The Russian feminist punk trio are fighting fascism the only way we can; with feisty full-throated punk music, rammed full of un-singing to shame Poly Syrene and the same righteous anger without the (understandable) adolescence that claimed Period Pains, and all at the same pace as Pig Destroyer. Pussy Riot have a stated target. Preposterous ex-KGB sambo-practicing, journalist assassinating, homosexual oppressing, tiger-shooting hard man Vladimir Putin, and the red faced, hairless Stalinist past of Russia that he represents to post-Wall fall Russian twentysomethings. They received worldwide publicity, and exposed Putin’s puritanical and corrupt legal system to non-news junkies last year when an unplanned ‘punk prayer’ in a Russian Orthodox cathedral resulted in arrest of the three neon balaclava’d protesters.
In a world where the frightened simpletons are armed, I feel proud to call myself a freak, and Pussy Riot are the freak queens. Mario Savio said, and it’s still true, that “There comes a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part” and Pussy Riot can no longer take part. As Putin turns anger at his blatantly rigged re-election into hatred of the homosexual outsider, and continues to feed the civil war in Syria with arms, Russia is increasingly a nation tearing itself apart culturally, between the young and the old, the Soviet, and the post-Soviet. Accused of ‘hooliganism, motivated by religious hatred’ (that is hatred of religion, not the far more common and societally acceptable hatred caused by religion) Pussy Riot represent the revolution. Their throaty and amateurish rock and roll isn’t just music, isn’t just sound and fury, it is revolutionary in a country that has known so many revolutions. It is hope, if not for Russia, then for its people.
Written under duress by Steven (oh bondage, up yours).