Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Update on the Great Blue Signs: Two Tailed Dog to the rescue!

I wrote about Hungary's sudden infestation of government-sponsored anti-immigration hate signs earlier this week. The things that happened since are so spectacular, and so typically Hungarian, that I can't not share an update.
So here is what's gone down so far:

1. People defacing all the signs in multiple shifts around the clock.
We are nothing if not creative. Immediately after the first Blue Signs went up, the good people of the Internet created an interactive map where you can pin them if you see them, and then mark if they have been defaced/ torn down yet, or they are still waiting to be defaced/torn down - for those who want to take on these noble missions themselves.

Defacing signs is a creative art in itself. Tearing down the sign is easiest, but by far not the most entertaining. Real artists block letters out to change the meaning of the signs. 
Here are some gems:

Out of "If you come to Hungary, you have to respect our culture":
"Hungary needs culture"
"If you come to Hungary, you have to respect our ass."
"Hungary, you dog."
"You WILL come to Hungary."
"Our tour is going to Hungary."

Out of "If you come to Hungary, you can't take Hungarians' jobs":
"You can't eat Hungarians' livers"

Out of "If you come to Hungary, you have to keep our laws":
"Hungary screws you up."
"If you come to Hungary, you will have to screw someone up."

In at least one case, a sign close to a school was defaced by a happy gang of teachers and students together.

2. People getting arrested for defacing the signs
Of course the merry whirlwind of tearing down hate could not go unpunished. It turns out the government had policemen watching the signs in civilian clothing, which is a great use of police power if I have ever seen any. Some people got arrested for defacing signs. 
On the upside, this was enough to get an article in The Guardian.

3. Two Tailed Dog to the rescue!
We have gotten to a new breaking point: Mock political parties are doing actual political work. The country's leading satire party, the infamous Two Tailed Dog, started a crowdfunding campaign to purchase anti-hate signs to be put up all over the country. And Hungary rallied for the cause: We threw 18 million forints (app. 65.000 dollars) at them in a single day. That is enough for about 300 signs. This happened yesterday. Money is still flowing in.
They are also crowdsourcing what should be on the signs. Some of the top contestants so far:
"Welcome to Hungary!" (in English)
"We are sorry for our prime minister." (in Enlish)
"A kingdom with one language and one custom is weak and fragile..." (a quote from out first king St. Stephen)
And my personal favorite:

4. The government accusing the Two Tailed Dog 
"Civilian Forums" (proven to be government sponsored and instigated) released a statement accusing the TTD of taking dirty foreign political money for their campaign, since the good people of Hungary would never donate to such an unpatriotic cause.
Two Tailed Dog answered with their own statement: "We address the CÖF (Civil Cooperation Forum) to address us in a shorter manner, because it was too long and we didn't read."

All Hail the Two Tailed Dog! Next elections I'm voting the shit out of them.


  1. Two obvious things about the Hungarians: they hold the courage of their convictions and they have a sense of humor about it.

  2. "We are sorry for our prime minister." I don't know anything about the prime minister of Hungary, but this made me chuckle. Don't ask me why. Maybe it's because every country should have signs apologizing for someone in power.

  3. It's nice to know that the same day my country passed anti-privacy legislation that governments around the world continue to do equally boneheaded moves.

  4. Sounds like the signs backfired big time for the government. Lol, all they need is more signs.

  5. Is that latin sign from The Life of Brian? Haha! Hungarians are awesome. :D

  6. This is brilliant. The people of Hungary have definitely sent a message back to the government here. It is so good to hear :)
    Popping by on the A to Z Road Trip