Ask Mrs. Vera: Shouldn’t We Boycott the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Shouldn’t the United States boycott the 2013 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia?

Limberly and pudgily yours,
Lady Nadia Comaneci Witherington
Rathbone, Sussex, Blighty

Mrs. Vera with food and cyclic brassiere.

Mrs. Vera Newman,
San Francisco, California.
Photo: Michael Johnstone

Dear Lazy Naughty Commie Needy Widow Ring Tone,

Thanks for leaving this question on my voice mail — I love that scary Russian accent, even though I can never decide if you probably look like Boris Badanov and sound like Natasha Fatale or the other way around.  I still can’t believe Mary Lou Retton married that Albanian Corn Flake™, but they seem to really be making a go of it, aside from that whole lactose-intolerance thing.  Before everyone writes in, I know you all think she’s a Romanian boingy body bender, but we go way back, and I know what I’m talking about.  Back then, even I ended up doing an olympic stint as a Romanian Pommel Horse in the Carter era, it was just the thing to do, in the late 70’s, if you couldn’t get on Welcome Back Kotter, Alan Alda stopped taking your calls and you were dating Lou Ferrigno, c’mon we’ve all been there, and if your memories of the time are muddled don’t blame me. Just look what happened to John Travolta after Grease, and I don’t think Jill Clayburgh, not to mention her career, ever really did recover after being mistaken for either a discus or a borscht belt by Baryshnikov on the Tonight Show. Secretly being Russian is just asking for trouble if you ask me, my moose, my squirrel or this frozen Wooly Mammoth.

Vladamir Putin, with makeup.

Vladamir Putin, properly made-up.
Cover by Time Magazine.
Protected parody by Michael Hackett.

Anyway, anyway…  Look, our two countries just don’t get along. Putin is pretty rude to everyone, and hasn’t got much going on aside from strangling lakes, boxing tutu-clad bears on unicycles and shoving pensioners down the escalator at the mall, and clearly feels Obama is not a terrifying murderous goon who can kill a man eight times before he hits the floor using nothing but a button and a pigeon feather and his bare hands, and thus is not worthy of Russ-spect. I imagine Our President has a similarly dim view of any world leader so very reminiscent of that 5th grade bathroom bully who was always flicking your afro, and who’s convinced that he’s the one who invented both the Purple Nurple and the Swirly, you know the type, the kind of guy who steals your overdue snitch right out of your trapper/keeper secret programs folder and hides it somewhere in Miss Boehner’s classroom, on the last day your stupid substitute congress will allow you to turn it in for extra credit.

Aside from their personal dislike for each other, there is our county’s professional jealousy of the fact that no matter how hard we try to have a lousy media industry that misrepresents and distorts the shenanigans of our mansion-laden banklords and powerhogs, no matter how obsequiously our craven, submissive elected politicians fawningly touch the corporate hem and marvel at its exquisite beauty, the fact is that we are forever coming up short when compared to the absolutely unbeatable state of information control our iron-gripped rival is forever flaunting in front of that girl nation we both like, before shoving it down an escalator or two and taking its lunch money. We can practice covering up stuff 23 hours a day, lie our hearts out to each other and believe everything they say at Fox News™, but the Russians, without even trying, always make it look like it’s our first time trying to ride a bike, or a free press, over a cliff.

And now the Russians are fully embracing their outer caveman, clubbing any OOg or GronK who criticizes them, or prefers the company of some similarly fashion-forward OOg or GronK to that of Katerina Zhivaga, Siren of the Steppes, she of the wide hips and imported lipstick with the nudge-nudge, wink-wink and the ho-ho-ho, not to mention all that biddy-biddy-bip and Ah-oogah!  Because if humanity has learned anything since we fell out of the trees and into organized cultures, it’s that outlawing things we disagree with makes them go away, as long as we keep on killing them, or them what look like them, or anyone really, if no one is looking, until only one guy is left and all the trees are his.

Personally I think any athlete who goes there is crazy, unless of course they are already in prison, and are planning to tele-perform at their event. Athletics, and also the Olympics to some degree, are about the excellence of human endeavor and the heights of physical achievement attainable by the gifted, dedicated and disciplined, and of the people who love to watch them being yelled at by a coach in front of an advertising graphic.  There’s no reason to risk your life to go there to do that because, for one thing, you can’t even read half of their letters there so it makes the advertising weird, and also because when you are a fit athlete, even a straight one, those high-tech, day-glo skin-tight ski outfits make you look kind of gay (although the ones they make you wear in Aspen always make me look like a puffy janitor — Why?  It’s a mystery).  Looking gay could get an athlete beaten to death for supporting gayness by A) any casual roaming mobs of Russian people, B) Homophobic farm animals, C) Any anti-gay small furniture around, D) Angry, insecure closet-case Liters of Vodka, or E) A queer-baiting flighty bumblebee that happens to be angry at them, maybe for gay-sniffing a flower and ruining it.  Perhaps the reason these bastions of heterosexuality despise gays and lesbians has nothing to do with their sexual identity and yucky bedroom touching but it is because they seldom look like a potato by the time they are 32 years old and enjoy having basic human rights in their country of origin.

Whatever the explanation is, in modern Russia the typical homosexual on his cell phone listening to his BFF from high school complain about her dumbass – but really hot – boyfriend getting drunk too much and wrecking their tiny apartment again and wondering what she should do, must worry about A-B-C-D- and E all happening at once because they are often nested inside each other comically, like 5 crudely painted gay dudes doing it at the same time, sort of… but actually the exact opposite of that, kind of.

Nothing melts the shoe-polish coating the fermenting bread of the radiator-baked squeezable liquor-sandwich like the opportunity to pursue liberty and freedom and fast food, things Westerners enjoy without a thought, and it seems that lifestyles full of opportunity and education inevitably produce a certain number of happy, well-adjusted homosexuals capable of curling and luging the hell out those sexy outfits, without having to walk across Siberia first to qualify.  Unless, of course, that is where that fabulous new club is located.

Any countries with over 100 million people in it that lets one guy do all their thinking for them are going to be playing a little catch up with the modern world, no matter how many tractors they’ve fixed or unmarried men they’ve beaten unconscious for liking Lady Gaga. It would be a sad day for the Olympic Branding Committee indeed if every single athlete in attendance was stomped to death for possibly not hating gays enough, just to satisfy the cultural requirements of Russian manhood.  You would have thought they’d have learned a lesson about how supporting rising dictators with a fervent desire to eliminate from existence certain targeted cohorts of humanity gives those regimes legitimacy in the eyes of the world that ends up being a hell of a lot more costly than the profits Tolberone™ can hope to capture for sponsoring the 500 Meter Speed Skating competition. But when in Hell was the last time that ever happened? The question I encourage people to ask is this one: Which Olympics were you attending when they came and took you away where that was OK with you, and why?

___________________________________________

Mrs. Vera, lost.Mrs. Vera Newman is a San Francisco absurdist character, humorist, artist, writer, community organizer, clothes horse and co-founder, with Mister Tina, of The Verasphere. She has been answering the unasked questions she receives from the lonely, empty rooms of America’s heart-shaped circulatory pump room ever since it began beating. Nestled in the politically bent bowels of the Nation since she was a young girl babysitting the very same newborn Nation, her ability to self-reflect about anyone else’s embarrassing shortcomings, inept fumblings or lousy recipes has enabled her invisible rise as a modern-day Cassandra, whatever that means. Feel free to dispose of all your worries by leaving them on her doorstep!