Today we are going to talk about a few unexpected and strange things. But they are very important for realizing their own significance as a national ethnos on a human scale. Just don't be surprised, please.
I'll start a little from afar. Are you surprised by the special love of the first person of the state for hockey? I'm talking about Putin now, if anyone has not yet understood. After all, if I am not mistaken (and I am not mistaken!), Since childhood he was engaged in wrestling, first sambo, where he fulfilled the standard of master of sports, then judo (because sambo was then, and still remains a non-Olympic sport). It was precisely the struggle, the first coach Anatoly Solomonovich Rakhlin and his section comrades, among whom were the Rotenberg brothers (Arkady danced there, who does not believe, look at the old photos of Putin of those years, where he was captured in the company of his section friends) and formed those his personal qualities, which were very useful to him (and to all of us!) in his current position. You can treat Putin as you like, but hardly anyone will deny that it was this set of his personal qualities that made him irreplaceable as President of the Russian Federation. Putin, in fact, became the very savior of the nation who pulled Russia out of the terrible situation in which it was after Yeltsin's words: “I'm tired! I'm leaving!".
Now it's even scary to think what fate awaited the Russian Federation. Look at Ukraine, and now multiply this horror by 100. You don't have to be a great visionary to understand that the Russian Federation, heated by the States, would begin to burst at the seams, the national outskirts would wake up, all the hidden grievances would surface at once and instantly (look, who does not believe on Karabakh, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Moldova), after the rebellious Chechnya, Tatarstan and Bashkiria would demand independence, further - more, Siberia, the Far East (there is a long list of appanage princes!). We have avoided all this. And thank God! And we owe this not to the Almighty, but to Putin (don’t take it for flattery, I am generally a citizen of another state, therefore I treat the figure of Putin with a detached, objective attitude, not being under his jurisdiction, my country, in general, is verbally “at war” with the Russian Federation for 7 years, you know what country I'm talking about).
Therefore, in order to remove possible criticism, I will immediately say - have condescension to your President, do not forget that he is just a person with all the ensuing consequences and, like the others, goes to the toilet, and not only to wash his hands ... And even if he is not as smart as Kasparov, and not as handsome as the late Nemtsov, and even less so talented as Makarevich, Yarmolnik, Bykov and Parfyonov put together, even though Putin is also power-hungry, vindictive and vindictive an introvert who does not forgive anyone and does not forget the wrongs inflicted (whether it is good or bad, we will not discuss here now, my personal opinion is how it can be bad for a person, how it turns out that it is not for the country!). But if it is this set of good and bad qualities that allows him to effectively cope with the responsibilities of the President of the Russian Federation, in fact, a crisis manager, assigned to him, then there is no need to interfere with this - even a blind person can already see that he is on the right path. Putin has proven with his 20 years of work that he is the perfect crisis manager. That is why it is so difficult to find a replacement for him, that is why he is so annoying to the West.
Earlier, I had the impression that Putin is superior to all his colleagues in the political terrarium, as they say, with a clear advantage. And by the caliber of the personality, and by the tasks set before him. Moreover, not all tasks arose by themselves, and he solved them, as they say, in fact. Some, especially in geopolitics, he put before himself, and all the other participants in this theater political actions had to and still have to reckon with, whether they wanted it or not. I don’t know whether Putin was born this way or this is an acquired quality, I still tend to the latter, but the fact remains - Putin forced the West to reckon with the opinion of Russia, that during the reign of Gorby and EBN he began to forget. Peter I opened a window to Europe, and Putin also attached doors to it, supplies gas and is trying to open a window to Asia as well. With this he will enter History.
Hockey as a tracing of the nation's identity
But I digress from the topic. And our theme is hockey and its significance in the formation of the nation's self-consciousness. During Yeltsin's time, tennis and volleyball were court sports, and with Putin's rise to power, they were wrestling and hockey. With wrestling, it's understandable, but why hockey, no one asked themselves this question? Yes, during the Soviet Union we had great achievements in it. But in modern Russian history all these successes have been lost, now we rejoice at the achievements of our hockey players in the NHL, we consider how much money they earn there, and we can count our own victories on the fingers of one hand (we won the last World Championship 7 years ago, the 2014 Sochi Olympics shamefully lost, barely won against the Germans in Pyeongchang-2018, and it looked more like a miracle!). Why is Putin so stuck in hockey?
The answer to this question lies in a slightly different plane. People far from this sport will not understand me at all. Hockey is a special game. It is a very masculine sport (although women play there now, but women's hockey is a completely different sport, I don’t want to prove anything to anyone, just take it as an axiom). In Soviet times, the weekly Football Hockey was popular. The most watchable and popular sports among the people. But comparing them is like comparing rhythmic and artistic gymnastics. It seems that both there and there gymnastics, but where some have bloody calluses and broken limbs, others have ruddy cheeks and problems with maintaining optimal weight (I am not trying to blaspheme our “artists”, I also love them very much and am proud of them them, they are great, I'm just comparing the side effects). So the hockey players are residents of completely different galaxies. Where a football player will lie and writhe in pain, rolling on the grass of the stadium, the hockey player will not even fall, but if he fell on the ice and did not get up, then it is definitely necessary to call resuscitation. I do not even compare the fees of hockey players, although for us ordinary citizens and hockey fees are completely unrealistic big money.
Nevertheless, as the famous song says, "a coward does not play hockey!" And all our past victories in it are connected exclusively with our character. Thus, thanks to which we won the war and flew into space, and all our past and present victories are associated with it. Among the Russian people (regardless of their nationality), I see them as a single community of people united by a single territory, a single history (this is why our enemies in Ukraine are trying to rewrite it), and a single cultural and historical code (namely, to break it and All the efforts of our enemies are directed, and in Ukraine they have already partially succeeded in this), and so, the Russian people, let's put it another way, the Russian-cultural people have a special character. We cannot be intimidated. Under pressure, we only grow stronger, like steel, we only become harder, and recoil can "torture" anyone who tries to break us.
In support, I will give only two quotes, and you will understand everything yourself:
Be careful not to wake up the Russian! You do not know how his awakening will end for you. You can trample him in the mud, mix with shit, taunt, humiliate, despise, insult. And at that moment, when it seems to you that you have defeated the Russian, destroyed, defamed forever, erased into powder - suddenly something extraordinary, amazing for you will happen. He will come to your house. Tiredly sits down on a chair, puts the machine gun on his knees and looks into his eyes. It will stink of gunpowder, blood, death, and it will be in your house. The Russian will only ask you one question: "What is the strength, brother?" It is at this moment that you will regret 1000 times that you are not a brother to the Russian. Because he will forgive his brother, but never the enemy. The French remember. The Germans know. Russian lives by justice. Western layman - with deceitful briefings and crafty press conferences. As long as justice is alive in his heart, the Russian will rise from the mud, from the darkness, from hell. And you can't do anything about it. Because the Russians themselves cannot do anything about it for thousands of years. (S.V. Klimkovich, Belarus).
What can I say here? There are things that Russians don't forgive. And don't provoke them! And that is precisely why there is a special attitude towards us in the West, where, under a poorly concealed apprehension, undisguised respect is visible. Because they understand that a Russian can go all the way and die for the truth. American never! Prefers to negotiate. This is our fundamental difference! Remember the words of the hero Sergei Bodrov: “What is the strength, brother? Power is in the truth!". We grew up watching these films, this understanding is within us. For the truth and it is not scary to die. Living examples of this are our recent Heroes of Russia, who died in Syria, Alexander Prokhorenko, who caused fire on himself, and Roman Filipov, who fired back to the end from the service PM. Americans will never understand this, and this, as VVP said, is our strength and our pride! That is why Americans are afraid of us to convulsions, to hiccups, because they are not ready to die for their truth. And we are ready! And even those juveniles, according to your estimates, morons who walk with headphones and tattoos and listen to American rap are ready. Because Russian blood flows in them. And so in our history it has always been, absurd, according to the older generation, young people in a hard time rose and shielded the country with their breasts, showing miracles of mass heroism and self-sacrifice.
In short, I can still talk a lot, but it's better not to tell Bismarck in this regard. How this German managed in the short time that he lived in Russia to accurately capture the essence and salt of Russian nature, which crystallized over its thousand-year history, is a mystery to me. But I would hang his quote in all foreign embassies in a frame next to the flag of the Russian Federation:
Russians have the most militaristic consciousness of all large ethnic groups. The above should not be confused with aggressiveness, both acquired and, possibly, innate, inherent in both individuals and many large and small nations. At the same time, Russians are one of the most peace-loving nations, which quite naturally gets along with militarism, without causing any contradictions, but only emphasizing the omnipresent ambivalence and duality that permeate them and their relationship to the world. They are surprisingly efficient and amazingly lazy, they are stingy and wasteful, they are extremely unpretentious up to the ability to survive in any extreme conditions and at the same time adore comfort, they are courageous to heroism and often extremely indecisive, which is easy to confuse with cowardice, they are individualists and collectivists, they are cruel and merciful, they are weak and unattainably powerful, they are conservative and revolutionary, they are inventive and stereotyped, they are genius to the point of idiocy, and, finally, they are both Europeans and Asians at the same time. And it is not necessary to say that the described properties are to one degree or another inherent in any peoples and ethnic groups, and that Russians are no better and no worse than others. Actually, we are not talking at all about who is better and who is worse. They are just different. They live in a parallel world in relation to everyone, and no one could understand them at all times and at all times, because they are unpredictable to perfection !.
In hockey, this is most evident because it is a very masculine sport. And also very collective. One person, no matter how techie he is, will not make the weather there. The team is working. Each member has its own special function. I understand that this text is read by different people, most of whom may be far from sports, but they only know about hockey that there are goalkeepers, defenders and forwards. I am sure that most people also know the rules, and they know that on the ice in the "invincible five and the goalkeeper", in addition to the goalkeeper, there is also a pair of defenders and a three forwards (two wingers and a center). But they don't know exactly who the "tough guys", "police", "bodyguards" and "provocateurs" are.
And in overseas hockey there are such positions. We encountered this during our first famous super series with Canadian professionals. Before that, if there were fights in our hockey, then none of this did a show. A man's game - anything can happen. But in order to deliberately recruit players whose only task is to injure and intimidate the leading hockey players of the opposite team, our functionaries and hockey coaches did not even think of this. Because it's not in our nature. We are for fair sport and fair fight (remember the famous "Coming at you!" By the Grand Duke of Kiev Svyatoslav Igorevich). This is our fundamental difference from the Anglo-Saxons. Those are ready for any meanness for the sake of achieving the final result (or for the sake of money, which is essentially the same for them). They confirm this with their entire history, the most significant moment of which is the smallpox-infected blankets distributed to the Indians who were forcibly driven to the reservation (is it any wonder that there are almost no Indians left in the North American United States soon ?!).
Help: Tough guy (English tough guy - "tough", "tough guy"; English terms are also used enforcer, fighter) - a player of a hockey team, whose main task is to prevent the development of success of opponents with power techniques, intimidate the enemy, fight on the ice, "turn off »From the game of the most dangerous forwards of the opposing team and the protection of the most valuable players of his team.
Translated into the public domain, this term means "full-time fighter." Each team has one for whom the ability to swing fists is placed above the ability to swing a club. Keeping on skates is already good, if only he knows how to fight. But if he also scores goals, then he has no price at all! In our hockey, this position is still occupied mainly by amateurs, since this element of the hockey show is not very much in demand here (since Soviet times, the audience still appreciates hockey itself, and not fights around it), but in the NHL by "tough guys" real professionals in their field work - pit bulls on skates (to break a person for them - what a rag to you).
The profession of "policeman" or "bodyguard" arose in response to the emergence of full-time "tough guys". Their task was just the power protection of their leading forwards and retaliatory intimidation of the opponent. In a hockey squad of 4 full-time fives, the first two create and create on the ice, the third five defends and destroys more, but the fourth consists mostly of fighters whose task is to "kill" the opponent. In the literal and figurative sense of the word. A fight to raise the morale of the team is generally a favorite thing for overseas professionals. And here they have no equal. We are trying to learn from them and adopt it, but so far we are only getting a miserable parody of the original. Because it's not in our blood. But, if you make our people angry, then no one will seem a little. Even without full-time tough guys, we gave such fights to overseas professionals on the ice that these fights went down in history. And now the spirit of the hockey squad in the locker room is formed not by the elite wizards of the washer, who create a positive difference on the scoreboard, but by the very fighters who terrify the opponents. The very fourth link of "checkers" (the common name for destroyers), designed to break the enemy psychologically. Their words in the locker room are the most weighty, and their presence on the court forces the opponent to refrain from dirty tricks against the leaders of their team. That's why I say - hockey is a man's sport, not for weaklings! The work is dangerous - half of the workers walk without teeth and periodically on three legs (the costs of the profession). No wonder we say that "real men play hockey."
But it's one thing tough guys, who, at the very least, have appeared (we can still fight and love), but regular "provocateurs" are quite another thing. These guys, whom everyone hates even in the North American hockey leagues, we never got. The function of this hockey profession is to "crawl under the skin" of an opponent, challenge him to a fight or break the rules, and not participate in it himself. This is achieved surreptitiously, by a minor foul, sometimes using dirty curses, often in the language of the enemy, harassing him with this throughout the entire match, they do not shy away from anything, they can remember their wife, mother, sister in well-known epithets, they can even spit, blow their nose in the face, but so that the judge does not see. As a result, the opponent's player goes to break the rules, and the provocateur sits on the bench satisfied, only not penalties, but substitutes (he did not break the rules). His task is to annoy the enemy. In any way. Rotten profession! But they pay money for it too. As they say, nothing personal - just business. I do not remember among our legionnaires in the NHL hockey players who performed such functions. There were tough guys. The most famous Andrey Nazarov nicknamed "Dirty Naz", who replaced 12 clubs in 7 seasons in the NHL, and then he became a tough guy by necessity, he could and loved to fight and, apparently, no one in his teams could do it better than him. But none of ours became a regular provocateur. There were Finns, there were Czechs, there were even naturalized Frenchmen (I'm not even talking about Canadians and Americans), ours were not there. Because it abhors the Russian spirit! Not to my liking!
Why does Putin consider hockey a national sport? Probably because it is developed mainly in our industrial cities, located far from Moscow and St. Petersburg. No, it is also represented in our capitals, but for cities located outside the Moscow Ring Road, hockey is a city-forming sport. In our capitals you will not surprise anyone with hockey, there is still something to see and do, which cannot be said about Chelyabinsk, Magnitogorsk, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Yaroslavl, Ufa, Kazan, Omsk, Khabarovsk, Cherepovets, Vladivostok, Nizhnekamsk, Novokuznetsk (the list of cities there will be long, mainly our industrial hinterland). This explains the reason for our victories. Hockey is a proletarian, workers 'and peasants' sport. If you look at the photos of our youth teams and compare them with similar photos, for example, of the national teams of Finland or Sweden, I'm not talking about Germany or Switzerland (also hockey countries, by the way), then against the background of Finnish and Swedish pay boys with good and our correct upbringing looks like a gang of torn off vocational schools, which, in principle, is the case. Early hockey specialization is not conducive to receiving in-depth education, and the criminogenic environment of workers in the outskirts leaves an imprint on the formation of the character of not a boy, but a husband. As a result, when in games it is necessary to show just a masculine character, our guys always beat these Swedish and Finnish squabbles who are simply not accustomed to stand up for themselves (it is customary for them to complain to the police in these situations or knock on the teacher when they are young). With Canadians and Americans, we have hacks, sometimes even a team for a team. They justly respect and fear the Russians for this. With these guys we have a historically developed civilizational confrontation. And Putin understands this and stimulates. Although in terms of ballet we are ahead of the rest.