No F*cking Way! Russia Cracks Down on Profanity in the Arts

An Open Letter To Russia: 

Russia, you’re kind of losing favor in my book. I’m really going to have to think about cancelling my trip to you this summer to see my good friend Edward Snowden. Russia, first you locked up my favorite hot girl band that wears stocking caps, Pussy Riot (only to let them free right before the Olympics as a complete PR move), then, Russia, you marched in and invaded the Ukraine. And now you want to crack down on profanity in the arts.

Via the Wall Street Journal:

President Vladimir Putin signed a law that restricts the use of profanity in the arts, the latest move in a push to reinforce what the Kremlin calls traditional values in Russia.

The new law, which takes effect July 1, covers literature, theater, film and recorded music. It was opposed by some theater personalities, writers and performers, whose works will now have to be issued in special packaging indicating that they include profanities.

The law doesn’t spell out specifically what constitutes “foul language” but sets fines for its use in works of art ranging from 2,000 rubles ($56) for individuals to as high as 100,000 rubles for legal entities. The law also restricts the public showing of films containing swearing.

What a bunch of bullshit, Russia! What’s more offensive: profanity or discriminating against homosexuals with your anti-gay laws? Russia, does enforcing “traditional values” mean turning back to the clocks to long bread lines and religious persecution as well?

Russia, you have a great history of profanity (and borscht as well); some your most prominent works of literature — as far back as the 19th century — include a rich vocabulary of curse words. Russia, you even have an incredibly rich and versatile swear sub-language called mat, which is based on four key stems: two denoting male and female genitalia, one denoting the act of copulation, and a word denoting a prostitute.

Russia, like most cultures, swearing is absolutely embedded in your language. No statute or bill can alter that.

With this new bill, I thank you Russia — for fueling a new generation of Russian punk bands who just wont give a fuck.

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