Monday, October 18, 2004

Chechnya: The New Magic Kingdom

/ caucasus / projects / surreal /
I first saw it in MosNews (check the image collage!), but couldn't believe it so I turned to the BBC and...there it was:

"Chechnya is to get its own version of Disneyland under plans announced by the war-battered republic's prime minister. Sergei Abramov, who heads Chechnya's pro-Moscow government, said on Friday that the park would be built next year along with a range of cultural and entertainment facilities, including a new football stadium."

This is the sort of unintentional very dark humour coming from the former USSR I find astonishing. MosNews is a treasure trove of similar forrays into the world of "visiously surreal yet real", covering news items that boggle the mind, and leave you agog, such as:
  • Two Mental Patients Detained in Urals on Suspicion of Organizing Terrorist Attacks

  • Russia’s Far East Region to Reopen Czarist Penal Labor Camps as Tourist Attraction [You see its a national web of adventure theme parks!]

  • Russian Policeman Uses Hammer to Finish off Old Woman After Running Her Over in Car

  • Russian Pensioner Kills Intruder with Zucchini

  • Siberian Villager Builds Missile Fence, and then a day later: Missile Falls Near Private House in Russian Far East

  • Rafting Tournament on Sex Dolls in North Russia, possibly connected with the Monument to the Potato Erected in North Russia

  • and in what is possibly the funniest (yet exaggerated) headline of the year, from everyone's favourite deranged dictator, Sparmurat Niyazov: Turkmen Leader Orders People to Stop Chewing Chicken Crap

    For even darker humour there's always the exile's Death Porn

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