In an apparent effort to protect people from the evils of Pastafarianism, Moscow police broke up the opening of a temple of the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti last week.
In Novosibirsk, police detained performance artist Artyom Loskutov, the organizer of the annual absurdist Monstration -- a parody of political demonstrations in which participants dress in ridiculous costumes and carry signs with nonsensical slogans like "Oatmeal is evil."
Lawmakers this year wanted to ban one of those slogans -- ад наш, or "Hell is ours" -- because it might offend people's religious beliefs.
And activist Roman Roslovtsev has been detained seven times in the past six months for the crime of walking in downtown Moscow wearing a Vladimir Putin mask.
Putin's Kremlin, it appears, has absolutely no sense of humor.
It doesn't like to be laughed at.
It doesn't like to be parodied.
It wants to be taken seriously.
And for all its macho bluster, it has the thinnest of skin.
But here's the thing.
When you think about it, the Putin regime itself is pretty absurd.
This is a regime that has, among other things, outlawed blasphemy, banned lace panties, and destroyed illegally imported Western food in public ceremonies.
It has claimed a fascist junta has taken over Ukraine and has banned U.S. President Barack Obama from entering Chechnya.
With its outlandish claims, its ridiculous laws, and its over-the-top stunts, the Putin regime has become something of a parody of itself.
And the more clever people in Russian society are just holding up a mirror to it.
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