The Tragedy Of Eastern Bloc Pop

As one does in the ThinkProgress blog HQ from time to time, I was listening to t.A.T.u., which struck me as surprisingly un-Auto-Tuned — and weirdly committed to a vision of heterosexuality as war — for a cutesy fake lesbian Russian pop duo:

Yglesias and I were talking about this, and realized that it’s pretty hard to get a hit out of Russia or Eastern Europe unless it’s sold as extremely high camp, a la t.A.T.u. or “Dragostea Din Tei,” (which has the distinction of inspiring the single best New York Times headline ever committed to print, “Internet Fame Is Cruel Mistress for a Dancer of the Numa Numa”):


Or totally ripped off, as with the song “Around the World” is based on:

That’s kind of sad. When Scandanavian people make uber-earnest and insanely catchy dance music, we call them Robyn and love them. Russians and Romanians have it tough. This, however, was probably not ever going to have a lot of appeal in the West: