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from a great documentary on cold war communist humor (yes, it existed) - EXCELSIOR, YOU FATHEAD! — LiveJournal

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February 3rd, 2010

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03:12 pm - from a great documentary on cold war communist humor (yes, it existed)
Today it was announced that East Germany, Britain and the US will form a joint consortium to raise the fabled ship Titanic. British engineers are looking forward to studying the ship's hull, American bankers are hoping to find and claim the treasures lost in the wreck, while the East German politicans are most interested in learning how the band managed to play on while the ship sank.
East German joke circa 1989

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Date:February 3rd, 2010 10:07 pm (UTC)
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Date:February 3rd, 2010 10:29 pm (UTC)
They featured a joke from Hungary where a man in a bread line turns to the person behind him and says "That's it! I'm sick and tired of waiting in lines! You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to go to the Central Committee and shoot Secretary General Rakosi!" And off he goes.

A few hours later he returns to the bread line.

"What happened?" his neighbor asks. "Did you kill Rakosi?"

"No," sighs the man. "The line was much longer there."

Later in the film they show a 1996 clip of Mikhail Gorbachev appearing on the BBC program All Talk, where he tells the exact same joke... only the fellow in question is in Moscow, and he vows to kill Gorbachev.

It was brilliant to see just how the jokes could easily spread and adapt (and how far they did!) but also amazing to see just how much Gorbachev believed in glastnost.

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