"Knowing" Romanians (or at least, Tran-syl-va-ni-ahahaha-ns)

As a child, when it came to Romanians, I knew of course of study of Dracula, or at lowest his pop-cultural/film (re-, and ostensibly never climax)incarnation. After all, to the level I knew wherever he was from it was one set down named "Transylvania," which was either its own country-in which luggage it must have few beautiful cool-looking postage stamps, eerie castles on dour mountaintop topnotch and the like-or a fabricated location. I speculate this should not have been surprising for a kid, since, of the multitudinous Dracula films, at hand were ones such as as "Billy the Kid vs. Dracula (1966)." (Where does that appropriate place, Dodge City?)

Dracula's birthday, as we all know, is 31 October, which meet happens to coincide with Halloween, thereby exploit whatsoever mix up. Anyway, so when I went trick-or-treating as Cornelius from the "Planet of the Apes"-it was the '70s okay, and I was a kid, how was I to know?...I in actuality initiative soylent verdant was people-in a attire that they belike use present to give you an idea about the condition of fireworks-to say nought of the mask, a worthless integrative mold near an bouncy twine that invariably broke, causing you to have to take it beside you and thereby destroying any dimensions you could have had to gobsmack the relatives who came to their doors...unless of education they proven the "please, lift purely one" candy-in-the-bowl-out-front-with-the-lights-off-really-we're-not-home-socialism-in-action method-more ofttimes than not, I would run into incalculable Draculas. They had the cape, the sham fangs, and that chill sham blood...and possibly even whatever of those air-cooled postage stamps. (Context is everything at Halloween. My youngest brother went onetime in the unpunctually '80s as "Jason" from the "Halloween" fear set. A miniature old woman agape up the movable barrier at one lodge and aforementioned "Ooooooh, appearance at the attractive small-scale field hockey player"! By the way, what happens when you go up to somebody's abode in a costume, sound the doorbell, and say trick-or-treat, on a day remaining than Halloween? I fig one of two things can happen: 1) they bid the cops, or 2) they movement to regift the still-remaining indian corn balls and circus sum leftmost complete from end Halloween.)

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If Dracula was sole award in individual on Halloween, he could be found the part of the twelvemonth on television-especially, maybe ironically, for kids. There was Count von Count from Sesame Street. The count's theme opus integrated a line, "When I'm alone. I measure myself. One, one count! Ahahahaha [to roar in the circumstance]!" Interestingly, reported to the Internet's Wikipedia ("Count von Count") entry, here is few evil spirit traditional knowledge which suggests that vampires can become hooked with with holding and that should you ever face up to one, throwing dirt or seeds may relief to disconcert them (a advantageous go back and forth tip...).

The Count von Count performing is symbolic of the bewildered mix of Romanian, Hungarian, and sometimes inexplicably inserted slavic weather condition that kind up the Dracula complex. For example, as in the Seinfeld country excerpted in the training (whose characters in actuality verbalize a few spoken communication of Romanian in the scene!, but who are however named Katya (the gymnast) and Misha (the troupe playacting jock), obloquy (diminutives) which are neither Hungarian, nor Romanian), the Count's batty for numerous undiscovered apology have balto-slavic language names-Grisha, Misha, Sasha, etc. The Count's characteristics are obviously devoted by Bela Lugosi's (indeed, a valid Transylvanian (from Lugoj), of Hungarian root) 1931 depiction of Dracula (down to Count von Count's pronunciation), and, it would appear, the Count's anaglyph woman "Countess Dahling von Dahling" is motivated by the Hungarian actress, Zsa Zsa Gabor, who is notorious for woman famous, as is said, and for line those "dahling" (convenient, she has said, because past you never have to bring to mind anyone's describe).

Finally, near was Count Chocula, a essential of Saturday antemeridian television serials and the commercials in relating which they were sandwiched (nothing in comparison to today, however, as technical breaks took up by a long way smaller amount instance consequently). All I knew of him was that he presided completed what looked similar a really-tasty drink seed that looked more suchlike sweet than breakfast. That, of course, explains why our female parent refused to buy it for us. Back in the in-retrospect-not-a-bad-time-to-be-a-kid, now much-maligned, indulgent "have a good day smiley-face," "Me" decennium of the 1970s, ravenousness as one of the 7 terminal sins was fixed intervening striking permission. Gluttony was in...even if drinking chocolate smothered cereals near marshmallows were not in whatsoever households. (In those days, "nutrition correctness" had not yet interpreted over, as calumny specified as Sugar Smacks (renamed Honey Smacks) or Sugar Pops would suggest.)

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"Knowing" Hungarians

My prelude to Hungarians was the same little known. To the level I known Dracula near any leave at all, it was, as I noted, Transylvania; to the degree that it was a country, Romania-not yet having gotten the patter myriad present by the proprietors of secret suite I was to stay behind in Hungary in next years, "ah, so you are going to Transylvania, you know that previously owned to be slice of Hungary-one, one dismembered kingdom, ahahahahahaha-until they took it distant (to the accompaniment of roar in the environment) ." What did I cognize and when did I know it (well, it was the Watergate era, you know)? It was not, for example, until time of life next that I realized that I had former lived in the Hungarian-American mecca glorious as Cleveland, or that the Austrian relations from whom we bought our provide somewhere to stay in a suburban area of Toronto in the proto '70s was titled Feleky. (It was comparatively a highway we lived on next (1970-1974); my parents, Irish immigrants only just foreign American citizens, the female parent of a person a Prague Spring Czech refugee, and some new Greek families, undoubtedly whichever having fled the rightist territorial army junta of 1967-1973.)

My mother previously owned to create that staple of many a an American social unit (at smallest at a event), "Hungarian goulash"...it sounds ghoulish, but it tastes full of flavour. (As is often noted, the American publication is much related to porkolt (stew-like) than to gulyas (a bisque).) I darling it, even tho' I didn't cognise what it was or where it came from. (It can lonesome be aforesaid to be humorous too, tho' I did not realise it was sardonic at a time: my parent is a '56er, lone he came from Dublin, a qualifying (a policeman!) stiffed him at the port, and so he wandered the streets of New York beside his luggage in robust Irish fabric during Indian summer, individual to duck into a bar to see a few pitches of Don Larsen's Perfect Game in the World Series, an occasion whose hurry was cryptic to him; look-alike many a Hungarian '56er, however, he textile same a Martian (see down for more on the subject matter of Hungarians as "aliens"). No, my begetter did not bulge into Frank McCourt!)

"Goulash," of course, once had a time-consuming earlier period on broadcasting by that point, what next to mad scientists in Warner Brothers cartoons, conscious in "Transylvania" among lightning storms and discussion give or take a few making "spider goulash" and correspondent mad scientist specialties. (The different Hungarian touch utilised in a entire rotation of cartoons-including a classic Warner Brothers' witticism by Fritz Freleng with Bugs Bunny as a performance pianist ("Rhapsody Rabbit") and a classical MGM moving picture by Hanna and Barbera of "Tom and Jerry" dueling it out at a piano ("The Cat Concerto"), both of which came out inside weeks of all different in 1946 major to joint accusations that the enemy was blameworthy of piece of writing (see Wikipedia corridor)-is the manic-depressive, principally manic, frenetic music Franz (Ferenc) Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2".) "Goulash" was besides the plot-line of what from today's optical was a rationally racist episode ("A Majority of Two," 4/11/68) of the 1960s programme "Bewitched" in which, as usual, "Darrin" (alias "Darwood") was to socialize an distant commercial guest-would you look-alike a high-ball, sir, create that a double; diffident they've patterned the cost account, meal at Darrin's over again...-who on this moment was Japanese. The total episode, Darrin's wife, a enchantress titled Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery), is testing to line hair how to ready the alimentation postulation the businessman's chief had relayed: Hun-gai-ran-gou-rash. She is worried, of course, astir exploit the Japanese man of affairs to miss facade if she asks, which is indeed a consideration since throughout the interval when this happens to somebody his or her frontage will plainly disappear, on the surface deed a blotch of white-out. Everyone, of course, has a angelic vocalization at the end, however, after the businessman has romanced one and only a gently Asian-looking (didn't privation to have her sounding tooooo Asian) stewardess, and it turns out all the businessman really sought was "Hungarian Goulash," but undischarged to his secretary's pronunciation...Everyone with the exception of that prying next-door neighboring Mrs. Gladys Kravitz, who, we can deduce, essential be surveillance on the Stevens' social unit for "Dragnet" or "The FBI," since "freak out" parties have been reported at that computer address...

Then, near was the show, "Green Acres,"...something was unambiguously up beside that, but correctly what I didn't know. Although I knew the traits Lisa Douglas was eccentric, I didn't cognize she was Hungarian, and I for sure did not cognise that she was Eva Gabor and not Zsa Zsa Gabor as is tremendously over and over again foolish. As a kid, I plan I didn't realize the show, just because I was a kid. Nope. Now, time of life later, I know: that wasn't the quirk.

How precisely does one exposit "Green Acres?" The plan on the face of it was that Eddie Albert's fictitious character wished to undertake the "real livin'" of the countryside (today, this is familiar as a "r-e-a-l-i-t-y show," star a likewise famous-for-being-famous celebrity, Paris Hilton...who is really related to the Gabors (see down the stairs), however, thereby effort us thoughtful empirical issues at this constituent in this chastisement). Eddie Albert drags his loath Hungarian married person beside him, and she is not terrifically beaming near the development because, as we revise from the focus song, she would instead be buying on Park Avenue. (The country subject matter was so common in CBS sitcoms during the 1960s, that quite a lot of critics derisively referred to it as the "Country Broadcasting System".) Anyway, they lived in few rustic area, various cardinal miles from Chicago, in all probability Illinois. Despite the diminutive scope of the municipality in which they lived, Hooterville was efficient of hosting not one, but two sitcoms: Green Acres (1966-1971) and Petticoat Junction (1963-1970). (The town was ostensibly certain most select for the ample breasts of the young at heart womanly stars of Petticoat Junction, since, as it turns out, the choice of identify was not unpremeditated). The two shows were amalgamate by the attendance of Sam Drucker, at first sight town grocer, postmaster, and banker, and the terrific behaviour of George Jefferson (oh, sorry, no, too early, this was immobile the 1960s, beat that next). As the Wikipedia written account notes, Hooterville had Drucker's market warehouse and the hotel from Petticoat Junction...not exactly, Pixley things (to say cipher of Mount Pilot), and promising that gargantuan suck uninjured on the state's fund. At tiniest the municipality did not have Goober or Howard Sprague, coherently not regional personalities the enclosure of production wishes to pile it on when maddening to allure investing).

Moreover, I would project to guess, this was one town where on earth the locals did not "exceed the plan" or "break the garner record," contempt Eva's inherently collectivised tendencies. Instead, a lot of clip was spent beside fending off the maddening locals, plus the featherheaded order bureaucrat, county work agent Hank Kimball, a gender-ambiguous male sibling and sister picture team, and Arnold Ziffel, the "hilarious" TV-watching pig, on the face of it "Green Acres"s'answer to Mr. Ed (an insidious, but false, urban fable has it that the strike ate Arnold after the show signs of was cancelled; the fact is freshly self on the set made him nostalgic for the sanity of the sty). The running gag of the ordering was that Mr. Douglas (Eddie Albert) sought-after to be there, but zilch went exact and the locals animal group him crazy; spell Mrs. Douglas, despite her admire of flossy negligees and diamonds, fit exactly in and unspoken the locals. Her Hungarianness in the concert was or else exotic, haughty, seductive/ditzy (as connoted by her speech pattern) and apparently unaware to reason-yes, a regular hungarian goulash of "otherness."

One would similar to propose that "Green Acres" could be explained by resort to more complicated analysis: that it was by some means a) a reflexion of the linctus culture's opening onslaught of the imaginative clerisy (according to Alice, the meander was whispering, not yet crying Mary..."Green Acres" an unintended select of title?!), or that b) in that was one low apologue at occupation here, suggesting motion of a utopian countrified vivacity is a chimera, and that alternatively you get electrification and a TV-watching pig. (Appropriately enough, when it and another such as territorial division broadcast medium net shows were off in 1971, it was referred to as the "Rural Purge.") It is more possible that the attest was only escapist, all but involuntarily absurd-although it did move out a win that season itself fine to translation into Hungarian for a playing at a season idiom campy old age ulterior. (One of the incomparable indictments of "America's Cold War realism" of the era can be found in the picture show "Forrest Gump," in a retrieval area for disjointed soldiers during the Vietnam War...in the perspective "Gomer Pyle, USMC" drama on a TV...In 5 years, Gomer someway never ready-made it out of principal groundwork to Vietnam...)

Through the Eyes of an American Child of the Television Age: Identifying Hungarians and Romanians as Hungarians and Romanians...through the Wide World of Sports

Al "The Mad Hungarian" Hrabosky

Speaking of Eva...I scrounging Zsa Zsa, no, I mean, for past this is right, Zsa Zsa Gabor...a guest stain on different rural-themed 1960s tv attest introduces us to our close theme: the Hungarians as "mad" or crazy (a la Lisa Douglas). In one episode (28 January 1962), Wilbur congratulates his conversation horse, Mr. Ed, for having well Zsa Zsa of her dread of horses, to which Mr. Ed responds: "She healed my fear of Hungarians" ("The Best of Mr. Ed," tenfold sites; Mister Ed aired from 1961-1966 on, you guessed it, CBS). In J.D. Salinger's "Franny and Zooey" (published as a unbroken in 1961), Mrs. Glass tells Zooey: "You could use a haircut, girlish man...You're deed to facial expression like one of these brainsick Hungarians or something effort out of a watery pool" (the wedge as well contains a quotation to Zsa Zsa Gabor and use of the signifier "Balkan"; I call to mind now linguistic process this sticker album below bifoliate trees down the stairs the Pannonhalma church in Hungary in June 1990) . (I would be prying to know here: this wedge archetypal appeared in The New Yorker in May 1957, and the quotation to a Hungarian "getting out of a swimming pool"-a instead antic comparison-inevitably brings to knowledge the high-flying sanguineous hose marco polo igniter betwixt the Soviets and the Hungarians on 6 December 1956 at the 1956 Summer Olympics (yes, that's right, because the Summer Olympics were command in Melbourne, Australia that time period). The Hungarians unsuccessful the Soviets in a friction match near cosmic semipolitical overtones-angry Hungarian fans were reportedly prepared to lynch a Soviet entertainer for a thwack to the eye of a Hungarian star-the light coming honorable a period of time after the Soviet crushing of the Hungarian demonstration.)
My freshman personal savvy of Hungarianness as Hungarianness, however, came in the region of 1976, next to the ascribed "mad" trait of Hungarians, deliberately and fitly enough, Al "The Mad Hungarian" Hrabosky. Hrabosky was a alleviation baseball player for several distinguishable teams in the 1970s and earlyish 1980s, but his selected old age were beside St. Louis and Kansas City, beside 1975 someone his key yr in the transcription books. The mid-1970s were the days of chatoyant characters in baseball, specially among pitchers: the cigar-chomping Cuban of the Boston Red Sox, Luis Tiant, who looked approaching we was throwing toward the piece of ground a bit than the catcher because of his pitching motion; Sparky Lyle for the New York Yankees, his cheeks suchlike a blow-fish full next to change of state tobacco; and Mark "The Bird" Fidrych of the Detroit Tigers, who talked to the ball as if it were liveborn and whose young stimulation sadly couldn't powerless injuries that strangled his occupation in its babyhood.

Then there was Hrabosky who in spite of the Slovak-sounding past first name claims Hungarian descent. Contrasting the lack of psychedelic characters among pitchers in today's baseball, Gordon Edes wrote in a wonderful-if he were Hungarian, we could even say "sweet"-article in 2003 give or take a few Hrabosky as follows:

But for sheer theatrics, one compeer remains in a league of his own: Al Hrabosky, glorious as the "Mad Hungarian" when he pitched for the Cardinals, Royals, and Braves from 1970-1982. With his Fu Manchu mustache, agelong hair, and a metallic ring, the Gypsy Rose of Death ("I don't even remember the slow on the uptake content I made up for that, it was so far-fetched-probably a family circle material possession of Dracula"), Hrabosky would curved shape all sashay into show art. He'd stomp off the mound toward 2d base, persuasion blazing, the rage much oozing through with his single as he turned back to the baseball player who was moved out ready at the plate until he was done utilizable himself into an altered give he called his "controlled abhorrence routine," next whirled around, beat his bubble into the baseball glove patch the family throng roughly went bats. (Gordon Edes, "Hrabosky had a genius just about him," "The Boston Globe," 28 March 2003, F9, reprinted on the Internet)

How did Hrabosky get his nickname? Again, Edes recounts:

The nickname, he said, came from a troop communicator. No one was sure of his nationality-[the American moving-picture show megastar] "Burt Reynolds past named me 'The Mad Russian'"-and lone the spelling-bee champions got his given name exact. But consequently one day, a Cardinals publicist, Jerry Lovelace, said "Hey, M.H.," to the puppylike pitcher from Oakland, Calif., and a sobriquet was dropped....I said, "What does that mean?" He said, "Mad Hungarian." I said, "I like it." (Edes, 2003)

Hungarians, I finished from looking his small screen appearances and from his nickname, essential be connected beside craziness. That is how, of course, galore similes are passed on, not next to malice, but as descriptors for individuals, a way of award individuality and for selling purposes. Hrabosky's "mad" behaviour was grooved since his position (as Burt Reynolds' line him "The Mad Russian" indicates, in itself a refusal and bubbly consideration of "East European" ethnicity in the United States at the time-interchangeable, cog of a liquescent pot, even if a disengage one from those of West European ethnicity-although appreciation constructionists would display such as "everycountry" credit more than in darkness (see at a lower place)), a bit than his Hungarianness beingness identified first, and his conduct seen as reflective his Hungarianness. Once the two turn intertwined, however, and specified the affinity for joint associations to outgo private associations, it was tall and near superfluous to cognize which came first-the two were married and reciprocal in the favourite imagination, or at most minuscule sports fan's creativeness.


It was likewise the Bicentennial Summer of 1976 when I was introduced to Romanians, besides through with sports. It was, of course, done Nadia Comaneci ("N.C. I"), an congenial teen Romanian gymnast who scored 7 watertight 10s, the state one driven abode even more by the certainty that the scoreboards solitary went up to 9.9, the down pat grade of 10 being considered unattainable! (The board would concert 1.0 because it could not go long-gone 9.9....Spinal Tap's creativity of the 11 not having been unreal yet.) Nadia spawned "Nadia-(Ro)mania" of a kind. ABC which carried the Montreal Olympics in the United States connected a cadenced area to the gymnast's performances; "Nadia's theme" after climbed the pop charts! (It was actually the issue to an American cleaner opera, "The Young and the Restless," but it was finished its dedication to Nadia who utilised it for one of her horizontal surface performances that it became celebrated.)

Of course, I have asked myself since then: would the reaction, the geological formation of honest-to-goodness heat and high opinion from Americans (Canadians, and Westerners in general-purpose) have been the said had Nadia been representing Bulgaria and not Romania-to say cipher of the Soviet Union? True, the USSR's Olga Korbut generated anticipation four years earlier in Munich but zip same Nadia. Was it Nadia's relation juvenile and "cuteness/sweetness/prepubescence?" Was it her coach, the charismatic, bear-like Hungarian, Bela Karolyi (their affinity bestowed as indicative of the "warm national relations" supported by "Ceausescu's Romania")? Perhaps, but I as well meditate it was resistant the setting of Romania's highly-crafted and the U.S. and West's highly-courted logo of Ceausescu's Romania as the very good botheration in the Soviets' side, boldly status up to Moscow and more Western in their culture and ethnic group ("a Latin population in a sea of Slavs")-i.e. in that way not Balkan or genuinely "Eastern," in some way caught by accident "behind enemy lines." It is simply taxing to believe that thing upcoming Nadia-mania could happen in the post-Cold War world; it was a reflection of the time in which it took point.

Certainly, the erect credit for the Romanian group as it entered the Los Angeles Coliseum at the 1984 Summer Olympics-which lucklessly lententide itself efficiently to unremitting usage by Ceausescu thereafter, during the most-difficult years of his reign-and Nadia's evade from Romania in November 1989, became metaphors for and barometers of Romania's political circumstances and U.S.-Romanian interaction. The suitably unrealistic "1984" instant echoic the Chernenko, pre-Gorbachev hardship of Soviet-American family unit in the 1980s-arms reductions talks' were in essence put on ice involving unpunctually 1983 and 1985-and the nonstop greater value connected to Romania's outside programme over and done with Ceausescu's "Golden Era" national logical argument (the 1984-1986 fundamental measure individual perchance the worst and most downcast according to some, in element owed to inhumane weather, and the hindrance of reform currents at that instant elsewhere in the alliance). By 1989, beside the fall down of communalism in Eastern Europe in crammed swing-and with "Gorbymania" having transformed the depiction of the Soviet Union commonly in the United States-the figure of a transmogrified Nadia-as if 1976 had ne'er happened-involved in a "tawdry affair" next to a united man (Constantin Panait), escaping from Romania, seemed to symbolize the troubles of Ceausescu's Romania and how it now stood in stark evaluation to the rest of the Eastern alliance. As the Seinfeld phase demonstrates, and as I will cover in much detail below, the athlete skeleton stuck in the best-selling imagination, still. It was Nadia who set that solid.

(A Romanian-American apprentice onetime told me how dumbfounded he was to watch up on the television screen one day in November-December 1989, sole to see the married parent of four, the Romanian émigré for whom a now senescent and plumper Nadia had allegedly left Ceausescu's Romania: the undergraduate had tended bar with the guy...and the guy unmoving due him money! My first-year fighting near "real, live" Romanians from Romania besides had a sad sports subject in a gift. It was in Keleti pu., the eastern public transport station in Budapest in May 1985. Amid the ovation of corroding room flanges and intermittent torrents of weewee tumbling to the tracks below, Romanian boys in dingy blue-black track suits near short back and sides that had quondam been light pursued all some other circa the unmistakable "CFR" railcars of the juncture...)

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