Corina Chiriac was a sort of Romanian Lady Gaga of the '80s, I guess - the entire preteen jailbait Britni bit was mostly Mihaela Radulescu, although obviously the mapping's approximative at best. Here's what she had to say, three years before the Communist dictator got shot for Christmasi :
As dori in numele tuturor colegilor mei sa va multumesc is mai ales sa va ofer citeva dintre multele melodii pe care as fi dorit sa vi le cint in aceasta seara, si pe care le meritati deoarece dumneavoastra le-ati ales din nenumaratele melodii pe care le-am cintat cu totii de-a lungul anilor, in cadrul festivalurilor, a slagarelor in devenire, a melodiilor, a tuturor spectacolelor si concertelor. Asa incit cu permisiunea dumneavoastra am ales doar o mica parte dintre aceste cintece - si am ales citeva dintre cintecele pe care cred ca in aceasta seara le cint pentru ultima oara - pentru citiva ani de-acum inainte, deoarece le cint deja de doi, trei, patru ani si cred ca dumneavoastra le-ati auzit deja destul dar sper ca le veti mai re-asculta inca o data cu aceeasi placere cu care vi le voi oferi eu.
In English, annotated :
I would like to thank you, in the name of all my colleaguesii and especiallyiii offer you a few of the many songs which I would have wanted to sing for you tonight, which you deserveiv because you've picked them out of the numerous songs that we've all sungv over the years, in the cadre ofvi festivals, of up and coming hits, of the songs, of all the shows and concerts. So with your permission I chose only a small part of these songs - and I chose some of the songs that I believe I will be singing tonight for the last time - for years to come, becausevii I've been singing them for two, three, four years and I think you've heard them enough but I hope you will re-listen once more with the same pleasure with which I will offer them to you.
Turns out - the more stupid changes, the more stupid stays the same.———
- By the way, I had a very interesting conversation with a Peruan cab driver. He figured I'm not Argentine, wanted to know where I'm from, then wanted to know what's it like in Romania. He was a reasonably informed, inquisitive adult, had moved to Buenos Aires from Lima 35 years prior (and we shared a chuckle about the locally perceived "inseguridad". The conversation flew more or less as follows :
"So there was Ceausescu in Romania, if I remember"
"And he was shot ?"
"Yep. On Christmas Eve."
"How come ?"
"Well, you see, Ceausescu was very much like a Romanian Peron - sorta populist, sorta leftist, sorta nationalist in an approximate concoction. The Romanians couldn't stand this and so they shot him."
Clearly the notion that being Peron-like is not only not good, but actually and outright bad, and not merely bad but bad to the degree you [ought to] get shot for it is shocking to the man, but he doesn't let on. He instead pursues his line.
"But they killed also his wife ?"
"How come ?"
"Well, you see, his wife was a lot like Evita. Very involved in politics - according to some even more involved than her husband. So they offed her too."
"But the children ?"
"Oh, not the children."
"But how old were they ? Because of course if they were small..."
"Nah, they were all adults. Thirties, forties."
"And Romania had capital punishment ?
"It did in the Communist era. It was taken out of the code, but people waited specifically to kill Ceausescu first."
"So what is the political situation like now ?"
"Well, there's some strong right parties, and some not as strong left parties. Of course what counts as left in Romania people in general would consider right nevertheless. In any case one can expect a beating in the street for purporting to be a communist or something. [This is actually true, I passed by some twerp here trying to give out flyers of some local thing identifying as a communist party and my principal impulse was to ask him how is he not ashamed of himself. Because yes, he should be.]
"So like in France."
"And how has the situation evolved, economically ?"
"Drastically. Romania increased a degree of magnitude, broadly speaking. It was definitely poorer than Argentina in the 80s [Hence a major influx of beggars in the 90s], it is amply richer today."
"Yeah, things here haven't really improved any in the past 20-30 years. Certainly Argentina was better before Peron than it is after. [See the discussion of Rhodesia to grasp what this actually means.]" [↩]
- This particular communist-ism is still fashionable today. [↩]
- "Mai ales" is a very typical Romanian 80ism, and wooden language pivot. [↩]
- The "which you deserve" thing is surprisingly contemporary. One of the most annoying slogans of the 90s advertising world was "Because you deserve it". Meanwhile in Argentina, some schmuck actually came up with the bizarre idea of making "Yes we can live better" his campaign slogan. Live better! Fancy that, these people are already living a degree of magnitude above their means, hallucinating 100's of k's real estate values and assorted pretense, in a world where they couldn't make fiddy bucks a month no matter what they did. They want to live... even better. Not in the cards. [↩]
- Again the sort of effacing bullshit. She didn't sing them, "we" sung them. Apparently we shot that idiot so the US could pick up his era or some shit. Nuts. [↩]
- Not my fault. Wooden language is woody. [↩]
- She was preparing to defect. Actually did it coupla years later. [↩]