Overview:

All in all you get some very “we’re gonna find ourselves a lonely old rich dude to fin domme” feel to it.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I don’t typically write about music, but the Satantic references (along with some interesting commentary on Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church) in the latest Pussy Riot music video, definitely caught my attention. While it’s certainly not the first time a band has used its platform to spotlight current issues, whether social or political, and certainly won’t be the last, the way they went about it begs a little commentary.

And I’m not even talking about the magic vagina fountain.

The music is fine. Not my thing but fine.

It’s catchy. I could definitely see it playing in a swanky dance club. I’m really more into SOCA music from Trinidad and Tobago right now. The previous sentence may be the most pretentious thing I’ve ever written. It is unfortunately honest. That’s just my jam right now. A guy can only take so much looming dystopia in one day.

So I haven’t really been keeping up with Pussy Riot’s musical endeavors. Russian media being what it is, I really don’t have time to sort through what is and isn’t propaganda that manages to penetrate the U.S. media bubble. 

Luckily there is video

The video, on the other hand, I do have a couple of things to say about. I’m generally on board with the imagery but they’ve got a lot going on.

The video has naked crawling old fat dudes and some very obviously sacred vagina imagery going on. All in all, you get some very “we’re gonna find ourselves a lonely old rich dude to findomme” feel to it, which is fine.

If having old men pay you to sexily beat them up is what you want to do for a career, that’s kind of up to you. No judgment. 

The video would be here but it’s age restricted on YouTube so it can’t be embedded

Review: Pussy Riot Punish Music Video
screenshot via youtube, which does not allow embedding of this video due to adult content.

I don’t really feel it’s my place to discuss all that symbolism though. There are far better voices than mine to discuss professional dominatrices for rich weirdos, and I feel like if I was a hardcore feminist in Putin’s Russia, the last thing I would want to do is give the Russian Orthodox Church another thing to be mad at me for right now. But I guess at this point, lots of different groups are mad. Pussy Riot is likely one of many such collectives.

Yet, here we find at 2:13 (immediately after 2:10, where we see the naked old man drinking his cup of vagina magic from the sacred vagina fountain while the lyrics say “I’m gonna dominate your world”) what can only be described as an inverted Orthodox crucifix. 

Now, this I find fascinating. It’s always the boring old T-shaped crosses here in the United States that get inverted by Satanists. The Roman Catholics like to call it ‘the cross of St. Peter’ and say that it’s some sort of double bluff by god to trick Satanists into using it. I like to think of it as the one with no pizazz. 

Orthodox crucifixes have an extra smaller crossbar that is alleged to represent the INRI sign that supposedly hung above Jesus’s head while he was nailed up. And then a delightfully slanted smaller line that’s supposed to be the plank JC’s feet were nailed to. These two other lines give Orthodox crucifixes some asymmetry that makes your standard variety cross look boring by comparison. That applies whether you take your crosses right side up or upside down. 

I don’t want to read too much into it. It isn’t a Satanic symbol that I’ve seen in the United States. Though this is the band (sort of) that staged a guerilla show in a Moscow Cathedral to say how much they disliked Putin and Kirill.

It seems to track 

That said, from the vantage point of someone who has spent a while doing Satany things with Satanic people in America (and from my understanding of how the Orthodox Church in Russia is used by Putin to persecute the LGBTQIA+, feminists, and anyone else who isn’t a complete an utter dick) it seems like a pretty solid statement overall directed at the Putin regime and Russian Orthodox Church hierarchy. Very on-brand for Pussy Riot. 

The video has a lot of other stuff going on

Please feel free to use the comment section to talk about the magic vagina fountain, spikey-collar anime goth brat, dirty-crawly-naked-old dude, the anarchist teddy bear, the stomping over statues of angels covered in lipstick graffiti wearing thigh-high red patent leather. If you’re going to ask about the vagina logo at the end I can recommend many of my colleagues who both have clitorises and something to say about … music and other things.

Right. 

This article was supposed to be about music. Apologies. Thanks for reading. 

FOR INFERNAL USE ONLY Jack Matirko was raised in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, but it didn't take. His projects include The Left Hemispheres Podcast, The Naked Diner Podcast, and An Ongoing and...