WORD COUNT: 1952
Hey folks, I apologize for my lengthy absence. A lot of things have been going on around here, but they deserve the time to tell it right, and that isn’t going to happen right now. I’ve been pedal to the metal with other things, which is a shame, because I love to write here. Nonetheless, I got a little breather here at the end of month, so here’s the condensed versions of my thoughts on subjects other than my personal stuff.
Klaus Krakdown on Korruption
A few weeks ago (okay, a bit longer than that), the Right Honorable President of Romania, I/Johannis Klaus, came to visit the Republic of Moldova. High on the list was a lengthy speech condemning corruption in Moldova. Mind you, this is after Klaus once cancelled an official state visit to Moldova because he didn’t approve of political parties exercising their democratic rights. But let’s focus on the corruption for a half second.
As I’ve already written about before, Klaus was officially found corrupt multiple times by one of the very same agencies that the European Union insisted upon as mandatory in order for Romania to join. Not only was Klaus found guilty multiple times, but then he laughed off the conviction and then turned around and attacked the legitimacy of the court. Then Romania continued to act like the African republic that it is and let Klaus run for president even though technically the anti-corruption agency hadn’t even cleared him. He lost in the first round, then managed to turn around and squeak out a victory. Oh, and then magically all the courts lined up and retroactively ruled all the corruption findings null and void.
How very democratic. And just the perfect person to give a lecture to Romania’s ugly little troll cousins in Moldova about corruption. Is corruption rampant in Moldova? Hell yeah, it is. But nobody is in a mood for a sermon from a drunk preacher.
I do admit that Klaus is a perfect figurehead. It’s like if you could design a doll to look good in a suit, and smile and wave, and let photographers grab a picture of you while walking with your wife in a picturesque square in Rome, Italy, then yeah, Klaus is perfect. He’s healthy looking, he’s got a great smile, and he has what old-timers call a hail-thee-fellow-well-met charisma to him. No doubt about it. I just don’t want a Ken doll at the helm of the ship, if you know what I mean. Public relations? Hell, yes. Captain? Not so much.
Banning Russian Propaganda
I’m not even Russian and I’m already contemplating moving to Transnistria. As they used to say in racist circles, it takes just a few bad apples to spoil the barrel. A tiny but fucking vocal group of Romanian-speaking Moldovans in this country are obsessed with banning Russian television and radio. The supposed “reason” is because it’s so chock full of propaganda that it’s damaging the tender minds of innocent fuzzy-wuzzy nubby Moldovan mens, wimmen and chiwwen.
Does Russian propaganda exist, in the sense of the meaning that distorted or manipulated statements or images are created in order to advance an agenda? Of course. But none of it even compares to American level propaganda, which thoroughly saturates Romanian-language media, which is where Moldovans will be forced to get their information if Russian-language channels are banned. I’ve already written about how Romanian-language news is such a narcissistic shithole of gossip that it’s essentially useless.
Then some Moldovan legislators wanted to be sneaky, so they tried to back door a law into effect that would require all broadcasters to be “European compliant”. Guess who is already certified EU-compliant? Romania, of course, as it has to be in order to be a member of the EU. But Russia, and by extension most Russian-language media, is of course NOT European compliant. They might be ABLE to be compliant, but those stations never bothered to get certified. Why would they? So if those Moldovan lawmakers had their way, they would’ve slammed the door shut on the Russian-language media. Thank god they failed.
I know it’s fun to be scared of Russia, but in reality, 99% of the news could be translated into English and you’d barely notice the differences.
All Hail Lord Putin
I’m really starting to understand why world leaders are afraid of this guy. Without being overly blunt, being elected top leader of your country doesn’t usually require a lot of brains (see Klaus, Johannis). Yes, I realize Putin was elected, but it’s much more like seeing a CEO in action than a politician. A damned competent CEO, not some fat old buffoon that you see on financial TV.
Every year, Putin hosts a live show where he answers questions from members of the studio audience, Skype calls, and old-fashioned telephone calls from around the country. Every year, without fail, the Western press says the whole thing is “staged”.
First of all, even if it was a Broadway play, we’re talking about a four hour production. That is one hell of a lot of lines to memorize, and let’s not forget that Putin is hosting the whole thing himself, effectively on stage for hours. Even if you succumb to serious paranoia and say that every caller/question asker is a paid stooge or a professional actor, it’s still on Putin to do all the heavy lifting. I’m not even sure Obama could handle a four-hour scripted Q&A show even if he DID have a teleprompter.
Secondly, whoever is working in Putin’s office is super professional. The English-language transcription was online within 24 hours, and it was written (and translated) flawlessly.
Third, even if we imagine some kind of situation where a paid actor lobs up a softball (easy question) and the president responds, that’s a far cry from what actually happened. People were asking Putin complicated questions about inflation, the price of shipping wholesale milk, interest rates, and dozens and dozens of other detailed questions. Putin wasn’t responding to questions with generic, upbeat answers, but instead was on point, giving detailed, focused answers. If you’re saying he somehow memorized all that, then he’s at minimum a champion Broadway actor.
Fourth, the guy’s humor is legendary in Russian-speaking circles for a reason. It wasn’t all just economic figures and rule changes on milk production but also included witty ripostes, humorous advice, and delightful turns of phrases. He even broke out the French once. Again, if this is all staged and memorized and rehearsed, Putin is the world’s greatest living actor.
I hate to burst the bubbles of all the fun conspiracies in the West, but the guy is just goddamn competent. It looks unusual because we’re so used to idiotic buffoons and clowns. See what the Prime Minister of New Zealand has been up to lately. Or, of course, you can check in on the babbling monkey Victor Ponta any day of the week.
Step Right Up, Ladies and Gentlemen
Sitting here outside the bounds of Romania, it just becomes more and more clear how much of a circus Romania is. If it didn’t involve the large-scale theft of public money, time and trust, it’d be hilarious. And while the cold reality of it strips away some of the humor, it’s definitely salacious, malicious and base enough to work as a script for a soap opera (telenovela).
You could put all of Romania’s politicians, media figures and television talk show hosts in a giant mansion, stream the whole thing live over the internet, and you’d have yourself a hit program. Assuming, of course, that you let viewers vote every week about who to kick off the island. Now THAT would be fun :)
Prison Camps for Immigrants
I just saw the fun news that Hungary’s president wants to throw “illegal immigrants” into prison work camps. Sounds like fun stuff. I say that, of course, as a verified “illegal immigrant” myself at one time.
I’ve made my views on this subject well-known, as I find the idea of restricting the free movement of people to be antithetical to the human race. Don’t want to give voting rights to newcomers? No problem. But drawing a line on a map and saying you can’t walk here unless you have the right papers is simply idiotic. It’s a brand new fashion that’s never been exercised in the entirety of human history until the last 100 years.
As much as I suffered from my own ordeal, it’s nothing compared to a prison camp or those awful islands that Australia uses. Millions of “illegal immigrants” and refugees worldwide suffer plenty enough already, without adding Hungary to the mix.
Oh, and I wonder what exactly is going to happen if a Romanian gets tossed into a work prison for immigrants in Hungary. Hmm. So stupid.
All Hail the Great Alliance
Somebody – and I wish I had the time to figure out who – has been bombarding the Romanian-language media in Moldova with messages about Unirea, the great “union” (actually re-union) of Moldova and Romania. These advertisements proclaim that everyone in Moldova will get a unicorn if only our two sweet countries can unite.
Ahem. It’s never going to happen. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. But somebody out there figures it’s worth it to promote what COULD happen. Jee, kids, what COULD happen if we win the lottery? Ah yes, we can go shopping in Iasi more quickly, get gigantic pensions, and all kinds of other fun things if our dear sweet union ever becomes real.
Meeting a Tall, Dark Stranger
I have no idea how much it is costing the Romanian taxpayers but the government is funding a radio station here in Chisinau. I’ll admit they play good music (especially in the morning), and have a competent news service, but it never fails to make me laugh that they always include a daily horoscope.
Yep, Romanians are paying money so that Moldovans can learn their horoscope. Thanks to the Romanian government, this morning I learned that I will have good luck in finances and that quite soon I will meet a tall, dark stranger. I can’t wait!
Hai Sa Vorovim Correct
As humorous as it is to hear my horoscope every morning, it’s a tiny bit sinister to hear the segment where they teach listeners how to speak Romanian correctly. I realize that the same show airs in Romania, and it isn’t directly solely at Moldovans, but whether or not Moldovans speak “correctly” is a sensitive subject.
Furthermore, almost all the programming on the station is very paternalistic. The news is almost entirely fixated on Romania and even during the weather report Moldova is never mentioned. It’s like letting the children listen in on as the grown-ups talk, but they aren’t big enough yet to join in the discussion.
Last, but not least, it has been scientifically proven that only one very old and distinguished professor with a long, bushy beard who is the head of the philology department at a prestigious university can accurately and correctly speak Romanian. Everybody else is just fucking it up on a sliding scale from “occasionally” to “hopa”.
The name of the Romanian government radio show should be “Hai sa vorbim mai bine” (let’s talk BETTER). That way you’d know that speaking grammatically correct Romanian was just a fun hobby and not something to go crazy about.