Yannow, I was all prepared to watch Johnny Weir go over to Sochi and be really upset at no longer feeling welcome in a place that was so important to him -- either Russia or the Olympics. The best he expected, I think, was a kind of peace by silence, where a lot of athletes would defend the apolitical nature of the games but refuse to comment, even diplomatically, about the Russian Federation's new law. And at worst, the Russians would renege on their stated policy of 'you don't go poking us with sticks, we don't go poking you with deportation proceedings'.

He's having a blast instead. I'm glad. He's spending half his time playing dress-up with Tara Lipinski and cluttering all the Instagram accounts he has access to with photos of shoes and shiny renditions of Cheburashka, and the other half being more than a bit overwhelmed by the show of support from athletes and personnel from all around the world.

And I do mean all around the world. In addition to things like Google's doodle and very pointed quote on the day the games began, Germany's "oh, goodness, no! we just wanted to wear bright colors this year!" team uniforms, and the US's choice selection of former Olympians for their official envoy, Russia's own Olympic committee got into the act by choosing pop duo t.A.T.u. as the splashy performance spectacle to kick off the opening ceremonies.

There are not a lot of Russian acts famous outside of Russia. If you are not familiar with this one, t.A.T.u., composed of Lena Katina and Julia Volkova, shot to fame in 2000 with a single called "Я сошла с ума" ("Ya Soshla S Uma", meaning roughly "I've lost my mind"; the later English version, which is an extremely loose translation, is called "All The Things She Said") that was explicitly about a girl who has fallen in love with another girl, despite the disapproval of society. The centerpiece of the video is the two of them wearing schoolgirl uniforms and making out in the rain, and ends with them turning around and walking away, hand in hand, from the disapproving glares of the masses.


t.A.T.u. / "Я сошла с ума"

This caused an enormous uproar, because, as we all know, schoolgirl lesbians will lead directly to the downfall of human civilization. (The saner complaints were less about that than about the fact that both girls were 15 at the time, and isn't that a little young to be all over each other on international television?) The girls responded by adding some blatant snogging to live performances of the song as well. This should have surprised exactly nobody, considering the name of the act comes from bits of the phrase "Эта девочка любит ту девочку" -- "Eta devochka lyubit tu devochku", or "This girl loves that girl."

So far as I know, only the brunette (Julia) is actually queer, though I've only ever heard of her being involved with men, and the two of them never had anything going off stage. Just a lot of faux-lesbianism in front of millions of screaming fans. To the point where outside of Russia, that's pretty much all they're known for.

The song they performed at Sochi is "Нас Не Догонят" ("Nas Nye Dogonyat", in a much more straight-forward translation this time as "Not Gonna Get Us"), which is, again, about a pair of lesbians who have decided that if the world can't deal with it, fuck 'em, they'll just run away together. Here's the official video, and below is their performance at Sochi.



And if that's not enough, try these on for size. To save the non-francophones the trouble of bunging that through Google Translate, those completely different rainbow tracksuits are the official uniforms that were handed out to the personnel and volunteers at Sochi. No kidding. They have about a million pieces, up to and including a matching backpack.

From the end:
"One may think this acts as a simple uniform presentation, but it is much more. These garments will be the first impression of the Olympic Games for visitors to Sochi. I'm certain the uniform will please them, as the colors are very vivid and illustrate well the Russian hospitality." -- Quoth Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee.

Apparently everyone's simultaneously decided that rainbows are in this year. Who knew? That idiot law has made supporting gay rights the leading fashion trend of early 2014. I will laugh myself absolutely stupid if the entire uproar ends up turning Sochi into the Russian version of Provincetown.

Comments