Who Wore it Better: Vladimir Putin or Justin Trudeau?

Anybody interested in modern Russian culture will learn about the cult of Vladimir Putin at some point. I remember my first encounter with it when, at 18, I stumbled across the YouTube music video of “He must be like Putin.”  This video depicts two beautiful Russian women describing how they kicked out their deadbeat boyfriends, and that any future suitors must be like Putin – strong, loyal, etc. I first assumed it was a joke. It wasn’t.

That song was released nearly ten years ago, and neither Putin’s popularity nor his cult appear to have abated, despite his authoritarian style of governance, penchant for throwing people into prison for dubious reasons, likely penchant for assassinating opponents, and corruption. Nevertheless, a quick google search for “cult of Putin” yields photographs of a shirtless Putin riding a horse, petting a leopard, apparently inspecting a tiger, fishing very large fish, working out, and doing judo. This is not to mention the Russian flags emblazoned with Putin’s face, and a bizarre painting of Putin holding the world on his shoulders. (Vlatlasdimir Putin? Vladimir Putin the world on shoulders?)

Did I mention Putin hang gliding with a crane?

Did I mention Putin hang gliding with a crane? Source: CNN

As I travelled through Russia and was bombarded by Putin-themed paraphernalia in gift shops and elsewhere, I began to feel a bit disgusted by the whole thing. Sure, at 18 it was hilarious to see anybody be the subject of this kind of adoration, but it was entirely different now that I’d actually talked to a few Russians about it. I even hate to write about the cult of Putin; not only have many people written about it better than I, writing about it may contribute to Putin’s cult of personality overseas, a sort of cult of personality where people from not-Russia like me go “lol, look at that authoritarian man. Isn’t he actually kind of sexy when he winks? Some ignorant comment about the Soviet Union. Russians are funny and do stupid stuff. LOL xD xD xD.”

After laughing for a while, everybody forgets that Putin is bad news.

In reality, Putin’s cult of personality is a very real and harmful thing. It contributes to his high popular support which, in turn, allows him to continue to not play well with others, which causes problems that affect and even cost human lives in… you know, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia, and well, okay, Russia is not the only country that puts its fingers in pies it shouldn’t, but no Western country idolizes their leader that much. I mean look at Justin Trudeau.


Source: trudeaupmilf.tumblr.com

Source: trudeaupmilf.tumblr.com

I mean, look at him!

Source: Vogue

Source: Vogue

Isn’t he beautiful?

I just want to run my fingers through his hair, you know? Hey Justin, why don’t you take some pictures with your shirt off?

trudeau haida gwai

Trudeau sports a Haida tattoo (Haida Gwai are a tribe of indigenous people who live in British Columbia.) This picture sports a terrible pun. Source: Huffington Post

This is a joke. I am not, and will never be, a Trudeau maniac. I wear my “Justin Trudeau is just okay” hat proudly, which causes my friends and family to make a game out of keeping me abreast of all the sexy Justin Trudeau news fit to print.

Justin Trudeau is sexy articles in the newspaper? Check.

Justin Trudeau: The sexiest world leader article in Turkish? Check. (Yes, both Vladimir Putin and Justin Trudeau’s cults extend beyond the countries they lead.)

Comedy article that calls Justin Trudeau the PMILF? CHECK, of course.

Article about how Justin Trudeau’s rather mediocre watercolor of a somewhat mediocre museum was auctioned off on eBay for $25,000? Check.

My all-time favourite Justin Trudeau-themed thing that anybody has ever threatened to buy for me has to be this sweatshirt emblazoned with a picture of Justin Trudeau riding a moose.

Source: Shelfies.com

I know you will be tempted to buy me this shirt, but please, take your 44 dollars and give it to charity. Please. Source: Shelfies.com

As soon as I saw this . . . through an amnesic fog . . .  an image came to mind. A similar shirt with . . . a moose I believe. And maybe another world leader? Perhaps . . . yes, it is becoming clearer now. Vla-Vladimir Putin? Feeding a baby moose?

Ah, Peace. Just what Vladimir Putin is known for.

Ah, Peace. Just what Vladimir Putin is known for.

I refuse to spend my hard-earned dollars on reinforcing the Putin cult, even the more mocking Putin cult that exists here on the other side of the Atlantic, and even on a pink shirt caption “Peace” and emblazoned with a photograph of Vladimir Putin feeding a baby moose with a bottle. However, I took a picture for the benefit of my readers around the world because I wanted to know the answer to a very important question.

Who wore it better? Or, I mean, since they aren’t actually wearing the respective shirts, who appears on a kitschy shirt with a moose better?

Vote in the comments! If I get more than five comments, I’ll draw a name and send you a can of maple syrup with a label emblazoned with a stenciled picture of Justin Trudeau’s face and maybe some horrible free-drawn maples leaves rendered in red sharpie. Maybe you will even be able to sell it on eBay for $25,000! YOU KNOW YOU WANT ONE!

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  1. Ron says:

    Definitely have to go with “JT and the Moose” on this one. Also a great band name.

  2. Paul says:

    I just chortled. I can just see a fur-bedecked, bearded trio trotting out of an ice-fishing hut to sing about the woes of no one getting them. Wearing whatever is the equivalent to a Che Guevara shirt now. And those barred, empty Kanye shades, which will forever be in style.

    I know I shouldn’t google it but here I go. Oh god no, ugh, blgh, ghhghhg: https://truefactswire.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/trudeau-on-moose1.jpg.


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