Saturday, March 25, 2023


Even before Donald Trump began his speech in Waco tonight, his rally was a dumpster fire, thanks to Ted Nugent, one of his warmup acts:
The rocker was one of the first speakers for the DT event down in Waco, TX Saturday ... and when he took the stage, he started ranting and raving about the Biden administration's spending decisions -- including where they've sent money and supplies.

Zelenskyy and his wife were married in 2003 and have two children. Nugent is a ridiculous, ignorant person, but why does he believe Zelenskyy is gay?

I can't imagine that Nugent watches Russian television, although this clip might have found its way into right-wing propaganda streams in America:

In the clip, we're also told that "there is compromising gay material" on Oleksii Arestovych, who until recently was a presidential advisor in Ukraine. A crude Photoshop circulating online purports to show Zelenskyy and Arestovych in drag, as Reuters noted earlier this month:
A photograph from a 2006 Gay Pride Parade in New York has been digitally altered to include Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskiy and his former advisor Oleksiy Arestovych.

Examples can be seen (here) and (here)....

The earliest iteration Reuters could identify was posted on Flickr and shows a wider frame. (here). According to the description it was taken at “Gay Pride 2006.” The post includes the tags “new,” “York” and “city.”
Here's the fake photo and a portion of the real photo:

But more likely, Nugent is familiar with this:

Zelenskyy, of course, was a popular comic actor before entering politics. This parody, from 2014, is a bit hard to explain, but in a Medium post, an LGBTQ writer names James Finn tries to explain the meaning for non-Ukrainians:
You can’t understand what Zelenskyy and his buddies are saying without taking a look at the original English-language video Love by Kazaky, a Ukrainian boy band first formed in Kyiv in 2010 and still performing today, though without all the same members. The group’s name is spelled exactly like the Russian word for the Cossacks, a Turkic ethnic group that figures prominently in the history and culture of both Ukraine and Russia....

Kazaky became very popular for a while as a band, and Love was a 2011 smash hit that helped drive their fame:

... Straight guys all ... they prance about straight-up mocking stock Russian propaganda phrases, absolutely secure in their sexuality and masculinity as they flounce....
About the parody video, Finn writes:
They aren’t mocking queer people or Kazaky; they’re daring to embrace them and kick their art up a notch, or several notches. Considering background levels of traditional eastern European homophobia, this is brave stuff — hilarious and cutting without feeling the least queerphobic. In less deft hands it might have ended up offending everyone, but most Ukrainians loved it and experienced it as a thumb in the nose to Putin’s ideals of Russian supremacy in the slavic world.
You can find a translation of the parody lyrics in this Reddit thread. Here's a sample. I won't pretend that I completely understand this, but I think I get it, more or less:
Here's my bulava(Ukrainian weapon and traditional symbol of power) my brothers!
Tomorrow we go dancing against Moskovites(Russians)
We will dance Gopak(Ukrainian national dance), we have the strength
Ukraine is not dead yet, as long as we keep drinking well:
Borsht, salo(smoked pig fat), onion, bread, moonshine,
Drink, and eat,
I drink, I drink, I drink!

Those who were sent here(spies),
They are covered in glitter,
We spit on them.
Artists, stylists, move aside [can't tell]
Lip-stick, gay-parades, and in Rada(Ukrainian parliament) everyone is like that.
I don't want to, I can't, but for salo, let's do it.
I'm glad James Finn thinks the parody isn't queerphobic. I'm not so sure. But I imagine Ted Nugent just sees gayness -- which is what the people recirculating this video want.

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