3.09.2005

Proud to be a Barbarian

I've come to a realization. I'm a barbarian. And I'm okay with that.

How did I find out I'm a barbarian, you ask? Well, I've long suspected it. In Hungary, people thought I was cool because I was from the States, but I knew I wasn't as cultured as my friend from Sao Paulo, nor as worldly as most of the other metropolitan exchange students. Still, it was all cool - we were all having a good adventure.

Then I came to UW-Madison, and got into foreign movies - or, should I say, films - and thought I was pretty sophisticated. Then I met some actual film people. They were way too highbrow, and started to drive me a bit nuts. Also, I found a home in the College Republican club, and began writing for the evil conservative newspaper. I should have seen it then, but I continued on.

But the final blow came yesterday. The New Yorker is in town, and they were giving out free hot chocolate and copies of their magazine. Aha! I thought. What a great way for me to connect with my highbrow peers!

Then I opened the darn thing up. It was drivel! This can't be right I thought. Where are all the clever witticisms? The clever sarcasm? It was fine writing, but not particularly great. The cartoons were rubbish.

And so the scales fell from my eyes. It feels good, actually. Wisconsinites should be barbarians, anyway. We do battle on the Frozen Tundra. We feast on brats and cheese and beer. We proudly dance to one of the most barbaric dances ever - the polka!

In the classic Hungarian play The Tragedy of Man, the apostle Paul welcomes the oncoming Germanic hordes. They will bring fresh, strong blood to the Roman Empire, wasted as it was through decadence and sloth. Likewise, I still enjoy the coffeehouses, but now I enjoy them as a barbarian king - a proud savage feasting in the glittering halls for the overthrown empire. And that's why the liberals are afraid of us.