hvostom discovers a ratty Soviet relic—an anti-religious alphabet book, chockfull of cute, illustrated propaganda, featuring brooms sweeping away god-fearing paraphernalia, a muscular factory worker breaking down church bells into machine parts, lots of fat, slobbering priests and even a bribed Gandhi. The protagonist is a tot in an oversized military uniform. Commenters are amused, squabble over historical details. [Ленинград, 1933-й г. Шедевр.]

• The Russian Department of Auto-safety commissioned some super-slick public service announcements: on a tranquil, family morning, a smiling father jumps from a window to his death ("A crash at 50 kilometers per hour is equal to falling from a 5th story window. Buckle up.") and lots of businessmen beat each other bloody to traffic sounds ("This happens on the road all the time. Be a human being.") Response: "I will buckle up now!!!!" and "All this frilly speculation on children-broads-animals is disgusting and the blue tint is outdated by four years." [Пять роликов, которые стоит посмотреть каждому российскому водителю]

• Here's another curious little historical find, courtesy a brand new LJ group dewarist seemingly dedicated to the over-consumption of alcohol—a 1985 document released by a regional commission of the Ukrainian Komsomol, to inform "youths at discotheques" of the specific socially-poisonous influences of foreign music. Beware the violence propagated by B-52a, AC/DC's neo-fascism, the eroticism of Donna Summer, religious morbidity of Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd perversion of USSR's political values and Talking Heads' propagation of the myth of Soviet military threat! [Привет из 1985 года]

• Blogger chibis writes up a sobering post about his recent visit to an orphanage on the outskirts of rural Moscow where government stipends are hoarded by the director and the kids that complained of abuse to government inspectors walk around forced-medicated and zombied out. Commenters suggest punching out the director, reveal actual working class philanthropists. [ПОЕЗДКА В ДЕТСКИЙ ДОМ / СЕГОДНЯ ДНЁМ]

• Cafeterias are as common as cafes in Russia, so here's a peek. Photographer zyalt snaps his visit to one in Obninsk—pleasant and plump cafeteria ladies plopping soups into mismatching dishes, towering shelves of pigs-in-blankets and pastries and that grizzled Soviet charm, preserved in each crack and puddle of the place. Enjoy. [Столовая в Обнинске.]
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27 July 2009 г., 13:43

Photo Feature of the Week - Welcome to Ancient Rus!

This week we have scouted a fantastic two part feature from photographer makcomary . Behold, the mother of all reenactment fairs - GORODETSKOE GULBISHCHE 2009 - the third annual festival of Ancient Russian history and culture.


This year the festival is located in the Podolsk district of Moscow region in the «Slavic Kremlin» on the river Rozhayka near the village Valischevo. The festival will open its doors for visitors from 10 to 12 July. Our festival is dedicated to ways of living and customs of ancient peoples of Russia and its neighbors in the IX-XI centuries (so-called “Viking age”)... More Info From Official Site HereCollapse )
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24 July 2009 г., 15:08

Lj Round-Up 10/24/09: Soviet Punks and Fairy Tales

The Russian blogosphere conveniently, if bafflingly, revolves around LJ. Each week, RUSSIA! scans the chatter and brings you the top five topics.

• Blogger zina-korzina analyzes, in detail, Russian fairy-tale films in a political and mythologic context, as they play on societal and socialist themes. From Russianized Cinderella to Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors and City of Masters, she finds two types monarchs—lovable/deluded and awkward/mean—and points out the favoritism for paganism with all the talking animals about. Commenters continue to overanalyze. What's so uniquely Soviet about devolving government heads anyway?... Ohhh. [Боги и Цари детских киносказок.]

• Blogger varfolomeev-v gossips on the inner workings of the Russian traffic cop conspiracy, namely, how the irked popo slyly marks licenses to tip the others to torture the clueless culprits some more for them. Little horns indented over the unlucky driver's picture and the Russian letter Г (ГАИ - State Automobile Inspectorate? говно - crap?) aren't good, apparently. Commenter adds that a tiny pin-hole means a bribe-happy driver. Will scribbling a halo help? Dare you! [Тайные знаки ДПС.]

• And now, some rare and cheerful photos of Soviet 80s hipsters, probably punks, from blogger alex-hedin. Baggy plaid, jean vests, studded cuffs, smug mugs and horrible hair galore. Kudos to the Rambo t-shirt with fur hat guy. You rock. Commenters shudder in shared shame, seem to forget the trouble they went through to assemble those terrible get-ups. [Первые неформалы.]

•Medvedev apparently favors the idea of public schools teaching the basics of religious cultures (with an option in secular ethics for the decided little atheists) and educating up some military and naval clergy. Experimental programs begin next year. Response: "They should teach video-blogging instead." That's right, Russia, hop on the techie train to the future... Medvedev's already riding first class (Medvedevideo blog, anyone?) [Дожали]

• According to these photos it's still randomly raining like hell in Russia, especially if your idea of hell is instantaneously flooded streets with black BMWs as poorly functioning boats and colorful umbrellas as sails for drenched and confused citizens of Irskutsk. Or shattered metal, torn-up trees and damaged wires sparking in the bushes in Novosibirsk. Then, yes. It's still raining like hell. [В деревне Гадюкино дожди] [Погода]
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20 July 2009 г., 20:17

Photo Feature of the Week: Gypsy Homes

Here's a photo essay dug up on the page of ru-blogger alex_hedin to dispel a few preconceptions: gypsy homes and their inhabitants, in all their opulent, colorful, gaudy splendor. Original source is most likely WordPress Photo. Enjoy.

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19 July 2009 г., 00:48

Lj Round-Up 07/17/09: Naked Russian Hippie, White Catsuit Mountain

The Russian blogosphere conveniently, if bafflingly, revolves around LJ. Each week, RUSSIA! scans the chatter and brings you the top five topics.

• Last week, Moscow got its half-a-month's serving of rain in one day which flooded parts of the city and completely submerged the construction site of the Sokol Metro Station on Leningradsky Prospekt, reducing it to a muddy bowl of truck-soup. Comment hoopla included wows, whoahs, concerns for possibly stranded mothers-in-law and smartassness like "Cool, Venice!" and "Is there fish?" [Сокол утонул.]

• A recently disbanded folk festival on the hills of the Russian forrest left behind a naked hippie. One story dragged into coherence by blogger onepamop from this babbling nature-child is that perhaps he actually lives out there, happily in the wilderness, though he misses the touch of a woman. [Festival photo essay on our LJ] [Про последнего героя "Пустых холмов" - 2009]

• A recent fail_art community post brings us grizzly pencil scribbling with rhyming titles, featuring a traffic cop on LSD riding his motorcycle, wolf-in-sidecar, through the road in the sky and "Wednesday Morning, Catherine Deneuve arrives to Kishenev," her squiggly elegance stuffed into a disgustingly crowded train car. Comments compliment concept and execution, "аахахаахахааа" (aahahaahahaaa). [В логове доброй змеи]

• Blogger sergeydolya  went driving around the outer Moscow Oblast accidentally ran into a searing white mountain that reminded him of Iceland, then, became more fascinated by the hip coordination of a model in a cotton cat-suit posing at the plateau. Predictably, equal importance given to each topic in the comments thread. Dorks. [Белая гора Подмосковья]

• Blogger uzhas_sovka  shares tales of foreign expatriates who ended up in Russia—an American businessman who moved to Russia when his internet ru-bride didn't find the San Francisco heat to her liking, Mark Ames, former editor of The Exile, who curses in Russian about the cruelty of female Muscovites, and a former cop who moved to a Russian village to marry a schoolteacher and now spends his mornings reading philosophy at an internet cafe and days dreaming of teaching Russian policemen not take bribes. Aw, that's adorable. [жаркий климат Сан-Франциско]
This entry is illustrated at ReadRussia.com
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17 July 2009 г., 04:38

Limited Edition Prints

Dear LJ users,

There are two very cool limited edition prints in the Russia! store -- "The City of Words" and "Alice and Wonderland".

City of Words is a geographically accurate map of Russia's literary capital, created entirely from quotes by Russian authors writing about St. Petersburg. (E.g., a Pushkin line about the Neva river becomes the river itself). (few Artists Proofs left). New Yorker about the map:  Price:  $30, including shipping in the US.  

Alice in Wonderland (the first in the Alice's Adventures series), to be exhibited in New York this fall. Price: $40, including shipping in the US.

Both prints are numbered edition of 100, on archival acid-free paper, 12 x 18. Look excellent framed. 
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