One-armed man arrested in Belarus for clapping


43 Responses to “One-armed man arrested in Belarus for clapping”

  1. royaltrux says:

    What is this, The Onion?

  2. CastanhasDoPara says:

     Of course it was the one-armed man; it’s always the one-armed man.

  3. I hope someone recorded the sound of one hand clapping because I have always wanted to know.

    • Avram Grumer says:

      Apparently, it sounds just like a boot stamping on a human face forever.

      • Preston Sturges says:

        “……..In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense. And what was terrifying was not that they would kill you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right. For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable what then?”

    • BillStewart2012 says:

      It’s the sound that accompanies Homer Simpon saying “D’oh!”

  4. mappo says:

    Someone, anyone, in that courtroom should have asked that judge “what’s the sound of one hand clapping?”

  5. fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

    What’s the Belarusian for translation for “Testilying”? 

  6. nmdjohn says:


  7. Sigmund_Jung says:

    The funny thing is why totalitarian regimes pass laws to legitimize persecution — and in the end simply frame people like this. If you are a dictator and want to throw people in jail, why even bother? That’s a lot of work.

    • James Penrose says:

      Because very few dictators have the parsnips to not pretend they run a “nation of laws” and that the rule of law is what is really making them do these terrible things.

      “I am just enforcing the will of the people as passed by the People’s Assembly” gives them a theoretical leg to stand on along with the “We must have order or the terrorists have won” and my favorite, sadly from the U.S. “It is unpatriotic to protest the new security laws as they are intended to fight terrorism and a free people must have limits on their freedom to be truly free.” (Paraphrase of multiple Presidential speeches from one Bush or another.)

  8. kmoser says:

    A one-armed man can clap his hand against, say, his thigh. He can also clap his hand against somebody else’s hand. Thus, one-armed men are indeed capable of clapping, assuming an only slightly liberal definition of what it means to clap.

    • miasm says:

      One may also clap one’s fingers against the same hand’s palm.

    • retepslluerb says:

      This.  I – despite having tow arms and hands – almost never clap hand to hand.  I usually use hand-to-leg or hand-to-table (common at university, I guess).

      Standing up it’s simple to clap hand-to-breast.

      • DreamboatSkanky says:

        That’s just being properly cautious.  You don’t want any clap damage if you’re gonna be towing with those things.

    • ocker3 says:

       If I’m holding something and want to applaud, I either slap my leg or my chest

      • Robert says:

        If I’m holding something, I use my chest. I find it’s better to make a fist out of my hand and then thump my chest. If it’s an extended applause, though, I feel the need to start attacking audience members.

    • Lemoutan says:

      Yes, but trickery aside – one person may clap. But doesn’t applause, a communal activity, need more than one person? Are we sure of the translation of the law? The intention seems to be more anti-applause than anti-clap. The distinction is important for whereas it would seem impossible that a one-armed man could break an anti-clapping law, he might break an anti-applauding one.

    • Jack Feerick says:

       That may be the only time the word “liberal” will ever be used in relation to this legislation…

    • When at gigs I normally have a drink in my hand – banging my hand against my thigh is the only way I can show gratitude!

  9. Jim Dillon says:

    Reminds one of the Georges Brassens lyric that might be roughly translated “every man’s hand is raised against me, except, of course, for the amputees’”.

  10. Rindan says:

    Good old Belarus.  I feel like they are doing a service to Europe. They are there as a constant reminder that living under an authoritarian dictator sucks, and that you shouldn’t do it.  At least China has the decency to spread the authoritarian power around a little and makes a fair attempt at improving the lives of their people, if for no other reason than because they are afraid of 1.5 billion pissed off peasants.  That piece of shit Lukashenko doesn’t even pretend to give a shit about the people who is brutally suppressing while robbing the nation of what little resources it has left.  

  11. Marc Botte says:

    This news is one and a half year old

  12. mysterymoil says:

    This must mean that in Belarus high-fiving is considered a conspiracy offense.

  13. planettom says:

    But a one-armed man can still get the clap.

  14. If TV teached me one thing is that one does not trust one-armed men.

  15. Brad Bell says:

    I believe we are looking at this upside down. This is a great story of clever people re-inventing what protest means. They seem to have turned the old phrase, “the best revenge is living well” into a form of political protest. Applause is just one tactic. The young Belarusians also have flash mobs where everyone will suddenly be strolling around the square eating ice cream. Or they will quietly walk around smiling at each other. It’s genius!

    Digital communications allows them to redefine for each other, the meaning of applause, or eating an ice cream. These redefinitions constitute a kind of shared culture – the social glue that binds people together – which is necessary before there can be any kind of coordinated political action. The same dynamics exist for global citizens, who would see huge gains in power both locally and globally if we used the internet to redefine what things mean and synchronise ourselves to say, “no” at the same time.

Leave a Reply