MOSCOW — On February 2nd the Russian Ministry of Culture formally recognized dashboard camera videos as an important cultural heritage of the country.
This decision came in a series of moves to modernize the register in the digital age. “In a country where the average citizen spends 5 hours a day on the Internet, it makes sense that over one-fifth of the heritage also lies within the web,” said Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky.
According to the United Nation’s Human Development Report, one in three Russians have experienced a near-death encounter on the road. Many have hailed this as a modern, reformative approach in the right direction. “We can promote videos of reckless drivers, and maybe get more likes for our ministry’s Facebook page,” said one cultural attaché. He is currently working on his next viral post, a video of a man roasting a chicken while driving an 18-wheeler the wrong way down a superhighway.
However, some conservative members of the cabinet still cling onto the faded glory of the Soviet days: “I still believe that our country’s defining features lie in the rampant corruption and the bureaucratic unaccountability of the crippling state,” one member grunted indignantly. “These kids will never learn to treasure the innocent joy of watching your grandmother shotgun a fifth of vodka and take the tractor out for a spin without a video recorder in sight.”
Other items that are candidates for the Cultural Heritage status include defunct Soviet-era bus stops, abandoned warehouses, flaky skin from krokodil usage, oil oligarchs’ London apartments, video footage of soldiers being hazed in the snow, and endless rows of cursed, beady-eyed matryoshka dolls from Babushka’s liquor cabinet. The ministry was considering using a vacuum-sealed underground warehouse to preserve especially important cultural items, such as bar fight world-champion Sergei Ivanov’s record twenty-fifth smashed bottle of Stoli vodka, a commemorative video archive of the nation’s favorite rural serial killings, and Russia’s top prostitute, Sasha.
Many are hopeful that these new additions will revamp the image of the country abroad, given global tensions from Ukrainian and Syrian conflicts.