We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

“An old guy’s wife tells him to go to the butcher shop and get some meat. He goes to the butcher shop and stands in line for hours. Finally the butcher says, “We’re out of meat.” The old guy blows his top. He yells, “I am a worker! I am a proletarian! I am a veteran of the Great Patriotic War! I have fought for socialism all my life, and now you tell me you’re out of meat! What kind of a system is this?! You are fools! You are thieves! . . . ” A big man in a trench coat comes up to the old guy and says, “Comrade, Comrade, not so loud. In the old days you know what they would do if you said such things.” The big man in the trench coat makes a pistol motion with his hand. He says to the old guy, “Calm down and go home.” The old guy shrugs and leaves. He comes back empty-handed, and his wife says, “What’s the matter, are they out of meat?” “Worse than that,” says the old guy, “they’re out of bullets.”

An old Russian joke, as told by the one and only PJ O’Rourke.

17 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • If you are into communist humour then I advise the book “Hammer and Tickle”. Should be on Amazon.

  • michael farris

    Two friends meet at the Warsaw train station.

    Piotr: What are you going?
    Pawel : To Cracow, for meat.
    Piotr: But there’s no meat outside of Warsaw!
    Pawel : I know, but the line starts in Cracow….

  • lucklucky

    Three men are in Jail:

    1: why are you here?

    2 :I arrived earlier to my work place and was accused of espionage.

    3:I arrived too late and i was blame to put in jeopardy the Communist production.

    2 & 3: and you?

    1: I arrived in time and was accused of using capitalist technology because of my watch.

  • Pretty sure the first time he told that one 30 odd years ago he placed it in Poland….

  • Brian Swisher

    Stanislaw: Suppose we were invaded by the Russians and the Germans. Who should we fight first?

    Jerzy: Why, the Germans, of course!

    Stanislaw: Why the Germans?

    Jerzy: Business first, then pleasure…

  • RRS

    More telling than P J O’Rourke was V. Putin describing the physical legacy of V. Lenin, J. Stalin et sequendum –

    The Infrastructure of what is today’s Russia is worse than merely “crumbling.”

    Much was so shoddily put in place that it can not be “repaired.” [ They pretend to pay us with phoney money and we pretend to work].

    There are large elements that have been on the “condemned”listings for many years, but no one is responsible, and no funds or task forces have been assigned.

    The populace is “resigned” to Government as usual. More tragedies are to come, some perhaps on a horrendous scale.

    It is not just an issue of aging, as in the U.S.; nor has the neglect been begnign. Still, there is no motivation for improvement, only for survival at both the individual and political levels.

  • Jack Olson

    Socialism, Communism and Capitalism agreed to meet. Socialism showed up late, explaining “I stopped to buy some sausages but there was a line.”

    Capitalism asked, “What’s a line?”

    Communism asked, “What’s a sausage?”

  • Progressivism, which came by looking for its friend Socialism and couldn’t help overhearing, added that “sausage is both bad for you and cruel to animals”.

  • lucklucky

    Hehe Touché! Alisa.

  • One of my professors, a former inhabitant of the Soviet Union, once invited me to attend a lecture given by Christopher Hitchens; we took the opportunity to steer the Q&A session in an anti-Soviet direction, prompting Hitchens to tell this joke:

    Why is a Communist canvasser better than a communist car?

    You can close the door on the canvasser.

    The lefty professors in attendance, already inclined to hostility because of what was then his recent break with The Nation, were squirming in their seats. It was great!

  • A Polish man, a Soviet soldier, a young woman, and and old woman are together in the compartment of a train car. The train goes into a tunnel, sending the compartment into darkness, whereupon a kiss and a smack are heard. When the train comes out of the tunnel, the soldier is rubbing his chin.

    The old lady thinks to herself, “Good for her! The soldier tried to kiss her and she fought back.”

    The young woman thinks, “He probably wanted to kiss me, but must have kissed the old lady instead. He deserves it.”

    The Soviet soldier thinks, “The Polish guy tried to kiss the girl, and she hits me by mistake.”

    The Polish guy thinks, “I kissed the back of my hand, smacked a Soviet soldier, and got away with it!”

  • Fred the Fourth

    Not particularly political, but:
    After the War, the border between Poland and Russia was being resurveyed. The survey line comes right up to a a farmhouse, so the surveyor, being a nice guy, asks the farmer which side of the border he wants to be on. Farmer thinks for a while, and says “Poland”. Surveyor says “Ok, but mind telling me why?” Farmer says “I can’t stand those Russian winters.”
    (Well, my Latvian officemate thinks it’s funny, so there…)

  • EnquiringMind

    The joke is a rather droll piece of “black humor” similar to:

    “Two Jews are about to be shot [by a Nazi firing squad]. Suddenly the order comes to hang them instead. One says to the other “You see, they’re running out of bullets.”

    Though the latter joke does suggest something pretty definite about the Nazis, it is – as it happens – classic Jewish black (or in this case “gallows”) humour, and you can read abut it and other jokes collected in the book “Did You Hear the One About Hitler?”, by a Jewish author (forget the name). I originally came across this from reading an old Der Spiegel review.

    A similar piece of black humour came out of the Russian occupation of Poland:
    It was 10 minutes to curfew [shoot on sight after curfew], and two armed Russian guards were on patrol down a street in a Polish city [pick a name] when they passed a Polish citizen – a man – walking in the opposite direction.

    One of the soldiers knew the Polish man and said “Good evening comrade!” to him, in friendly fashion.

    “Good evening!” smiled the Pole in response as he walked on by.

    The soldier who had recognized the Pole stopped, turned and looked thoughtfully at the Pole’s back. Then he raised his rifle. took careful aim and shot the Pole through the back of his head.

    The second soldier said, horrified “Why the Hell did you kill him?”

    “Curfew.” said the shooter calmly.

    “But it’s still 10 minutes to curfew!” said the second soldier.

    “I know,” said the first “but I know where he lives and he could never have got home in time.”

  • Laird

    I suspect that “gallows humor” says something profound about the people who create it. Obviously it is an artifact of repression, to which humor is only one possible response. My guess is that it is some form of passive-aggressive resistance, but I don’t know enough about sociology or psychology to be sure. It would be interesting to explore that, and to compare it with Neitzsche’s concept of judeo-christian “slave morality” (passive acceptance of present circumstances in the hope of something better in the “next world”).

    Sound like the makings of a doctoral thesis.

  • John

    Joke 1
    In the hey day of Central Planning a rumour circulates Moscow that a certain butchery has meat and by opening time there is a queue stretching for several blocks. The manager puts his head out the door and announces that as the queue is far too long all the Jews will have to leave. This reduces the line somewhat but by mid-morning no customers have been served and the manager reappears and says that all those who are not members of the Party will have to leave. Finally in mid-afternoon the manager announces further that they will only be able to deal with those who are original members of the Party. This leaves about five ancients huddling miserably in the freezing cold. At 5 pm the manager announces apologetically: I’m sorry comrades there is no meat today. The old people disperse grumbling and one snarls to the others: That’s typical, the bloody Jews always get the best of everything.

    Joke 2
    During the 1930’s when a knock on the door in the dead of night was something to be feared a concierge was heard rushing around his apartment block, hammering on doors and yelling: Don’t worry comrades it’s only a fire.

  • A man calls the KGB. “I would like to report that my parrot is missing. And by the way, I want you to know that I disagree with its views.”

    Recalled from memory; originally reported in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times newspaper during the 1980s.

  • Given its views, it sounds like an ex-parrot:-)