Semyon had a lot to say about the Underground. “Why have they got fabric seats? I am not sitting, what happens if drunk has pissed himself. It is very dirty, do you not clean this place? Could we not get a taxi?”
“No,” Cass said firmly, “This is quicker or we could walk?”
“Okay, we walk,” they got off at Bank. Cass took him through Pater Nostra Square, “Our cathedral to capitalism,” she quipped as she pointed out the Stock Excahnge, “And our cathedral to God, the two go hand in hand in this city.” As she pointed out St Paul’s shadowing it.
“That is very similar to Moscow!” laughed Semyon. “What do you think about Pussy Riot?”
“I think that they should do a show at St Paul’s, it is less likely they will get locked up.”
“You wouldn’t understand, “ Semyon said darkly.
“Try me?” Cass was suddenly interested.
“Lots of people, ordinary people, paid a lot of money to rebuild Christ the Savior. It had been torn down during Communism. Communism took away their religion, made it illegal. You take away religion, you take away hope. “
“I don’t agree, but go on,” Cass said.
“You can tell you come from a wealthy country,” he laughed.
Cass took the criticism on the chin and felt ashamed of her arrogance. Atheism always came with wealth and development. If you had a dying baby, no medicine, no food, no electricity, no water, there was only one hope, even if it was an imaginary friend.
“Anyway, these people held onto their religion, through it all, even if they could be sent to Gulag. It gave them strength and freedom. It gave them hope systems could change.”
“Then you have to see the hypocrisy in the people sending Pussy Riot to prison for freedom of expression,” Cass retorted.
“Of course and they should not have been sent to prison. You have to understand Pussy Riot pissed on everything that day, these people, fighters for freedom of expression, who allowed Pussy Riot to be a feminist punk band and mock Putin. No one gave a fuck when they did it outside the Kremlin. Once they did the Christ the Savior performance, they gave the authorities an excuse to shut them down.”
“Are you saying they wanted to be arrested?”
“ Did you know about an obscure Russian feminist punk band called Pussy Riot before?”
Cass stopped looked at him, and decided that the sisterhood and logic was more important than his cynicism being right,” They should not have gone to prison for singing a song.”