Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Montreal is Burning

Habs fans should be ashamed. This is not how we should be comporting ourselves. We've seen second round meltdowns before; the Habs have a long way to go and undignified, evil disregard for people's property in celebration(?!) is hardly warranted at this point, let alone justifiable.

I wouldn't join in, but I believe that if you are going riot over the playoffs, you might aswell wait until we win the fucking cup.

This is the greatest hockey city in the world; it is home to the greatest, most storied hockey franchise the world has ever seen; we should hold ourselves up as an example to the 29 other NHL cities. This type of crass, uncivilized, barbaric behaviour is unbecoming of soccer hooligans and we shouldn't tolerate it from our own compatriots.

If you know someone who was involved in the rioting, hit him/her. As hard as you can. Smack the spit out of his/her fucking mouth so that they know that they behaved unacceptably. And then shun them, shun them until they admit their mistakes and/or decide to turn themselves in to the god damned law. Then hit them again.

This stuff is terrible.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

NHL Again; it's playoff time, sorry.

Alright, so this weekend wasn't a great one for the Habs; yes, we won one of the two matches - but we didn't deserve to win. The Habs played like pure shite and if Kovalev wasn't as good and lucky as he is we'd be trailing this series, not leading it.

Part of it is leadership. I've said it before, Kovalev is one of the greatest players in the NHL today; he can outskate, outshoot and outmuscle just about every other player there is and has hands which can best be described as being magical. I've seen him - in the last two seasons inclusively - lose control of the puck to another player a grand total of three times; I watch 70 games a season. That being said, he is a poor leader for the team - a poor captain; he's an emotional, selfish player who focuses his game on his own success, not on the success of the team and so, when the team faces well organized resistance, as it did over the weekend, the offense tends to collapse (luckily, Komisarek and Price keep things together on the defensive side of it).

Which is why the team needs Koivu back.

If you were to define your perfect team captain, you'd come up with Koivu; he's unselfish, setting up plays, passing and assisting more than scoring (look up his career stats); he is inspiring to his teammates because of his toughness, grit and determination in the face of adversity; he reads the ice like no one else and is in constant communication with his coach, the referees and his teammates (watch him play, some time).

So if there's any player out there who could pull the Habs back together and turn them into the game-winning machine they've been all season, its Saku Koivu. We need him back from his injury. We need him back before the next series, that's for fucking sure.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Children & Miracles

Every year, CHOM (97.7 MHz FM), along with its sister stations Mix96 (95.9 MHz FM) and CJAD (800 kHz AM), hosts a pledge drive for the Montreal Children's Hospital; it's called the Caring for Kids Radiothon and it's one of the most worthwhile causes I've ever heard of. It's goal is to maintain a supply of new and modern equipment in what has become (thanks, at least in part, to exactly this kind of charity drive) one of the best and most prestigious Children's Hospitals in North America.

Part of the programming for the pledge drive is a series of testimonials from parents and children who've been through terrible ordeals with illness and have found help, hope, caring and good medicine within the walls of the Children's; without exception, parents & patients alike laud the staff, the doctors, even the support personnel, for their kindness, professionalism and skill; these testimonials will tear your heart out. They could leave you literally weeping. It takes a cold heart - a heart which's humanity has been completely leeched away - to remain unmoved.

But what has struck me - and this is an artifact of the organizers' understandable goal of getting as much money as possible from as many people as possible - is the constant use of the word 'miracle' when dealing with acts of human kindness; from the donations of listeners to the skill of the doctors involved. The reason this has struck me is not because I'm a theophobic atheist with no morals who wants everyone to bow down to my way of thinking (although the only reason it might have struck me if I wasn't an atheist is if I were a philosopher or theologian), but rather because it seems inappropriate in light of the drive's stated goal (which is a bizarre paradox):

Assuming God does exist and is omnipotent and does interfere in our world through the use of miracles, then he is responsible for everything. Philosophers and theologians call this The Problem of Evil. Thanking God for saving your child - all the while belittling the actions of the men and women who were, through their expertise and professionalism, directly involved in saving that child's life - is tantamount to thanking an arsonist for calling the fire department after setting your house ablaze.

I think the facts of the situation are pretty straightforward; there are no miracles here. The Montreal Children's Hospital, its doctors and staff, work exceedingly hard in a market that does not favour them (Québec's doctors are the worst paid north of Mexico) for children who deserve as much health and happiness as everybody else. Calling their work a miracle cheapens it - it says that their skill and talent and work ethic is inconsequential, that whatever happens, God will intervene; this is, of course, wrong. These men and women are some of the best people our society has to offer and our city would be poorer without them - let's honour them properly.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

104 of 164; not too Shabby

Montreal is playoff bound; it's been official for a few weeks, but now the season's over and the habs have a .634 record to show for it. That's pretty fucking delicious!

So in order to celebrate the situation and support my team through the playoffs, I've commissioned a new flag for this blog and my friend Jalex was kind enough to oblige. In the left corner you can see the flag of Montreal with the glorious CH superimposed! Kovalev said it; they weren't satisfied to make the playoffs this season. This time they're after the cup!