We must preserve the purity of our essence

Chilling. Putin is decrying the influence of the degenerate West, with their “foie gras, oysters, and gender freedom”, but the most terrible line is this one: “I am convinced that such a natural and necessary self-purification of society will only strengthen our country, our solidarity, cohesion, and readiness to respond to any challenges.” Uh-oh. “Purification” is a scary word. The dictator of Russia is talking about cleaning house — here come the purges, in response to his embarrassment in Ukraine.

That is exactly the sentiment that resonates with our authoritarian right wing. If only we could end gender freedom and purify the American people, we would be stronger! The white supremacists, like Nick Fuentes and Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar, are eating this stuff up. You know you’re way out on the fringe when even a dumbass like Herschel Walker is backing away from you.

OMG, they’ve also lost wacky conservative cartoonist Michael Ramirez! What next? Will Ben Garrison say something nice about a Democrat?


  1. bcw bcw says

    Putin: ” Women sense my power and they seek the life essence. I do not avoid women, Mandrake. But I do deny them my essence.”

  2. raven says

    The dictator of Russia is talking about cleaning house — here come the purges, in response to his embarrassment in Ukraine.

    I’ve never had foie gras. A lot of people refuse to eat it because it is produced by force feeding Geese. “Foie Gras Production Is Cruel And Inhumane”

    Oysters. Sure. We used to gather them ourselves when I was a kid.
    They are OK but hardly a sign of anything except that you live near the ocean.

    Gender Freedom. Who cares.
    A small minority that doesn’t have any effect on my life whatsoever.
    Harmless, unlike Putin and his army, which is holding the USSR Russia back and killing civilians by the thousands, while reducing Ukrainian cities to rubble and attacking nuclear power plants.

  3. kingoftown says

    How about a compromise? We continue with the “gender freedoms” but stop eating the livers of tortured geese.

  4. Reginald Selkirk says

    Putin is decrying the influence of the degenerate West, with their “foie gras, oysters, and gender freedom”,…

    Caviar didn’t make the list?

  5. says

    I cringe at the last part. One concern though, why does the background change at 1:56? The clip seems like a cut and paste of two independent streams. Have you looked at the raw material? I was about to share the material but this stopped me…

  6. Akira MacKenzie says

    Being a billionaire, I’m absolutely certain that Vlady has likely indulged in his unfair share of both foie gras and oysters.

  7. tacitus says

    @6: What are you insinuating? The background is identical throughout. The camera is zoomed in a smidge for the last few seconds, but the entire video was clipped from a 100 minute meeting others have said was mostly a boring bureaucratic affair.

  8. PaulBC says

    foie gras, oysters, and gender freedom

    Foie gras? Seriously? Maybe Putin should move to California, where we have half-heartedly tried to ban it on grounds of animal cruelty. On second thought, no, please stay far away from here.

    What a weird list to lump together, though it is best read as “mumble mumble, ahem, ‘gender freedom'”.

  9. blf says

    @11, Many places, including here in France (where most of the stuff is produced (over 70%)), have movements to ban Foie Gras, some specific to a (“small”-)locale (broadly defined), or regional or national. Nonetheless, I do concur that lumping together Foie Gras, Oysters, Gender Freedom(? Equality, …?) is very weird — albeit perhaps attractive to (a “dog whistle” for?), e.g., teh Maga-hordes, deplorables, etc., presumably including xian- and moolsin-nationalists / -fundamentalists, and fans of Tuckyo Rose, et al.

  10. robro says

    Interesting exercise in demonizing the enemy and projection. Don’t his buddies own villas or yachts in the Mediterranean? Do they eat foie gras and oysters? And I wouldn’t be surprised to find some of them have their kinky habits in the interest of “gender freedom”…in the sense of men exercising their assumed privilege to abuse women. I’m guessing that the phrase translated as “gender freedom” is an idiom targeting the LGBTQIA community.

    Anyway, reminded of Trump in some ways, although Putin comes across as less ridiculous and stagy…except for that deep breath. Emote much.

    tacitus @ #10 — It looks like the last 10 seconds is a separate clip from the talk. The background is the same, but there’s definitely a break, the banner at the top disappears, and the audio noticeably changes to me. That may be an artifact of the post, of course.

  11. springa73 says

    Of course, a lot of right wingers may also think that concern for animal cruelty is a sign of the “degeneracy of the west”. So no matter which side of the foie gras issue you are on, you can be considered “degenerate” if you aren’t a right wing nationalist.

  12. Walter Solomon says

    Is he looking to purge various oligarchs he considers to be traitors? I believe there is one oligarch who put a bounty on a Putin’s head. I couldn’t imagine who else he could be referring to using language like this.

  13. R. L. Foster says

    In a related development I just read on the WaPo that Koch Industries is digging in and refusing to vacate its business holdings in Russia. Ostensibly because it’s better for their Russian employees. They must believe they can spin this somehow and absolve themselves of any charges of siding with Putin. Because we all know what a big heart Koch has and that his only concern is about the welfare of his workers. I doubt this will work for very long if this war drags on and the body count rises. If Kyiv is reduced to rubble it’s going to be very hard for Koch to rid himself of the stink of collaboration.

  14. PaulBC says

    blf@12 True, in the US at least, any kind of “elite” food is a dogwhistle for coastal liberals. But foie gras is a problematic choice to say the least. Belgian endive sunk Mike Dukakis. Putin should have stuck with fancy vegetables. Maybe romanesco, which looks like fractal/alien drill bit. That would be my rallying cry.

  15. Jazzlet says

    Romanescu is just cauliflower no different to the white version or the red version or the yellow/orange version.

  16. says

    @PaulBC #19:
    Yeah, and I seem to recall Obama taking a bunch of crap for saying something about arugula. Real Americans eat American food, like, I don’t know, pizza and french fries, I guess.
    Of course Michael Dukakis took a lot of crap for all kinds of stuff, like riding in a tank and opposing the death penalty even if his wife Kitty was to be raped, murdered, strangled, dismembered and put in garbage bags left in seven different locations that when seen on a map looks like a smiley face.
    OK, got carried away with that one. Also, I’m wondering about the difference between “purity of our essence” and “essence of our purity.” Jeebus, I need a nap.

  17. says

    Since I can’t help it now I’m considering my use of name mockery in drawing attention to humorous possibilities for Putin’s behavior. While I don’t typically like name shaming (akin to defacement), I gave in here. Is there a punching up exception? I recently thought political cartoons using Trump’s hairpiece as a vehicle for humor was ok because it wasn’t just “funny because hair piece”.

    Random thoughts because I’m figuring out some social variables.

  18. PaulBC says

    Jazzlet@20 Well, the variety of cauliflower I grew up with looks more clouds than spiny drill bits. Yes, I realize they’re all related. The only time I ate romanesco was at Google, and that was 15 years ago I think. By the time I did my own stint as an employee, they must have cut back a bit on the food.

  19. PaulBC says

    Reginald Selkirk@23 Yeah, and I would have thought comparing him to a sloppy mess like poutine was insulting enough, but “chacun à son goût.” I’ll pass.

  20. rietpluim says

    When did purity become a virtue? A body can not live on pure water. It needs carbohydrates, minerals, proteins etc. A society needs a diversity of people. Science needs a variety of research methods. An army needs a multitude of weapons. Purity is an appealing romanticism for the lazy thinker.

  21. robro says

    feralboy12 @ #21 — “Real Americans eat American food, like, I don’t know, pizza and french fries, I guess.” That plus MacBurger Dongs, Taco Bull, Chic-full-a-crap. The American palette has a certain je ne sais quoi.

  22. blf says

    Apropos of very little, here in S.France you can’t get away from Belgian Endive and often see the even worse Puntarelle (which I believe is related); rather obviously, I myself mostly-detest both. At least they’re not peas!

    Romanesco shows up fairly often. A tad different in taste (and from memory, texture) to the “traditional” white cloudy-looking variety, which can make for a nice but not startling change. I myself will happily use either (rarely see other cauliflower varieties), separately or occasionally mixed-together.

  23. unclefrogy says

    when I hear crap like that that is so irrational and clearly full of shit I have to wonder just who does he think he is fooling?
    it makes me question the reports of polls saying that the russian people approve of this war and of Putin and his actions. really ? why should anyone believe any of that ?

  24. whheydt says

    In the mean time… Ukraine seems to have invented a new variant of Pokemon around Russian generals…gotta scrag ’em all. (They’ve claimed 5 so far, oddly enough all Major Generals.)

  25. DanDare says

    Uncle Froggy, a people that are fed propoganda and who are not educated in skepticism would believe that.
    Why do you think US conservatives try controlling education and information channels all the time.

  26. Tethys says

    I cannot read the word essence without immediately imagining the vulture like Skeckzies from the film The Dark Crystal.

  27. Akira MacKenzie says

    Tethys @ 32

    What ever makes you say that… Gelfling? (Mmmmmmm… yes. Mmmmmmmmm..)

  28. chrislawson says


    We don’t have the faintest idea how many Russians are really supportive of Putin. Yes, they live in a media bubble, but Russians have much greater access to information today than they ever did during the Cold War and the average Russian during the Cold War was well and truly aware of the flaws in Soviet life and politics and knew that they were being lied to. They used to make jokes about it. And share samizdat.

    Russians invented one of history’s great phrases: “the war between the fridge and the television”, i.e. the glaring distinction between the state news reports of overflowing goods/produce with the emptiness of their refrigerators. They know a lot more than they can express openly.

  29. chrislawson says

    Ah, the puritanical right: “Progressive nations are weak and cowardly…and we urgently need more military force to defeat them!”

  30. Pierce R. Butler says

    …purification of society will only strengthen our country, our solidarity, cohesion, and readiness …

    Huh – maybe after he’s done presidenting in Russia, Putin can get a job lecturing at Hillsdale College:

    Any honest observer must admit, the [Hillsdale-published] essay [on Trump’s Muslim ban] continued, “that diversity is a solvent that dissolves the unity and cohesiveness of a nation.”

  31. Larry says


    “Caviar didn’t make the list?”

    I surprised he didn’t mention toilet paper and stocked grocery shelves.

  32. hemidactylus says

    @27- robro

    You misspelled Toxic Hell. I was craving tacos after work a few weeks ago and stooped to going there. Upon ordering soft taco supreme something or other slop at the drive thru I was informed they were out of tomatoes. Not that it should have been an instant turn off, but a place serving alleged Mexican fare running out of tomatoes was a red flag. I bailed.

    I will eat at a real Mexican/Cuban restaurant soon instead and tip well. Usually I eat Cuban but have oddly craved tacos for some reason I cannot fathom. The enchiladas at this place are awesome too. No Toxic Hell for me.

  33. hemidactylus says

    @39- Pierce R. Butler
    After all these years I still receive Hillsdale’s Imprimis. I moved a couple times and it still found me. If there is an afterlife it will be forwarded there. I did not ask for it.

    Imprimis sucks (obscure prog rock joke).

  34. hemidactylus says

    I’m not much into liquor, but would it be tankie of me to order a Moscow Mule? I like mojitos when I drink liquor and that promotes exilio ideology. Oh well. I’ll stick to beer. Guinness Stout. No nationalism there.

    There are Russian dissidents. Masha Gessen. Alexei Navalny. Pussy Riot. Marina Ovsyannikova. If I order a Moscow Mule it would be in honor of them!

  35. says

    One wonders if — since the Ukrainians have taken to bunkers — there’s a mineshaft gap in here anywhere… Or any idea where Maj Kong is.

  36. lumipuna says

    I’m pretty sure foie gras isn’t targeted here for the animal welfare concern.

    Re 16:

    Of course, a lot of right wingers may also think that concern for animal cruelty is a sign of the “degeneracy of the west”. So no matter which side of the foie gras issue you are on, you can be considered “degenerate” if you aren’t a right wing nationalist.

    Yes, I think the important bit is “if you aren’t a right wing nationalist”. Or rather, as long as the right wing nationalists haven’t decided they want to label you as a degenerate. Once they do, they will publicly accuse you of eating foie gras or hating the nation’s farmers (because why else would one oppose foie gras?) or whatever seems most convenient.