Voices from Russia

Monday, 2 January 2012

2 January 2011. For the Next Ten Days It’s “Party Time” in the Rodina… It’s a Nationwide Ten-Day Holiday

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For the next ten days, most Russians are going to be out of work on holiday, until 10 January. Ergo, I don’t think that there’s going to be much in the way of major Russian news. Of course, it gives me a chance to “catch up”… it’ll allow me time to “wrap up” the Bhagavad-Gita story (the court decided that the Gita wasn’t extremist… no surprise, there) and lessen my pace for a week or two, allowing myself rest. Just you watch… after saying all that, some big news item will hit the fan… such is the life of an internet journalist.

Orthodox Christmas is this Saturday… Old New Year‘s is 14 January. The Old English tradition has it that the animals in the byre kneel down on Christmas… but only on the Old Style (Julian) date… check it out… it may happen! Be good, and know that the holiday season isn’t done. “It ain’t over ’till its over”… and it “ain’t over” until we enjoy the fast-free Svyatki (Holy Days) between Christmas and Epiphany and jump into a hole cut into the ice on 19 January (c’mon… be a sport… “global warming” makes it easier every year). How much d’ya wanna bet that Vladimir Wolfovich will jump into Bottomless Lake wearing ridiculous trunks (a safe bet… he’s done it annually for years)? Will VVP jump into an ice-hole? Perspirin’ minds wanna know… but I’ll betcha that he wouldn’t allow photogs to snap his picture doing that… he NEVER brings his personal family life into the public eye. THAT is one of the reasons why I still respect him… GWB or VVP? There’s no contest, is there?

Enjoy the Orthodox Holiday Season! The BEST is yet to come!

с Новым годом! To the New Year!

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Monday 2 January 2012

Albany NY 

2 January 2012. To Know Someone Doesn’t Mean that You Love Them or Approve of Their Stance

THINK before you open your mouth… it’ll save you a TON of grief…

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I was told that Dickie Wood and Job Osacky got on well. The implication being, of course, if I thought well of Job, I’d have to think well of Mr Wood, too! There are two simple explanations as to why that isn’t so. Firstly, the OCA isn’t all that big… the episcopate is small enough so that all the bishops know all the other bishops. The apparat is small enough so that every “senior” priest knows his colleagues, and he knows them well. Dickie hung around the SVS crowd for years, and, don’t forget, Job was part of that bunch until they rejected him in the early aughts.

To be frank, Job probably knew Dickie ever since he was a nipper. That militates against someone being on bad terms… I’ve haven’t heard of any bad blood between Job and Dickie, and it would surprise me greatly if someone had told me that the two weren’t aware of the other’s existence. The OCA apparat’s an “old boys club” from SVS, which means that not only did they know one another, they knew the other one well (and for years, at that). Ergo, on this ground alone, the implied construct’s invalid. They knew one another… everybody in the upper reaches of the OCA knows each other… BIG DEAL.

Secondly, it could be a simple misplacing of trust. God knows that I’ve done it often enough. You forget that pleasantness and civility can mask hostility, indifference, ennui, or duplicity. Once, I had an encounter that brought it home to me. I listened to the person carefully, and I realised that I’d misplaced my trust. It happens. When I was younger, I’d get angry and get pissed off publicly… nowadays, I simply mark it down mentally… and put that person on my “questionable” list. Anger only gives you momentary satisfaction… and it gives your enemies ammunition to use against you. You simply guard yourself against that person after that.

Therefore, the unspoken implication behind “Job and Dickie got on well” stems from crank and defective reasoning. Job got on decently with Vlad Berzonsky too… that doesn’t mean that he approved of Vlad Berzansky Jr or his reputed methods… but it DOES mean that he knew him, he knew him well, and that he was pleasant to him. NONE of that necessarily implies approval of the man and/or his methods. The same would go for Dickie. In any case, I don’t completely trust anything that emanates from anyone tied to the present OCA apparat. Quite simply, they have every motive to lie, and the OCA apparat’s been doing that openly and brazenly for years (one million members, indeed… and the documented charges against Bobby).

I say, let Vladyki Job rest in peace. None of us KNOWS what he thought of this one or that one… and to imply that we knew him well enough to say that we KNOW what he believed is a true stretch. However… to speak frankly… I find that to imply that Job Osacky approved of Dickie Wood in toto is going too far. It’s unbelievable… literally. Have a care… there be fresh and steaming cowpats in that field… and they’re not all visible…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Monday 2 January 2012

Albany NY

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