Writing and Sharing, Good and Bad, and Semyon Varlamov

Share |

Holly M. Wendt is one of the more than two dozen writers who contributed short pieces to ECONO, the most recent issue of The Classical Magazine, of which you can buy an iOS version here or a non-iOS version here. Her piece dealt with the rejuvenation of a devastated Russian hockey team and its star, Semyon Varlamov. The same Varlamov who has recently been accused of brutal and public domestic abuse. Holly wrote about all this at her personal blog. We thought it was very good, and asked to republish it, and she said yes. So: 

On Wednesday, October 30, at 10:15 a.m., I received the new issue of The Classical Magazine (issue six) in my inbox (as a PDF because the only iDevice I own is an iPod so old that it can sing along with most of the music on it). The premise of this issue is econo, short pieces of prose and poetry and the things between, and it is full of work by writers I enjoy and admire. But I haven't read any of it yet.

I have work in this issue, too, a short nonfiction piece called "First Star," my first published hockey-writing, a piece woven around Sidney Crosby's broken jaw, a Predators-Avalanche game I went to last season, and Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. A piece hinging, in many ways, on Semyon Varlamov and his play with both Colorado and Yaroslavl. I wrote the piece in the first third of October, about events from last season.

On Wednesday night, I was having a Twitter conversation about Varlamov, his kickass season so far, his apparently affable nature. Half an hour after that, the news broke that Varlamov had turned himself in to Denver police and was arrested on domestic violence and kidnapping charges. I turned my attention to the Penguins' game in-progress, I circled social media warily, I tried to focus on new writing tasks. Mostly, I felt sick to my stomach. Mostly, I didn't want to read anything, anywhere, at all.


It's been a few days since then. I don't want to think he's guilty, but I also refuse to assume he's not because already the crows are calling the alleged victim a liar. (Women are just like that, lying about terrifying and humiliating things for money and attention.) Already the heads are shaking and saying that it's just not possible that Varlamov could do such a thing. (Everyone knows nice guys don't do bad things.) Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy gave Varlamov the start last night in Dallas because he didn't see any reason not to. Varlamov has yet to be officially charged with any crime; he posted his bail; he is, legally, quite free to play. The slow unfurling of legal procedures proceeds apace, and it's unfair of me to assume guilt or innocence in any direction until that process is completed if I believe in this legal system.

I do. And I don't.

As someone who wants everyone, under all circumstances, to have the right to real due process, not just torches and pitchforks, I must believe in this legal system. As a general optimist and person who attaches affection easily to people, places, and things, I cling to that benefit of the doubt. I want this goalie whose play I appreciate and whose career took a path I found conveniently symbolic to be innocent. And I mean squeaky-clean, photographic-and-eye-witness-evidence-plus-retinal-scan-that-the-accused-was-instead-volunteering-at-a-trick-or-treating-event-for-at-risk-youth-at-the-time-of-the-events, evil-impostor-committing-crimes-in-my-stead innocent. Except not exactly that either because I also do not want, at any time, for anyone to be guilty of domestic violence. Of violent crime of any kind. Because I don't want people to commit acts of violence. Ever.

I want desperately for the system to work, too. If he's guilty, I want every possible book thrown at him, preferably by Aroldis Chapman (metaphorically, of course: the weight of guilt should feel like that fastball in the unprotected ribs).

As a human being who's walking around this world with eyes open, too, I know that the system often doesn't work. I know that many cases like this (domestic violence cases, cases involving high-profile, wealthy persons) don't reach trial stage. They can be settled out of court, charges can be dropped (and not because they were invented but because of a host of larger, frightening reasons), and the very idea of the system can be collapsed before one even gets to the part I think of as that proper due process. I know that due process doesn't necessarily lead to justice, either, and that more people want to believe that the victim is lying than to deal with the wages of a culture that excuses and masks violence.

I want an impossibility: I want Semyon Varlamov to be innocent and I want Evgenia Vavinyuk to be telling the truth.


This post was never anything I ever wanted to write, but I also couldn't say nothing, even if no one even noticed the connection: "Hey, you wrote that thing praising that guy who might have assaulted his girlfriend." It's most of what I've been thinking about since Wednesday, and even as it strikes me as egotistical that I am in fact thinking what about my writing? in this context, we are inextricably tied to our work. Better to acknowledge that than not.

I loved writing "First Star." I loved that Predators/Avalanche game I went to. How I feel about that piece of writing now--I don't know. Rereading it doesn't make it more clear. What is clear is this: I don't know how the rest of this story plays out, and I know that it will absolutely matter to me when it does. I also don't know how to compartmentalize--hockey here, humanity there. There are enough talented and skillful people in this world that I don't think it's too much to ask that we be good at what we do and also simply good. Decent.

And if I'm feeling uncomfortable about my own work in the new issue, there's no reason that I should feel that way about the rest of Issue Six. So I'm going to go read that, and enjoy it, and wait.

Share |


I found your this post while searching for some related information on blog search...Its a good post..keep posting and update the information. Free soccer prediction by betting Tipsters

You have beaten yourself this time, and I appreciate you and hopping for some more informative posts in future. Thank you for sharing great information to us. Jiofi.local.html Password Change in

Yes i am totally agreed with this article and i just want say that this article is very nice and very informative article.I will make sure to be reading your blog more. You made a good point but I can't help but wonder, what about the other side? !!!!!!Thanks tubemate

Yes i am totally agreed with this article and i just want say that this article is very nice and very informative article.I will make sure to be reading your blog more. You made a good point but I can't help but wonder, what about the other side? !!!!!!Thanks odor remover

No doubt this is an excellent post I got a lot of knowledge after reading good luck. Theme of blog is excellent there is almost everything to read, Brilliant post. personal injury lawyer pensacola

Thanks for picking out the time to discuss this, I feel great about it and love studying more on this topic. It is extremely helpful for me. Thanks for such a valuable help again. Face masks for acne

Your blogs are easily accessible and quite enlightening so keep doing the amazing work guys. parallel profits aidan booth

thanks this is good blog. Personal Trainer Toronto

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. 토토사이트

You make so many great points here that I read your article a couple of times. Your views are in accordance with my own for the most part. This is great content for your readers. centurylink speed test

I continuously continue coming to your website once more simply in case you have posted new contents.McWhinney Denver Colorado

The web world is humming with persons discussing blogging, report marketing, material writing, movie creation, etc. It looks like every business operator is trapped in the information advertising craze. The sheer number of new authors and content marketers on line is proof of how intense this is - but is wise to employ new authors to manage your material marketing?

Excellent read, Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work. information technology courses

Each time I used to always check blog posts within the first hours in the break of day, because I like to get information increasingly more.http://havecouponcode.com/

When people start a new business they often have a very limited budget. This article takes a look at the many different types of writing services that are available to the small business owner and identifies factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing a provider that can meet their business needs. Ewriting service


Writing is engaging and exciting! So many times, people have a need to write; whether to inform, entertain or to share their knowledge and experience. Release your self-expression by writing about what inspires you. Formulate goals that you wish to achieve from your writing.

Each time I used to always check blog posts within the first hours in the break of day, because I like to get information increasingly more.Inbox blueprint bonus

It’s really such nice information to get advantage from.personalcashadvance.com

Congrats you individuals are doing with this blog site.http://tradefusionsoftwarereview.com/

I have been writing about Semyon Varlamov. He is the one I think is a good. I always finds his thoughts good. I would like to sharre this blog with my friend. Thanks writing ksa