One Man's Refusal to Eat Shit
In the previous installments of Russian Propaganda, we looked at a Soviet fairy tale about Lenin and Stalin killing God, some stories and art from satirical journals of the First Russian Revolution (1, 2, 3), and a very strange newspaper with QAnon/PKD vibes called The Voice of the Universe, from the 1990s.
Today, I’m sharing something from the present.
Russia is overflowing with pro-war propaganda, standing up to which can be dangerous: by the new laws, even calling this war “a war” (as opposed to “a special operation”) in public can, in the worst circumstances, lead to a jail sentence.
Recently, a Krasnodar man reposted a picture of a salad bar in a St. Petersburg grocery store, with one of the salads having the letter Z written in mayonnaise on it, and added a comment: “They started selling salads with shit.“
When he was brought to a police station for questioning, he tried to walk a tight-rope by, on the one hand, pretending that he didn’t even notice the Z salad and was talking about a different one; and on the other, further articulating his position on such propaganda: “I acted like a good Russian citizen who … believes strongly that persons suffering from mental illness should not feed us their shit either openly or in secret.”
I translated the record of the police interview for your perusal below.
“Regarding the questions I have been asked, I have to report the following. I have indeed made a repost of a photo of a “dressed herring1” salad from one of the St. Petersburg grocery stores, using an account in the social network Vkontakte.
The author of the photo, whom I don’t know and whose account’s name I don’t remember, claimed that unknown persons add small pieces of human fecal matter into the “dressed herring” salad in one of the Lenta chain stores (the salad in question is at the top of the picture, decorated with multi-colored stripes made of grated carrots and cheese).
The author did not specify what the goal of the perpetrator might have been, but, on more than one occasion, I have read in the news that persons suffering from a specific kind of сoprophagia take pleasure in knowing that other people are eating their feces without even being aware of it.
I made a repost and added the following comment: “St. Petersburg. The local Lenta stores have started selling salads with shit.“
I did this to warn the general public in order to prevent possible negative consequences, namely intoxication that would lead to voluminous vomiting and an upset stomach. I did not pursue any other goals.
I acted like a good Russian citizen who considers it his duty to warn his countrymen about a coming threat to their health and who believes strongly that persons suffering from mental illness should not feed us their waste either openly or in secret.
I have nothing more to add.
As to the police officer’s question about the phrase “I am against this war,” which is displayed on my Vkontakte page, I can clarify that by this phrase I meant that I am against any war as I am against using violence as extension of politics.”
Traditional Russian dish, literal translation is “a herring in a fur coat.”