venerdì 6 maggio 2011
Regina Spektor «Soviet Kitsch» 
1921. War Communism. Deep in winter.
In a small soviet city an announcement is made: at dawn the party will donate some oranges to all the population, from a storehouse just outside the train station. At 06:00 a small crowd is already queuing. Two hours later a party official lifts the shutter and cries: "Comrades, I'm sorry to announce that the oranges are less than expected, and hence they wan't be distributed to the ethnic and linguistic minorities, who have their own channels of sustainment."
A group of old orthodox Jews leaves, sadly chanting their resignation prayers: "Ov vey, oy oy". Only soviet citizens remain in the queue, in the increasing cold. Two hours later the official comes out again to say: "Comrades the oranges are even less than what we previously told, we can donate only to party members."
The simple citizens leave in silence, cursing the official's mother in their minds. Only the party members remain in the queue. Hard, tough people well used to suffering in patience. They endure 2 more hours of queuing in the cold with revolutionary fervour. Then the official comes out again in evident embarrassment, to explain only senior party members will receive any oranges.
After 2 more incredibly long and cold hours the official comes out for the last time to say to the small group of remaining senior party members: "Comrades, we can count in your allegiance to the party, only to admit there are no oranges at all. Please go back to your houses." With proletarian discipline and obedience, the elder party members leave the place in silence. Just one of them whispers to the ears of his next-in-line comrade: "Vasilij, have you seen? the Jews, always lucky!".
After being told the nth joke mocking his people, Regina Spektor's father decided his family would quit the paradise of socialism, where his girl was born and had first learnt to play the piano, to reach the land of freedom in the US of A. Call it lack of humour, but if he hadn't done so back in 1989, today we would probably not have such a gifted, experimental, and provocative pop artist, as Regina undoubtedly is. Or maybe she would simply sing in Russian.
This is not a - - - > joke.