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Scrisoarea Mysterious:


MOTTO: “(…) There are no more Roman heroes because there are no more individualists, because individuality has been lost, because man is alone, each man is equally alone, without the right to individual loneliness, and forms a lonely mass without name and without heroism. Things could stay like this and have their fairness.” (Gunter Grass [Nobel Prize in Literature – 1999] – “The Tin Drum”)

CONTRA-MOTTO“: I don’t quite remember these lines from “Blechtrommel”/”The Tin Drum,” my readings of Gunter Grass have long been left behind by my time, but the idea above was revived by the text (republished) by Sasha Ioana in Critic Arad [July 6, 2024] in a Memorial – Gunter Grass. But for me, I keep the suggestion of a substitution in Grass’s text quoted above: replace the idea of individuality & loneliness with that of Romanian voter (hero) unknown… you will understand, later, WHY!

The undersigned of this epistle

Dear unknown Romanian voter,

E7 July 2024, slightly past noon British time, the third English rainstorm is hitting outside, about a quarter of an hour of drizzle from the gentle dawns; as the saying goes, a parody-coșbucian – “It started [from dawn to fall] / Every [cloud], now it stopped, / The clouds took revenge / Towards <>, but huddled / [Kentish… dense!]”… I am eagerly awaiting the early hours of the night: I want to find out how the electoral chaos in neighboring France ended, just a stone’s throw away… across La Manche/English Channel. Thus, the four causes of my attempt to write to you would be assembled…

Bloody hell! Another disgusting rain shower, no lightning visible, but some distant thunder… For me, the first in this Kentish summer… After the “academic quarter,” the rain disappeared; it clears up! So, a break for beers and a cigarette! And… victory! It’s 7:00 PM, and the first white dove comes over the English Channel! Marine Le Pen and all her gang shit themselves! Long live almost normal France!

Now, I can proceed to what I set out to do!…

  • Dear and dear anonymous Romanian voter!,

“Who do I vote for?” … or… “In hoc signo vinces!” (?)… In the second quote, things seem clear: it’s not about a cross appearing in the sky on the eve of a decisive battle, from the end of Western Latin antiquity, marking the end of the “illegality” of Christianity; it’s simply about the ballot paper in the hands of the “suffragette” in front of the ballot box… But let’s not forget our sweet language: “to vote for Iorga” = “to gag at boots” = … “to vomit,” which is in good taste with the title of our column… The first quote, however, is with skepticism: what did Caragiale mean by “the tormented citizen”? It seems to be about a drunk person, not quite “sweet,” but well “tipsy” … In the days of the great Uncle Iancu, Frenchisms were very fashionable, and the term of Seine origin seemed clear! FALSE! Twice false! First, it means something with the storm – as a “weather” phenomenon; then (and more importantly!), this time in good taste with the epigones of the Transylvanian School, the word has in its “heart” the CORRECT term of “herd”! So, the citizen-member of the herd of citizens, as befits everyone! Almost every people or nation has and honors the grave of the unknown hero/soldier – a pious tribute paid, symbolically, to those who sacrificed themselves for the nation and the country. The idea originated in the U.K. and France, after World War I. On the other hand, a cenotaph is (according to DEX), a “funeral monument erected in memory of a deceased person whose bones are found elsewhere or have disappeared.” It would thus be a kind of symbolic grave. For example, here, in Britain, on Whitehall Street, in London, there is the Cenotaph memorial (inaugurated in 1920, then re-erected in 1946) in memory of those who fell in the two world wars but also the victims of the Commonwealth, sacrificed for the same cause. Well, in my mind, a strange symbiosis occurred: I associate the unknown voter with a cenotaph: the Romanian anonymous voter is a wandering symbol (on two or more “feet”) through which we commemorate those whose bones have been lost in the mists of time, namely those who voted, truly, IN KNOWLEDGE OF THE CAUSE (sic!). And, unfortunately, the latter are very rare or… none… This is the curse with democracy (especially with the representative one): the power of the people, that is to say, the power of the herd (see my interpretation of Caragiale) actually means the power of nobody! However, an exception: the power of the powerful (in the purest sense a la Nietzsche!): the idiot with connections and money! The one who “made it,” no matter how! That’s why the people do not “choose and lead,” but the mafia well camouflaged behind the herd… That’s why, perhaps a well-tempered anarchy is still better… I like to play with words like children with “marbles”… from beads (ha, ha, ha!)… That’s why, my dear anonymous voter (from everywhere) you are an unknown hero and deserve only a cenotaph! Just as we see at the roadside, in memory of those dead in road accidents…

  • Beloved unknown Romanian “anonymous” voter and… sucker!,

Last Saturday, i.e., on July 6, there was a memorable meeting on TV with Ana Blandiana (something with “Face to Face” or “In Your Face,” but also with Pândaru and Negruţiu, at DG-24 live). From a distance of over 2000 km, I listened to a voice that truly needs to be heard… The name of Ana Blandiana (Otilia-Valeria Coman, in the legal birth certificate – 1942) needs no further explanation. It is a NAME and… that’s enough! For me, a special mention: from Stela Doamna Rusan, I took/borrowed the leitmotif of the Cat Arpagic that I use with great delight when referring to (not saying who, you know!… important people…): Cat Arpagic and Ovarăşa Arpagica-Codoi… We find ourselves, especially in these “hot days” – as suits the Romanian – with our backs in two boats: between Bread and circuses and Bread and football! The first boat signifies the electoral hysteria that has gripped most of Europe, even the Yankees; the second boat directly sends us to the hell of general emulation related to the team of Romania at the UEFA-Final Tournament (2024)… I like football, and I have kept a close eye on the BBC and ITV glass, I almost didn’t miss a game but… I don’t understand something! How can you cheer – like a swindler who seems to have trapped the Almighty somehow between his legs (I’m referring to football! ) – when you get a warning slap from the Belgians (2-0, but actually, the real score…) and then a final spanking from the Dutch (a healthy 3-0…)? What’s the use of hitting the Ukrainians? – “Don’t hit the fallen one!” (says the Holy Scripture…), poor things, they couldn’t even train properly in their own country and barely “arrived” in the land of Goethe & Schiller… The manipulative “valve,” coming from “above,” from the “Victoria Palace” (what irony!) in Pândaru’s ‘Bula,’ worked flawlessly! But with what results! Bread and circuses and bread and football, I hope to address these specifically in one of the “letters” in the future…

Returning to the illustrious Ana Blandiana – take note, dear Romanian-voter-unknown! The voting has had two “astral moments” – December 1918 and also December 1989… The first was not missed, but the second, unfortunately… YES!… And that, due to the precarious culture and education, but especially “thanks to” the complete absence of “political culture” in the case of the Romanian people… However – let’s be objective! – we cannot forget, at least in the case of the fundamental sciences, the Romanian school has done its duty well, especially after the short relative “thaw” that followed the passage to the holy (pardon, Satanic!) deeds of comrade Dej… But after the ’80s-’90s… The Lord be with us!… The main cause – apud Mrs. Blandiana – is the endemic corruption, Romanian-style! As the lovable but too mythical confused man, Mircea Badea says: I SUBSCRIBE! So, dear anonymous Romanian voter! It would be time for you to receive an authentic monument of the unknown hero, not just a simple cenotaph! Not often in life do you get a second chance… And, rather than all these, so politically diverse (these are today’s “politicians”…), better HANG ON!…

  • My dear unknown voter and… naïve!

Let’s take an example from the calm and (apparently) icy Brits: Keir Starmer (a name to remember!) sent Rishi Sunak packing on Downing Street 10, not to say “down”…The Labour Party splashed brilliantly(!) in the UK parliamentary elections for the House of Commons! Those called Tory, (perhaps from the conservative ones? ha, ha, ha,..), got a kicking or fox fur! Let’s see what happens next… What is certain is that here, still able to say so, the Brits did not go frantic, neither during the election campaign nor with the actual elections! True, it was somewhat known (those sneaky polls!) how things would turn out, but still, no street fights, giving out plum brandy (pardon, gin or whisky), sugar, oil, etc., aggressive, tasteless displays (what kitsch…), doubtful manifestations with the kissing-cursing-kissing-cursing in the Independence Square, the whole shebang we are accustomed to from the Latin Europeans, especially us, the poor ones from Latin Ginta. Everything was calm, peaceful, NORMAL! Clashes were almost as infrequent as “lice on the brain” (a style of common, Geto-Dacian attitude!). Unfortunately, I missed the traditional brawls between the supporters of the English clubs (especially), where the Albion aboriginals seem to be experts! Nigel Farage – the right-wing populist leader, finally, after the 8th attempt, won a seat in the Commons. From him (the “British daddy” can also be traced back to the Brexit-clone… But let’s briefly, very briefly, see what the new British government intends to do: (i) pragmatism and humility in promises; but let’s not forget that in May of the current year, i.e., before elections, 55% of Britons regretted Brexit as a wrong choice, with only 31% saying it was OK; (ii) Keir Starmer – (b. 1962; leader of the Labour Party only since 2020), driven by a progressive realism (?), announces a reconnection with Europe, addressing climate change, more aggressive engagement (?) with the Global South (the area increasingly under the influence of Russia and China?); (iii) the uninterrupted continuation of the Tory cabinet’s policy previously in NATO and unconditional support for Ukraine: the UK reinstates itself in Europe’s elite seat and intensively prepares for the NATO Summit in Washington on July 9-10 of this year; (iv) in internal policy, the largest “clivages” that urgently need to be overcome appear: rising cost of living, undermining the famous British healthcare system (NHS… we have our NHS number from which we benefit, both I and my wife, as pensioners, incomparably better than in Romania), the immigration issue (especially of low-skilled personnel), the environmental issue… (v) for me, the most important thing is the relationship between the Brexit-ist U.K. and the EU: for now, the “return of the prodigal son” is not an issue, but the relations between Britain-Continent (as the Brits like to say) will change for the better. So, attention, anonymous Romanian voter! It would be appropriate to take as a good example the perfectly civilized manner of general elections conducted by a (still, state of!) European and developed state!

  • My darling aspiring monument of the unknown Romanian voter!

I remember the Spanish-Italian cinematographic comedy “What a Night, Guys!” (“Che notte, ragazzi!”) – 1966, the film by Georgio Capitani, where Philippe Leroy also played, announced now, as another recently deceased… As a fresh teenager, I enjoyed it, at the time. Now, the dead man, driven around by limousine all night long, seems to me to be Emmanuel Macron while the “millionaire’s widow” is, for me, none other than Marine Le Pen… Last night, relatively late, the “dead man” resurrected, and the “widow” remained in mourning, at least for another three years… So, what a night, ladies and gentlemen (guys)! Macron was said to have taken an enormous risk playing this thriller-like poker game and yet obtained… a “Pyrrhic victory”. What’s important is that he escaped, for now (!), the danger of the far-right. But the concessions he must make to the “left” (the New Popular Front) will likely be huge… The formation of a new Cabinet (after the resignation, already announced, of the current prime minister) will be a lengthy process (rumors say). Still, it’s essential that Macron will present himself at the NATO Summit in Washington as a “victor” (albeit under those conditions!), as well as an unwavering continuator of French policy towards Russia… recently, he must also reckon with China and even Hungary! These hallucinating new realities (I specifically refer to what Viktor Orban is doing!) will be the subject of another “letter”, focused on the previously mentioned Bread and circuses and bread and football… I don’t know yet who will be the recipient, but I have to let events “flow” especially as they threaten to become a real “torrent”. So, beloved anonymous Romanian voter (but possibly a hero, I hope with all my heart), it is time for us to part… After the joy of last night, comes the usual hangover on a Monday, of a week that promises to be turbulent… Let’s hope: we’ll see how it goes!

Until then, future and desired anonymous hero, I kiss you in the most electoral way possible!

Alexandru – V. MUREŞAN

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