Monthly Archives: January 2018

Now THAT’S What I Call Russophobia! Vol. II

I have often written in the past (or at least I’m pretty sure I have) that most of the time what pro-Kremlin Russians call “Russophobia” is bullshit. In almost all cases, the Russophobia they’re talking about is in fact a natural and logical reaction to Russia invading someone’s country, claiming their nationality and language are fake, and generally acting like imperialist assholes. This, of course, doesn’t mean there aren’t real examples of Russophobia, if defined as an irrational fear of all things Russian.

The first and most harmful incarnation of real-world Russophobia is the attitude held by Russia’s elite toward their own people. According to this attitude, the vast majority of Russians are passive cattle, lazy incompetent, and somewhat criminal. The whole country would descend into utter chaos without the rule of a strong leader and his elite. This is called Russian “civilization,” although for some reason the strong ruler and his elite always seem to prefer the fruits and sometimes surroundings of “degenerate” Western civilization, particularly London, New York, Miami…you get the idea.

The other type of real Russophobia is…well…this:

If you’re wondering what those enlightened, woke liberals are responding to, it’s this story:

 

First of all- this isn’t news, nor is it exclusive to Russians. Here’s an article about birth tourism in the Marianas islands from 2013. Birth tourism in the United States appears to be popular with the Chinese as much as it is with Russians (wealthy Russians, that is). Basically NBC News found a way to work the Trump/Russia angle in order to present an old story as news. They could have just as easily written about the global network of international dating sites, some of which are basically designed to help foreign men and women find a path to legal immigration via marriage.

Of course it’s not the story itself that is real Russophobia, but rather the reactions of some of the “woke liberals” who called Trump a bigot while clearly possessing the very same xenophobic nativist attitudes as his supporters. And just in case any of my Ukrainian readers think this doesn’t affect you- forget it. These are exactly the kind of people who say things like “Ukraine? Isn’t that like, a state of Russia or something?” All Slavs are “Russian” to these enlightened individuals, so you’re just as screwed whether your name is Oleg or Oleh.

antislav

This is the future liberals want! 

Of course in reaction to the idiotic ravings of “Resistance” liberals about “little agents” being born in the US, I’ve seen some leftists bend over backwards to “apologize” to Russians as a whole. Don’t bother. This kind of gesture will just get picked up by low-level Kremlin propagandists and twisted for their purposes. It is enough to say that there are plenty of Russians inside and outside of Russia who reject the imperial myths and propaganda of the corrupt regime in the Kremlin, which is itself objectively anti-Russian and leading the country and its colonized peoples to inevitable chaos and destruction.

Sometimes folks who are not familiar with my background or work accuse me of Russophobia because I do things like make fun of vatniks– make no mistakes, however- being a vatnik, like supporting the Putinist regime in general, is a choice. To me, riffing on vatniks is no different from riffing on the vast demographic of American morons, many of whom are directly responsible for electing a complete and utter spongebrain clownshoe as president. In fact, in the past I’ve even made the argument that Russian vatniks are in many cases more intelligent and dignified than our homegrown self-proclaimed “patriot” class.  In short, I make a distinction between Russians and their governments and over the years I have, to the best of my ability, tried to make my writing reflect this with terms like “pro-Kremlin” or “pro-Putin” instead of “pro-Russian.”

While Russian interference in the 2016 election is an established fact (debate surrounds the extent and efficacy of that interference), and the Trump family and campaign’s Russian connections do smack of conflict of interest and at least attempted shady deals, it is entirely fair to say that a significant portion of the American opposition to Trump has taken the basic facts and run them into the end zone of conspiracy theory for a touchdown of stupidity (yeah I haven’t been writing for a while, bear with me). The fervent hope that any day now the Russia investigation will reveal some smoking gun that magically makes Trump go away has made many of these people positively deranged. And now, it’s bringing out their racism as well. But of course that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise- they learned from mother.

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Countering Russia’s Cyberthreat

Nowadays we hear a lot about the need to counter Russia’s information and cyber-warfare. We hear very few actual solutions, however. Most of the time it’s just “more fact checking!” or “more cyber-security!” I’ve only seen one suggestion as to how to fight back, and it was predictably lame (in involved exposing Vladimir Putin’s hidden fortunes, as though ordinary Russians aren’t well aware of his wealth). I’m here to change that. There are ways to fight back against information threats from Russia and other world powers, and I’m going to lay them out here.

COUNTER-TROLLING

Russia’s “troll factory” has gotten a lot of publicity in recent years. What you don’t hear people talking about, however, is counter-trolling. Think about it- not only does the US have more resources to spend on troll factories, but American comment trolls are far more vicious and most of all- pedantic. Could you imagine St. Petersburg operatives trying to troll a conversation on Twitter, only to be mass attacked by sixty professional basement-dwellers all beginning their responses with “ACTUALLY…?”

actually

If you’ve ever dealt with Russian paid trolls, you know that they can never really uphold any semblance of a real “debate.” Our home-grown variety can at least accomplish that much. Plus, they have a lot of refined tactics, such as “sea-lioning,” the act of asking endless entry-level questions while hiding behind a mask of “civility.”

sealion

Wondermark by David Malki. Origin of the term “sea-lioning.”

Just imagine the confrontation:

RUSSIAN TROLL: Obama used the CIA to overthrow the legitimate government of Ukraine and replace it with Nazis!!!

AMERICAN TROLL: Excuse me, but do you have evidence that the previous government of Ukraine was “legitimate,” as you say?

RUSSIAN TROLL: Viktor Yanukovych was elected! He was legitimate!

AMERICAN TROLL: So according to you, being elected means someone was legitimate. How do you define elected or legitimate?

RUSSIAN TROLL: WHAT ABOUT IRAQLIBYAVIETNAMCUBACHILEANGOLA…Wait. Are you being serious now?

AMERICAN TROLL: Yes I’m serious. I’m trying to have a serious debate about the definition of political legitimacy. I feel this is a perfectly fair question and I don’t see why we can’t have a reasonable debate about it.

RUSSIAN TROLL: Yanukovych was elected president of Ukraine!

AMERICAN TROLL: I see. And do you have any evidence that this “Ukraine,” as you call it, actually exists? I’ve never seen it.

RUSSIAN TROLL: AH HA! So you acknowledge it is fake country!

AMERICAN TROLL: Hmmm…Curious how the US government could overthrow the government of something you claim is a fake country.

RUSSIAN TROLL: What are you even talking about?!

AMERICAN TROLL: Actually I’m asking the questions here if you don’t mind. I have reasonable questions and have asked them in a civil manner. There’s no need to be upset.

 

WEAPONIZED SHITPOSTING

Wikipedia defines shitposting as “the act of posting large amounts of content of “aggressively, ironically, and trollishly poor quality” to an online forum or social network, in some cases intended to derail discussions or otherwise make the site unusable to its regular visitors.”

This might make you think shitposting is bad. Under the right conditions, it can be quite amusing. Here are some examples:

shitpost1

shitpost2

shitpost3

shitpost4

shitpost5

Pic a fandom or subject and chances are there’s a Facebook group for shitposts dedicated to whatever it is.

Now imagine large communities of professional shitposters making deliberately poor photoshop memes about Putin and his cronies. Oh wait…They’ve kind of done that. Meet Pynia.

Pynia_63

pynia

“Why do they call Putin Pynia?”

Pynia_well

Pynia_world_president

Now just imagine that, but like, times one million, drowning VK.com in shitposts forever.

 

These are just two possible ways to fight back against Russia’s information war. Yeah, they’re not particularly good ways and are in fact deliberately stupid for the sake of parody, but lately this is the topic where people with incredibly stupid suggestions get a lot of attention and in some cases, money. Because after all…

freeman