Rebel Scum gets a fly-on-the-wall look behind Putin’s homophobic policies and finds opportunism and ambitious underlings …
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In a dark Kremlin bunker, in front a flag that looks as if it features a couple of chickens throwing up, Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, is looking over the shoulder of a minion. On a computer screen in front of said minion – we’ll call him Leon – is the latest of Putin’s hunting photos, a Hello! magazine spread of sorts, but without the irony. Masculine, virile and a little pudgy around the middle, Putin is killing as many defenceless animals as he can to show that he has the heart of a bear. A Russian bear. The Russian bear. Hear him roar! Grr. Arghh.
“You see, Leon, where the camera distorts my frame, right there,” Putin says, leaning in, pointing at the pudge while at the same time drawing his stomach in.
Leon nods, and deploying the magic healing brush shaves a few inches off the presidential frame.
As Putin smiles, and relaxes his abdomen, a low-level Party Official – we’ll call him Sergei – glides in. Sergei is yearning to be on the Fast Track, so he waits deferentially until Putin looks him in the eye, then he nods and begins his career-making pitch.
“Comrade,” Sergei begins, “word is in from my chief mole in the St Petersburg parliament, Onya Backyabitch. She reports that the bill to ban gay propaganda is a shoe-in.”
“Can you not see that I am busy, Sergei, with important work?” Putin gestures to the screen, and he runs his right hand over his puffed-out chest.
Sergei lowers his tone, and adds, with conspiratorial intent, “Comrade, there are whispers of a revolt in the Duma if you do not take the lead on this most important issue.”
Putin flexes a bicep, and gestures with his chin. “Tell me more, Sergei.”
Sergei takes a deep breath. “Comrade, it is your chance to show all of Russia that you oppose the decadence of the West, and to restore the confidence of a populace grown fat with a yearning for McNuggets and the films of Bruce Willis.”
Putin’s eyes narrow, and Sergei, aware of the potential error in using the word “fat”, holds a level gaze, all the time thinking, “do not look at his waistline, do not look at his waistline”.
“And how would this work, with those liberal Westerners hiding behind the human rights laws they like to ignore in their own countries?”
“That’s the magic, sir. This law is to protect the children.”
“Just the children?” Putin asks, his eyes retreating into deep wrinkles. He is clearly displeased. “That sounds like a missed opportunity.”
Sergei beams, for he knows that this is his moment. His one perfect moment.
“That, Comrade, is the beauty. We do as the Americans do. They hide all their sins behind protecting the children.” Sergei pauses, for dramatic effect, which is a trick he learned from the seemingly interminable Die Hard series. “But it applies to everyone. Whenever a rainbow flag appears, FSB agents will produce a child, and voilà, a legitimate arrest is made.”
Putin’s smile widens, and he nods, while never forgetting to tap Leon on the shoulder to make sure that his eye is still on the great work at hand.
“Are you forgetting the Sochi Olympics, Sergei? I remember the 1980 boycott. How those Westerners did gloat. And then look what they did to Afghanistan! Hypocrites!”
“I have a plan, sir. We simply pay off Lamine Diack, who is still the head of International Association of Athletics Federations, just like International Sport and Lesiure did in the ‘90s when they wanted a contract with IAFF.”
“Yes, yes, I remember. The wily old fox got away with it, too.” He nods, and then adds, remembering with glee his geopolitical history, “And those Sengalans, they hate the gays!” Putin throws his head back, and laughs, in as deep and as virile a tenor as he can muster. “They like to throw them in prison, too.”
“You are right, Comrade, yes.”
“So do we really need to pay this Diack off?”
“Security. Self interest.”
“Make it so,” Putin concludes. “And make sure that Edward Snowden gets asylum. That’ll rustle the eagle’s feathers.” And with that he turns back to Leon, to further secure his heritage, and Sergei bounces out of the room and into his great future.