(to Alexandra with infinite gratitude 4 some phonetics lessons)
One of the most useless attitudes of the Romanian youth is a certain mean egoist sarcasm, that helps one to build his own perfect portrait by opposing this portrait to a list of some typical, embarrassing national behaviours. You pick some traditional shit, mock it, saying in subtext : I’m better.
I come from a land where you don’t have the right to shut up. After decades of forced silence (god how pathetic that sounds, but I think you got the details from other Plotki-Romanian articles) everyone needs to shout his opinion. Shit happens. Sometimes you just don’t feel like talking about it. Call it laziness, stupidity, boredom, Agoraphobia or just je-m’en-fiche-ism. Events simply pass by. And you feel good not having an opinion about them. Impossible. You must make a statement around here (hm, around everywhere I would say). About UE, Iraq, theatre in postmodernism, the Pope or females who show their underwear.
Illustration: Cristina Novac, Cluj
Believing is a must. No matter if you believe in something or not. Making your beliefs public is unavoidable. Easter. Wish2fly meets Strange1 on-line. “Hristos a inviat!” (Christ has come to life) – the prelude to every mIRC conversation these days. “Hristos a inviat” makes me instantaneously a young orthodox proud to confess loudly his belief in the resurrection of Christ. A simple “Hello” transforms me in “he-who-does not-believe”.
The Pope dies. A German cardinal takes his place. As a Germanist you must watch RTL, PRO7, SAT1, DW&co and prepare a statement. Simple, just like making a cocktail.
“Do you believe in God?”, you’re asked during a break between seminars by your teacher. So – everyone from the group, do not take a breath, do not think, do not look around, just MAKE A STATEMENT. Nobody asked you that, not even you. You recover from the shock and try to move your lips. “Oh yes, I can see that you don’t”, comes like an answering-machine-act the statement detected in your brain/soul and brought up to life by the inquirer himself. And the list goes on. “Did you know that the Pope had a great role during the communist regime? But did you know that, despite his liberalism, he was against abortion, the use of condoms and marriage between gay people?” “Well – o.k. but I think that the Romanian orthodox discourse is much harsher than the catholic. Our bishop shocked me with his aggressive declarations, who are punished by the civil law in every normal democratic country. He talks like the inquisitors in the Middle Ages.” O la la! You’ve just become a faithless lesbian.
Illustration: Cristina Novac, Cluj
I study a domain where almost everything is allowed. You get a text and your fantasy goes officially wild. It’s ok to boogie-woogie in the fictional world as long as you stay dogmatic in real life. This is an ironic statement, by the way. I mention this because one of my teachers told me that I have the tendency to be ironic without giving any clues.
Leaving the irony aside, I try to focus on the purpose of my article: the right to shut up in every day life without having a banner stuck on your face << the other side >> (About being silent at the right moment-as a matter of decency – maybe another time).
Make a statement
I do not to have any opinion about the Romanian journalists who were kidnapped in Iraq. I don’t feel like making statements about my beliefs in the cafeteria. I do not want to make statements that build beliefs behind them. I’ve just heard this vowel-theory. Some of them push the others and some of them pull those who stay behind. I want to have the right to push my statement up after/if I have a belief, and not to pull my belief ex nihilo to back up some forced statements.
On the other hand I would like that the connection between my statements and my beliefs stays as visible as possible (when I don’t feel like being phony of course?). If I defend the blondes-who-wear-pink-pointed-shoes it means that I plead for the basic human rights and not that pink is my favourite colour.
Live in silence
I want to have the right to own an immense void in the belief-corner of my mind, or to take a vacation from beliefs once in a while. Oh, dear but without beliefs we would become primates, oder? Or maybe I want to have a top5 of my deepest beliefs and I do not want to carry this list in my left sleeve.
They say that deep waters are silent. They also say that people with no beliefs are brainless. Someone should invent something in between – for the sake of silence. As for Romania, hm, a guy (O. Pecican), and we should believe him since he is a teacher and a rather good writer, said: “You won’t achieve here anything if you’re not shouting out loud”. Let’s all grow cactuses than.