For the Berliner, the vodka-reeking hawkers of Soviet kitsch are a ubiquitous site around the Disneyland spectacle of Checkpoint Charlie. Wearing faux-beaver caps and decked out in a horrifying array of replica Soviet medal celebrating the wearer’s capacity for murder and oppression, they grab any tourist by the arm who seems interested and drunkenly attempt to foist upon them a replica rubber gas mask, accompanying it with a slurred story of underground bunkers and recovered military surplus hordes.
It’s all a sham, of course, and these gas masks are only usually good for one thing: sadomasochistic sex games. They don’t work, and they are too terrifying for casual display. But Joel Veitch over at Rathergood did figure out one use for them outside of the realm of Marilyn Manson’s bedroom: they make fine housings for the installation of kazoos! Yes!