Remember comedian Yakov Smirnoff and his trademark "Russian reversal" jokes? You know, where the joke is that Russia is some kind of ludicrous mirror-version of the West? Like "in America, you can always find a party. But in Soviet Russia, party finds you!"
It's definitely no secret that they do things a little differently in Russia. It's like the rest of the world but, oh, more so. There's a reason why Russian dashboard camera videos are so popular after all; in America, we have car wrecks, but in Russia they have operas of destruction.
So it stands to reason that what passes for entertainment in Russia might be something that might seem a little, uh, dangerous to us in the West.
Like baiting big burly bears with flying drones. Or playing some sort of weird slapping game with them. We might look at that and say "no thanks, I'd rather go jump in front of a truck because it would probably hurt less!" But to a Russian person, sticking your fist in a bear's mouth is about as exciting as a rerun of Wheel of Fortune.
So, we present to you three videos that prove that while Montanans are sane, Russians are totally off the deep end. Nothing demonstrates this better than the way they treat their bears!
We're really not sure what is happening in this one, especially as our grasp of Russian is a little rusty. But we see a Russian man wearing cool shades lying prone on top of a shipping container. A large bear is standing up next to the shipping container, hopping on its enormous legs. We assume he is trying to get at the Russian man, who is playing with it in much the same way as someone who hadn't just put down a liter of vodka would play with a cute kitten. Eventually, the man puts his fist in the bear's mouth, or seems to grab his teeth.
This is just speculation on our part, but we think that the bear must have swallowed sunglasses man's friend, and sunglass man is trying to reach down the bear's throat and pull him out.
Or could this man be the Russian Joe Exotic?
Whatever is happening, it's very weird.
Now in this video, we know what's happening, but what we don't know is why. After all, it's clear that the video shows two men and a bear just cruising around a large city. So again, there is no confusion about what is happening in this video.
But why is this tough-looking biker dude riding with a huge bear? Why does the bear ride up front? Does he occupy a more prominent position in the hierarchy of the motorcycle club?
You'll notice that the guy in the back is feeding little treats to the bear every time the bear waves, and that the guy seems awfully proud of his trick.
While this is truly, patently insane, the video proves it works. I reccomend that Fish & Wildlife look into the possibility of using motorcycles to relocate problem bears. It must be cheaper than those big trailers, right?
This might be the safest of the three Russian scenarios, but it's still absolutely bananas. In America we throw frisbees for dogs. In Russia they play "catch the drone" with their ursine friends.
The bear gets close a couple of times, but he can't quite catch that drone. In many ways it could function as a metaphor for any of our lives - just keep hopping, hopping hopping after that dream.
Or wait until your tormentor shows a moment of weakness, and then savagely eviscerate the man operating the drone because that's worth even more points than catching the drone.
To tell you truth, I'm kind of surprised it's just a little toy drone and not a Soviet-era Mil-Mi-24 helicopter gunship. But maybe the guy filming the video is saving up for one.