The snobbery behind the outrage

Argh!!!!!! Poor people!!!!!!

We thought it a bit strange that some Romanians might object to a television series that portrayed Romanians as, erm, hard working, entrepreneurial and prepared to make great sacrifices in order to carve out a better life for themselves.

It is now increasingly obvious that the real problem some Romanians have with the Channel 4 series The Romanians are Coming is not that the programme portrays hard-working Romanians, but that it portrays the wrong hard-working Romanians.

Episode one, after all, featured three members of what the offendotrons would no doubt describe as ‘the lower orders’. Imagine that! Imagine British viewers discovering that Romania has working class people.

It appears that what the professionally offended snobs think Channel 4 should be concentrating on are not, in fact, the genuinely heart-warming stories of people leaving often dire poverty to take any job they can get so as to offer their families a better life, but instead the equally heart-warming stories of wealthy Romanian lawyers, brokers and bankers being headhunted by City of London firms.

After all, who wouldn’t shed a tear at the sight of a top PR executive being forced to leave her Corbeanca villa for an Isle of Dogs penthouse with river views? It would make for highly emotional television.

Take a look at this rather revealing Facebook post by a student at posh Goldsmiths: ‘We will present some of our Romanian professionals, artists and students working and living in London.’ Poor people clearly need not apply.

We also hear that instructions for those wishing to attend yesterday’s half-arsed protest outside Channel 4’s offices specifically requested that they dress ‘business-like.’ No, we are not making this up.

In fact, it actually reminded us of when we attended a protest against the introduction of student tuition fees back in 1996, organised outside parliament by the Socialist Workers Party*. We turned up straight from a bout of post-lecture shopping and got some funny looks as we stood there chanting anti-student poverty slogans while holding a large Benetton bag full of new, colourful clothes. It was at that moment we realised that we were probably not really cut out for front-line left-wing politics.

Anyway, this whole palaver has at least confirmed one thing: Romania’s middle class has evolved enough over these past 25 years that it can now stick its head as far up its own arse as the middle class in any other country.

That’s progress of sorts, but please: the next time anyone shouts ‘discrimination’ at a television station, they should check their own prejudices first.

*No, we were never members. Trotskyist bourgeois-social fascist splitters.

19 thoughts on “The snobbery behind the outrage

  1. I think that what got up a lot of Romanians noses is that they (Channel 4) only wanted to show the shitty parts of Romania. Not a balanced view now was it Craig eh? (NB, I personally think it was all staged and filmed in Albania, and everyone was an actor playing the part of Romanians?….besides, I’m sure that I have heard those iffy comedy accents before, but where?…..Ah got it, that movie Borat!!!)

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    1. Same actors as in Paris last week probably πŸ™‚

      The programme was not perfect, and I have not said it was. Episode one had too many tabloid elements of which the title itself was not the least of them. But if they want to show the reasons why people would leave Romania to live in a car park, it’s fair to say that Bulevardul Primaverii isn’t going to feature.

      Also, remember that there are two more episodes: if people are going to be judgemental – as is their right – they could at least wait until they have seen them all…

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      1. I remember about 10 years ago or more Channel 4 got done for faking most of their documentries. This is no different. All staged son to cause maximum outrage. I can’t believe people are falling for it.

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    2. … whatever’s wrong with Albania? Got a problem with it? Ever been? They’ll be delighted to hear about another foreigner who thinks it”s ‘shitty’. Beautiful country, rich history, wonderful hospitable people, and the economy is finally improving in big leaps after decades of political incompetence. Hey, that reminds me a lot of another Balkan country that struggled to get ahead after the terrible 1980s… oh yes, Romania.

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      1. The Balkans start at the gates of Vienna. πŸ™‚

        I remember having dinner in a rather good fish restaurant in Durres a few years ago with an Albanian colleague who was describing the country during the 1970s and 80s. He said that “there wasn’t much choice when it came to food, but there was plenty of what there was and we ate quite well. We certainly weren’t queuing up all day, it wasn’t like Romania.”

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      2. Did I say I’ve got a problem with Albania? Lots of directors like to shoot a movie in such and such a country but pass it off as being another country altogether. All countries have their grotty parts, there is no denying that. Borat was filmed in Romania where the director carefully selected (in his opinion, not mine!) the shittest locations and passed it off as being none other than Kazakhstan. There is no way Channel 4 tipped up in Romania asking to do a shoot in ”your grottiest town coz we wanna make mugs out of you in front of the gullible Brits”. They would have been run out of town just like a Daily Mail reporter was two years ago. So no doubt they (Channel 4) would have gone to some place like ‘maybe’ Albania and asked the local mayor for permission and assistance to do a hatchet job on Romania.

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  2. I used to be very shocked by Romanian snobbery but now i see it is not snobbery so much as a belief in social hierarchy – something that the 1960s social revolution got rid of in our country. The longer I am here the more wisdom I find in many Romanian ideas.

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  3. Offendotrons? I had to laugh. You are so right about those protesting Channel 4. Like @Ken Huegel says, some people are indeed ever ready to be offended.

    However, you are such an offendotron yourself, Mr Turp. You mean some lefties looked funny at you and you took your ball (sorry, meant to say Benetton bag) and went home?

    Pot, meet kettle.

    However,this Benetton bags β€œincident” does offer some insight into your incessant mocking of liberals (and perceived liberals) while totally giving a pass to conservatives (and perceived conservatives).

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