neljapäev, jaanuar 10, 2008

the estonians are not the french

First French President Nicolas Sarkozy is estranged from his wife, Cecilia. Then they reconcile while he campaigns against Ségolène Royal. Then they divorce after he wins. The next thing you know he's holding Carla Bruni's hand at Euro Disneyland. And nobody bats an eye. Why? They're French.

Watching the French president woo his actress/songstress/Euro Disneyess has made me insanely jealous for something similarly exciting to transpire in Eesti land. Unfortunately Estonia, with its wholesome culture of family values, Uncle Milty, sinine must valge, and Vanilla Ninja is not France.

I tried to imagine a high profile politician plotting such a move. What would happen if Andrus Ansip left Anu Ansip for Anu Saagim? Or if Mart Laar ditched his family for someone younger and more artistic, like Kerli Kõiv? Maybe we should expect to see Jüri Pihl holding hands in a tender moment at the Kumu art museum with Blacky sometime soon?

But that's not to be and, I must admit, when I even think of an Estonian soap opera involving politicians and celebrities, it sort of makes me want to barf. Despite their stinky cigarettes, cheeses, and snails, French people can get away with that kind of thing. Estonians, with their sprats, hapukoor, and more hapukoor cannot.

French people are sexy. Estonian people are (mostly) cleanly. There is a difference.

52 kommentaari:

Tiia ütles ...

No doubt about it, Sarko is a smoooth operatin' mother#¤!"&%. But how about Savisaar and his honeys? Is that not let-me-spead-hapukoor-all-over-you SEXY??? :D

Bernard ütles ...

http://www.postimees.ee/050105/esileht/siseuudised/154176.php

There are unfortunately more examples of high profile cheatin', though not so many with such tragic results.

Giustino ütles ...

But how about Savisaar and his honeys? Is that not let-me-spead-hapukoor-all-over-you SEXY??? :D

Sexy, of the nauseating variety.

Puu ütles ...

High profile cheating asied.
hey i am super happy to see a post like this.
If anyting thing is going to keep estonia going its culture even if it is pop culture slock.
I seriously think rock and roll could save estonia, if they could get one big band that is an international phenonmenon and somehow not managed by large coorporations or the KGB it would be v cool. Like an Estonian version of righteous babe records or the beatles... vanilla ninja doesn't seem to have the long term vision. There needs to be an estonian bjork, estonian lauren hill. Estonia needs to take the singing revolution to the international level... song of democracy, multi party elections and 25 percent flat tax and women doing what they want and not being whores for british bachelors.

Colm ütles ...

Oh la la! Great observation. There's no two ways about it. French men are waaay sleezy. Estonians, is it Luteranism that makes them so straight?

plasma-jack ütles ...

roflmao (almost literally)

space_maze ütles ...

Estonians, is it Luteranism that makes them so straight?

Not even on paper is calling Estonians Lutheran particular accurate. 76% of the population of Estonia has no religion, whatsoever.

Blogaddict ütles ...

I want to barf when I imagine how on earth Ilves mastered to display enough charisma that it took to convince Evelyn to drop her knickers for him. Whatever hickup in the order of natural law might have happened there it kinda tells me that it does not take much with these Estonian girls. All you need is one well placed bow-tie, a comb-over and a convincing monotone delivery on your intentions to commence an act of copulation.

Andres ütles ...

Also, don't forget Juhan Parts and his young hot girl-friend.

Jüri Pihl and Blacky would be the perfect couple though, wouldn't they :D

gaborien ütles ...

ok, what about Ene Ergma and Tanel Padar. Perfect couple, huh? :D

Anonymous ütles ...

More counterexamples:

Einseln and his pretty young leftenant come to mind.

Speaking of Ilves (blogaddict insulting the head of state is still illegal, your IP address has been logged) what happened there -- he was married and then he "married his long term partner"?

I know that being Ilves and his new wife probably waited, but still, there must have been a deep emotional connection for years.

v. ütles ...

Ain't Jüri Pihl living together with a young prosecutor about the age of his daughter from his first marriage? That's not quite Blacky, but still...:-)

Anonymous ütles ...

the unlikely couple of Arnold Meri and the girl of the week

plasma-jack ütles ...

Arnold Meri & Evelyn Sepp

Giustino ütles ...

Let's stick to talking about the French. All this talk of Estonian couplings makes me feel a bit sea sick.

Anonymous ütles ...

How about Sarkozy's throat abscess? Secrecy about medical conditions -- that is very French, but it's also very Estonian. The Estonians take it a little further -- if someone dies, they still don't say what he had.

Blogaddict ütles ...

Oh, what is my IP address?

I thought one cannot insult Putin, Estonia having this like democracy thing going on and shit, you know. But, hey whadda I know, you live there you tell me. So thanks for letting me know. I might have gotten into trouble or something.

Wheeeh. That was probably close. Damn.

Yea, lets stick with Sarko. The propblem is ... sacrebleu ...
there's absolutely nothing I can say even that would be even remotely insulting about the guy who is good looking himself and who just upgraded his wife to a new and vastly improved version. All I could do is to praise him, but that is not my style. I try to always look at the dark side of life.

Cest la vie!

Giustino ütles ...

I thought one cannot insult Putin, Estonia having this like democracy thing going on and shit, you know. But, hey whadda I know, you live there you tell me. So thanks for letting me know. I might have gotten into trouble or something.

Just remember that your comments represent what you think and only what you think.

But as per your point, say what you will of his bow tie, Estonia's president is an intelligent man, and brains are definitely a factor when wimmin select their mates.

Us guys are in general a little too similar to gorillas for comfort. We need to woo women with words rather than physique.

Vincent ütles ...

In your comparaison, Anu Saagim is far from the best pick, you cannot compare her to Carla Bruni. I don't know, take Carmen Kass or someone like that.

Now on a more serious note, French are actually getting tired of seeing all his personal life so much. They don't care what he does, but it's also not necessary,

Lots of debates in France anyway on that currently.

Giustino ütles ...

Now on a more serious note, French are actually getting tired of seeing all his personal life so much. They don't care what he does, but it's also not necessary,

Lots of debates in France anyway on that currently.


Why did they go to Euro Disney? Doesn't that strike anyone as a bit ... lame? It's like going on a romantic date to Aura Keskus.

Max ütles ...

gaborien said...
ok, what about Ene Ergma and Tanel Padar. Perfect couple, huh? :D


Ene Ergma and Egger Savikauss, eh?

Juhan ütles ...

Why did they go to Euro Disney? Doesn't that strike anyone as a bit ... lame?
Maybe because Sarkozy is a bit lame, singing praise to Putin etc.

About Ilves family, for me Evelin doesn't seem the nicest person around and to be honest, I don't understand why an intelligent man as TH hook up with her.

Giustino ütles ...

Does anyone in Estonia actually like anyone else in Estonia? Just curious. Or are relationships measured in degrees of mistrust?

Blogaddict ütles ...

A degree of mistrust and not liking each other ... hmm. I think you are on the right path of understanding the coutnry you have chosen to live in. good observation. For one thing, and I do try to remember that these are just my thoughts (Note to self: insert a copy right and trade mark protection clause here) - we estonians are born with this allergic reaction towards each other. Now, we all want to argue, that hey, blogaddict, you moron, this is bullshit etc. But, then I would just humbly point out that IF that was not true, there would simply be many more of us Estonians. Or at least this iibeprobleem would not be such a big probleem.

But seriously let's try to answer that question. Hey, after all this is precicely the question that prevents me packing my things and moving back to Estonia like ... come Monday. And so for a long-long time already.

I think that the short of it is that a lot of really bad shit has gone down in Estonia in the 20th century. People are still hurting. And people who are hurting, well, they are not exactly inclined to be fond of each other despite the saying that misery likes company.

Andres ütles ...

Well, the rivarly complex probably is good for something. It keeps us developing and ready to react. Also you could never ever get away with an authoritarian regime in modern-day Estonia. People just could not agree on who should become the leader. Maybe only in a war situation when the self-preservation instinct switches on.

Puu ütles ...

I think that people in estonia have passed through several stages of liking each other, first it was liking each other because each other was better than the teutonic knight than because it was better than bolshevik russia ( I'm abreviating here) and then better than either the terrible west or the soviets depending on what side you fell on. But lately people have gotten soo materialistic, which is confused with being american and democratic that who knows. How much you like someone is often measured by how much you dislike someon they also dislike.

Kristopher ütles ...

Of course they like each other. Haven't you heard "kui lööb, siis armastab" -- and what's an Estonian's favourite food? Not räim.

Puu is right -- materialism is most responsible for a certain lack of warmth That and a lower baseline standard of living.

You take the Americans, deposit them on these here limestone plains, deprive them of light for four months a year and their too-large homes and I'd be very interested in whether they could maintain their "it's all good" veneer of friendliness.

Trek ütles ...

Does anyone in Estonia actually like anyone else in Estonia? Just curious. Or are relationships measured in degrees of mistrust?

I think Estonian relationships (as observed living in Tallinn anyway) can be summed up with one of Kierkegaard's observations: “At the bottom of enmity between strangers lies indifference.”

Max ütles ...

Kris is right: a hard land and hard history make for hard and occasionally abrasive people.

Although the original is better (always!), WK Matthews' translation very nearly does justice to Bernard Kangro's 'My Face':

My Face

I have lain here many millions
Of days like crumbling stone,
But I am still endlessly conscious
As if I were sinew and stone.

The meadow, the pasture, the village,
The old windy birch by the garth --
These are I, and my thoughts have been burning
As a tenuous flame on the hearth.

My breast has been open to hailstorms,
My cheeks to the beating rain.
Full rivers of turbulent water
Have deluged my lungs with pain.

The lightning has ravaged my forests,
Drought crippled my native place,
And a hundred thousand chariots
Of war have furrowed my face.

And I have outlived these and linger;
My breath and the norther are kind;
My thoughts are the northern flowers
That laugh from the arid whin.

-- Bernard Kangro

Max ütles ...

Are Scots so very different from Estos? I am reminded of the Poem "The Difficult Land" by Edwin Muir (from the collection "One Foot in Eden"). It starts:

"This is a difficult land. Here things miscarry
Whether we care or do not care enough..."

...and goes on to evoke large and small problems of life, then continuing...

"These things we know and by good luck or guidance
Either frustrate, or, if we must, endure.
We are a people; race and speech support us,
Ancestral rite and custom, roof and tree,
Our songs that tell of our triumphs and disasters
(fleeting alike) continuance of fold and hearth,
Our names and callings, work and rest and sleep,
And something that defeated still endures -
These things sustain us..."

He goes on to say that sometimes all this effort just seems too much, and the temptation is to drop the tools and move on, but...

"We have such hours, but are drawn back again
By faces of goodness, faithful masks of sorrow,
Honesty, kindness, courage , fidelity,
The love that lasts a life's time. And the fields,
Homestead and stall and barn, springtime and autumn
(for we can love even the wandering seasons
In their inhuman circuit.) And the dead
Who lodge in us so strangely unremembered,
Yet in their place. For how can we reject
The long last look on the ever-dying face
Turned back from the other side of time?
and how offend the dead and shame the living
By these despairs? And how refrain from love?
This is a difficult country, and our home."

Kristopher ütles ...

On a similar theme as Kangro, Paul-Eerik Rummo says this:

"We huddle as one together,
like a swarm flushed from its hive,
we huddle as one together,
to pass through this rolling sea"

Translation courtesy of your current Estonian president (blogaddict take note).

Blogaddict ütles ...

kristopher, don't get me wrong ... I like Ilves enough. It's just I wish the man was bestowed with more natural charisma. I cannot just believe, that somebody can be so stiff. Sometimes it looks like this is an act. Nobody can be so unemotional. Apparently it is possible.

Max ütles ...

The Lynx has a sharp, ironic wit which is readily displayed in interviews and rarely fails to charm foreign interviewers. Now, if you want real charisma, we'll have to trot out Arnold R for an encore. ;-))

Max ütles ...

"An Estonian has low collective emotionality, and thus he does not want or indeed is not able to either take in or let out the collective energy of his emotions. He realises how it shatters his interior and destroys his personal balance. An Estonian is not interested in the intensity of an emotion, but rather its quality. One of the features of the quality of an emotion is its personality."
-Jaan Undusk

Giustino ütles ...

Now, if you want real charisma, we'll have to trot out Arnold R for an encore. ;-))

You mean the silver fox? But who should follow Ilves in 2016?

Andres ütles ...

But who should follow Ilves in 2016?
Your already so sure he will do a second term?

Blogaddict ütles ...

Did you hear Lynx's New Year speech when he said "Elagu Eesti"?

The intonation he used, I can do the best impersonation of that, too bad I cannot recreate the effect here on the web, but trust me, it kills me to think that he pulled it off without bursting into laughter himself.

Smart wit? I don't know, I don't know. I need some proof.

Kristopher ütles ...

It seems to me, too, that the emperor wears no clothes sometimes. But then again, I had the same problem with Meri (God rest) -- people seemed to confuse non sequiturs for wit. Over my head, probably.

"The nature of the presidency in Estonia, and those occupying the office, is the clearest sign of our secret hankering for a monarchy."

- Anonymous

Giustino ütles ...

You're already so sure he will do a second term?

The strength of Ilves' candidacy was that he has no Soviet legacy. Contrast that to Ansip with his back and forth with Robert Narska.

Ilves has played something of a moderating role with the current government. His opinion has been carried in the international press far more than Rüütel's was. So as a president he matters a bit more.

Right now I am not sure what candidate other than him could best represent all these diverse interests in Estonia. Definitely not Savisaar. But who?

Max ütles ...

Tunne Kelam????

Giustino ütles ...

It seems that the foreign ministry would be the pipeline to Kadriorg, but the examples are too few (Meri, Ilves).

In neighboring Finland, Halonen was a foreign minister, Ahtisaari a diplomat. I'd rather not go the way of Latvia and start appointing academics and doctors to the post.

But who else from the diplomatic service could do it? Ilves was the dominating figure there for so long. And Paet? Well, no offense, but he is rather young for Kadriorg.

If Paet got to be the fatherly head of state, then we might as well recruit someone born in the 80s, Flasher T perhaps, to be prime minister.

Blogaddict ütles ...

Nokk kinni, saba lahti. You elect experiece (as if) and get stuck with a commie, senile or a weirdo (or all of the above), you elect youth and energy and end up with a criminal, laps-poliitik-pankur or a weirdo (or all of the above). This is a kinda screwed up situation, isn't it? An Estonian curse or smth.

Kristopher ütles ...

Flasher T -- Estonia's Obama? The Estlander prime minister for the new vision of the country.

A favourite for president in 2016 right now in king-maker circles is everyone's favourite Thunder-Bay-born Canadian-Armenian-Estonian. Said to have been at Ärma talu a lot recently for late-night poetry slamming with old T.H.

But it's all a crapshoot -- look at Jüri Luik -- the last 28-year-old FM to be spoken of as future president, and now it's all about Paet and Kocharian.

nipi ütles ...

Luik might be serious. Thinking also about Tiido.

Max ütles ...

Since Kristopher has opened the field to fictional candidates, why not Rufus T. Firefly with Mrs Teasdale as his consort?

See
http://www.filmsite.org/duck.html

"Hail, Freedonia..." etc.

Kristopher ütles ...

Hmm, I don't think a Marxist or even Maxist plot would fly in Estonia.

Just in from king-maker circles: Kocharian has no chance in 2016and people are denying they ever mooted the name. Apparently it's a political football no-one wants to touch. Fickle, I tell you.

Frank ütles ...

Beware that Tallinn should get a Disney-Land ...!

Could it be that the male human being of the French (or Italian) persuasion is too easily tempted to mistake public acclaim as a seductive woman for the real thing?!

I suggest to get twelve dozens of long-stemmed roses for that special some-one ...

Max ütles ...

Kristopher said...
Hmm, I don't think a Marxist or even Maxist plot would fly in Estonia.


Au contraire, Kris. The cockamamy Caucasian allusions elude my old brain, but 'Duck Soup' is enjoying a boffo second run in Tallinn within a century. Max advanced a credible candidate, but was ignored. (Sniff!) {:(

Paet? Tiido? Appi!

We need at the very least to outdo the Sylvanians (q.v) next door in the quality of our casting calls, but also - deo volente! - to ensure that 'Duck Soup' is followed by something with a bit more gravitas than 'A Night at the Opera.'

Roger ütles ...

Prezidential choice:

Must smell like chicken and taste like fish. Rest will follow.

alexDpg ütles ...

What would happen if Andrus Ansip left Anu Ansip for Anu Saagim?

Ok, What DID happen when Estonian prime minister Edgar Savisaar left his wife for his secretary Vilja Laanaru while in office? Not much I guess. It was not even a tabloid scandal like in France. So perhaps you are wrong and Estonians are even more "French" than French themselves ?

KRISTIN ütles ...

French people suck. Would you prefer a sexy woman or an interesting woman? Not even talking about men....

Elle Andra-Warner ütles ...

Thunder Bay-born Canadian Armenian-Estonian, eh? Just read the post and chuckled! Living in Thunder Bay and being Estonian in heritage (yep, I speak/read/write Estonian), can't put a name on such a person from the northern wilds here. Intrigued though -- why Thunder Bay?