free Pussy Riot
free Pussy Riot

free Pussy Riot
free Pussy Riot
An open letter to Vladmir Putin…

Vladimir,

And may I call you Vladimir?

I think you know why I am writing to you.

We are connected by a love of rock n roll. We are both big fans of the Beatles so if we ever met we could exchange Beatle stories and nod our heads and maybe even get the guitars out.

You once described the Beatles as “a gulp of freedom” for Soviet youth, a gulp of freedom that you must try and maintain now you are the big boss. I’m not trying to tell you how to run your country. It’s hard enough trying to run a website let alone continent and Russia has a unique and complex history that I have read about but can’t pretend to understand fully.

I am speaking to you as a fellow rock n roll fan who understands that rock n roll is not just about the music but about that gulp of freedom you talked about.

I think you must know what I’m writing to you about now.

It’s this tricky affair with Pussy Riot.

I see it is their trial now and I am a bit worried someone may put the band in jail and that would not sit well with anyone who loves the Beatles. We both know that Pussy Riot may not have the musical chops of the fab four but they are a feisty punk rock band and feisty punk rock is a fine music as well and a music that a young John Lennon would have understood.

I know plenty of people who love the Beatles but don’t care for what they stood for but I’m intrigued by your ‘gulp of freedom’ quote. I’ve been to Russia several times and I love the country- I love the dynamism and the power of the people, I love the culture and the energy and have a lot of friends there. That gulp of freedom you talk about is always the reason why older Russians love the Beatles and proof that someone understands the band are more than just pretty tunes.

I can’t imagine that Pussy Riot are your type of music and I understand that they have presented you with an awkward political situation by staging their protest about the system in holiest church in Moscow. Those church folk can get a bit rightous about these kind of things and they will be putting pressure on you to throw these ‘infidels’ into jail.

I know the church is a big deal in Russia, after all Moscow became the third Rome after the fall of Bzyantium in 1453. There is a lot of history at stake here and their protest has genuinely upset people in Russia.All this I can understand and the band have been very critical of you.

But then you and I know that John Lennon upset a lot of people in the sixties by having long hair or opposing the Vietnam war- all those things that he is loved for now and this interests me because I’m guessing that Lennon is probably your favourite Beatle.

Vladmir, this is far from some anti Russian tirade, like I said I have been there several times and really like the crazy old place and understand Russians like strength and might and powerful leaders and those kind of things and a bunch of noisy punk rock woman being profane in a church is going to cause a lot of trouble.

I can’t believe this has ended up in court and that the band could go to jail. I thought you were stronger than that.

You are the strong man of Russia and that’s pretty strong. I have seen you galloping about on your horse without your shirt on like the Arnie of the Steppes and you looked very hard- the one world leader that you wouldn’t want to get in fight with but I detect a sensitivity there and that love of the Beatles is fascinating.

Surely a real man would take this sort of political discourse on the chin and respect the opinions of the band even if they are very critical of you personally as well as the state.

They didn’t kill anyone. In these modern times people normally seem to resort to terrorism and suicide bombing and it seems to me that a half rehearsed punk rock band getting noisy in a church doesn’t seem that bad when you step back from it.

Show everyone who is the boss Vladimir and let the band go.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Nice try John, but Putin cut his teeth in the KGB and sees himself in the mould of old style Soviet dictators who couldn’t, wouldn’t, tolerate any kind of dissent that could possibly be seen to undermine his authority. His half-time talk at a televised martial arts tournament had to be edited because the crowd booed him. His opponents get jailed. His police beat up demonstrators. His youth groups (‘Nashi’) intimidate kids who question his policies. His TV stations spout his propaganda. Right-wing Orthodox religious militias help the police out to put the boot in to troublesome elements, such as anyone brave enough to admit to being gay. Basically, if you gave Putin a big moustache and a Dunhill pipe you’d have Stalin. Pussy Riot might be set free as a gesture of his magnanimity….but I wouldn’t I bet on it.

  2. Nice one John, take a bow for that mate, lets hope things work out for them, but the way things are going in Russia now I fear the worst. Looks like all the hope following the fall of the iron curtain is fading, replaced by Putins iron fist.

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