Unless you’re just really great at what you do, most parody Twitter accounts started by us rambunctious and hilarious Americans won’t catch much backlash, other than some trolls telling the people behind them how unfunny they are. And in some unique cases, the target will actually embrace a parody account, like ESPN’s Darren Rovell, who is probably just happy to count @NotDarrenRovell among his followers.
But in Russia, if you start a parody account that specifically targets Vladimir Putin and the government, there’s a pretty good chance that some people are going to stalk your every move, find your car and chain a 200-pound wood penis to the hood and roof. Scoff at the notion all you want, but it’s exactly what happened to Katya Romanovskaya, who is one of the two people behind the humorous @KermlinRussia account.
Normally, any of us would probably be pretty pissed off that someone, you know, chained a giant dick to the front of our BMW, but Katya was surprisingly… flattered?
Finally, the day has come when my work has been noticed and appreciated.
Still, she was probably all, “Someone come chop this giant wood dick up and get it off my car,” right? Not really.
The police undid the handcuffs but refused to remove the dick on my roof. They said, “Now it is your property.” Friends, please help me get this new property of mine off my car. I want to do it so that neither the car nor dick will get hurt, because both are very high quality, made with love and attention to detail. You should have seen how the exaggerated veins were carefully carved and highly polished. If someone has a car or tow truck with chains that can get this thing straight up, please come.
(That’s paraphrased from the mediocre Google translation from her Facebook post.)
So who were the culprits capable of pulling off this kind of prank, especially on the same night that she had returned from a trip to France and had left her car in a parking garage at the airport? Was it some government-sent group of secret agents with training unlike any other human beings? Kind of. The New Republic thinks this is a classic prank from the Nashi, which is a pro-Kremlin youth group that allegedly sort of hangs out and waits for Putin’s people to feed them info on a target and strike with phallic rage.
It was the Kremlin’s way to engage the youth in politics by paying and brainwashing them to be their blunt instrument of revenge. These kids, often from poor families, have strange imaginations that center almost always on the scatalogical and the sexual. (They once used one prostitute named “Mumu” to lure various male opposition figures into bed in the same bugged apartment.) They manage to pull off these kinds of pranks by having the resources of the state at their disposal.
So, for example, putting a giant penis on an opposition member’s car can be kind of tricky: how do you figure out where they live and which car is theirs? And this is the part that makes it a bit menacing, too. Until the previous night, the Kermlins had been at a conference in France and the car was parked in the airport parking lot. They got in late, drove the car home, went to bed, and boom! Wooden cock. Someone was obviously scoping them.
Is this a terrifying sign for so-called humorists and other such dissenters in Russia that the government and, more accurately, politically-fueled and vaguely-associated youth groups could find them at any place and any time? Yes. But is it also a hell of a prank? You bet.
(Images via Perzident Roissi)