Dancing underwear boys set fire to the RuNet
On January 16, students at a civil aviation institute in Ulyanovsk shared a dance video that’s become the latest viral fire to blaze the Russian Internet. Set to Benny Benassi's tune “Satisfaction,” the video features a dozen or so young men clad in cadet caps, chest straps, and boxer shorts, pumping and thrusting their hips to the beat of the music. The boys are taking flak because the video has homoerotic overtones.
After the stunt gained national attention, the school’s management, Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency, and the transport prosecutor’s office all promised to review the situation and take disciplinary measures. The institute’s dean has compared the dance video to Pussy Riot’s infamous church concert, arguing that “the Ulyanovsk Institute of Civil Aviation is a church of science that gives students a life path.”
The local governor, however, says he doesn’t want to see the students from the video expelled from the institute. According to Governor Sergey Morozov, expelling the students “certainly wouldn’t add to their patriotism or upbringing,” but he does believe they should face some form of “commensurate punishment.” “Our task isn’t to wreck their lives or stand in the way of their dreams, but to make them think about the consequences of their actions,” he wrote on Facebook. On January 19, the governor plans to meet with the students from the video and their parents, in order to give them a stern talking to “as a father and as a career officer.”
But not everybody is wringing their hands
Students at an agricultural school in the nearby village of Ryazanovo showed their solidarity by recording an analogous (at times even more graphic) video. Could this be Russia’s latest flashmob?