We all know that when it comes to super-rich Russians it’s all about ‘Me, me, and me!’ But for the billionaire Alisher Usmanov it seems to be all about memes. The funny thing is that all the memes we are talking about are created at the expense of the Uzbeki business magnate.
Hang on, Who Wants to be Laughed at?
Apparently the 60-something year old oligarch is more than happy to be the butt of a joke (or as it is, several jokes). A bunch of memes are doing the rounds on the Internet with Usmanov as the topic, and every one of them are very unflattering to the oligarch. It all started when the rich Russian managed to get himself into a social media squabble with the Russian activist Alexei Navalny. As the founder and leader of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, Navalny is on a mission to expose every bit of corruption in Russia. The activist accused Alisher Usmanov of bribing Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev with a substantial piece of land.
Most that stand accused by Navalny ignore allegations, rationally defend accusations, or simply chuck Navalny in jail for a while to keep him quiet. Instead of taking the typical course of action, Usmanov took to social media, and posted a video online. On the video he counter-attacked Navalny by calling him a ‘loser’ and a ‘failed businessman’. He also used phrases like ‘Unlike you, I am living a happy life’, and ‘Of the two of us, you are the criminal’.
Then it Got Really Strange…
Netizens jumped on the bandwagon and started making meme after meme with Alisher Usmanov as their theme. Many of the images are quite rude – one even likened Usmanov to the reviled Star Wars character Jabba the Hutt. Weirdly, Usmanov is apparently not offended. Instead he has said that he is ‘…glad that with my videos I provoke people to create stickers, caricatures, parodies, videos and memes’. He also promised iPhone 7s and signed t-shirts to the creators of the best memes. Maybe Usmanov is moved to such generosity because he is bored with his life that consists of things like owning part of the Arsenal Football Team, a luxurious yacht, and having US$20 billion in the bank.