A Gay and Patriotic Romania
Is The Wooden Tongue Speaks bleak? What picture does it paint of Romania? Are the Romanian New Wave films grim? It angers me to the extreme when I read commentary by Romanians who find reality negative.
Look, people don’t want to write arty books or make arty films about Romania. They want to create something worth seeing that will be appreciated by an open-minded public. To create, artists, writers, filmmakers need to observe a subject and bring out the humour, the ridiculous, the observational, the unique, the character. I got into an argument with a friend of my wife’s just because I asked if she had any interesting/original/different images of Romania that I could use and I happened to mention the word “gypsy” and the word “beggar”. “No, no, no,” she said “that’s not the Romania of today.” Then, to rub it all in she said “You don’t know about Romania. You’re not really Romanian.” And then “Don’t take it personally.” Of course it’s not personal. You can say whatever you like about non-Romanians and it won’t matter.
Friends, believe it or not, The Wooden Tongue Speaks is not a travel guide sponsored by Fox News.
I leave Otopeni to be rough-handled by GYPSIES who take my luggage trolley and then DEMAND money. I get on the motorway to see PROSTITUTES on the side of the road in BROAD DAYLIGHT waiting for the next client. Go a bit further and I pass through DUSTY, FILTHY CITIES with ABANDONED FACTORIES boasting BROKEN WINDOWS and ENDLESS RUST. Dead dogs in the middle of the road. Pack of dogs in barren fields. Stop for a piss and toilets throb with seventeen thousand smeared faeces.
(You see how it works? The sharpest edge cuts deeper and the wound is fascinating.)
I get to Brăila and most of my relatives DON’T HAVE JOBS. There aren’t any. They can’t AFFORD TO BUY THEM. And those that have them WORK FOR NOTHING. We go out for a drink AND THEY’RE TOO ASHAMED TO EVEN LOOK AT THE MENU. They USE ONLY ONE LIGHT BULB TO SAVE ON ELECTRICITY. They appear WORN OUT, FINISHED, SPIRIT SUCKED OUT LONG AGO, THEY DON’T BELIEVE IN ANYTHING, THEY DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT TODAY, YESTERDAY OR ANY OTHER DAY. My relatives and their relatives and their relatives’ relatives. I go to a shop, I need to get out, and they treat me like an INTRUDER, an ANNOYANCE, a PEST.
FAT, BULLDOZER, GOLD-CHAIN WEARING, MODEL-HUGGING, CREWCUT PIGS STROLL AROUND AND TAKE EVERYTHING. Smecheri. The same smecheri who go around on forums and news groups and talk about positivity and a positive image of Romania, of progress. That good old bunch of thugs, cretins, doctors’s sons and daughters of the mayor. The same smecheri who want to watch comedies all day while their multiple partners give them blowjobs in their air-conditioned CHARACTERLESS VILLAS. Or the other type. The uneducated educated. They’re running the show.
Bribes are in fashion from the TOP to the BOTTOM. You want to be seen by the nurse? PAY UP. You want some sort of acknowledgement while you lie in the hospital? PAY UP. It’s the buyer and the bought and the bought swallow hard. Rights? Romanians have a great sense of humour.
Yes I haven’t lived there for most of my life but I’ve been plenty. I’ve travelled from Bucharest to Piatra Neamț. I’ve seen the beautiful landscapes and the castles and monasteries. Sure, they’re worth seeing. The hospitality can be good. There are positives but positives are tourist hotspots. Positivity is a branded image for the right wing (I’m looking at you Vadim Tudor), a logo, a farce. And it’s that pitch black blind nationalistic pride strung around carelessly that severely irritates. If you’re so proud, when was the last time you went to Eminescu’s house? Did you find it? Were there signs anywhere? If you’re so patriotic and your chest puffed out with so much pride, when was the last time you supported a young and up-and-coming artist instead of stuffing your gob with sarmale or mici? The arts are indeed government sponsored and sustained in cliques. Why? Where’s the opposition? Too busy talking about the good times and stepping in dogshit. Do you have prints of Barladeanu in your living room? You know, that old homeless guy. Are you going out of your way to support Alexandru Solomon? How about standing up for Paul Goma and his lost-in-the-post citizenship? Pride, for what?
And yes, Fanfare Ciocarlia are gypsies and yes they are WORLD FAMOUS HIGHLY APPRECIATED MUSICIANS. Don’t be ashamed of gypsies, of Hungarians, of Russians, don’t be so fucking ashamed and narrow-minded, try reading a bit more and seeing something else other than the plate in front of your eyes or the cheap, ridiculous shows they pump into your brains day and night. Try going outside and making some changes, cleaning the streets and teaching the young not to treat the elderly like DIRT. Try taking on the SCUMBAGS IN CHARGE OF UNIVERSITIES, THE SCUMBAGS IN CHARGE OF JUDICIARIES, THE SCUMBAGS IN CHARGE OF POLICE, SCHOOLS, BUSINESS, GOVERNMENT. Try growing a pair and turning down a bribe and a free holiday from mum’s cousin’s best friend. You don’t need that favour. Adversity builds character. Marx would agree.
Ah, damn it, you know what, maybe you’re right, maybe life in Romania is pretty good after all and I’ll be moving back sooner than you might imagine, buying myself a little property in some picturesque village in the middle of the Carpathians. I’m incredibly tired of this LONDON SHITHOLE. But, you know, it’d better be good, the landscapes better be perfect, the food better be the tastiest, the wine the fullest, the table the sturdiest. Or else I’m writing another unpatriotic, bleak and arty book.
Tags: alexandru solomon, beggars, braila, bt, fanfare ciocarlia, gypsies, Ion Barladeanu, nationalism, nationalism in Romania, paul goma, Romania, Romanian cinema, Romanian New Wave, smecheri, the wooden tongue speaks, vadim tudor