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Oleg Kireev: mailradek no. 18 (Beavis and Butthead)

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Date: Tue, 13 Jul 1999 16:10:38 +0400 (MSD)
From: Oleg Kireev <>
Subject: mailradek no. 18 (Beavis and Butthead)

The "mailradek" project is a non-regular posting of subjective
commentaries on political themes. "mailradek" texts have no copyright and
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or "subscribe russian mailradek" (a more often and full version) e-mail to, and I'll include him into the mailing list.

	Address: Russia 117333 Moscow, Vavilova 48-237, 
tel.: (095) 137 71 31, e-mail:

							text no. 80
				20.06.1999 Not long ago it was an
announced in "Afisha" magazine that Beavis and Butthead animated series
are going to be banned because of sex and violence propaganda, and titles
on MTV proclaimed that they were going to vacations till autumn. Beavis
and Butthead series have already become a favourite TV show for many
people because it's the only thing left from the free, ironical and
postmodernist 90s. TV-Centre, ORT and "Culture" channels have been filled
with some insane serious degenerates for a long time so far. We supposed
the ironical postmodernists to be the first target, but the serious
degenerates are pushing us back to some dark, pre-ironical, almost
Brezhnevian times.

A naive theoretician of the recent past could see mass-culture in Beavuis
and Butthead series first of all. An unexpected example of mass-culture:
it's extremely critical towards its own consumers. Beavis and Butthead are
exactly those teenagers who're crowding the clubs nowadays and calling up
the same MTV shows to order some videos from Lika the leader. They might
be an image of the post-perestroikian generation. "How dumb you are,
buttmunch. Don't you know beer must be shaken up first? I know this, la
dolce vita and stuff". Aren't they those teenagers who study sex by
American movies? Aren't they those shooting crowds of their excellent
student classmates in America?

Well, the don't reflex and they don't have the complexes. Beavis and
Butthead give a manifesto of culture of an extreme and spontaneous
nihilism; they ignore a "dumb" question "What can you suggest instead?"
They loathe school and they won't ever work ("What for?  To become a
dumbass like him?") They chose to became outsiders, and this choice is not
stimulated by any "dumb" pathos, heroism, resistance, rhetorics. Their
hippie teacher belongs to the dying century like all the contemporary
culture (the resistance culture first of all), directed to the past
(historiography, analyses, development, drawing lessons). Their rage is
directed against values "suggested instead" by the whole XXth century. Not
only for the sake of good and Christian god gloomy Chuck Norris beats the
shit out of dirty Arabs, Vietnamese and Serbs, but also the politicians
call the expansion of the cheap labor market the "cultural mission of the
state". The entertainment industry not only derives profit from the
exploitation of the "basic instincts", but also, more than Stalin,
falsifies history. The endless stream of heroic action movies about
Vietnam made the world forget that it was the hamburger country who
suffered the most humiliating defeat there.  Apparently, that is why mass
production of terrific stories about the fact that the victory of forces
of Humanism, Love, and Good simply makes the intellectuals to be tolerant
towards the few apologies of hate and every kind of beastiness.

Maybe Beavis and Butthead will suggest something positive at the beginning
of the next century but this positivity will not involve neither
programmes nor ideas, but spontaneous action, maybe they will grow old
enough for nachos and chicks, maybe they will be able to resist the
serious degenerates returning, like Luzhkov.
						Oleg Kireev
                                        translation: Alexey Kovalev

INFO: The "Against all parties" programm originated from the former
"RADEK" magazine has been "appropriated" by the State Duma deputy Ella
Panfilova. She declares it to be a "new positive step in the struggle for
liberal ideas and democracy" in the famous "tycoon"  Boris Berezovsky's
newspaper "Nezavisimaya". That's an example of how political elites make
use of the radical culture's achievements; it forces us to elaborate the
ideas which they won't be able to appropriate without danger.

The fax and media campaign inspirated by the Socio-ecological union and
its Bulgarian ecologist partners has prevented the import of the nuclear
waste from Bulgaria to Russia. Long live Socio-ecological union and its