I know with a title like that, you’re probably expecting some kind of extremely lengthy fulmination complete with a million blue links underlined. I know, I know, it’s like the recipe for blogdeath. Write too much = say byebye to your readers.
However of course the secret upside to all of that is, of course, that you can do whatever the hell you want to. In my case, as you will remember from my piece called Papers Please, I long ago decided to go the independent route and essentially give myself a home-schooled (literally) university education without the expense or bullshit of doing it the “normal” way. So with that in mind, remember that some of these “posts” are basically exam essays ;)
No, what was on my mind today was when I realized how hilarious Romania can be. Thanks to the First Piece of Good Technology Humanity Really Ever Created (FPGTHREC), otherwise known as “the internet”, we all get to peak a little bit behind the curtain and see what was really going on back in those Weird Old Days of (European) Communism.
I know that many people reading this don’t even remember those days. Hey, I get it. The other week I was having the most bizarre conversation of my life with a guy from India, who swore up and down that Margaret Thatcher’s invasion of the Falklands/Malvinas was a wonderful thing. And I was sitting there listening to it when I realized there’s no way that he was old enough to remember it.
But luckily for all of us over here, Wikileaks exists and that old bastard Ceausescu is dead so I was peeping around through his closet (god that sounds perverted – yuk) the other day when I suddenly remembered that he came to visit Ye Olde United States back in 1973, which was a hell of a thing in those days.
You ever seen those crazy lists that rock stars give to the backstage rooms when they’re playing concerts? Or those lists that big-time actors give to be in their trailer? Like Van Halen (I heard Aerosmith) and the Brown M&M‘s?
Well guess what? Ceausescu had those too, all written by extremely sensitive government agents who didn’t want a thing to go wrong. And thanks to the FPGTHREC we can peep our curious eyeballs on it.
With a little help from Mikasaw Wurdz (the shit in those days was written in ALL CAPS ON SOME OLD AND ANNOYING MECHANICAL TELEGRAM machine), here’s a taste:
Ceausescu interests and sensitivities: visual effect is key and what is not said is just as important as what is said. [WTFLOL]
Public statements and toasts should reflect this situation; they should be neither too cautious nor too bold. They should play on chords of Romanian interest in “principles”.
Direct or indirect references to Soviet Union should be omitted from all toasts and public statements although Ceausescu may well refer to Soviets frankly enough in private conversations.
Romanians will also be extremely sensitive toward any “talking down” by super-power, and this should be avoided.
Isn’t that humorous? Gosh almighty. But don’t worry, we’re just getting to the good stuff! :)
Ceausescu will place much weight on bilateral economic matters of MFN and encouragement of joint ventures. There will also be much emphasis on Romania considering herself as a developing country entitled to special concessions.
Holy crap! If that doesn’t sum up Romania in two sentences, I’ll be a son of a gun.
After all, the main reason Ceausescu went there was to get on his knees and open up and say ah to a hot, fresh load of borrowed money from the West.
Back to the “list”!
Thoughts on toasts, etc.: references to Romanian figures or events based on at least some knowledge of background would occasionally be useful if not overdone. For example, aeronautical pioneer Henri Coanda, “father of the jet engine”. Also anniversary of famous time in Romanian history (1599) when Michael the Brave (Mihai Viteazul) first accomplished unification of Romania, however briefly, and this is figure to whom Ceausescu personally enjoys being likened.
I swear to god I just peed in my pants on that last one.
Ceausescu’s wife will accompany him. Her supposed separate qualifications as a chemical engineer might be catered to by arranging for her to meet some professional people.
Whew, mercy *wiping tears from eyes*
I got other shit I got to do today so we’ll leave it at that. Hey, if you don’t laugh, you got to cry.
That’s my motto :)
11 thoughts on “Romanians Will Also Be Extremely Sensitive Toward Any “Talking Down” By Super-Power”
Did you know Ceausescu had another daughter, she lives in the U.S….
His other children were not his blood children, her mother was working for him, gave birth to his child in September 29,1970. He wrote his Last Will leaving her heir to his titles and all his fortune. She looks just like him …..just a tid bit of information how so many things are kept secret in the interest of crooked government officials on both sides.
No ‘Red Horizons’ please – reading it gives me the creeps: very few dates and details, lots of rumours, and the author himself is a multilingual, violin-playing prodigy who is as honest as can be, and ended up high in Ceausescu’s staff for more than a decade merely by accident. Come on.
The only good, straightforward and decent biography of Ceausescu I know of, is ‘Kiss the hand you cannot bite’. It really offers insight into his personality, his way up, his odd relations with the West, his temper, his wife.
As for the cited rider, I’m not so shure about it’s provenance: the spelling suggests it’s from C’s entourage, but then the content belittles him and his wife too often, and suggest more of a Western caution. I know Mitterand warned Thatcher about the habits of his former guest.
I recently finished ‘Looking for George’ by Helena Drysdale, while revisiting Romania. It’s a very captivating read, and also gets into the Romanian tendency for rumours/myths/storytelling and combination of self-esteem and inferiority issues, of which the titte character is a prime example.
Si de ce ma rog ar trebui sa ne dea altii ceva pe degeaba?
Well, I’m glad you found it funny, Sam. It was less funny to us, you see. That load of freshly borrowed money didn’t come for free, if I may remind you. In the next 16 years, Romania paid back her entire foreign debt at the price of practically starving the population and reducing the living standards to levels which every Westerner would’ve labeled as horrendous. We still remember those times and it’s not like we’re ever going to forget. To add icing to the cake, less than five years before Ceausescu’s visit to US, USSR along with four of her satellites had invaded Czechoslovakia and rumor goes around that only a miracle (with almond-shaped eyes :))) had saved Romania from a similar fate. Whatever else he might have been, Ceausescu showed enough bravery as to dare to go to US, whereas he knew well that he was risking Romania’s hide and his own. So, yes, I feel like crying too but certainly for different reasons.
Bine punctat, Sitara! Foarte bine!
Mulţumesc frumos. Noi românii nu putem uita în ce situaţie se afla atunci România şi nici faptul că nimeni nu ne-a dat vreodată ceva gratis.
You should read Pacepa’s Red Horizons. It’s probably embellished and not 100% forthcoming (the guy was the top spook for many years) but still a worthy read, showing a lot of the excesses of the top communist brass and of the Ceausescu’s themselves especially abroad (the Washington visit is discussed).
Unlike other nations who really enjoy being talked down. :-D
ceausescu was the nuts