“But There Is Truth, There Is Pride, There Is Courage”
Last week Zemfira, a prominent Russian singer who has been labeled a foreign agent and driven into exile, released a song—”Motherland”—that I found quite striking, in a brutal way. It’s about modern Russia, but it’s really about forced patriotism more generally, and indeed about forced adherence more generally. It has 1M views on YouTube, and two videos, each with its own twist:
(The opening frame in each appears to be the officially required disclaimer that the video was created or is being distributed by someone who had been labeled a foreign agent by the Russian government.) As usual, the translation, done with the help of my parents, Anne and Vladimir, offers our best guess as to the meaning, but we may have erred; please let me know if that is so.
We will teach you, bitch, to love your motherland,
To kiss her boots and soles.
We will teach you, bitc
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