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What Would Vladimir Putin Do?

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2014-02-13-putin_boitano.JPG
Photo courtesy of Ray Keilman

The world is now descending on the Black Sea resort town of Sochi for what could be described as an every-two-year blitz of sports diplomacy -- 18 days of international solidarity to watch men and women performing at humanity's physical (and sometimes, hopefully, spiritual) best. But Russian President Vladimir Putin is asking us to ignore the obstacles the host country has placed around the track of human rights in the name of the Olympic spirit.

The great Olympian Brian Boitano, now out publicly, is in Sochi as part of the United States' official delegation and official response to Putin's anti-gay "propaganda" law. It's the perfect time to ask, what would Brian Boitano do? He'd fight the evil robot king and save the human race again. Of course.

So let's talk a little about free expression.

What would Vladimir Putin do

If he was here right now?

He'd crush some rights

And he'd follow through,

That's what Vladimir Putin'd do.



When Vladimir Putin was building the Olympics,

Trying to be cool,

He jailed activists and a billionaire

Just to say "fuck you."



When Vladimir Putin was in Moscow

Fighting LGBT,

He used his magical fire breath,

And killed freedom of speech.



So what would Vladimir Putin do

If he were here today?

I'm sure he'd jail an ass or two,

That's what Vladimir Putin'd do.



How would you end the song? Send your parody lyrics to us at PEN, Tweet us @PENamerican, or add them in the comments below.

'Cause that's what Brian Boitano'd do.

Originally published here by PEN American Center, Feb. 10, 2014.

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and PEN American Center in conjunction with the Sochi 2014 Olympics. The series is part of our Impact Sports initiative, which examines the intersection of sports and social good. The posts in the series critique the Russian government's censorship laws. Read all posts in the series here. To find out more about PEN, click here.

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