Nothing like a Bugle!

Posted on September 5, 2012
Filed Under Sports | Leave a Comment

Following is an editorial David Cadogan wrote after the Canada, Russia hockey series. It was originally published in the Woodstock Bugle. The pun in the headline was intended.

Canadian fans at the hockey series in Moscow were shocked when Russian militia men tried to tell them to shut up during the games. We were even more shocked when the Russian fans did shut up when told to. The Canadian reaction was the exact opposite. The more they tried to quiet us down, the louder we screamed. Our bugles in particular infuriated the Russian brass and they tried continuously to catch us blowing them. We were threatened with all sorts of dire punishments for using them to cheer on our team.

The information we have all received over the years is true. The Soviet state does police thoughts and expressions of opinion as well as actions. Even a small dose of this is terribly upsetting to Canadians. We had practically nothing but rumour for news while we were there. The Russians had nothing but the government line.

Pravda, the Russian language paper we all hear about as presenting the official government line to Russians and the world is a six-page puff sheet that no self-respecting Canadian journalist would have any respect for at all. No newspaper but extreme left wing socialist or communist is available in the country. The only Canadian paper we saw was the “Canadian Tribune” a communist weekly published in Toronto. As a Canadian 1 never felt more ashamed in Moscow as when I realized that this rag was, as far as the Russians are concerned, the Canadian press.

At the risk of sounding biased, I felt a tremendous boost as a Canadian publisher visiting Russia. Until you have seen with your own eyes how minds can be controlled by the lack of an adversary press, you cannot really appreciate the importance of the job even a small paper does.

Pravda puts out six pages every day for a total of 36 in a week. The Bugle had 32 pages last week. Not bad when you consider that Pravda covers the largest country in the world and the Bugle serves an area populated by about 40,000 people tops.

Of course the Russian paper carries no advertisements but if you think that is an advantage, forget it. There are no specials in Russian stores. There are only two prices for groceries — high and outrageous. With no competition and no comparative shopping, there are very few bargains in Russian necessities. As a matter of fact. I think that is the big difference in the Russian market. Food and clothing are terribly expensive. Liquor, cigarettes, circuses, ballet and opera are cheap. A good knitted woolen sweater will cost at least $60. A very ordinary dress that a woman would wear to a social here would cost in the neighbourhood of $150. A quart of vodka can be had for about $1.50.

Every transaction of every kind in Russia from taking a taxi to renting an apartment to buying groceries involves dealing with bureaucrats. Since they operate much the same way ours do and you can’t complain, you can imagine what it is like to get along.

God save Canada!

DAC

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