Slava Malamud Profile picture
Twitter's official Russian sports writer. I DO NOT stick to sports. (In Soviet Russia, sports stick to you)
speakhard Profile picture Jim Lakely Profile picture Gepp Advogados (em Home Office) Profile picture Sam Frazher Profile picture Bart Hasselfield Profile picture 12 added to My Authors
13 Apr
Let's do that baseball.
Currently explaining to my kid why you want your best on-base guys to be 1 and 2 in the lineup and your best power guys 3 and 4, and I feel like I built the fucking Statue of Liberty, invented the hot dog and won the Civil Motherfucking War.
It's 4-4, but Slava's offspring is predicting a "two-point loss." He might not be a baseball expert, but he knows how the story goes...
Read 5 tweets
13 Apr
(Thread alert)
There is a tendency to assume that, due to the GOP's full-throated embrace of racism, culture wars and xenophobia, immigrants will naturally flock to the Dems. The same was assumed in the 1850s, leading to the advent of nativist Know-Nothings.
But this is a mirage
The reality on the ground, however, is very different and not necessarily favorable to Team Blue in the short term. This has to do with the mindset and attitudes of a lot of older immigrants. And there are several aspects to this mindset, because it's both stupid AND complex...
Let's take my own Russian-speaking community, which is probably about 80% Republican, oh whom probably about 80% is to the right of Josh Hawley, in the Marjorie Taylor Greene wheelhouse. I'm talking full-on "Democrats are evil's spawn and should be in the Gulag or dead" territory
Read 15 tweets
13 Apr
Ticker Carlson thinks he is revealing a hidden truth. He has in fact dug up the corpse of Millard Fillmore.
Riling against immigrants because of their perceived voting tendencies is older than race riots.
Hey, Tucker, you decomposing pile of random fecal matter inexpertly carved into a humanoid bow-tied form, remember when Fillmore's Know Nothings made German-speaking immigrants into the bugaboo that Democrats were using to turn America into a realm of booze, slavery and Popery?
Of course you don't! You know why? Because it happened right before your own German-speaking ancestor arrived in this country to "replace" its native Nibelung ubermenschen with their alien, dirty, beer-swilling Hun hordes.
Of course you don't remember that, Fucker, do you?
Read 4 tweets
12 Apr
I think, a big issue with police in America (besides racism) is the fact that police officers increasingly see themselves as an occupying force in hostile territory. Or as a sainted brotherhood of valorous paladins out to protect the realm of men from animalistic hordes.
This is an attitude constantly reinforced by frenzied rhetoric from the right and from inside law enforcement community. From "the [insert city name] finest" to the "thin blue line" flag: all these signals just feed the harmful and dangerous narrative that distorts police's role.
Crowning all this is the legitimate fear police officers have, having to work in a society armed to the teeth. So, instead of just having folks we have hired to enforce our societal norms, we have jumpy, scared, aggressive narcissists with delusions of superiority.
Read 4 tweets
12 Apr
Before spending your money on Godzilla vs Kong, try to ask yourself the question of whether a random 7-year-old could have come up with the same exact script in about 3 minutes.
(The answer is "No, it would have been more complex and interesting")
If for no reason other than that the 7-year-old would have had one or both of the main characters die rather gruesomely.
And this is my main issue with the entire super-monster/superhero genre. They are all craven copouts. They are all filmed with a sequel in mind. All of their main themes are money, the acquiring and maximizing of.
In a really good superhero story, the main character dies.
Read 11 tweets
7 Apr
I was so full of rage after listening to Carlson's revisionist garbage on the insurrection last night, I didn't even want to dignify it with a comment. But I am a rational adult, so I have slept on it, and I am ready now to give my measured response.
First of all, before I even engage in any point-by-point refutation of Tucker's avalanche of blithe cynical skullduggery, let's just be clear on what exactly he was doing.
He was not merely revising.
He was not merely excusing.
The motherfucker was ENCOURAGING.
He made damn sure that his choice of words made all insurrectionists and potential insurrectionists feel not only justified but fucking ENTITLED to do this again, should any future election result be not to their liking. After all, what they did was merely trespassing, right?
Read 18 tweets
7 Apr
Why is this still something people discuss? Was 1980 a smashing success? Did it destroy the USSR?
The Moscow Games were hailed in Russia as the greatest ever, lots of propaganda about scared Americans was happily swallowed, and 80 gold medals by the home team gratefully accepted.
I have to say here that I spoke with the late Al Oerter about this a long time ago. He was an anti-boycott activist turned pro-boycott. Al, one of the smartest people in sports ever, said that it wasn't about changing the "bad guys", it was about staying true to who we are.
It was about taking the pain and sticking to principles. A very Confucian approach. Very admirable. Al Oerter was an exceptional human being.
But this is 2021. Do we even know who we are anymore? Do the Olympics have any more ideals or principles left?
It's a sports showcase.
Read 4 tweets
5 Apr
Hey, jerkwad, listen up.
I am an immigrant. Yes, a dirty fucking immigrant who came to your country and is currently strutting around like he owns the place. I speak with an accent. I grew up watching soccer. I don't eat peanut butter.
And I am calling bullshit on your lies...
Oh my, baseball is getting politicized, you say? Holy crap, this like never happened before, you say? We can't allow to politicize something that is so unifying as sports, you say?
Yeah, sit the fuck down, you lump of semi-digested turnip, and let this immigrant educate your ass.
First of all, you balding monkey's ass, baseball was a unifying force in America's society for exactly zero seconds of its existence. It was universally beloved, yes, but unifying? Non-political? Ha!
Baseball was a subject of controversy from way back before it was even baseball!
Read 16 tweets
4 Apr
For 2000 years, a Jew's death has been commemorated by festive deaths of millions of people who didn't believe he was magic. Especially of his blood relatives.
Cultural appropriation is awesome!
"Loving one particular dead Jew specifically because he is dead so we can hate the rest of them" is an unbelievably badass move. As usual, Russians are Olympic gold medalists here.
I vividly remembered entering the Temple of the Holy Sepulcher ("WTF is a sepulcher?", my sister asked) and watching all these Russian/Ukrainian peasant women screaming in ecstasy as they writhed on the ground and thinking: "Damn, all a Jew needs to do to be loved there is die!"
Read 5 tweets
4 Apr
Reading about the history of Mormonism. Holy shit, are people ever gullible idiots!
I mean, Christianity, Judaism and Islam can always be excused by having been invented by and preached to backward, illiterate folks living in the middle of nowh... Oh.
Seriously, though! I mean, SERIOUSLY! The dude's family loses their farm and has to earn money by claiming to know a magic way to find buried treasure. That alone is enough to instantly dismiss the poor chap as a desperate fraud.
But the rest of it is just pure insanity.
But hey, why should adherents to an obviously insane and transparently invented lie not be respected for their sacred believes in magic underwear?
I mean, it's not like the "major" religions are any more believable. They just benefit from their origins' not being as well known.
Read 6 tweets
3 Apr
Remember when corporate America forced NC to back away from its bathroom bill? Well, in truth, most NC Republicans were just pandering to crazy, uneducated evangelical voters. They didn't really care.
This, though? Vote supression is an existential issue to GOP. They won't buckle
The GOP has convinced itself that high turnouts are deadly to it, so it has made it its mission to depress the turnout, especially in cities. This is how they plan to keep existing as a viable party. Life and death.
GOP's survival is contingent on killing democracy. In its mind.
They can coat it in any language they want ("robust", "secure" and "legal" are the buzz words de jour), but never let them get away with this. The intent is, always was, to suppress votes in blue-leaning areas.
Nothing else.
Nothing. Else.
Read 6 tweets
3 Apr
Sen. Graham is employing the word "robust" like three times in this thread. He also loves his "integrity."
Don't be fooled. These meaningless buzz words are ALWAYS used to mask the real purpose of these laws.
Which, of course, is to make it harder for black folks to vote.
"Robust" and "integrity" are talking-point words circulated in the GOP memo to make sure nobody accidentally says the quiet part loud.
The intent is as clear as day. The easiest example is the "no food or drink" provision. Look at it closely...
Pundits will defend it by saying many states prohibit gifts, including free food and water, being given to voters near the polling place.
What many states do indeed prohibit is electioneering, including bribery and enticement, near the polls. Food in exchange for a vote. That.
Read 6 tweets
3 Apr
The best part about the new Mighty Ducks is the speech the Mom gives early on. "All of these kids have zero chance of playing in the pros!"
Well, technically, it's Minnesota, so it's actually like 0.13%, but this speech must be required viewing for all Maryland hockey parents.
The rest of it is pretty cringy.
Who cuts players right on the ice, in front of other players? I don't care if you run a hard-ass athletic outfit meant to turn 12-year-olds into little Spartans. You just don't do this. It's stupid. It serves no purpose at all.
If they wanted to show a soulless, savage hockey program designed to rip the kids' souls out of their bodies through their nostrils, they should have just invited a Russian consultant. Because that's how they run hockey clubs in Russia.
But they don't cut kids on the ice either.
Read 6 tweets
31 Mar
A periodic reminder to new followers.
Slava does not stick to sports (or anything).
Slava is substantially to the left of Joe Biden, so if you are hoping for the standard "I have eskaped kommunism in kommunist Ukraine and I don't vant Demokrats to bring eet here" shit, sorry.
I feel like I need to explain the latter.
See, unlike most of my compatriots, I have learned (it was a process) to differentiate between "left of Ronald Reagan" and "the second coming of Brezhnev." I have learned that there is in fact A LOT of daylight between the two.
Suppose there was a US political party whose policies really would bring about the resurrection of the Soviet Union. Its program would necessarily include the following:
- a rigid ideology based about veneration of a sanctified party leader,
- prioritization of military spending
Read 5 tweets
30 Mar
So, let's revisit the issue of athletes paying for their actions and words again. We can all agree that Deshaun Watson, the serial abuser, and Slava Voynov, the wife-beater, have richly deserved their shunning from their leagues. They have DONE bad things...
Have you met one Colin Rand Kaepernick? It's OK if you don't know him. He plays an obscure, non-Olympic sport. Or used to play. Since 2017, Mr. Kaepernick has been prohibited from playing his sport for political speech, manifested in protesting police violence against POCs...
His form of protest was listening to a XIX century English bar song with extremely clumsy lyrics about bombs badly inserted into it while semi-genuflecting for several seconds. This, claimed a big portion of the American public, was tantamount to personally murdering US soldiers.
Read 25 tweets
30 Mar
Great to see women speaking out against abuser Deshaun Watson, and sports fans deciding they don't want to support misbehaving athletes.
Imagine if Ukraine brought a civil suit against Russian Putin enablers, led by Ovechkin, for helping Russia's war effort. How would fans react?
Would the league and the hockey community be horrified? Would they shun Ovechkin? Would reporters cover the story as extensively?
We all know that abusing women (especially American-born ones, this is important) is bad. But supporting wars of conquest and annexations? Gray area.
I mean, it's bad IN THEORY. Invading other countries, drowning them in blood, annexing their territory is bad IN THEORY. But it's not like there were Americans living there. It's not like anyone can even pronounce their names. So, maybe, not as important?
Read 8 tweets
30 Mar
Fun fact. The absolute majority of Russians are convinced that it was Catherine the Great who sold Alaska, not Alexander II, even though Catherine had been dead for 7 decades by then.
This is undoubtedly due to the Russians' tendency to blame everything on women.
Vladimir Putin's favorite band, Lyube, has a song called "Don't Play the Fool, America", which is a ribald, counterfactual appeal to the United States to return Alaska because "It is the same as Siberia: bathhouses, vodka, accordions and sturgeon" (fact check, Alaskans?)
The song includes the line "Catherine, you were wrong", reinforcing the utterly false myth about the enlightened Empress's culpability. In fact, it is probably true that most Russians in 2021 believe in it entirely due to this extremely stupid, badly performed, horrible song.
Read 4 tweets
29 Mar
Let's talk about the new law in Georgia. It's pretty obvious that voting rights is where the new battle line for the future of this country will be drawn. Nobody is hiding this anymore. Republicans are very open and honest with this. This is their plan to stay in power...
Naturally, this makes #HR1 the most important piece of legislation in recent memory. And it's not a mystery what's going to happen next. Democrats will change filibuster rules, then wait a couple of weeks to let Republicans read Dr Seuss and some Dearborn Independent articles...
... on the Senate floor, then pass the law with Kamala Harris breaking the tie. And then, within about 12 or 13 seconds of Biden's signing it, every single state with the Republican AG will sue, and the case will be decided by the Supreme Court...
Read 13 tweets
16 Mar
Oh... Let me ask the teenager on my avatar. I think he might have a take or two. Maybe a whole thread of them...

Here is how it started: with the realization that SOME of the things they taught us in school were lies. This came circa 1986-87, when we were in what Americans would call middle school. We came to realize that not EVERYTHING the USSR was about was great and perfect...
For example, we were told that Soviet bureaucracy is terrible. This was the first thing that was allowed to be criticized: the bureaucracy. Which is normal for Russia, in any historical era: the belief that the system is great, it's just the lowly functionaries who implement it..
Read 27 tweets
16 Mar
Remember when Ryan O'Reilly said there was something about the Buffalo Sabres that ate one's soul and destroyed one's will to take another breath and made one wish for an eternity in the fiery depths of hell?
And the Sabres gave him away for nothing because of all this slander?
If you look at every second of history following the O'Reilly trade (which, according to my notes and the best resources available, was for 2 bags of broken sticks and a mostly used stick of deodorant), it's obvious that nobody has ever been more right about anything that ROR was
The Buffalo Sabres story, at its core, is a great Faustian cautionary tale about the dangers of tanking. They literally sold their soul in 2014-15 in pursuit of a shiny object. They betrayed the spirit and the essence of the sport to get someone they thought would be the savior.
Read 9 tweets
15 Mar
The people who just love their country and would never break the law, judging by their last names and places of residence, right, @SenRonJohnson?
BTW, make no mistake. I am not addressing @SenRonJohnson in some misbegotten hope that he may be shamed or, Darwin forbid, compelled into changing his mind. I know better than that. Sen. Johnson, as a true American politician, has no sense of shame. At all.
What @SenRonJohnson does have is:
1) a thorough understanding that the kind of people in Wisconsin who will vote for him in 2022 are extremely receptive to white supremacism and full-throated Trumpism,
2) a grudge against mainstream GOP who let him twist in the wind in 2016.
Read 4 tweets