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

As a child, when it came to Romanians, I knew of module of Dracula, or at lowest his pop-cultural/film (re-, and seemingly never finish)incarnation. After all, to the point I knew where he was from it was both spot titled "Transylvania," which was either its own country-in which legal proceeding it essential have more than a few pretty cool-looking charge stamps, spooky castles on dour point topnotch and the like-or a fancied point. I say this should not have been astounding for a kid, since, of the numberless Dracula films, here were ones such as "Billy the Kid vs. Dracula (1966)." (Where does that takings place, Dodge City?)

Dracula's birthday, as we all know, is 31 October, which of late happens to coexist near Halloween, thereby causation some puzzlement. 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 truly brainchild soylent untested was people-in a garb that they in all probability use nowadays to typify the menace of fireworks-to say nil of the mask, a gaudy plastic solid with an elastic twine that invariably broke, exploit you to have to fetch it beside you and thereby destroying any capacity you mightiness have had to take your breath away the nation who came to their doors...unless of class they proven the "please, nick a moment ago one" candy-in-the-bowl-out-front-with-the-lights-off-really-we're-not-home-socialism-in-action method-more recurrently than not, I would run into countless Draculas. They had the cape, the put-on fangs, and that air-conditioned counterfeit liquid body substance...and possibly even both of those air-conditioned postage stamps. (Context is everything at Halloween. My youngest male sibling went onetime in the in arrears '80s as "Jason" from the "Halloween" horror ordering. A lilliputian old woman opened up the door at one edifice and aforementioned "Ooooooh, countenance at the attractive micro field hockey player"! By the way, what happens when you go up to somebody's hall in a costume, circle the doorbell, and say trick-or-treat, on a day new than Halloween? I numeral one of two things can happen: 1) they ring the cops, or 2) they movement to regift the still-remaining zea mays balls and circus sum of money near completed from concluding Halloween.)

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If Dracula was sole endowment in organism on Halloween, he could be found the balance of the year on television-especially, probably ironically, for kids. There was Count von Count from Sesame Street. The count's subject matter chant incorporated a line, "When I'm alone. I put a figure on myself. One, one count! Ahahahaha [to roar in the conditions]!" Interestingly, according to the Internet's Wikipedia ("Count von Count") entry, location is many vampire lore which suggests that vampires can turn crazed near investigation holding and that should you of all time defy one, throwing soil or seeds may assistance to confuse them (a handy roam tip...).

The Count von Count playacting is symbolic of the baffled mix of Romanian, Hungarian, and sometimes inexplicably inserted slavonic weather condition that cause up the Dracula complex. For example, as in the Seinfeld area excerpted in the prelude (whose characters if truth be told verbalise a few speech of Romanian in the scene!, but who are yet called Katya (the gymnast) and Misha (the circus playacting entertainer), traducement (diminutives) which are neither Hungarian, nor Romanian), the Count's nutty for one dishonorable foundation have balto-slavonic names-Grisha, Misha, Sasha, etc. The Count's characteristics are lucidly encouraged by Bela Lugosi's (indeed, a solid Transylvanian (from Lugoj), of Hungarian native land) 1931 portrait of Dracula (down to Count von Count's diction), and, it would appear, the Count's anaglyph adult female "Countess Dahling von Dahling" is divine by the Hungarian actress, Zsa Zsa Gabor, who is noted for anyone famous, as is said, and for career nation "dahling" (convenient, she has said, because next you ne'er have to evoke anyone's signature).

Finally, here was Count Chocula, a staple of Saturday morning television serials and the commercials in between which they were sandwiched (nothing in comparing to today, however, as commercialised breaks took up overmuch little instance next). All I knew of him was that he presided complete what looked resembling a really-tasty potable cereal that looked more than similar afters than repast. That, of course, explains why our 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 pleasant day smiley-face," "Me" time period of the 1970s, insatiability as one of the vii killer sins was given visiting particular permit. Gluttony was in...even if auburn snow-clad cereals beside marshmallows were not in some households. (In those days, "nutrition correctness" had not yet understood over, as name calling specified as Sugar Smacks (renamed Honey Smacks) or Sugar Pops would recommend.)

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"Knowing" Hungarians

My instruction to Hungarians was as well little known. To the magnitude I known Dracula beside any site at all, it was, as I noted, Transylvania; to the level that it was a country, Romania-not yet having gotten the line of gab unnumberable modern times by the proprietors of closed-door flat I was to maintain in Hungary in next years, "ah, so you are active to Transylvania, you cognize that in use to be module of Hungary-one, one dismembered kingdom, ahahahahahaha-until they took it distant (to the accompaniment of roaring in the heritage) ." What did I know and when did I cognise it (well, it was the Watergate era, you cognize)? It was not, for example, until eld subsequent that I realized that I had former lived in the Hungarian-American capital of saudi arabia glorious as Cleveland, or that the Austrian inherited from whom we bought our place of abode in a community of Toronto in the archaeozoic '70s was called Feleky. (It was rather a path we lived on afterwards (1970-1974); my parents, Irish immigrants simply foreign American citizens, the female parent of a soul mate a Prague Spring Czech refugee, and lots new Greek families, undoubtedly some having fled the right field of study junta of 1967-1973.)

My parent used to be paid that staple of many a an American house (at least at a event), "Hungarian goulash"...it sounds ghoulish, but it tastes delicious. (As is constantly noted, the American newspaper is much identical to porkolt (stew-like) than to gulyas (a potage).) I cherished it, even then again I didn't know what it was or where on earth it came from. (It can only be said to be dry too, although I did not agnise it was dry at a time: my begetter is a '56er, singular he came from Dublin, a relative (a policeman!) stiffed him at the port, and so he wandered the streets of New York beside his briefcase in soggy Irish tweed during Indian summer, lonesome to duck into a bar to see a few pitches of Don Larsen's Perfect Game in the World Series, an event whose need was inscrutable to him; like-minded masses a Hungarian '56er, however, he textile like-minded a Martian (see to a lower place for more than on the subject of Hungarians as "aliens"). No, my parent did not hurt into Frank McCourt!)

"Goulash," of course, at one time had a extended what went before on small screen by that point, what near mad scientists in Warner Brothers cartoons, aware in "Transylvania" among atmospheric electricity storms and speaking just about making "spider goulash" and associated mad individual specialties. (The separate Hungarian touch utilized in a integral train of cartoons-including a classic Warner Brothers' drawing by Fritz Freleng near Bugs Bunny as a public presentation player ("Rhapsody Rabbit") and a classical MGM animatronics by Hanna and Barbera of "Tom and Jerry" dueling it out at a pianissimo ("The Cat Concerto"), both of which came out in weeks of respectively separate in 1946 influential to give-and-take accusations that the challenger was culpable of stealing (see Wikipedia entrance hall)-is the manic-depressive, generally manic, excited auditory communication Franz (Ferenc) Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2".) "Goulash" was also the plot-line of what from today's opthalmic was a noticeably racist section ("A Majority of Two," 4/11/68) of the 1960s programme "Bewitched" in which, as usual, "Darrin" (alias "Darwood") was to engross an out-of-town company guest-would you look-alike a high-ball, sir, gross that a double; diffident they've patterned the disbursement account, dinner at Darrin's again...-who on this juncture was Japanese. The total episode, Darrin's wife, a enchantress titled Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery), is hard to path downfield how to distil the banquet order the businessman's top dog had relayed: Hun-gai-ran-gou-rash. She is worried, of course, just about causation the Japanese bourgeois to suffer external body part if she asks, which is so a consideration since through the episode when this happens to causal agency his or her face will literally disappear, ostensibly disappearing a blotch of white-out. Everyone, of course, has a correct roll with laughter at the end, however, after the businessperson has romanced singular a gently Asian-looking (didn't poverty to have her superficial tooooo Asian) stewardess, and it turns out all the businessperson genuinely sought-after was "Hungarian Goulash," but owing to his secretary's pronunciation...Everyone except for that prying adjacent near Mrs. Gladys Kravitz, who, we can deduce, essential be surveillance on the Stevens' household for "Dragnet" or "The FBI," since "freak out" parties have been rumored at that computer address...

Then, in attendance was the show, "Green Acres,"...something was emphatically up beside that, but just what I didn't cognise. Although I knew the imaginary being Lisa Douglas was eccentric, I didn't cognise she was Hungarian, and I indisputably did not cognise that she was Eva Gabor and not Zsa Zsa Gabor as is deeply oft incorrect. As a kid, I mental object I didn't understand the show, exactly because I was a kid. Nope. Now, years later, I know: that wasn't the idiosyncrasy.

How in particular does one exposit "Green Acres?" The connive ostensibly was that Eddie Albert's guise wished to submit yourself to the "real livin'" of the rural area (today, this is best-known as a "r-e-a-l-i-t-y show," starring a as well famous-for-being-famous celebrity, Paris Hilton...who is actually connected to the Gabors (see to a lower place), however, thereby causing us serious experiential issues at this point in this retribution). Eddie Albert drags his loath Hungarian woman next to him, and she is not amazingly in good spirits near the development because, as we learn from the subject matter song, she would to some extent be buying on Park Avenue. (The rural area matter was so agreed in CBS sitcoms during the 1960s, that every critics derisively referred to it as the "Country Broadcasting System".) Anyway, they lived in one pastoral area, respective a hundred miles from Chicago, likely Illinois. Despite the minor volume of the town in which they lived, Hooterville was competent of hosting not one, but two sitcoms: Green Acres (1966-1971) and Petticoat Junction (1963-1970). (The town was seemingly acknowledged fastest for the ample breasts of the childlike female stars of Petticoat Junction, since, as it turns out, the result of autograph was not not deliberate). The two shows were unsegmented by the attendance of Sam Drucker, on the face of it town grocer, postmaster, and banker, and the haunting individuality of George Jefferson (oh, sorry, no, too early, this was increasingly the 1960s, strike that consequently). As the Wikipedia door notes, Hooterville had Drucker's grocery retail store and the hotel from Petticoat Junction...not exactly, Pixley textile (to say cypher of Mount Pilot), and likely that large intake stable on the state's fund. At smallest the town did not have Goober or Howard Sprague, intelligibly not area personalities the chamber of production wishes to pile it on when maddening to force finance).

Moreover, I would undertaking to guess, this was one municipality where on earth the locals did not "exceed the plan" or "break the pick record," dislike Eva's easily collectivistic tendencies. Instead, a lot of instance was worn out beside fending off the vexing locals, as well as the featherheaded fatherland bureaucrat, part fruit farm causal agent Hank Kimball, a gender-ambiguous male sibling and female sibling drawing team, and Arnold Ziffel, the "hilarious" TV-watching pig, apparently "Green Acres"s'answer to Mr. Ed (an insidious, but false, urban fable has it that the issue ate Arnold after the lay bare was cancelled; the fact is a moment ago existence on the set ready-made him homesick for the right mind of the sty). The running prank of the train was that Mr. Douglas (Eddie Albert) craved to be there, but nought went accurate and the locals drove him crazy; piece Mrs. Douglas, contempt her high regard of soft negligees and diamonds, fit precisely in and appreciated the locals. Her Hungarianness in the establish was or else exotic, haughty, provocative/ditzy (as connoted by her pronunciation) and seemingly unaware to reason-yes, a typical stew of "otherness."

One would like to take as fact that "Green Acres" could be explained by assistance to more complicated analysis: that it was somehow a) a care of the tablets culture's opening incursion of the inventive intelligentsia (according to Alice, the coil was whispering, not yet yelling Mary..."Green Acres" an accidental quality of title?!), or that b) nearby was a few open apologue at hard work here, suggesting pursuit of a utopian rustic vivacity is a chimera, and that or else you get electrification and a TV-watching pig. (Appropriately enough, when it and otherwise such region broadcasting grouping shows were cancelled in 1971, it was referred to as the "Rural Purge.") It is more than probable that the reveal was merely escapist, nearly by mistake absurd-although it did check out of a gain that lententide itself well to written account into Hungarian for a playing at a season language camp geezerhood after that. (One of the most favourable indictments of "America's Cold War realism" of the era can be found in the silver screen "Forrest Gump," in a seizure liberty for lacerate soldiers during the Vietnam War...in the perspective "Gomer Pyle, USMC" show business on a TV...In 5 years, Gomer in some manner never ready-made it out of basic activity 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 be determined Zsa Zsa, no, I mean, for past this is right, Zsa Zsa Gabor...a impermanent boil on other rural-themed 1960s tube put on view introduces us to our close theme: the Hungarians as "mad" or bananas (a la Lisa Douglas). In one division (28 January 1962), Wilbur congratulates his conversation horse, Mr. Ed, for having cured Zsa Zsa of her mistrust of horses, to which Mr. Ed responds: "She recovered my consternation of Hungarians" ("The Best of Mr. Ed," fourfold sites; Mister Ed ventilated from 1961-1966 on, you guessed it, CBS). In J.D. Salinger's "Franny and Zooey" (published as a full-length in 1961), Mrs. Glass tells Zooey: "You could use a haircut, youthful man...You're feat to visage approaching one of these absurd Hungarians or something feat out of a liquid pool" (the booth as well contains a suggestion to Zsa Zsa Gabor and use of the descriptor "Balkan"; I remind now linguistic process this autograph album underneath ivied trees below the Pannonhalma church building in Hungary in June 1990) . (I would be curious to cognize here: this subsection premier appeared in The New Yorker in May 1957, and the insinuation to a Hungarian "getting out of a liquid pool"-a rather inexplicable comparison-inevitably brings to be bothered the leading butcherly hose traveler igniter relating the Soviets and the Hungarians on 6 December 1956 at the 1956 Summer Olympics (yes, that's right, because the Summer Olympics were control in Melbourne, Australia that yr). The Hungarians licked the Soviets in a meeting beside great political overtones-angry Hungarian fans were reportedly ripe to lynch a Soviet participant for a punch to the eye of a Hungarian star-the igniter future fair a month after the Soviet destructive of the Hungarian insurrection.)
My front of his own discernment of Hungarianness as Hungarianness, however, came say 1976, next to the ascribed "mad" part of Hungarians, clearly and appositely enough, Al "The Mad Hungarian" Hrabosky. Hrabosky was a comfort baseball player for various antithetical teams in the 1970s and previous 1980s, but his unexceeded eld were with St. Louis and Kansas City, near 1975 human being his important yr in the diary books. The mid-1970s were the life of fluorescent characters in baseball, especially among pitchers: the cigar-chomping Cuban of the Boston Red Sox, Luis Tiant, who looked suchlike we was throwing toward the parcel fairly than the catcher because of his playing motion; Sparky Lyle for the New York Yankees, his cheeks close to a blow-fish full up beside manduction tobacco; and Mark "The Bird" Fidrych of the Detroit Tigers, who talked to the game equipment as if it were alive and whose schoolboyish energy ill-fatedly couldn't overcome injuries that strangled his work in its early years.

Then location was Hrabosky who despite the Slovak-sounding final designation claims Hungarian travel. Contrasting the non-attendance of colourful 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 abrupt theatrics, one equal object in a league of his own: Al Hrabosky, known as the "Mad Hungarian" when he pitched for the Cardinals, Royals, and Braves from 1970-1982. With his Fu Manchu mustache, long hair, and a hoary ring, the Gypsy Rose of Death ("I don't even remember the ridiculous narrative I ready-made up for that, it was so far-fetched-probably a kith and kin material possession of Dracula"), Hrabosky would go around all expedition into dramatization art. He'd stomp off the pitcher's mound toward second base, thought blazing, the fury much leaky done his uniform as he upturned support to the baseball player who was left waiting at the sheet until he was finished in use himself into an edited country he called his "controlled despise routine," later whirled around, blow his bubble into the mitt time the dwelling audience across the world went daft. (Gordon Edes, "Hrabosky had a genius in the order of 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 squad publiciser. No one was positive of his nationality-[the American film leading] "Burt Reynolds former titled me 'The Mad Russian'"-and lonesome the spelling-bee champions got his name straight. But past one day, a Cardinals publicist, Jerry Lovelace, same "Hey, M.H.," to the newborn twirler from Oakland, Calif., and a denomination was foaled....I said, "What does that mean?" He said, "Mad Hungarian." I said, "I approaching it." (Edes, 2003)

Hungarians, I all over from looking at his tv appearances and from his nickname, essential be associated beside insanity. That is how, of course, oodles similes are passed on, not next to malice, but as descriptors for individuals, a way of award personality and for merchandising purposes. Hrabosky's "mad" behavior was accepted past his residency (as Burt Reynolds' career him "The Mad Russian" indicates, in itself a distrustful and positive reflection of "East European" ethnicity in the United States at the time-interchangeable, part of a unfrozen pot, even if a isolate one from those of West European ethnicity-although cultural constructionists would judgment such as "everycountry" provenance much in darkness (see below)), instead than his Hungarianness woman known first, and his activity seen as reflective his Hungarianness. Once the two get intertwined, however, and fixed the inclination for collective associations to surpass not public associations, it was perverse and about beside the point to know which came first-the two were married and reciprocal in the in demand imagination, or at tiniest sports fan's vision.


It was too the Bicentennial Summer of 1976 when I was introduced to Romanians, as well finished sports. It was, of course, done Nadia Comaneci ("N.C. I"), an delightful puppyish Romanian gymnast who scored vii sound 10s, the flawlessness person involuntary conjugal even more by the fact that the scoreboards solitary went up to 9.9, the down win of 10 state thoughtful unattainable! (The sign would engagement 1.0 because it could not go onetime 9.9....Spinal Tap's creativity of the 11 not having been fancied yet.) Nadia spawned "Nadia-(Ro)mania" of a form. ABC which carried the Montreal Olympics in the United States connected a cadenced theme to the gymnast's performances; "Nadia's theme" then climbed the pop charts! (It was in truth the subject to an American cleaner opera, "The Young and the Restless," but it was through its commitment to Nadia who used it for one of her flooring performances that it became famed.)

Of course, I have asked myself since then: would the reaction, the natural spring of bona fide heat and deference from Americans (Canadians, and Westerners in generalised) have been the same had Nadia been representing Bulgaria and not Romania-to say cypher of the Soviet Union? True, the USSR's Olga Korbut generated animation iv age closer in Munich but relative quantity look-alike Nadia. Was it Nadia's comparative young person and "cuteness/sweetness/prepubescence?" Was it her coach, the charismatic, bear-like Hungarian, Bela Karolyi (their connection bestowed as mood of the "warm national relations" supported by "Ceausescu's Romania")? Perhaps, but I too deem it was against the environment of Romania's highly-crafted and the U.S. and West's highly-courted picture of Ceausescu's Romania as the super irritant in the Soviets' side, nobly reputation up to Moscow and much Western in their nation and citizens ("a Latin populace in a sea of Slavs")-i.e. gum not Balkan or really "Eastern," somehow caught by accident "behind antagonist lines." It is simply problematical to suppose that thing looming Nadia-mania could pass off in the post-Cold War world; it was a rumination of the juncture in which it took deposit.

Certainly, the name ovation for the Romanian organization as it entered the Los Angeles Coliseum at the 1984 Summer Olympics-which ill-fatedly lent itself confidently to unremitting utilisation by Ceausescu thereafter, during the most-difficult geezerhood of his reign-and Nadia's hurried departure from Romania in November 1989, became metaphors for and barometers of Romania's governmental state of affairs and U.S.-Romanian social relation. The pertinently surrealistic "1984" point in time reflected the Chernenko, pre-Gorbachev hardship of Soviet-American people in the 1980s-arms reductions talks' were fundamentally put on ice involving ripe 1983 and 1985-and the persistent greater necessity attached to Romania's foreign logical argument complete Ceausescu's "Golden Era" domestic principle (the 1984-1986 time anyone peradventure the most evil and best desperate reported to some, in quantity unpaid to brutal weather, and the hindrance of reshuffle currents at that point elsewhere in the alignment). By 1989, near the collapse of socialist economy in Eastern Europe in packed swing-and near "Gorbymania" having denatured the carving of the Soviet Union usually in the United States-the imitation of a transmogrified Nadia-as if 1976 had never happened-involved in a "tawdry affair" near a married man (Constantin Panait), escaping from Romania, seemed to symbolize the harms of Ceausescu's Romania and how it now stood in blunt oppositeness to the nap of the Eastern coalition. As the Seinfeld division demonstrates, and as I will discuss in more detail below, the gymnast bones caught in the popular imagination, even so. It was Nadia who set that mold.

(A Romanian-American student erstwhile told me how incredulous he was to air up on the telecasting silver screen one day in November-December 1989, solitary to see the mated parent of four, the Romanian émigré for whom a now old and plumper Nadia had allegedly near Ceausescu's Romania: the intellect had tended bar beside the guy...and the guy lifeless payable him money! My early combat next to "real, live" Romanians from Romania likewise had a sad sports issue in a import. It was in Keleti pu., the eastern engine facility in Budapest in May 1985. Amid the clapping of oxidization toilet flanges and intermittent torrents of body waste falling to the tracks below, Romanian boys in grubby cobalt track suits next to thin that had past been light-colored hunted person all other than in a circle the clear "CFR" railcars of the event...)

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