Degrees of  indecency. Valery Panyushkin on moral priorities

29 December 2023

by Valery Panyushkin


Hanging out in your underwear may not be the noblest activity. On the other hand, imagine Nastya Ivleeva, Filipp Kirkorov, and Lolita Milyavskaya going to a conservatory or organizing an evening of classical poetry. That, you have to agree, would be worse than an “almost-naked party” at the Mutabor club.

The point of a night club is that all kinds of indecency can go on there. The point of show business stars is that they can cook up all manner of indecency. Who the indecency outrages is something else.

This whole “almost-naked party” business, this whole scandal, all the subsequent inspections by the tax service were instigated by the Z-Channel, that is, people who support and are even directly participating in the war. In other words, the exhibitionists’ indecency is outraging killers or killers’ accomplices.

If before the invention of gunpowder war could still barely be ascribed a noble guise, then today’s war is nothing but the triumph of cruelty and hypocrisy. In war, people kill people, and I see no way whatsoever to deem this noble. I can also imagine people who thought they were forced to go to war, by decree or at the behest of some strangely understood sense of duty. But I find it much harder to understand someone who takes pride in killing other people than to understand people who display their genitalia.

The tax inspections initiated against Nastya Ivleeva may yield results. I’m quite prepared to admit that the social media star has been careless about her taxes and has somehow harmed the state budget. But at the same time, for the second year in a row now the Russian state has been flinging the state budget into the furnace of war by the billions and hundreds of billions, by entire cities. The people who started this bloodbath have no business being outraged over anything because the most unbridled party, the most blatant evasion of taxes cannot be more unbridled than war and cannot inflict greater harm on the nation than war does.

The particular object of outrage for Z-activists has been the prospect that Nastya Ivleeva’s guests who flaunted their negligees on New Year’s eve might show up on the “Blue Lights” show, that is, enter every home through the television directly following the adored President Putin and on a par with his favorite artists. For some reason it hasn’t occurred to Z-activists that the “Blue Lights” show in itself is indecent.

A few days after the “almost-naked party,” Nastya Ivleeva began apologizing, that is, at a minimum had figured out that an “entertaining” activity like a party in your underwear might harm her career. That is, at minimum she demonstrated an ability to admit her own error.

I don’t think Z-activists will ever be able to admit their own error, no matter what nightmare their “entertaining” activity—war between their own country and contiguous countries—thrusts them into.

The “almost-naked party” is over and will soon be forgotten. To the bloodbath of war there is no end in sight. People’s ability to be horrified at exhibitionism and at the same time support killing is beyond human fathoming.

Translated by Marian Schwartz

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