esmaspäev, oktoober 23, 2006

The Honeymoon is Over

Remember September? Toomas Hendrik Ilves was elected president. Tõnis Mägi sang and it sounded good, even to American ears. News was so slow in Helsinki that they had to run Toomas' face on the cover of the Helsingi Sanomat. And the media - which was totally biased in his favor, no argument there - showered us with photos of Estonia's comparatively young president in his smart bow-tie and its attractive first lady who is, ohmygod, only 38 years old! Yeah, I remember that too. Being familiar with the Estonian media, I had a hunch they'd eat the Ilveses sooner or later for lunch, and this week the gloves, so to speak, came off.

The casus belli began with the arrival of Her Majesty, Elizabeth II, Queen of England and Vacationer of Scotland. The Queen's arrival was symbolic of the fact that Estonia has become Ilvesland, just a "boring, Nordic country" where people pay for parking with their mobile phones, listen to their electronic music in peace, and the Queen occasionally shows up.

However, it was the first lady's choice in wardrobe that got both Postimees and SL Õhtuleht to run two pieces where fashion designer Kai Saar declared Evelin's choice in clothing to be a catastrophe.

Õhtuleht has a blow-by-blow account of Evelin's fashion faux-pas, including the picture of her winter glove [seen above] with the following caption:

TALV TULI OOTAMATULT: Evelini kortsus kindad ja nendega toonilt röökivas harmoonias fuck-me tikk-kontsad.


Yeah, they said that Evelin's gloves were too wrinkled. And they didn't match her 'fuck me' boots. The article went onto generate 460 comments. Word battles also erupted over her figure. It grew so personal, one had to wonder if they were just setting the agenda for about a month's worth of discussion in a Women's Studies course.

President Ilves didn't get off without his own small dose of public scrutiny. In his case, he committed the most grievous error. He stuck his hands in his pockets again.

But that's all ok and there's no reason to be ashamed of Estonia's head of state. Everyone knows that it's nearly impossible to top the outlandish outfits Her Majesty has worn over the years. And the British press has similarly shown her no mercy. The only difference is that the Brits didn't elect her. They're stuck with her just because the House of Hanover replaced the House of Stuarts back in 1714. Their head of state is hereditary. The next British head of state will be Charles. His duchess will be Camilla. In other words, there's no reason to get too upset over some wrinkled gloves and fuck-me boots.

12 kommentaari:

Jens-Olaf ütles ...
Blogi administraator eemaldas selle kommentaari.
Jens-Olaf ütles ...

Elected presidents or head of states by birth. I prefer the first one. We had an anniversery of the Westphalia Peace Treaty of 1648 in Osnabrück 1998 and 20 european presidents, kings and queens came! In the meantime the public was looking for the monarchs on that day. And it was a shame that the residents and journalists of our city did not realise that Lennart Meri was the only one who stayed over night in the city. Otherwise they would get crazy about every state visit here. But you could see the difference. Our newspaper even did not mention that Meri once translated Remarque, an author who is born in Osnabrück and the centre of resarch about his literature is to be found, in this city. All people were focused on these monarchic stuff. I don't need that.

12:45 AM

Swede ütles ...

Yet, you like mocking the Finnish president because she's not a beauty queen...

Giustino ütles ...

Yet, you like mocking the Finnish president because she's not a beauty queen...

I have never mocked Tarja.

Swede ütles ...

umm...
may I ask, have you visited on which Nordic countries? And which ones?
Not trying to be a smart ass of any kind, but asking only because I'm curious to know little bit of your background to understand on what basis you build your arguments in general.

I must admit that it bothered me a bit when you claimed that Estonia seems to be an island once they look at uncivilized Finland. So you think that Finland is barbarian compared to Estonia. Nothing wrong with that. They prefer drinking heavily, like any proper Nordic people would do. Nordic also prefer quantitative to qualitative when it comes to everyday goods (incl. alcohol) and especially if it's really cheap.

But you don't see Finns having hard time when Norwegians come to Lapland for cheap beer. It's normal and acceptable. Estonians hate Finns for the very same reason. See, there's something where Estonians don't really fit with the rest of the Nordics, "the barbarian behavior". I'm not saying that I admire Finns who travel to Sweden for cheap alcohol (or Swedes who travel to Finland for the same reason), but I accept it.

Anonüümne ütles ...

"they *do* look like cousins"

that *could* be offensive.

Purc ütles ...

Estonians hate Finns for buying cheap beer from Estonia?

Thats ridiculous, I mean sure there are plenty of anecdotes about drunk Finns in Estonia (most of them probably true), but to hate them? Most people feel quite sympathetic to the Finns due to the Finno-Ugric language and culture. For example nobody has ever taught me a word of Finnish, but I'm pretty good at it, just picked it up from Finnish television channels when i was like five. It was actually a unique situation in Estonia during the Soviet occupation, we had a channel to the democratic world through Finnish television programms, it was a privilege that influenced us a lot.

Giustino ütles ...

umm...
may I ask, have you visited on which Nordic countries? And which ones?
Not trying to be a smart ass of any kind, but asking only because I'm curious to know little bit of your background to understand on what basis you build your arguments in general.


I visited Iceland in March 2000, and lived in Denmark from August to December 2001. I have visited Norway twice, Sweden - I am not sure how many times I have visited. I spent a month in Finland in August 2002, and have traveled all over there - from Seinajoki to Inari.

I must admit that it bothered me a bit when you claimed that Estonia seems to be an island once they look at uncivilized Finland. So you think that Finland is barbarian compared to Estonia.

I never said that. I said that Finland was "civilization" and that Estonia seemed like an island to me because to the south seemed a heavier central European culture and to the east was the very heavy Russian orthodox culture. Estonia has a more relaxed northern culture. Its capital city, Tallinn, is mostly quiet, even during the peak of business hours.

Nothing wrong with that. They prefer drinking heavily, like any proper Nordic people would do. Nordic also prefer quantitative to qualitative when it comes to everyday goods (incl. alcohol) and especially if it's really cheap.

Yes, I know. I have had many Gin Long Drinks - on both sides of the Gulf.

But you don't see Finns having hard time when Norwegians come to Lapland for cheap beer. It's normal and acceptable. Estonians hate Finns for the very same reason.

I don't think Estonians hate Finns. No Estonian has ever said such a thing to me. What they don't like is drunk Finns pissing and vomiting all over their city. And I think the Danes felt the same way about the booze crusing Swedes in Copenhagen who took the train over to get wasted, piss on the wall of their apartment building, throw up in the street, and pass out on the train home. Nobody likes it when somebody comes to their town and pukes on it. I am sure the Mexicans felt the same way about the American tourists in Cancun.

See, there's something where Estonians don't really fit with the rest of the Nordics, "the barbarian behavior". I'm not saying that I admire Finns who travel to Sweden for cheap alcohol (or Swedes who travel to Finland for the same reason), but I accept it.

Estonians are a little tight in some regards.

Giustino ütles ...

"they *do* look like cousins"

that *could* be offensive.


Brothers and sisters often resemble one another. I once went into a bar looking for my friend. I saw a girl sitting at the bar and she looked at me and something struck me as quite weird.

It was like I knew this girl, though I had never met her in my life. There was something in her eyes. She looked so familiar. And then, when my friend came in he introduced me to the mystery girl - it was his sister.

That explained it.

Aaro ütles ...

Thank goodness the Brits haven't made it up north yet ;)


(stereotypes my ass, i know..)

plasma-jack ütles ...

It was actually a unique situation in Estonia during the Soviet occupation, we had a channel to the democratic world through Finnish television programms, it was a privilege that influenced us a lot.

Funnily enough, when the Estonian Television was established, Soviet officials hoped that it will help to convert Finnish bourgeois, to convince them the quality of the Soviet lifestyle.

Don't know if it worked:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R78Z4dmUrEU

Ziomal ütles ...

Very nice! I like it. make puzzles