Voices from Russia

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Meet Chukcha… the Russian Jed Clampett


Could this be Chukcha? If not, it’s one of his relatives!


Some of you have asked me about Chukcha, one of my stock characters (every columnist comes up with several to illustrate points, such as the late Mike Royko’s Slats Grobnik). He’s a stock-figure in Russian humour, being a simple-wise man. His closest analogue in American pop culture is Jed Clampett of the old sitcom on the telly, The Beverly Hillbillies. Like Jed, Chukcha may be from the back-of-the-beyond (therefore, prone to “cement pond” and “fancy-eatin’ table” malapropisms), being from the Chukchi Republic in the extreme east of the country (above the Arctic, no less), but, he knows which end is up, and don’t try to prove otherwise, by God.

Here is a typical Chukcha story:

“Chukcha has gone to Moscow. There is socialism there. It is impressive. Everything is done for the betterment of man. However… Chukcha even saw this man”.

In short, Chukcha is no one’s fool. He knows the reality behind the showy rhetoric (sounds familiar, huh?). That is, Chukcha has character… he’s real. Another figure in the Chukcha stories is the Russian geologist. The geologist plays something of the same role played by Banker Drysdale in the Beverly Hillbillies. For all his education, he is often outwitted by Chukcha, or Chukcha shows his superiority. For instance:

Chukcha and the geologist were out hunting. The geologist sighted a polar bear. Chukcha shouted, “Run!” The geologist ignored Chukcha and shot the polar bear. Chukcha came up, shaking his head. “Russian hunter, bad hunter. Now, we have to drag bear 20 kilometres back to village. However… Russian can drag bear all by himself”. Chukcha stamped off…

Of course, Chukcha and his friends probably showed up after the Russian had been forced to drag the bear long enough to learn a lesson. One of the identifying “tags” of Chukcha is the word “odnako” (“however”). Chuk’s wisdom usually follows.

What would Chukcha think of the Syosset gang in the OCA? For that matter, what would Jed Clampett say? “Oo dawgie… I WOULDN’T do THAT if I were you”. Reflect on the fact that the SVS/Syosset mob is made up of the “educated and sophisticated”, whilst Chukcha and Jed are “ignorant and simple”.

My money is on Chukcha and Jed… what about you?

img_0001Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 24 September 2009

Albany NY

Don’t Bet on Crosby’s Horse!


Crosby’s horse… where he always is… at the rear of the pack!

There has been some bleating and special pleading heard from certain quarters concerning the appointment of Raymond Velencia to the OCA Metropolitan Council. We can’t do anything about it, “our hands are tied”, all because of “procedure”. Hmm… Take a look at a typical example (the name has been changed to spare the author deserved embarrassment).

Does the OCA Statute allow for a diocesan bishop (or the Metropolitan) to overrule the Diocesan Assembly’s election of delegates to the Metropolitan Council? Does anyone, i.e., the Holy Synod, the Metropolitan Council itself? Who, if anyone, can remove a sitting member of the Metropolitan Council and for what cause(s)?

Depending on the answer(s), this could be a situation where hands are tied due to the actions of the DoWA’s Diocesan Assembly, i.e., a situation similar to Sudan’s membership on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR).

The Oarsman

22 September 2009

What vacuous and fatuous nonsense! It is obvious that the Oarsman has little experience of the real world and what happens there every day in plain sight. I reiterate, all that was necessary was for Jonas Paffhausen to have rung up the Washington Diocesan Assembly and have said, “That bastard is out. Choose someone else”. Trust me… Velencia would have withdrawn his name, with a fulsome speech thanking the assembly for its trust, and a candidate acceptable to Paffhausen would have been elected. As I said, it happens every day. It’s called “politics”, Mr Oarsman, and such piffle as “procedure” would not be allowed to stand in the way of Mr Big’s desires.

We see that in the current OCA Synod of Bishops meeting. Tassos has been an utter failure as Treasurer, his special pleadings have fallen on deaf ears amongst the faithful. Donations are down, not only to the Central Administration, but, to other church bodies, as well (SVS has been particularly hard-hit, and as all OCA bodies live from hand-to-mouth (there are no Episcopalian-style endowments, despite noise to the contrary), they are in a BAD way). They are making noises about how he was only a place-holder, etc, etc. Oh… who did they tap for Treasurer? The CFO of SVS, a consummate insider… hmm… the “new broom” is looking increasingly like the “old broom”… is another Honesdale National loan in the offing? It looks like the old gang doesn’t care for appearances, anymore. (I pity poor Fr Michael… if he is made a bishop, he is going to have to decide whether to stand with these boobs or to stand tall like Bishop Job did… THAT shall be a hard decision!)

One can feel some pity for Mr Tassos… he is the latest victim to be thrown from the train by the cabal. Who’s next? I’ll say this, it won’t be Kishkovsky, and it won’t be Garklavs. Of course, Bobby K sits in Venice, waiting out the expiration of the statute of limitations on his crimes in New York State… are the hands of the SOBs (Synod of Bishops, not “sons of bitches”… although the latter seems more accurate, nicht wahr?) tied there, as well?

In any case, Mr Oarsman, the so-called Metropolitan Council is not a canonical body. It is a creaky knockoff of Prodie organisations… (Chukcha says, “However… they do it better… they follow their rules”.) One can say that it is nothing more or less than a contemporary resurrection of the Holy Governing Synod (a body vilified by those of the Oarsman’s ilk, incidentally). How ironic! The body that they view as embodying “democracy” in the Church is nothing but a soulless revivification of the one historical Church institution that they hold up to obloquy!

“However… may I say something?”

“Sure, Chuk, what is it?”

“In Soviet days, we had wonderful constitution. It was full of very nice things… However… Chukcha says what is written is not important. What is done is what’s important. No one acted on those words… no one was free. Chukcha says character and deeds matter. Procedure and words do not. However… watch out for those who say otherwise”.

I agree with Chukcha! What about you? Hey, Oarsman! Get your nose out of the books and start living. One of the things that you could do is to stop reading that self-serving drivel from SVS and start emulating the saints… the real saints… like St Aleksandr Nevsky!

Friends and neighbours, let’s look at a real saint. What follows is an excerpt from the film Aleksandr Nevsky. It’s called, Arise, ye Russian People! Click on the link for nine minutes of good watching. By the way, Oarsman… I follow St Aleksandr Nevsky, not the pompous Aleksandr Schmemann! You’d do well to do likewise.

“What’s Crosby’s horse?” you ask.

Oh… that’s simple. The late entertainer Bing Crosby was an enthusiastic follower of the ponies. Unfortunately, he became known as a supporter of the slowest oaters on the course. “Crosby’s horse” was not only the last horse; he was a horse with no chance of winning. You can see the analogy, can’t you?

img_0001Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 24 September 2009

Albany NY

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