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Wednesday, October 26, 2011
  1985-Onward

Over the years and up until very recently, people have repeatedly asked me "why are (or were - but usually it's 'are') you such a Boston Bruins fan" - meaning, before they won the Stanley Cup in June of 2011...!

That is not the right or appropriate question to ask, really.

The right question to ask is, rather, what motivates me to take a position in regards to this or to that - for it can indeed apply for any imaginable thing there is out there!

And the answer to that is simple - for I loathe injustice, in any form it takes.
What has that got to do with anything, you now ask?
It has everything to do with everything, for me.

I choose a stance, to make an enlightened decision, take a position based upon what I have observed - and when I have determined that a certain party has suffered an injustice, that party can bet whatever it wants on having my undying support. For God Did not want such injustices to occur - on any level of society, at any time! Our God is a Just God - and I am His believer, devout Christian that I am, and so I shall denounce every injustice and ungodly thing that I will ever witness! And none of it will I ever condone, simply to be like my surroundings, simply to blend in or just to jump on any bandwagon there can be! Political correctness does not appeal to me either - for it reeks of hypocrisy and can so easily pave the way to yet more injustices down the road - but that is another story, for another blog... again.

To get back to the Boston Bruins, my partisanship truly began circa 1985 when I noticed how much bad luck they repeatedly experienced, time and again, opposite the same exact adversary usually. Murphy's Law was tardy in intervening and Lady Luck was being her usual bitch as well, and I didn't find that to be right one bit.  It wasn't just that either, of course: the team had a great ethic, worked and fought hard, never gave up - and yet, they were so many times rewarded with nothing more than disappointment and heartbreak. Those were hard-luck heroes that I could admire: a blue-collar team that deserved every last bit of success that they had, because they had earned it the hard way. Another reason to root for them so early on - years before rookies like Tyler and Brad showed up at training camp - was indeed the many injustices committed against them by both opponents in the rink as by the officials themselves with so many bad calls against the team that proved so very costly too, depriving them of several championships. Aye, the referees supposedly enforcing the rules, within this very same rink, supposedly making things right: they were making things so wrong... It happened with frightening regularity and it was always the nicest guy on the Bruins bench that was taking the brunt of it, too. Christians like me always root for the underdog - don't you know that, also? But in hockey, there is no turning the other cheek...

Here is one example of what I'm talking about - it took place in 1996 in a game pinning the Boston Bruins against the defunct Hartford Whalers:




The fact that this team from Hartford no longer exists is not enough to just "forgive and forget" - see? Not only because the team merely relocated and became the Carolina Hurricanes, all the while remaining a bitter foe for the Bruins - but the fact is that this sort of unnecessary roughness continues to happen, ad nauseam, every single day in the NHL today.

And oftentimes it just so happens that it is a Boston Bruin finesse player that winds up hurt: both Marc Savard and Patrice Bergeron got severe concussions and the guys who hit them so cowardly were never punished as befit the crime. Nathan Horton was also given a concussion at the most crucial of times: however, that time, it had the opposite effect on the fortunes of the team - for once.

Bad judgement from the refs: that has to be expected. No matter what game it might be, the "Big Bad Bruins" reputation will precede them and they will be getting more penalties than the other guys, no matter who the other guys are...  I sincerely believed that the NHL did not want the Bruins to win anything for the longest time: they had certainly stated that they did not want the All-Star Game to ever come back to Boston until they'd tear down the old, venerable Boston Garden and build themselves a new facility. Why would it be so far-fetched to believe that they wanted the Bruins to disappear early on in the playoffs every single year, from 1984 to 1994, because they were still operating from the confines of that old archaic building?  There were only a few glitches over the years with that: the Bruins were too good to be kept back for so long: they reached the Finals in 1988 and 1990, were the best team in the league in 1990 in fact, went deep in the playoffs again in 1992, 1994 and 1995.  As a matter of fact, the Bruins were royally screwed of several championships in those very same years, yet again, as they had been in the 60s, 70s and early 80s before I became a fanatic "actively" shall we say...
And the refs started screwing the Bruins over again in 1999 and onwards... I guess this time it was just the league's beef against Jacobs, the Bruins' team owner...

It took a general manager everyone respected in that damn league -Peter Chiarelli- and a guy the entire damnable NHL could only admit that they "owed him one" -Cam Neely- as team president for the league to allow the Boston Bruins to finally achieve their long-snuffled and outright denied potential...

You may think this is a far-fetched take on what happened there, but hey - reality is often stranger than fiction, don't you know?

All this is to say really only one thing and it is this: perish the thought that I would be one of those "fair weather fans" that jumped on the bandwagon when the Boston Bruins finally claimed another championship after X number of years...

Me? I am a die-hard Boston Bruins fan: I have lived the life of the Bruins, through triumphs, tragedies and trials. I should have had my name engraved on the cup, too...

I am sure many fans feel the exact same way as I do about that name-engraved bit, too...!

Sempre Por O Melhor... Thomas Menino deve istar contente, até que em fim! 
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011
  1969-1986

The feeling of saudades of a loved one is as one's own nostalgia - and so it is meant to be when two have become one.

It is in this perspective that we present the following here, this time:

Children's fare that harken of another time, another place - and of days gone by...


Uploaded by akaidude on Dec 10, 2007

Nu, pogodi! ("I'll Get You!") is a series of Russian animated shorts directed by Vyacheslav Kotyonochkin, produced at the Soyuzmultfilm studio in Moscow, between 1969 and 1986. The plot of the series follows the mischievous and artistic Wolf (Volk) trying to catch the Hare (Zayats), presumably with the intention to eat him.


Aside from Zayats and Volk, these cartoons featured such unforgettable characters as Cherubashka, its best friend Kosyak (Gena?) the Crocodile (who plays the accordion) and then there was also that Hippopotamus that overworked Volk, unwittingly foiling the latter's devious plans... The Russian Raccoon and the Monkey... The old lady and her doggie... Assorted eccentrics... And many more!

These animated shorts are little gems of creativity and artistic talent given free reign even though this was a period of time when there were obvious restrictions. They transcend any political climate there could have been and reach out to everyone through their sheer humanity and purity. As there was no competition to speak of, truly, these cartoons made the rounds throughout all of the socialistic regimes of the world - including Eastern Europe. Every kid who was denied American fare had access to these; and, quite frankly, they were all the better off for it!

Truly a mirror image of what was being done over at the States - these cartoons truly rival the Merrie Melodies from Warner Bros. in every way - and then some! That and any short Walt Disney ever conceived of as well! The quality is undeniably the same; the morality lessons even clearer than those delivered by their American counterparts!

These productions also made ingenious use of classical music and time-honoured pieces in a way that tops anything else of the kind - including the times Elmer Fudd and that certain hare went to the opera...!

Volk and Zayats are a tad like Tom and Jerry - but with more realistic plotlines overall, if one can achieve that with a cartoon scenario...! The usual plot device here is a comical chain of events -accidents, really- that make it impossible for Volk to come to realize his devious plans... Make that a singular plan, one that is quite basic to say the least - but let us not give too much away here, I suppose?

Zayats is much more likable than that certain hare from my childhood we just mentioned: you know which one - the one who always asked "what's up, doc?"

Volk is everything Wile E. Coyote aspired to be.

Cherubashka is just the cuddliest thing - and with such a heart-gripping story too! For it is a toy, unwanted and ignored, that finally is given a home by Kosyak, the (one supposes to be a teary-eyed) crocodile; so it is forever grateful to the crocodile and with good reason too. Much more touching a story than any Colargol episode that I remember from this side of the iron curtain...!

Makes one wonder why singers such as Sting hoped the Russians loved their children too - of course they do! And they were in the habit of making wonderful cartoons for them as well - every bit as fun as the American ones, but with the added touch of often having a valuable message and lesson in it, as well! Unlike the American cartoons, made for pure unadulterated fun and profit, there was no profit to be made in a communist regime. Thus the cartoons were, ironically enough, all the more innocent and artistic while emanating from such a regime! Just watch now and see for yourselves: the first cartoon on the following playlist is the one with the raccoon and the monkey, plus a lake creature that, at first, scares the raccoon but then he realizes that most valuable lesson of all: a smile is the start of a beautiful friendship. After that, more Volk, Zayats and company! Overall, the lesson is crystal clear: you get back as you've given. It is something that everyone can agree with and could agree with even back then; when there was an iron curtain...




Who would have thought there were such cuddly, friendly creatures hiding behind the iron curtain back in 1969, hmm? Not the Americans - that is for sure!

:)

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Born in the Age of Aquarius, destined to seek out truths in many an art form, trained as a historian and a journalist but truly a prose-lover... Luciano is out to dispel any clichés and reinvent them all both to the tune of a little something called the truth as also to his own image - being old-fashioned, he does not mind that distinction one infinitesimal tiny bit at all...! "There are two ways to spread the light; be the candle... or the mirror that reflects It." I have chosen to be the latter... okay? ~*~ "To be not only a seeker of light... but a dream weaver of light" ~*~ For as surely as the moon reflects the light from the sun, you and I can reflect the Light from Above - and be, indeed, the light of this world! ~*~*~*~

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