February 20, 2005: Headlines: COS - Kazakhstan: Blogs - Kazakhstan: Personal Web Site: Ryan Giordano in Kazakhstan reminds us that Russian humor does not translate well into Enlish (Iím sure our humor doesnít translate well either). Itís hard to imagine that a joke involving a chicken pecking at a drunk manís penis in a ditch could be unfunny, but itís apparently possible to screw up what should be comedy gold.

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Kazakstan : Peace Corps Kazakhstan : The Peace Corps in Kazakstan: February 20, 2005: Headlines: COS - Kazakhstan: Blogs - Kazakhstan: Personal Web Site: Ryan Giordano in Kazakhstan reminds us that Russian humor does not translate well into Enlish (Iím sure our humor doesnít translate well either). Itís hard to imagine that a joke involving a chicken pecking at a drunk manís penis in a ditch could be unfunny, but itís apparently possible to screw up what should be comedy gold.

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-181-108.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.181.108) on Wednesday, April 06, 2005 - 7:32 pm: Edit Post

Ryan Giordano in Kazakhstan reminds us that Russian humor does not translate well into Enlish (Iím sure our humor doesnít translate well either). Itís hard to imagine that a joke involving a chicken pecking at a drunk manís penis in a ditch could be unfunny, but itís apparently possible to screw up what should be comedy gold.

Ryan Giordano in Kazakhstan reminds us that Russian humor does not translate well into Enlish (Iím sure our humor doesnít translate well either). Itís hard to imagine that a joke involving a chicken pecking at a drunk manís penis in a ditch could be unfunny, but itís apparently possible to screw up what should be comedy gold.

Ryan Giordano in Kazakhstan reminds us that Russian humor does not translate well into Enlish (Iím sure our humor doesnít translate well either). Itís hard to imagine that a joke involving a chicken pecking at a drunk manís penis in a ditch could be unfunny, but itís apparently possible to screw up what should be comedy gold.

A Call to Tact, and Some Russian Jokes
Bryan was asked to take down his blog. A couple local people (anonymously, at least as far as Bryan knows) complained to the Peace Corps director about their characterization in it, and she, in turn, asked Bryan to remove it. A friend of mine, being told about this, said, well, in America, I'm sure you can't publicly criticize people in power, either. Well, actually...but really, that's neither her nor there - whatever the rights of average Kazakhstanis to publish their opinions of the power structure on public, inexpensive places like web site, we're not ordinary Kazakhstanis. Peace Corps volunteers have a serious and important commitment to being apolitical. If we were going to be empowered to be a threat to power structures that we object to, these power structures wouldn't have invited us here in the first place.

Maybe more significantly, saying publicly what we think of the way things are managed is counterproductive. Taking cultural issues head on (and unfortunately, attitude towards incompetent management is a cultural issue), openly and honestly, tends to blow up in your face the same way moving openly and honestly in chess does. Frankness doesn't seem to change things, and it makes people angry.

So how do you effect cultural change? Damned if I know. But when I find out the secret, I'll make sure to post it here.

Anyway, Bryan knew all this, he basically just forgot that his website was public and wrote imagining having only his friends back home as an audience.

And you may think this is just academic, but thinking about this has made decide not to write about work in this entry and instead to write a less offensive anecdote, which will be three Russian jokes that I was told at at a banquet for poets and singers from Kokshetau and Petropovlosk that I was lucky enough to attend last night. That they are funny to me isn't meant to be implied.

1) A little girl wanted a bicycle very badly. Every day for a week, she asked her father for a bicycle. Finally, on the seventh day, her father took an axe and cut off her legs. "What do you need a bicycle for?" he asked. "You don't have any legs!"

2) A hunchback and a stammerer were friends. The hunchback came up to the stammerer and said, "I have good news for you! You've been offered a job as a TV anchorman." The stammerer was very offended, and said to the hunchback, "Well, you remember that photograph you gave me of yourself? I'm giving it back to you so I can close my photo album."

3) Two men, Ivan and Vladya, got very drunk together. Staggering out of the bar, Ivan fell into a filthy ditch with chickens in it, and the chickens started pecking at him, cheep cheep cheep. "Ivan, shoo the chickens away," said Vladya. "I can't," said Ivan.





When this story was posted in March 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:


Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers

The Peace Corps Library Date: March 27 2005 No: 536 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related stories in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can find hundreds of stories about what RPCVs with your same interests or from your Country of Service are doing today. If you have a web site, support the "Peace Corps Library" and link to it today.

Top Stories and Breaking News PCOL Magazine Peace Corps Library RPCV Directory Sign Up

Crisis Corps arrives in Thailand Date: March 20 2005 No: 530 Crisis Corps arrives in Thailand
After the Tsunami in Southeast Asia last December, Peace Corps issued an appeal for Crisis Corps Volunteers and over 200 RPCVs responded. The first team of 8 Crisis Corps volunteers departed for Thailand on March 18 to join RPCVs who are already supporting relief efforts in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and India with other agencies and NGO's.

This Month's Feature Stories - only on PCOL Date: March 27 2005 No: 537 This Month's Feature Stories - only on PCOL
Dream Come True - Revisiting India after 34 years
The Coyne Column: Read Winning Vanity Fair PCV Essay
Tomas Belsky's paintings inspired by service in Brazil
RPCV reunites with friend after 40 years
RPCV reviews "Los Heraldos Negros" by Cesar Vallejo
Photo Essay: Taking it to the Streets


March 26, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: March 26 2005 No: 532 March 26, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
PCVs in Kyrgyz Republic Are Safe 25 Mar
The Coyne Column: A Good Friday Message 25 Mar
Frederic Zenhausern developing "biometric bodysuits" 24 Mar
Robert Blackwill calls for US co-operation with India 23 Mar
Margaret Krome promotes alternate crops 23 Mar
Al Kamen says allies disappointed in World Bank 23 Mar
Ambassador Randall L. Tobias speaks at PC 22 Mar
Becky Binns helps organize 30-hour fast 22 Mar
Fred Poses meets with Vice-Premier in China 22 Mar
John Hoff unionizes substitute teachers in Hawaii 21 Mar
Bill Moyers takes time to "sit and vegetate" 21 Mar
Tony Hall says Ethiopia may need more food aid 21 Mar
Taylor Hackford's 'Ray' wins four NAACP Image Awards 21 Mar
PCV seeks tap shoes for students in Moldova 20 Mar
Adam Donaldson learns to believe in Baltimore 20 Mar
Allen Andersson builds libraries in Central America 19 Mar
Senator Sarbanes' quiet leadership will be missed 15 Mar

March 26, 2005: RPCV Groups in the News Date: March 26 2005 No: 534 March 26, 2005: RPCV Groups in the News
Houston RPCVs sponsor "Around the World in a Day"on April 6 25 Mar
Minnesota RPCVs need Photos for Exhibition 24 Mar
Vasquez to visit DePaul University on April 6 22 Mar
New Jersey RPCVs host exhibit in Maplewood on April 2 20 Mar
Maryland RPCVs eat crab cakes in Annapolis 17 Mar
Connecticut RPCVs held fundraiser on March 5 3 Mar
RPCVs: Post your stories or press releases here for inclusion next week.

RPCVs in Congress ask colleagues to support PC Date: March 5 2005 No: 482 RPCVs in Congress ask colleagues to support PC
RPCVs Sam Farr, Chris Shays, Thomas Petri, James Walsh, and Mike Honda have asked their colleagues in Congress to add their names to a letter they have written to the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee, asking for full funding of $345 M for the Peace Corps in 2006. As a follow-on to Peace Corps week, please read the letter and call your Representative in Congress and ask him or her to add their name to the letter.

Add your info now to the RPCV Directory Date: March 13 2005 No: 489 Add your info now to the RPCV Directory
Call Harris Publishing at 800-414-4608 right away to add your name or make changes to your listing in the newest edition of the NPCA's Directory of Peace Corps Volunteers and Former Staff. Then read our story on how you can get access to the book after it is published. The deadline for inclusion is May 16 so call now.

March 1: National Day of Action Date: February 28 2005 No: 471 March 1: National Day of Action
Tuesday, March 1, is the NPCA's National Day of Action. Please call your Senators and ask them to support the President's proposed $27 Million budget increase for the Peace Corps for FY2006 and ask them to oppose the elimination of Perkins loans that benefit Peace Corps volunteers from low-income backgrounds. Follow this link for step-by-step information on how to make your calls. Then take our poll and leave feedback on how the calls went.
Make a call for the Peace Corps Date: February 19 2005 No: 453 Make a call for the Peace Corps
PCOL is a strong supporter of the NPCA's National Day of Action and encourages every RPCV to spend ten minutes on Tuesday, March 1 making a call to your Representatives and ask them to support President Bush's budget proposal of $345 Million to expand the Peace Corps. Take our Poll: Click here to take our poll. We'll send out a reminder and have more details early next week.


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Story Source: Personal Web Site

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Kazakhstan; Blogs - Kazakhstan

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