Every now and again, the stuck-in-the-pastness of Romania* catches my attention. I've learned to overlook the horsecarts and the dingy little shops selling communist era tinned goods, and now I more or less forget that they are there. But once in a while I'm jolted back to reality.
TV Comedy in Romania is pretty ropey, and mostly of a sub-Benny Hill style slapstick, but there is one show which has always seemed to me to be a cut above. That show is called Cronica Carcotasilor. The hosts seem to be quick witted, and they lampoon most things that they see in Romania (and as an added bonus, they really rip the piss out of Gigi Becali). It does have this sort of gratuitous scantily clad dancing girls thing going on, but I figure they have to do that just to get the show on TV.
But then yesterday I caught a part of this week's show. Which they did blacked up wearing afro-wigs, and with the name cards Oblada and Obladi in front of them, and occasionally punctuating their lines with 70's style jive talk. What decade are we living in here?
Don't believe me?
The house band: The guy here appears to be, yes, I'm not joking, doing a monkey impression.
For fuck's sake.
(The really sad thing is that they probably felt they were doing this in some kind of spirit of celebration and empathy, and were not attempting to make just a bunch of cheap racist jibes)
*Because I seem to have acquired something of a reputation of being anti-Romanian among some people, I want to make it clear that I don't think this kind of thing is confined to Romania, and I'm guessing similar "jokes" have been made all over Eastern Europe this week. Which doesn't in any way excuse it.
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