This post in our Washington Times column reuses some of the People's Cube classics.
I have seen the future and ran away.
At first the move to America from the former USSR made me feel as though I had made a jump in time, from the stagnant depraved past into a distant dynamic future.
There was an abundance of commonly available futuristic contraptions, machines, and appliances that made everyday existence easier and more enjoyable. Less obvious but just as exciting was the media's openness: I no longer needed to read between the lines to know what was happening.
Most importantly, there was honesty, dignity, and respect in relations among people.
Today I'm feeling like a time traveler again.
Only this time the productive, honest and self-reliant America is vanishing in the past, as we are quickly approaching the all too familiar future.
It is the future of equal poverty, one-party rule, media mooching, government looting, bureaucratic corruption, rigged elections, underground literature, half-whispered jokes, and the useful habit of looking over your shoulder.
It was nice living in America before it changed the course and followed Obama's direction "Forward," which, according to my compass, is pointing backward.
All of a sudden I find myself playing the role of a comrade from the future, helping my new compatriots to navigate the quagmire ahead of us.
Deprived of free political speech, Soviets had developed a culture of underground political jokes. I used to remember thousands of them.
Here's one of my favorites, dealing with the discrepancy between the official narrative and the everyday reality:The six contradictions of socialism in the USSR
- There is no unemployment - yet no one is working.
- No one is working - yet the factory quotas are fulfilled.
- The factory quotas are fulfilled - yet the stores have nothing to sell.
- The stores have nothing to sell - yet people's homes are full of stuff.
- People's homes are full of stuff - yet no one is happy.
- No one is happy - yet the voting is always unanimous.
Already in America I discovered that most of my old Soviet jokes didn't work in translation. It wasn't so much the language difference as the fact that Americans had no first-hand knowledge of a totalitarian government, ideological uniformity, and shameless propaganda.
But that is changing. The more America "progresses" back to the Soviet model, the more translatable the old Soviet jokes become.
Let's see how an old Soviet joke can be rewritten into a new American joke.The six contradictions of socialism in the United States of America
- America is capitalist and greedy - yet half of the population is subsidized.
- Half of the population is subsidized - yet they think they are victims.
- They think they are victims - yet their representatives run the government.
- Their representatives run the government - yet the poor keep getting poorer.
- The poor keep getting poorer - yet they have things that people in other countries only dream about.
- They have things that people in other countries only dream about - yet they want America to be more like those other countries.
There's more where it came from - or where we're going, whichever the case may be.
I've been reading Vaclav Havel's The Power of the Powerless and in many respects I can see similarities in the ideology of lies, the 'palace of lies,' that bound people in personal demoralization and loyalty and our current democratic party and it's constituency. Things aren't as bad as in the Soviet block yet of course. But I wonder if we'll have to forge a 'living in truth' movement to shatter the palace of lies and live like men as they did in Czechoslovakia.
I noticed now. There is ALLAH in T-ALLAH-ASS-EE. This is proof that Muslims discovered America and Indians were already Muslims because the glory of Allah had shined upon them. Also California means Horny Calif. The flag of South Carolina has the crescent in it. Evidence piles up.
In Kapitalist Amerika, you tell joke. In Soviet Russia, joke tell you!
Kelly Ivanovna/келя ивановна
Once again, you demonstrate your daunting abilities of deduction.
Once again, you prove that there is no arguing with conjecture.
If any dare try, they will be dealt with by the Glorious State.
The kindergarten teacher was telling the children how lucky they were to live in Obama's America.
"In Obama's America, children are always happy. In Obama's America, all parents have jobs. In Obama's America, Obama protects us from everything bad."
Suddenly one little boy burst into tears. "What's wrong, Johnny?" asked the bewildered teacher.
"I want to go to Obama's America to live!" he wailed.
Kelly Ivanovna/келя ивановна
Obama learned one day that a man had been arrested in the streets for yelling, "Obama is a moron! Obama is a moron!"
"Why is this?" he asked the arresting officer. "We have free speech in this country. Folks shouldn't be arrested for criticizing the President." The officer answered, he wasn't arrested for that, sir. He was arrested for leaking classified information!"
Kelly Ivanovna/келя ивановна
I'm not sure how this applies to the US (yet), but it's one of my favorites so I'm telling it anyway!
Three zeks in the Gulag were discussing the circumstances that brought them there. The first said, "I was late for work, and they arrested me for being a parasite." The second said, "Well. I came to work early, and they arrested me for being a sabateur." The third said. "I came to work on time and I was arrested for being a Swiss spy."
After the fall of the Soviet Union and the introduction of genuine electoral politics to Russia, the city of Moscow, in order to save money, purchased used voting machines from the city of Chicago. When they held their first election for Mayor, Richard J. Daley won by a landslide.
Sugar Daddy Bear
The teacher asks the children to bring a dollar donation to the struggling socialist government of Zimbabwe. On the following day everyone brings a dollar except for Little Johnny. The teacher asks him to explain himself.
"I asked my Dad and he said there is no socialist government in Zimbabwe," says Little Johnny.
Then the teacher asks the children to bring a dollar donation to the starving children of Zimbabwe. On the following day everyone brings a dollar, but Little Johnny brings two. Again, the teacher asks him to explain himself.
"I asked my Dad and he said that if children are starving in Zimbabwe, there's got to be a socialist government," says Little Johnny.
In old Soviet Union everyone had free health care.
You didn't build that Czar
In new Soviet Amerika free health care has everyone.
In Soviet Union, health care is free...and you get what you pay for.
-A Yakov Smirnov classic.
Obama is the smartest man to ever hold the presidency!
Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's the other way around.
A man wants to buy a new car because his old one is starting to act up. He calls the offices of now-nationalized General Motors.
"Hello?" A representative says
"Hi. I'd like to come over and look at new cars."
"OK. We have a slot open one year from next Tuesday."
"Would you mind if I came in the afternoon rather than the morning?" the man asks
"In a year what difference will it make?" the rep says
"Well, I have my doctor's appointment in the morning...."
A mother is telling her children the Russian joke about two men standing in a long line for vodka where one of them decides he's had enough and says he's going to get his gun to shoot Gorbachev, but returns because that line was even longer.
"Oh no!" her children say. "I hope we never have to go through anything like that."
"No," the mother replies. "It was a different situation there."
"Well, in Russia you were still allowed to keep guns..."
Two students are sitting in the library reading the newspaper.
"Can you believe what Obama is doing to the nation?" one of them says. "I mean, it's like having Brezhnev run the place!"
"Well, not really," the other says. "There's one major difference between Obama and Brezhnev."
"Yeah? What is it?"
"Brezhnev could've shown you his birth certificate..."
Hillary Clinton is off on a state visit to Russian FM Sergei Lavrov. She gives him a red reset button with the Russian word 'peregruzka' on it.
"We wanted to symbolize our two nations resetting our relations," Hillary says. "We worked hard to get the word for reset. I hope we got it right."
"You got it wrong," Lavrov says. "This word means 'overcharge.'"
"Oh," Hillary says, realizing her mistake. "My apologies. That button was meant for the American taxpayers."
The Cincinnati major league baseball team is scheduled to visit the White House.
The coach says to them, "Guys, I don't think we should wear our uniforms when we go to Washington."
"Why not?" one of the players asked. "What else would we wear? It's got our team name on it!"
"I know," the coach says. "And when Obama sees two dozen guys in shirts that say 'Reds' on them, he might mistake them for his cabinet..."
Putin wants to ramp up Cold War 2 and decides to put missiles in Cuba again.
"Why don't we just put them off the coast of DC and take it out in one fell swoop?" Medvedev asks.
"Because we don't want to do our enemy a favor," Putin replies.
A student has just learned about the history of the Soviet Union in school.
He asks his mom, "Do you think there will be shortages here like there were in the USSR?"
"I don't know," his mom says. "But there's one thing I can guarantee you there will never be a shortage of under socialism."
"What's that?" her son asks
Kelly Ivanovna/келя ивановна
Comrade putout WINS!!!!!
Last edited by Red Square
on 11/14/2012, 6:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
REASON: Comrade Putout puts out unpastable putout.
Centers for Disease Control
Hundreds of years from now, when the entire world is united in a happy and peaceful communist society, a little boy is digging a hole in the sand and finds a silver dollar. He brings it to his mother.
"What is this, Mommy?"
"This is money, son."
"And what is money?"
"In the capitalist past people used money to buy things, like bread, milk, and meat."
"And what is bread, milk, or meat?"
America had an Ambassador to the United Nations. Obama has a United Nations Ambassador to America.
MICHELLE OBAMA: "Come the revolution, comrades, we will all eat arugula!"
R.O.C.K. in the USSA
HECKLER (from the back of the crowd): "I don't like arugula!"
MICHELLE OBAMA: "Come the revolution, comrade, you will like arugula!"
Comrade Square, dunno if you've ever met Comrade Farah - but I suspect the two of you could be a dangerous combination!
* eats last remaining Twinkie *
Kelly Ivanovna/келя ивановна
An SEIU worker runs in to a coworker and says, somewhat menacingly, "Comrade! I didn't see you at the last union meeting!"
The coworker, who up till now had been a little nervous about the enounter, brightened up. "Well comrade," he said, if I knew it was the LAST union meeting, I would have come and brought my entire family!"
Kelly Ivanovna/келя ивановна
Now that I think about it, there are some examples of Soviet humor that I wouldn't mind having it catch on in the west:
(This was a Nu Pogodi video before it was, understandably, removed by the Department of Truth, due to its subtle, anti-communist message to children. I apologize to the kollektive for exposing it to you.)
An American and a Soviet soldier kill each other and end up at the pearly gates
at the same time. Peter says" well, we have national division in hell as well,
but you may choose where you'd like to go. There is an American hell and a
American: what's the difference?
Peter: well, in the American hell you have to eat a shovel of shit a day.
Russian: and in Russian hell?
Peter: two shovels of shit.
American: I'll go to American hell.
Russian: well, two shovels of shit, it's not nice, but I was a Russian alive
and I died a Russian and I'll go to Russian hell.
Millenniums later, the same two soldiers end up doing sentry duty at the
checkpoint at the border between American and Russian hell at the same time.
Russian: Hi hi hi! How you doing! Long time no see!
American: Hey! How are you, you look good!
Russian: how is it over there in American hell?
American: oh, one shovel of shit a day, you get used to it. How about Russian
Russian: well, you know how it is, one day there's no shit, the next day no
shovels. . .
Another Soviet-American joke of the day:
World's greatest conquerors meet in the afterlife and start talking about the only remaining superpower, the United States.
Attila the Hun: "If I had American guns, I could have conquered Rome."
Mohammed: "If I had American tanks, I could have conquered all of Asia, Africa, and Europe."
Genghis Khan: "If I had American planes, I could have conquered the entire world."
Napoleon: "If I had American mainstream media, the world would have never learned what happened at Waterloo."
In Russia, you feel secure.
In Soviet America, security feels YOU!
This joke is authentically American, but it fits:
A union shop foreman walks into a bar next door to the factory and is about to order a drink to celebrate Obama’s victory when he sees a guy close by wearing a Romney for President button and two beers in front of him. He doesn't have to be an Einstein to know that this guy is a Republican. So, he shouts over to the bartender so loudly that everyone can hear, "Drinks for everyone in here, bartender, but not for the Republican."
Soon after the drinks have been handed out, the Republican gives him a big smile, waves at him, then says, "Thank you!" in an equally loud voice. This infuriates the union official.
The union captain once again loudly orders drinks for everyone except the Republican. As before, this does not seem to bother the Republican. He continues to smile, and again yells, "Thank you!"
The union thug once again loudly orders drinks for everyone except the Republican. As before, this does not seem to bother the Republican. He continues to smile, and again yells, "Thank you!"
The union guy asks the bartender, "What the hell is the matter with that Republican? I've ordered three rounds of drinks for everyone in the bar but him, and all the silly idiot does is smile and thanks me. Is he nuts?"
"Nope," replies the bartender. "He owns the place."
Kelly Ivanovna/келя ивановна
Last edited by Red Square
on 1/2/2013, 6:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
REASON: Just because you can toon a car doesn't mean you can cartoon.
A little boy wanted $100.00 very badly and prayed for weeks, but nothing happened. Then he decided to write God a letter requesting the $100.00.
When the postal authorities received the letter addressed to God, USA, they decided to send it to President Obama.
Obama was so amused that he instructed his secretary to send the little boy a $ 5.00 bill. He thought this would appear to be a lot of money to a little boy.
The little boy was delighted with the $5.00 bill and sat down to write a thank-you note, which read: "Dear God: Thank you very much for sending the money. However, I noticed that for some reason you sent it through Washington, D.C. and that asshole Obama took $95.00."
Emailed by Sister Massively Opiated... Though these aren't exactly Soviet jokes, they sound a lot like what Yakov Smirnov would say:
Kelly Ivanovna/келя ивановна
I went to see a Muslim tribute band last night.
They were called “Bomb Jovi”. They were brilliant.
Their last song “Living on a Prayer Mat” almost brought the house down.
Then this Muslim guy started bragging about how he had the entire Koran on DVD.
I was interested so I asked him, “Can you burn me a copy?”
Well that was when the trouble started.
Putin and Obama are taking a stroll. Obama says, "Vladimir Vladimirivich, considering the volatile history between our two countries, isn't it great that the leaders of both can take a walk and talk casually to each other?"
Then the Chinese guard says, "OK you two! Back in your cells! Exercise time is over!"
The Urgent Care clinic is so full that there's a line outside going around the block. One of the last in line asks, "It's like this all the time now! Why is that I wonder?" "It's because of Obama and his Obamacare," answers another in line. The last in line says, "Well, forget this! I"m gonna find Obama and punch him right in the face!"
So he takes off, but a few hours later he's back again. The guy who spoke to him earlier asked, "Back so soon?"
"Yeah, the line to punch Obama in the face is a lot longer than this line."
Question: "Could Obamacare work in Iceland?"
[American Equivalent of Radio Armenia*]: "Sure, but what has Iceland ever done to us?"
*I've heard a lot of radio Armenia jokes, but I don't know why Radio Armenia was used....was it because Armenia was provencial? Backward? or something totally different?
I once knew a theory why Radio Armenia was used in jokes, but I can't remember now.
Here are some Radio Armenia jokes. http://www.armeniapedia.org/index.php?t ... evan_Jokes
Here are more: http://www.johndclare.net/Russ12_Jokes.htm'Armenian Radio' jokes
This is Armenian Radio; our listeners asked us: “Will people have money when communism is built?”
We’re answering: “Some will, some will not.”
This is Armenian Radio; our listeners asked us: “Is it possible to build communism in America?”
We’re answering: “It's possible, but who will we buy grain from?”
This is Armenian Radio; our listeners asked us: “When the final phase of socialism, namely communism, is built, will there still be thefts and pilfering?”
We’re answering: “No, because everything will be already pilfered during socialism.”
This is Armenian Radio; our listeners asked us: “What is the most permanent feature of our socialist economy?”
We’re answering: “Temporary shortages.”
This is Armenian Radio; our listeners asked us: “What is the difference between capitalism and socialism?”
We’re answering: “In a capitalist society man exploits man, and in a socialist one, the other way around.”
This is Armenian Radio; our listeners asked us: “What is the difference between the capitalist and the socialist trade?”
We’re answering: “Capitalist trade means everything is to be sold. Socialist trade means everything is to be bought.”
This is Armenian Radio; our listeners asked us: “Is it possible to make ends meet on salary alone?”
We’re answering: “We don't know, we never tried.”
This is Armenian Radio; our listeners asked us: “What will be the results of the next elections?”
We’re answering: “Nobody can tell. Somebody has stolen yesterday the exact results of the next elections from the office of the Central Committee of the USSR.”
This is Armenian Radio; our listeners asked us: “What is the difference between Russian and English fairy tales?”
We’re answering: “The English fairy tale start with ‘Once upon a time…’, and ours with ‘It will be soon…’”
This is Armenian Radio; our listeners asked us: “Why did you not broadcast for such a long time?”
We’re answering: “We had to make some changes in our staff. The previous broadcaster, while reading an article that contained the words ‘Socialism is nothing as compared with communism,’ made a pause too long after the word ‘nothing.’”
This is Armenian Radio; our listeners asked us: “What should we do if the Western borders of the USSR were opened?”
We’re answering: “Rush to Siberia at once in order not to be crushed in the stampede.”
This is Armenian Radio; our listeners asked us: “Will the police still exist when communism is built?”
We’re answering: “Of course, not. By that time, all citizens will have learned how to arrest themselves.”
This is Armenian Radio; our listeners asked us: “What to do if a man you don't know takes a seat at your table in a pub and starts to sigh?”
We’re answering: “Immediately demand to stop the anti-Soviet propaganda.”
This is Armenian Radio; our listeners asked us: “Why Lenin wore regular shoes, but Stalin wore boots?”
We’re answering: “At Lenin's time, Russia was still only ankle-high in shit.”
This is Armenian Radio; our listeners asked us: “What is the duration of the workday in a socialist country?”
We’re answering: “Of course, it's an eight-hour workday: from eight am to eight pm.”
This is Armenian Radio; our listeners asked us: “What is an exchange of opinions?”
We’re answering: “When you walk into your boss's office with your opinion and walk out with his.”
This is Armenian Radio; our listeners asked us: “Why did butter disappear from the stores' shelves?”
We’re answering: “It all has melted under the sun of the Soviet Constitution.”
This is Armenian Radio; our listeners asked us: “Is it true that Akopian had won last Sunday hundred thousand rubles in the state lottery?”
We’re answering: “Yes, it is true. Only it was not last Sunday but Monday. And it was not Akopian but Vagramian. And not in the state lottery but in checkers. And not hundred thousand but one hundred rubles. And not won but lost.”
Q: Is it true that there is freedom of speech in the Soviet Union the same as there is the USA?
A: In principle, yes. In the USA, you can stand in front of the Washington Monument in Washington, DC, and yell, "Down with Reagan!", and you will not be punished. In the Soviet Union, you can stand in the Red Square in Moscow and yell, "Down with Reagan!", and you will not be punished.
Q: Is it true that the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky committed suicide?
A: Yes, it is true, and even the record of his very last words is preserved: "Don't shoot, comrades."
Q: Why is there no flour in the market?
A: Because they began adding it to the bread.
Q: Is it true that in the Soviet Union people do not need stereophonic equipment?
A: In principle, yes. One hears exactly the same thing from all sides.
Q: Is it true that conditions in our labor camps are excellent?
A: In principle, yes. Five years ago one of our listeners was not convinced of this, so he was sent to investigate. He seems to have liked it so much that he hasn't returned yet.
Q: Under communism will we still have money?
A: No, none of that either.
Q: Could an atomic bomb destroy our beloved town, Yerevan, with its splendid buildings and beautiful gardens ?
A: In principle, yes. But Moscow is by far a more beautiful city.
Q: What is chaos?
A: We do not comment on national economics.
Q: What is cosmopolitan?
A: Cosmonaut's deputy in political affairs.
Q: What is a Soviet musical duet?
A: It's a musical quartet after a trip abroad.
Q: We are told that the communism is already seen at the horizon. What then is a horizon?
A: Horizon is an imaginary line which moves away each time you approach it.
Q: Why is our government not in a hurry to land our men on the moon?
A: What if they refuse to return?
Q: When Nixon visited Moscow, he and Khrushchev had a race around the Kremlin. Nixon came the first. How should our media report on that?
A: As follows: In the international running competition the General Secretary of the Communist Party took the honorable second place, while President Nixon came in next to last.
Q: What is the difference between the Constitutions of the USA and USSR? Both guarantee freedom of speech.
A: Yes, and the US Constitution also guarantees freedom after speech.
Q: What is permitted and what is prohibited?
In England, what is permitted, is permitted, and what is prohibited, is prohibited.
In America everything is permitted except for what is prohibited.
In Germany everything is prohibited except for what is permitted.
In France everything is permitted, even what is prohibited.
In the USSR everything is prohibited, even what is permitted.
Q: Why have Solzhenitsyn, Brodsky, Bukovsky, and other dissidents have been exiled from the country?
A: Did you know that the best products are always selected for export?