When the Hate Keeps Piling On

These pesky FIDESZ folks, they just can’t give up. I would really like to write about anything but the government, but every other party seems to have vanished off the face of the earth. I have to admit that Egyutt pops up now and again for yet another piece of performance art politics, but I think even they are tired of that shit by now.

FIDESZ is really no fun. They aren’t particularly imaginative and their brand of 19th century rural backwater conservatism is, frankly, tedious as fuck. For instance, there are still echoes of that masterful display of bigotry by Mr Orban I wrote about last time. Klara Ungar, the out lesbian leader of an irrelevant liberal party, as a response to the PM’s remarks, decided to make an attempt at gay-shaming some FIDESZ bigwigs. Don’t ask me what she was thinking, I do not know or understand. One of the “accused” was Mate Kocsis, the mayor of the VIII district, who gained national fame by spearheading the criminalisation of homelessness and who continued his streak of brilliance with his novel approach to tackling drug use, which can be summed up as “Let ’em all get AIDS”. His witty retort was “I am no faggot“, along with a suggestion that Pride should be moved to the parking lot of a wholesale market at the edge of the city. Another ignorant bully, Istvan Tarlos, jumped into the fray and declared that homosexuality is unnatural and he would also like to ban Pride, because its provocative nature does not fit the historical city centre.

I personally am very happy that these fine gentlemen, who no doubt spent countless hours studying zoology, psychology evolutionary biology, anthropology and gender studies and who most definitely aren’t living examples of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, feel such discomfort at the thought that the arc of the moral universe is bending far away from them, and that in their own lifetimes, they will see their whole hate-filled little world crumble into dust.

And it isn’t all over. Not content with casual homophobia, the government decided to go against another target: refugees. This would have been a perfect occasion to call for a revolution against the European Union, which seems to have decided that the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees does not exist and that one of the most prosperous financial entities in the known Universe simply cannot cope with a fraction of the number of refugees that nations like Lebanon or Pakistan are housing.

Well, it has to be said that it is a bit hard to cope with refugees if, as per the Dublin Agreement, the poorest nations in the Union should be the ones caring for the refugees while the rich, relatively unaffected core are content with whining against their legal obligations to assist people fleeing from hellish conflicts that are, at least partially fuelled by the aforementioned core nations.

I would have been the first person to congratulate Orban Viktor if he stood up and denounced the “only good brown person is the one floating face-down in the Mediterranean” policy, but unfortunately, that did not happen. Instead, the Government started a national consultation.

What is that, you ask? A national consultation is basically an unregulated referendum. The government prints out and mails a questionnaire, which they will evaluate. The best thing about it is that the only authority overseeing the process is the Government itself. If they want to use leading questions, they are free to do so. In fact, the questions were as leading as a badly trained seeing eye golden retriever that spotted an overturned food truck. The results aren’t monitored either, so the government can just declare whatever result they wish.

But it gets way better. Yesterday, an anonymous informant working in a copy shop sent a picture to Index, which was a propaganda poster ordered by the Government. It said, in Hungarian:

If you come to Hungary, you can’t take the jobs from Hungarians

At first, I was sceptical, but then the Government confirmed that yes, this is their work and are proud of it. There will be others as well: “If you come to Hungary, you have to respect our culture” and “If you come to Hungary, you have to respect our laws”. Of course, none of these are in Pashto, Arabic or Tigrinya, hence one can easily guess that the target audience might not be the refugees themselves. Or maybe the marketing company, which is no doubt owned by a friend or relative of a FIDESZ just can’t give two shits as long as the money is flowing.

The campaign is a bit weird in its obfuscating simplicity. It can’t be an effort to turn public opinion against migrants, because Hungarians already despise them. It can’t be aimed at the refugees because they can’t understand a word of it. Itis most probably a show of force, a demonstration of the government’s position, even if it should be pretty damn obvious by now.

And this is the shit I have to deal with. Reflecting on the opinions of gobshites and publicity campaigns on the intellectual level of South Park’s Skeeter:

This is below my level. This is below Hungary’s level. It is even below the level of them arthropods sifting through the muck of brackish puddles. My kingdom for a post-kindergarten political discourse.

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A Bad Case of ‘Foot in Mouth Syndrome’

I am not dead yet!

I haven’t been writing much, because I haven’t really found anything to write about. I have always taken comedy rather seriously, and I can’t make myself write when I would just be repeating myself. Things are happening, but nothing interesting. A corruption scandal here and there, by-elections, quibbles and other events of no consequence whatsoever. I went to a nurses’ protest a few days back and heard passionate speeches, made to a crowd that was way too small, with lots of shouts of “enough” and “we’re not gonna take it any more”, which sounded just as toothless as the Twisted Sister song. I left when one of the speakers demanded that people give the optional 1% tax donation to the healthcare workers. Now that is a revolution right there. I really hope they know it deep down that appealing for charity is not quite the right way to pressure a government.

Anyways, this is not what I wanted to talk about. Mr Orbán, the ever-more right wing Prime Minister just had a wonderful little public appearance in Debrecen, the second largest city in Hungary and the centre of the impoverished Eastern frontier. He went there for a little propaganda event, to sign an “agreement of cooperation” with the local mayor to develop the city by throwing gazillion Forints at projects that he hopes would keep the city’s voters on his side, at least until the government finally manages to produce a scandal about which Hungarians will finally give a flying fuck.

Debrecen, also hosts one of the main refugee camps in Hungary, and a particularly horrendous one, where thousands of desperate human beings linger for years without hope of legal recognition or treatment worthy of human beings. FIDESZ has been conducting a major hate speech campaign against refugees in migrants in general, in line with the general position of the European Union, which, in order to weasel out of obligations established in a number of UN conventions, decided that there are just way too many refugees and they should be either drowned or kept far away. This is a reasonable request, as a supernational entity,which is one of the biggest economies in the world, with about 500 million inhabitants, cannot be expected to cope with the current amount of asylum seekers. I mean, in 2014, less than half as many people sought asylum in this prosperous, first-world conglomerate as the there are Syrian refugees in Lebanon, an excessively fucked-up nation of 4,4 million people. THE HORROR!

Mr Orbán declared that he wants to close the camp down and send everyone home.  This merely goes against the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, Article 33(1), which prohibits the exact same action, but it’s not like he even gives a damn. I don’t think anyone should believe that he will actually do this blatantly illegal and immoral act, he just needs it to farm more “anti-EU freedom fight” sympathy among the unwashed masses that make up the Hungarian electorate. (Not that a healthy anti-EU freedom fight is a bad thing per se. But let us not kid ourselves, a team composed of the brightest minds of the Orbán government could not spell “exploitative relationship between the EU core and the periphery” if their lives depended on it)

The real gem came later, though, when an Index.hu reporter asked him about the International Day Against Homophobia. I will translate the exchange in full, so that you can savour every last bit of this proud example of bigoted small-mindedness.

-(index) As today is the International Day Against Homophobia, politicians worldwide, including conservatives declared: “Respect to the Gays” and the Government did not make a statement concerning this subject, therefore my question would be that as Prime Minister, what message would you have for the homophobes, and what actions will the Government take to ensure that in Hungary, non-heterosexual couples could hold hands publicly without fear

(wait for it, it is going to be epic)

– (Orbán, visibly annoyed) This is a question which makes one want to joke around, but I would spare us from anything of the sort. So… I would suggest that anyone, who makes public statements about this matter… to do this with reasonable care. Hungary is a serious country. It is fundamentally based on traditional values. Hungary is a tolerant nation. Tolerance does not mean that we would legislate slants of life different from our own as equal. We differentiate between them. Tolerance means patience, tolerance means an ability to coexist, this is the basis of the Hungarian Constitution, it clearly differentiates between a marital relationship between a man and a woman and other, different forms of cohabitation. We are going to keep this. By the way, I am grateful for the Hungarian community of homosexuals that they are not exhibiting the provocative behaviour against which numerous European nations are struggling, and which only results in the exact opposite outcome that they want to achieve. I believe that in Hungary, even though the Constitution clearly differentiates between marriage and other forms of cohabitation, the people with lifestyles different from our own outlook on life are safe, they are given the respect of basic human dignity that they deserve, and I believe that, if I am seeing the commuters of Budapest correctly, foreigners don’t feel that in this respect, Budapest would be a dangerous city. This means that this is good, this is how we can live together. If we steer this system towards any direction, even if we make more stringent regulations or the community of homosexuals start being more provocative, I think that the current peaceful, calm equilibrium will be no more. No-one would benefit from this. Everyone benefits from being able to coexist. I believe that as we are now, we can live together.

Crazy nastyass Orbán don’t care. The reason why I highlighted this astonishingly homophobic tirade, apart from it being a perfect cocktail which mixes the best forms of hate, othering, petite-bourgeois crudeness, ignorance and a sense of superiority, is the honesty. This topic does not come up in Hungarian political discourse too often, and therefore I am sure there was no prepared answer to give. Orbán gave us his opinion, which would have been laughed out of North Carolina, and that is pretty damn pathetic.

All I hope is that the “homosexual community” will break this horrible equilibrium and Orbán will see his precious dream of an oppressive and regressive Hungary crumble in front of his eyes and he will die a broken old man. I’d like to live long enough to savour that when they finally put him in the ground, I’ll stand on his grave and tramp the dirt down.

Now everyone go and watch Pride. It is a gorgeous, wonderful piece of cinema and a perfect palate-clenser after all this hate.