Russia is an absurd place, as any regular reader of this blog will have surely learned by now. It is also a place of brilliant satire. Your humble correspondent has fallen victim to both.
Earlier today, a site said that Charlie Sheen was bringing his Violent Torpedo of Truth/Troll Hunting Madness/Tiger Blood Swigging/Wonder of Winning to Russia. And not to just anywhere in Russia – but to the country’s annual Putin-loving summer camp organized by Kremlin youth group Nashi, which is holding him up as … an example of good health.
Every year, Nashi organizes a summer camp called Seliger, gathering tens of thousands of Russian youth to worship at photos of Putin and “learn good values.” For the past couple years, they’ve focused on “healthy living,” which means, ostensibly, no drinking, no smoking, lots of exercise. (But this is Nashi, so it translates into things like this: secret video showing Nashi leader Vassily Yakemenko giving a stern talking to an overweight Nashi member, saying “anyone who eats too much costs the country” and “Putin can do everything, but he can’t lose weight for you.”)
The site said Charlie Sheen appeared to be joining the show. According to Begi Za Mnoi (Run After Me), a project started by the federal agency on youth affairs (now headed by Yakemenko, of above fat-shaming), Charlie Sheen, described as “a famous American actor, cinema producer and blogger,” would attend this year’s Seliger camp in mid-July as a special guest.
They quoted Sheen as saying: “Many think that rehab is like some kind of resort. I don’t remember it like that … These Russian kids are running around together and eating right, to be healthy. Why shouldn’t I start? Yes, you can sleep for 40 years in a row, but that doesn’t prevent you from waking up.” (Translated from the Russian.)
“The 45-year-old Charlie Sheen will become a great example of the fact that it’s never too late to work on your health – it can be done at any age and in any physical shape,” the group said. They have clearly not read American tabloids.
Personally, I just think Sheen wants to recreate this moment:
Turns out, the site is a spoof of the real Begi Za Mnoi. Yelena Mulyavka, a spokesman for the group said: "We can't say anything about it. I don't know what it is." Ok, but would you consider it in the future? "We haven't discussed it, I don't know." Dear readers, that is NOT a firm denial so there is still hope! (PS The Yakemenko video linked to above is, sadly, not a spoof.)