Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pussy Riot, Ballon Boy, the quest for fame

Israel Shamir wrote about Pussy Riot on Counterpunch.com. Read the full article here.

The girls aren't musicians or artists.
Hell-bent on publicity, but artistically challenged, three young women from Russia decided – well, it sounds like a limerick. They stole a frozen chicken from a supermarket and used it as dildo; they filmed the act, called it “art” and placed it on the web. (It is still there) Their other artistic achievements were an orgy in a museum and a crude presentation of an erect prick.

Even in these dubious pieces of art their role was that of technical staff: the glory went to a Russian-Israeli artist Plucer-Sarno of Mevasseret Zion, who claimed the idea, design and copyright for himself and collected a major Russian prize. The future PR members got nothing and were described by Plucer as “ambitious provincials on the make”, or worse.
Lately they have tried to ride on a bandwagon of political struggle. That was another flop. They poured a flood of obscene words on Putin – in Red Square, in subway (underground) stations – with zero effect. They weren’t arrested, they weren’t fined, just chased away as a nuisance. And they did not attract the attention of people. It is important to remember that Putin is an avowed enemy of Russian oligarchs, owners of the major bulk of Russian media and providers of the Moscow literati, so they print on a daily basis so much anti-Putin invective, that it’s lost its shock value. You can’t invent a new diatribe against Putin – it has been already said and published. And Putin practically never interferes with the freedom of the press.

They finally resorted to joining the right-wing attack on the Russian Orthodox Church.

But, there it is. You had the movie Natural Born Killers about mindless people becoming famous by committing multiple murders----Pussy Riot achieved this with mere hooliganism. But the poor girls did have to go to jail for it to work. Shamir noted:
During the trial, the defence and the accused did their worst to antagonize the judge by threatening her with the wrath of the United States (sic!) and by defiantly voicing anti-Christian hate speeches. The judge had no choice but to find the accused guilty of hate crime (hooliganism with religious hate as the motive). The prosecution did not charge the accused with a more serious hate crime “with intent to cause religious strife”, though it could probably be made to stick. (It would call for a stiffer sentence; swastika-drawers charged with intent to cause strife receive five years of jail).
Long ago, we had the case of Balloon Boy. An unemployed construction worker hoping for a reality show falsely claimed that his six-year-old son, Falcon, had been carried away by his homemade balloon. CNN helicopters followed it for hours. The balloon finally landed. Falcon, by then known as Balloon Boy, wasn't there. They found him at home hiding in the basement.

Never enter into a criminal conspiracy with a kindergartener. The family appeared on CNN. Someone asked Falcon why he was hiding. He looked at his parents and said, "You said we did it for the show."

I wrote something on this blog calling for aspiring filmmakers to show a little creativity----to be smarter about it than Balloon Boy's hapless father, certainly (it was lucky for him no one was killed trying to rescue his son from the balloon)----but show a little spunk! Look at these girls in Russia. A few months ago, no one ever heard of them. Now they're sitting in their prison dormitory planning TV reality shows, documentaries, punk rock concerts, sit-coms, maybe another public orgy or a supermarket chicken thing. At worse, they'll emerge from prison as washed up celebrities in about the same position as a former child star, with the potential to parlay what little fame they have left into some sort of career.

Do a little brainstorming! What could YOU do to accomplish the same thing?

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