Now that they have been released from jail, Pussy Riot are touring the late talk show circuit, and I was just watching them in the Colbert Report on Tuesday night. That’s a bit surrealistic, these women, who went through hell in Goulag-like Russian jails for two years, are now lightly joking about it with Stephen Colbert. But everyone is saying that Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina’s first ever European interview by comedian Brendan O’Connor’s during his Saturday Night Show on RTÉ One, broadcasted on Irish TV, is awful. This is true that if he had the occasion to interview the members of Pussy Riot, he didn’t completely rise to the occasion, but this is supposed to be entertainment right? I wonder how the translator did translate his familiar ‘girls’ in Russian.
But just watch the interview at the 11: 10 mark, O’Connor asks them to give their opinion about Madonna,…’So Madonna has been a big supporter of yours and she will be introducing you at this big event…. (the Amnesty International Concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn), and she considers herself as their ‘fellow freedom fighter’,… and Masha and Nadya’s reactions are precious. Do I detect some mockery? Oh yes! I don’t know exactly if something was lost in the translation, they end up saying that Madonna (and Sinead O’Connor) are cool, but Nadia’s laugh is clearly telling ‘are you kidding me?’… We sit our ass in Russian jails for 2 years and you dare to compare us to this vain entertainer? Yeah… Madonna may be ‘cool’ but there’s no way the Pussy Riot girls will take her seriously. And I understand, she is this rich entertainer who visits African orphanages wearing allergy mask and holding hand sanitizer. So don’t put these outspoken women at the same level than some revolutionary of salon.
The problem is that by showing up in shows side by side with Imagine Dragons, The Flaming Lips, Lauryn Hill, Tegan and Sara, The Fray, Cold War Kids, Colbie Caillat and Cake, they become part of the entertainment business and can’t avoid the comparison. These women are extremely brave, there’s no doubt about it, and they aren’t impress by big showbiz names giving them credit. I bet Madonna won’t react to all this.