Solidarity with Russia’s pilot students

It is probably the currently most discussed hip swing on both sides of the Urals: half-naked a young man is dancing up a flight of stairs. The shaky cell phone camera pauses briefly on his twitching ass, then works its way from dancer to dancer through the long hallway of a Russian dorm. Everyone is sparsely dressed: underpants, maybe a tie around his neck. The cap of Russian pilots instills authority on the head. One bites into a banana with relish, the other has converted his underpants into a thong.

The choreography for the song “Satisfaction” by DJ Benny Benassi is bursting with sexual energy. Some in Russia even saw it as a homosexual lifestyle advertised.

The response from the state was not long in coming.

“A shame for civil aviation. An institute turned into a brothel, ”a news anchor quotes one of the few negative comments on the YouTube video. As a result, the most revealing sections of the clip flicker across the screen of the otherwise state-supporting broadcaster Rossija 24. His colleague appears almost a little ashamed when he has to explain to the prudish audience: “For everyone who is not up to date about this subculture: BDSM is, let’s say, an extraordinary form of sexual pastime that uses whips, for example. ”

Homosexuality? An evil from the west
It is as if two worlds collide. On the one hand, the Russian state power, which has supposedly elevated traditional values ​​to state doctrine and condemns freedom of movement and homosexuality as evils from the West. On the other hand, Russian citizens who have little to do with the narrow moral standards and who take up trends from around the world and redefine them culturally on the Internet.

The scandal video is actually a parody of a parody. In the original by DJ Benny Benassi, busty women practice the erotic handling of drills, grinders and jackhammers. Then three years ago a group of British recruits shot their version of Satisfaction. Instead of drilling machines, they operated irons. Instead of using jackhammer, they worked the floor of their bedrooms with feather dusters. Here too there is something homoerotic about her hip swing.

In England’s youth culture, this is considered a “camp”. On the Russian video, however, a sexologist with a high-necked collar said on state television that she saw clear signs of homosexuality. So-called homosexual propaganda has been punishable for several years.

As a representative of state power, the rector of the Aviation Academy in Ulyanovsk could not help but publicly request that his pilot students be deregistered. The video clip is outrageous, says Sergei Krasnow:

“There is no place for these people in civil aviation. There is no excuse for that. I would even compare it to Pussy Riot. They profaned a church. This time it’s a temple of science. “

In the news channel Rossija 24, the spokesman said:

“The outraged public demands: No more flights for the budding pilots, at most from their institute.”

But with the Russian public, that’s one thing.

Solo clips from sports teams and retirees
But many Russians went too far that 17-year-olds should have blocked their future because of a YouTube video. While governmental commissions were investigating, a virtual flash mob of civil disobedience was launched online. All over the country, people started filming their own dances to the sound of “satisfaction” and putting them on the net. It is often colleagues, fellow students or sports teams who collectively show their solidarity with the pilot students from Ulyanovsk.

“What did the guys show with this clip? Humor and creativity. So qualities that can be used in any profession. And then suddenly there is such excitement: commissions, a school expulsion. This country is thrown into new madness again and again. And what can you do about it? Something like this if necessary. Something has to be done, ”explains a pensioner from St. Petersburg to the Codastory portal, who shot her version of“ Satisfaction ”in her kitchen.

Indeed, it is often the case that people feel that the system is overly tough on innocents who are protesting across many layers of Russian society.

But especially in times of election campaigns, the propaganda machine of state television is just as clever to backtrack when it seems necessary.

“Why so strict? The boys were joking and now their whole lives are in pieces, ”asked a talk show host just a few days later. For the pilot students themselves, the episode ended last week with a blame on the part of the university. In Russia it’s a small victory.