Russian reversal (phenomenon)
“In Soviet Russia, Russian Reversal reverses YOU.”
Russian Reversal is the common English term for the phenomenon during which a person descended from Russia is spontaneously turned around. During this, said Russian drastically and unexpectedly changes their opinion on the matter at hand. This "reversal" has proven at times to be an irksome annoyance, and at others a catastrophic happening which would forever change the world. Though some claims of Russian Reversal have been unsubstantiated over the years, this has been overshadowed by the countless injuries sustained by unsuspecting Russian men at the behest of their disgruntled ex-partners.
Origin and History
The exact origin of the Russian Reversal phenomenon is unknown. This is due not to lack of scientific capacity, but instead because the scientists running the study themselves experienced a Reversal, rendering them unwilling to continue the project. As such, all belief is speculative and should not be taken seriously. However, generally accepted urban legend credits Russia's turnover to Communism as the sole reason for the phenomenon. The inexplicable "why?" is, however, not as ably explained by campfire stories, and is still shrouded in mystery as a result. Through the years, this myth has been augmented by historical fact.
One of the most famous examples of Russian Reversal was at the 1960 meeting of the UN. During this meeting, Premier Nikita Khrushchev experienced a record four Russian Reversals during a heated debate regarding the Cold War. Reportedly, his emotions swung from lucid to infuriated seemingly on the spur of a moment.
The clinching argument that this was, indeed, Russian Reversal and not just vague retardation is the high-profile sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the person seated behind him at the meeting of the world's nations.
This person, who preferred anonymity, stated that four times he found Khrushchev looking at him and not the speaker, feigning ignorance as to how he ended up as such. This was consequentially squandered in Western media due to the imminent peace talks promised by the Premier.
Yakov Smirnoff and the Deprecation of the Term
However, all of these whispered tales of frightening bipolar disorder have since been overshadowed by the stand-up comedy of Yakov Smirnoff. During the 1980s, he began telling jokes based upon George Orwell's dystopia 1984 that altered statements about American life to reflect the oppressiveness of the Soviet regime. For example:
|In America you wank penis. In Soviet Russia penis wanks YOU!!
This somewhat predictable "reversal" of terms was, apparently, a funny thing. This became very popular as a result, especially in the culture-deprived '80s. Due to the nature of the joke, it was assumed by idiots that, when one referred to Russian Reversal, this sort of joke was meant. This use very quickly eclipsed the then-unpopular theory of scientific Russian Reversal, which, after a time, became solely within the realm of knowledge of a select group of idiosyncratic sociopaths.
In the 1990s, when the Berlin Wall fell and signified the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, Yakov Smirnoff's career was ended. Due to the fact that his joke had grown to be considerably funnier than him, and had no other meme to fill its place, he faded out of the vogue rather quickly. The joke also lost its notoriety after a short time, allowing the Order of the Reversal to begin the reeducation of the people. Unfortunately for the cause, however, this merely reinvigorated people's interest in the stand-up of Yakov Smirnoff, specifically his "Russian Reversal" jokes. While this was good for the near-bankrupt Smirnoff (who later went on to not invent the brand of rum), it spelled disaster for members of the Order. As they desperately tried to spread the word, the "Russian Reversal" joke became ever more popular. With the advent of the Internet, it spread faster than wildfire, finally becoming infinitely preserved on humor sites hell-bent on stealing others' thunder. These sites still exist today.
Russian Reversal Today
Occurrences of Russian Reversal are not nearly as prominent as they once were. What with Russia's fall to Democracy, the number of Russian Communists gets lower every day. In fact, the unfortunate truth is that one cannot rightly tell whether Russian Reversal exists at all anymore.
Now that vague stereotypes of all Russian people can no longer be applied, it is uncertain whether sudden changes in one's mood are due to the eponymous phenomenon, sheer idiocy, inebriation, or any combination of the three.
Some members of the Order express distaste at this allegation, providing what they consider evidence that Russian Reversal is still alive, and indeed may affect people outside of the Russian nationality. To prove this, they reference John Kerry, the Democratic Party's candidate for the American presidency in 2004. His multiple changes of opinion, they say, are a result of a rare case of Russian Reversal, which, they say, is communicable when applied to John Kerry. Though this theory is scoffed at by intellectuals and laypeople alike, the unfortunate truth is that, now, more than ever, nobody cares.