Hungarian Phlegmatism Round II

I’m minding my own business when the phone rings. My screen says No Caller ID, so I answer in English. Silence. I think I make a vague attempt at saying something, at which point the caller at the end of the line becomes animated. By Hungarian standards.

“This is . . .,” a male voice says, and I get is his first name Imre (though he stated his last name), and “I’m from [something incomprehensible] national survey.”

I cut him off while he’s still talking, to tell him that I couldn’t possibly be less interested. In a nice voice. Not just in a nice voice for me, but generally speaking. He waits. Because even though he’s the one desiring information I’m the one who has to do all the work. Reminiscent of that other time I got a “business call” from a Hungarian male.

I do what I always do in these cases, I hang up. But it makes me think of two things.

1. Did our steppe-riding ancestors really lose the will to live when they decided to stay put in the Carpathian Basin?

2. Will they use the information to hassle and harass you? I wouldn’t put bullying tactics past an organization that controls its population by deliberately spreading fear and finding a scapegoat so Dear Leader can unite his people, not in part so he can deflect away from the debate of his own potentially damaging ethnic heritage.

Which is a pity. Because had he been equally busy really trying to do good as much as he’s stoking the fires of hatred, he could have elevated not only himself and his family, but an entire people. Instead Dear Leader is so busy suppressing that part of himself, he deliberately attacks his own people, as though putting them down will tear out his own part of that ethnic heritage.

And that’s why I have no problem believing he says what some people claim he is. Not because he – as those who are screaming it from the rooftops are so quick to point out – he exhibits “all their negative traits,” but because he’s so desperately trying to suppress the good ones.



  1. It’s the issue everywhere with leaders spreading venom and hatred which nurtures prejudices among the people. Racism is one thing that irks me and it’s where we see how people are limited in their outlook.


  2. One of the problems with racism is that you get both extremes, the outright hatred, and the token “friend.” And that’s not touching on all the other idiocy attached to it. Someone once said “if only the Nazis had been fully aware of reincarnation, things would have turned out differently.” Though I’m sure they would have found a way to twist that, too.


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