Romanian 17th Supermodel Regiment


Over at Frank Warner’s place a commenter was arguing that he would rather live in a police state or military dictatorship judging by how poor some of the free East European nations like Romania and Bulgaria are. I disagreed; I said I would gladly live in those countries and take advantage of the freedom afforded to me in order to make something of my life.

Well, after reading the Afghanistan news round-up from Miserable Donuts, and seeing that picture at right, I haven’t changed my mind. Romania seem like a fine, fine place to live. Is there a Global War on Ugliness? Because if there is I think we’re winning.


  1. Who was it that had the ‘hot babes’ of freedom thing going on during the ‘cedar revolution’ in Beirut? I know you had some of the pics here. Just goes to show, the best looking women come from the free countries! O.K., I know it’s subjective, but you’ve got to just chuckle at the outrage that’s got to be welling up from the feminists on this one.

  2. Well, nobody likes and respects women more than me, so I hope this isn’t taken the wrong way. I like the purposefulness that comes from being in a serious job like this. Plus the pose is priceless 😉

  3. As someone who visited the Soviet Union in the glasnost and early Yeltsin eras and also visited in 1990 Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia, I can tell you that no matter how poor they are now they were far far worse then. You simply have no idea how screwed up these places were. The villages were pretty much self sufficient with perhaps one phone per village, very limited electricity, no water or sewerage and the farm work being done primarily by animals (horses, donkeys, oxen …). The roads were a joke, the railways not much better, the cities filled with squalid soulless blocks (bullet marked) and if you ever wanted to see why abortion could be a good idea you just had to visit a Romanian ‘orphanage’. You see Ceaucescu banned contraceptives and abortions because he thought the world needed more Romanians but the families quite simply could not support more than the first couple of kids so the excess were dumped in orphanages where they were treated like animals. Oh and some huge proportion of the inmates were HIV positive. I could go on but I’d prefer not to recall it. God knows things aren’t perfect in most of these countries now, but they are distinctly better. Hungary was better than Romania and is now not much different from western Europe, Romania will probably get to that level over the next 5 years and the amount of oil wealth pouring into Russia is (according to some people I know) helping alleviate some of the worst shit there too.

  4. Ah hello Francis, I’ve read your blog before. Thanks for the information. It’s nice to know that our theory that freedom is beneficial is paying off there. Honestly sometimes I wonder if the stories we heard about the USSR and its satellites were exaggerated but unfortunately it sounds like they were not. They are discussing Russia over at Mudville Gazette’s MilBlogs today. One the one hand, oil revenue seems to be helping, but on the other hand their society still sounds pretty screwed up. It would be really good if they could pull through and reap the benefits; I know they can do it if they try.

  5. Russia had communism for longer than Eastern Europe. That extra thirty years seemd to have made a real difference. Perhaps just because that was long enough for living memory of a better way was just gone. If I had been living in Hungary, my grandparents would have been alive before WWII, and would have remembered pre communist days. And told me. In russia, no one living in my family would have remembered life under the Tsars. On top of the fact that communist regimes made changing history a priority.

  6. I am Romanian, so I can tell you the following: Francis, you are providing a very accurate description of the life before 1990. Nicholas, the stories you might heard are not exagerated at all. I could provide you a lot of horror stories, but it is worthless to waste your time. Yes, the freedom is very important, but a lot of things improved also in the quality of our life. And, as a bottom line, that is true, we have plenty of very nice women here :).