Monday, November 29, 2010

Ducks, Hitler AND Stalin, and the First Day of Christmas…

Welcome back! Hoping you enjoyed your Thanksgiving and holiday weekend. It is a big weekend for a lot of people and a lot of families for a lot of reasons, not the least of which being eating. The Bohunk is happy to report that the amount of pumpkin pie devoured over the past five days may have surpassed all in history; at least two pies combined, in addition to an unknown number of cakes, iced creams, lattes, pumpkin bars and fudge conglomerates. The caloric intake must easily match that of a small Botswanian village over the course of a month. The result was expected; there is a little bit more Bohunk to love this week.

Let us go back, way back, in time to revisit the Thanksgiving tradition the Bohunk values just as much as eating mashed potatoes with a roll serving as an edible fork. The Detroit Lions hosted the New England Flying Elvii, huge favorites and declared (by me) The Best Team In The NFL. Tom “Bieber” Brady tossed for 341 yards and four (count ‘em) touchdowns while strolling away from the Detroit defense. “Shotgun” Shaun Hill made another start for the Lions, and played in typical just-enough-effort-and-yardage-not-to-get-benched fashion that has always been his trademark. Jahvid Best barely touched the field with a nagging turf toe injury, and Calvin Johnson had four catches for 81 yards and six points. This makes 7 straight losses on Thanksgiving for the Lions….The Bohunk does not mind if they lose the next 7 to 10 games, the tradition, which began in 1934, should continue regardless….

Oregon, My Oregon survived a tough game from Arizona, who seemed at least to be equal to the Ducks until the second half. As a partial bystander, I’d say Oregon is: A) The best dressed squad in the country B) The fastest group of 80 gentlemen outside of a federal prison C) Going to win the national title against whoever ends up playing them. If it is Auburn, who barely survived Alabama on Friday, the Bohunk sees a game in which Oregon flies while Cam “I’m So Paid” Newton plods and plugs along. Auburn has survived some scares this season because of their tremendous comebacks in the second half; Oregon, according to my made-up sources, is the only team more dangerous in the third and final quarters of a foot ball contest. Auburn will not be able to comeback against LeMichael James and Co.

(Mighty Ducks Style) “Quack, quack, quack, quack quack…”

On the other end of the football sammach, the professionals played Sunday with some great college games tucked between. What a weekend for pigskin; we saw great games involving almost every Top Ten school (LSU, Auburn, Oregon, Nebraska, Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Ohio State) and were then treated to games that may decide divisions and wild card slots (Packers, Bears, Giant, Colts and Vikings). Just another thing to be thankful for…(It’s Monday, there’s gonna be some cheese in here)

Unfortunately, outside the football world, political life went on. The eerily plugged-in WikiLinks website gained access to what might amount to a quarter million cables concerning intimate conversations and insights on diplomatic negotiations from around the world. The cables span the past three years, include some from just this past February. The first batch were released on Sunday, with more to come soon. Ambassadors and American diplomats across the globe have been reaching out to their counterparts to forewarn the impeding explosion. Many intelligence officials in the government claim the information endangers the efforts of diplomats and infringes on the personal rights of government employees. Frankly, there is a ton of information to sift through, but already news agencies have found some shocking exchanges between nations. Cables show that the US has been secretly (and very unsuccessfully) attempting to steal nuclear weapons and materials from Iran since late 2007. It has also revealed the wheeling and dealing involved with trying to close the Guantanamo Prison in Cuba by trying to entice other nations with cash, trading rights and photo-ops if they would take terrorists into their country. (Slovenia was told they would get a meeting with President Obama if they would house a detainee) Other cables revealed that the American government warned Germany against punishing or even trying to prosecute US CIA agents who arrested an innocent German citizen and held him in Afghanistan for months. Much more on this later in the week…

The holidays are not, officially, commenced; while the Bohunk loves Christmas just as much as the next Bohunk, the ever-earlier creep of Christmas itself infringed on the gift-less, pressure-less joy that is Thanksgiving. Watch the Macy’s Parade? See anything Thanksgiving related? While I will admit I did not watch the parade in its entirety, I counted three (3) Thanksgiving-themed floats, while nearly every other was bedecked hall-like with fake snow, elves, dancing Santa girls or bows of holly. With Turkey Day passed, now Christmas songs and movies are acceptable, though the November 16th airing of The Grinch did not go unnoticed.

The Official Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Poster; Please point out
any aspect that indicates this parade honors the holiday of Thanks-
giving. (And if you say “Buzz Lightyear”, you’re wrong and a jerk)

To aid you in your gift searching, the Bohunk will be featuring one CHEAP item at random until Christmas Eve. Do not let the commercials fool you; you will not receive a Mercedes, an iPad and a flawless diamond this Christmas (unless you’re rich, you tax-dodging bastards) and no one expects those things from you (see above if you actually do expect those things). This inaugural gift is simple, inexpensive but intelligent. Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder ($17.99, if you buy at Barnes and Noble) is a nice, thick history piece focused on the nations between Germany and Russia who spent the middle portion of the 20th century being either ruled and massacred by the Nazis during WWII or being ruled and massacred by Stalin and Soviet Russia. Most of this region was taken over in the ‘30’s by Stalin, who pushed the peasants from the ancestral farms and forced them onto commercials farms or to industrial zones. Ukrainians claimed that 3 million men were killed during this period before WWII; a 1937 census by the Soviet government found that over 8 million people had “disappeared.” Stalin was shocked; he then killed the demographers who were responsible for conducting the census. Snyder, an excellent writer and a brilliant historian, found that in 12 years over 14 million civilians were killed in Poland, the Baltic nations and Ukraine. It’s a great book for the history buff on your list. (Yours Truly)

Thanks for reading, and please take a moment to check out to check out their gear. They are offering 28% off for the holiday season in honor of the 28 million living with cancer this year. Enjoy Monday Night Football, the San Francisco Squared Sevens vs. the Arizona Red Birds.

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