Sunday, February 04, 2007
Screaming in the Streets... Redux
Sorry for the slow posting... it takes a while to acclimatize my mind to the daily absurdities of life back in Hungary. Apparently Hungary's fractured and fractious right wing is at it again. The wingnuts have decided to stir the political pot again this March, and started early with some demonstrations at the Hungarian parliament this week. (Images from Index.hu)The cause this week is the cordon fence erected around the Parliament at Kossuth square after last October's messy and violent anti-government demonstrations. Apparently, Pretender to the Throne of Hungary and former prime minister Viktor Orban - faced with splits in his own FIDESZ party and the possible rise of rival right wing political parties - decided to take the cordon fence down himself. Here we go for our weekly right wing populist putsch attempt!Of course, removing police barriers isn't exactly legal, even for ex-law students turned politicos, so once again we have the beginnings of a great Hungarian Tempest-in-a-Teapot to watch for the next few weeks. Already, walls around Budapest have been spray-painted with the slogan "MUK" which stands for "We'll Start Again in March." This was a slogan used in the winter of 1957 after the 1956 Hungarian revolution. Recycling old slogans is very big here. The FIDESZ TV news channel, Hir TV referred to the incident as the "removal of the Iron Curtain."And here we have the néni brigade, the angry aunties, complete with the Arpad-striped flag. It's not just a gaggle of irritating old women screaming at you, it's a gaggle of irritating old women holding flags that hark back to Hungary's Arrow Cross Party, the gang of hoodlums that Adolf Eichmann appointed to exterminate Hungary's Jews even as the Soviet Army was rolling across the Puszta in 1945. The Arpad flag is just one of the more hateful symbols used by the Hungarian right. Above are the... "Goy Motorcyclists"... a motorcycle club that uses their rather expensive touring bikes at right wing rallies to make noise, slow traffic, and intimidate the police. They are called the Goy Motor Club so that nobody will get any idea in their head that they are... well, as they say, "not Hungarian." In Hungary, behind every Right Wing slogan lies an antisemitic sentiment. Well, at least we can all agree on one thing... eat more kolbasz!