One thing I have firmly believed long before starting this blog is that facts and education can also be entertaining. Pages upon pages of dry, academic analysis can be useless if they don’t accurately represent facts on the ground, while a short, satirical piece can not only contain profound truth, but also effectively communicate it to a wider audience. In fact that is the subject of an upcoming article of mine, where I showcase the explanatory power of the “vatnik” meme.
I also believe that absurd ideas and policies merit absurd treatment. Not every ideology or theory deserves to be treated as though it has merit. For example, the Kremlin’s Duginist Eurasianism, stuck permanently not in the 20th century but in fact the 19th, does not deserve to be taken any more seriously than a theory that revolves around a gumdrop-based manorial feudal economy. If 19th century imperialism and spheres of influence float your boat, go play Victoria II. If you think that shit’s going to fly in the 21st century, take a fucking walk.
The same goes for all this talk of “hybrid war” and Russia’s propaganda offensive. I’ve said this plenty of times, but Russia’s threat to Europe is essentially that of a staggering drunk man flailing his arms around. You can’t simply ignore him, but you don’t have to pull the fire alarm and evacuate the whole bar. That’s why you have a bouncer.
The best defense against Russia is on the domestic front- Listen to and take care of the working people. Media companies need to be more objective and more skeptical to official sources from their own governments. Police state policies need to be thrown out. When Western governments fail to live up to the standards they preach, they create weaknesses for Russia’s propaganda machine to exploit. In short,taking care of their own citizens is like strengthening the body’s immune system.
Of course this answer isn’t satisfying enough for some people. Should we really not counter Russia’s propaganda? Nobody is saying that this is a bad idea, but how it’s done is very important, and that’s where humor comes in. Rather than portraying Russian foreign-audience propaganda as this brainwashing hybrid warfare superweapon, we should mock it. Why not? It’s funny.
Russia’s media heads want to be taken seriously, so don’t. They love the idea that they are feared, that they are having a measurable effect in Western politics. They aren’t, so not only should we not react with fear and act like this bullshit is working, we should openly laugh at their follies. Never miss a chance to remind them that they are the laughing stock of the world media.
As it turns out, I’m not the only person who thinks so. Just take a look at this satirical article. Well, perhaps it’s not entirely satirical. It does say this:
One of RT’s favorite employees, UK citizen Graham W. Phillips, was arrested by Ukrainian authorities. He is noted for being a sex blogger, having police action taken against him back in England, and claims so outrageous that even RT had to retract them. Mr. Phillips is now at large, involved in a relationship with an underage girl, spending time with child soldiers and being trained in the use of firearms.
I have no doubt that Mr. Phillips is in a relationship with an underage girl. The traditional moral warrior cossacks of Novorossiya are no less willing to pimp out Russian girls than the mainstream Kremlin elite is. Judging by his own words, Phillips is the kind of guy who, were he in the United States, would have found himself sitting in a suburban kitchen opposite Chris Hansen. Hard-hitting journalism, that factoid is.
I hope to see more pieces like this in the future. In fact, things like RT, Voice of Russia, and Sputnik need to become worldwide memes if anything. It’s reassuring to see this kind of satirical work. It means that though I may go, others will take my place.