Thursday, September 30, 2010

In Russia, brides mail-order YOU

Mark Adomanis On Russia

A friend sent me this reddit feed (ok you probably don’t really care, but since I am aware of all internet traditions I follow proper blogging protocol at all times and in all places with a rigorous and unyielding consistency) , which contains a link to what is probably the funniest Craigslist advertisement in human history.

It is an ad aimed at Americans who want to marry Russian women. “No big deal, Mark” you might say, “aren’t there like thousands of those sites? Don’t the advertisements on your own blog frequently include websites that aim to find ‘true love’ somewhere in Eastern Europe?”

Well, what distinguishes this particular example from the rest of its competitors, what separates it from its imitators like wheat from chaff and what displays a truly remarkable level of sophistication and foresight, is that it asks the American males at whom it is targeted to move to Russia to avoid riots that will take place in the future. That’s right, kids, no one is trying to finagle a green card here and no one is chasing a blue passport! In fact, in modern Russia, you must be sponsored by your (mail-order) bride to be, and you must prove your worth in order to receive (Russian) citizenship!

My comedy skills aren’t what they used to be, so just for kicks here is the ad’s actual text (I swear I’m not making this up)

Morons who think that Russian women are looking to escape Russia to come to America, stop reading now and don’t bother contacting me. Men who would like to find a beautiful, in shape, family oriented Russian woman who will be willing to marry you and sponsor you to come and live in a stable, prosperous, capitalist Russia – do get in touch! I can help you find a woman who will not only become your loving wife, the mother of your children, but who can also help you escape what’s coming soon: the Great American riots, desperate unemployment, $120 loaf of bread, the criminals both in the streets and in the government that rob you blind any way you turn, and live in a stable, safe environment of Mother Russia. You can get your Russian Green Card in 3 years and Russian citizenship in 5. But beware, streets are not paved with gold in Russia. People do have to work for a living but you will find the change incredibly refreshing once you escape the confinds of USSA (United Socialist States of America) and set your foot on free soil of Mother Russia where your dreams of freedom, prosperity, stability and having a loving wife and family can be realised.

There is, I think, a vaguely serious point buried somewhere in here, which is the apparent inability of many Russians to distinguish between plans (or other future activity) and reality. I totally believe that whoever wrote that ad really does think that the United States stands on a precipice of chaos and disorder. To a certain extent this is just normal human ignorance, but based on my experience it appears that this sort of magical thinking about the future is a bit more prevalent among Russians than among other nationalities. I remember a few weeks back I said something banal and inoffensive to the effect of “Russia isn’t a superpower,” and someone showed up in the comments hysterically screeching “but the Russians said they are going to build 85,000 aircraft carriers by 2050, and only superpowers can do that!!!” The legacy of Soviet planning, in which the biggest and most dramatic improvements were always 3-5 years down the line, does a lot to explain this, and I think it goes without saying that this is a pattern of thought that is deeply destructive. Looking to the future is a good thing, but looking endlessly to the future while studiously ignoring that crappyness of everything around you is not very healthy.

But yeah, back to the main point, apparently you can move to Russia to find the women of your dreams. To whomever is brave/stupid enough to give that idea a shot…well, good luck.