October 2013

* Grapes of Wrath

"The unforgivable political sin is vanity; the killer diet is sour grapes."
(Neil Kinnock)


"You clink with wine glasses - not pill-containers. You make a toast to your comrades with pints-not milligrams. So even if and when the buzz wears off, you still have real-life contacts, social skills, a flesh-and-blood community. Your friends may sock it to you sometimes, but at least they recognize your face on the street. They know about the trips you take and sometimes accompany you on them: They don't take off alone in the bathroom by their medicine cabinet.

What is it with the cliche of the lazy and lonely drunken artist? Take the case of one of the most maligned of the last century's famous poet-drunkards, Dylan Thomas. Thomas may have been miserable off and on, but he was never isolated, rarely depleted, and arguably never depressed. If he urged his dying father,

"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light,"

it was first, because he had caring relations with his family-members and second, and most important, because he loved life with an incandescent fervor-raw and red-hot as it seemed to him. It is a sign of our times that his colleagues today are so often vituperatively dismissive of his life-accusing him, like the unnamed editors of Wikipedia, of having a relationship to his wife that was "defined by alcoholism and was mutually destructive" and a career that was a shambles:

"In the early part of his marriage, Thomas and his family lived hand-to-mouth. Although Thomas was appreciated as a popular poet in his lifetime, he found earning a living as a writer difficult..."

Thomas was the furthest thing from a slouch. Long before his death at 39 (an age where the most industrious contemporary poets are perhaps landing their first job), he was generally regarded as "the greatest living poet in the English language" and was financially supporting a family of seven-his wife, the three children he had with her and his impecunious parents (for whom he acquired and kept up a house near his own). It is next to impossible to find a contemporary poet who is able to maintain himself by writing-much less half a dozen helpless dependents."
(In Defense of Drunks)



"I've always been a proponent of having players spend a year or two in the minors. It could be a tremendous boost to his confidence, and his level of play."

"He's an emerging young player. I don't think he should be expected to dominate this year, but he should be very rewarded from being around the leadership and experience that's been brought in. That will help make him the player he can be."

The fans started throwing things during the national anthem while I had my helmet off. I heard something go by my ear. When the lights came back on, I skated over and looked. It was a nine volt battery, one of those big round ones, hurled from some where up above.

When I had the puck, they'd boo me. When I shot the puck, they'd boo me. When I hit a player, they'd boo me. And I started to love it. I was the most hated person in the arena, and I started to love it. The minute I walked into the building, I was ready to play.

There was Goliath and here I was little David, sitting on the middle of the ice. But I was more in control than anybody in that building. I was going to exercise that control.

Denis Potvin was one of the meanest hockey players, and alot of people don't realize that. Don't bug Denis Potvin, leave him alone. Because he will get you back. And he could hit, and he could kill you.
(Don Cherry)



"A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be."

"Ninety percent of hockey is mental and the rest is physical."

"Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy."

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."

"Growing up, I was always the small guy."

"Most people marry their mother. I married my father."

"Hockey is a unique sport in the sense that you need each and every guy helping each other and pulling in the same direction to be successful."

"I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been."

"I couldn't beat people with my strength; I don't have a hard shot; I'm not the quickest skater in the league. My eyes and my mind have to do most of the work."