Tuesday, June 10, 2008

humor in the soviet union

i caught this documentary this morning, "Hammer & Tickle". I actually happened to be awake at 4:30 am when it was on. My sleeping pattern is fucked up again and I have been waking up earlier and earlier.. but that's beside the point.

It's the second time I've gotten to watch it. Some of the jokes they told are damn funny. Far, far funnier than many political jokes I've heard over the past 10 years (can we put the stupid goddamn chimp thing to bed yet? It isn't funny anymore.)

here's one: A man comes home early and finds his wife in bed with another man. He screams, "Are you crazy, woman? They're selling butter at the grocer!"

This one was rendered as a cartoon- A man is in hell. On one side of him, a sign points to capitalist Hell, on the other, Communist Hell. No one is in line on the capitalist side, but the communist side line is typically long. He asks the little imp on he capitalist side what is in the capitalist hell. The imp says "First we flay all your skin off, then we boil you in oil, and then we cut you up into little pieces." The man says forget that and heads to the communist side. He asks the communist imp about communist hell. The imp says "First we boil you in oil, and then we flay all your skin off, and then we cut you up into little pieces. But sometimes, there is no oil, and sometimes, there are no knives". (This joke is rendered much better here. I have never been very good at jokes)

And my favorite was rendered as a skit. Two men are waiting in line in Romania (or maybe it was Hungary) for something. One says "I'm so tired of waiting in line for even the most basic food. I'm going to get a gun and shoot Ceaucescu" (sp? close enough). He runs off, then returns a while later. His partner in line has not moved, but whispers, "did you do it? Did you shoot him?" The would-be assassin whispers back, "No, the line to shoot him was too long".

And they had some footage of Reagan telling a pretty good joke he had come across. Acually, from what the movie says, Reagan used to collect jokes that the soviets told.

And then later, I was reading someone's rant against (or maybe for) their political idol (or pariah) and I thought, "We don't just tell political jokes here. We elect them, too"

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget the classic Yakov Smirnovism:

    "In America, you find party. In Soviet Russia, Party finds you."

    Uncyclopedia takes it to the extreme.

    "In America, you tell joke. In Soviet Russia, joke tells you."

    They call it the Russian reversal.

    Yeah, civilization is pretty much over.