Freedom Fries 2.0 – Diary

THERE is no fever quite like war fever; when it gets higher, it all becomes clear: it’s us versus them, black versus white, good versus bad, nihari beef versus tofu steaks. I’m sure you have the photo.

So when the Russian invasion of Ukraine began – a project only conceived and initiated by the current Tsar of Russia, Vladimir Putin, the first of his name, it was Russia and all things Russian that came in the crosshairs of a justly vengeful West. This is fair and just, given that the West, moral bastion of freedom as it is, never fights wars of conquest or domination, but bombs and occupies countries in a well-meaning effort to protect the freedom, human rights and cute little kittens.

Given that the Russian invasion had none of these goals, and that it didn’t take place in a less civilized, less blond, and notably less blue-eyed part of the world, it deserved the harshest response possible. Thus, to the condemnation are added sanctions for Russia and military and diplomatic aid for the Ukrainians. Western companies selling products and services, from McDonalds to Apple to Pornhub, quickly withdrew from Russia and sporting bodies like FIFA, and the IOC moved to bar Russian teams from competing internationally.

How could the world allow anything Russian?

But that wasn’t enough: how could the world in good conscience allow anything Russian to be there? I mean, think about it…every time you take a bite of the abomination that is Russian salad, isn’t that implicit support for Putin’s brutal onslaught?

Thus begins an episode that makes the freedom fries fiasco appear as a measured and reasoned response. The competition for the European Tree of the Year has taken its ease by banning the participation of the Russian oak Turgenev in this prestigious competition, in favor of a Polish tree which “had become a symbol of Polish resistance to aggression and for his warm welcome. to refugees from Ukraine.

Inspired by their book, the International Cat Federation banned not only all cats in Russia, but all Russian breeds from competing. The muffled Muscovite mews weren’t enough either, and so the Russian music had to go. From Montreal to Dublin, Russian musicians have found themselves scratched from the list of upcoming performances and, in a prime example of how collateral damage works, even 20-year-old Russian piano prodigy Alexander Malofeev, who condemned the invasion of Ukraine, ended up on the wrong side. of the ban.

Since there’s nothing more Russian than vodka, furious New York state officials filmed themselves spilling bottles of it on the sidewalk, and bars across the country stopped serving of Stolichnaya vodka with the aim of stopping the Russian war machine in its imperialist momentum. The only problem here is that Stolichnaya is produced in Latvia (which has little love for Russia) and was actually founded by a Putin critic who was exiled from Russia in 2000.

Being dead for a long time doesn’t offer any protection either, as your (largely) decomposed corpse is also far too Russian to pass the mark. Famous Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who died in 1893, has been removed from the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra’s program list, a move so completely foolish that many initially considered the news to have come from a satirical site or was part of Russian propaganda. . On that note, reports that the Space Federation revoked awards for legendary Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin were apparently overblown, as all they did was rename a fundraising event from “Yuri’s Night” to “A Celebration of Space”.

Some efforts were so stupid they had to be retracted, like when a university in Milan tried to cancel a lecture on Russian novelist Dostoyevsky but had to backtrack when it became clear it was so Stupid that if Dostoyevsky had been alive it probably would have inspired him to write another book in his characteristic satirical style.

But while the Italians may have chickened out (no doubt due to the presence of Russian spies embedded in the literature department), the all-American University of Florida has doubled down and renamed its “Karl Marx Study Hall.” to protest the war. Karl Marx was, of course, German. Even that’s nothing compared to what happened with poutine, that concoction of fries, gravy and cheese that is unquestionably the epitome of French-Canadian cuisine. Now, no one does poutine better than Maison de la Poutine, which has branches all over France and found itself under threat from irate customers who thought the dish was named after Poutine. While you’re chewing on that, also note that Le Roy Jucep, a Quebec restaurant that claims to be the birthplace of poutine has actually renamed itself “the inventor of fries-cheese-sauce.” At that point, Putin presumably decided to step down because it’s one thing to fight tough Ukrainians, but it’s another thing to go up against certified lunatics.

The writer is a journalist.

Twitter: @zarrarkhuhro

Posted in Dawn, March 28, 2022

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