>CEE: Storms forecast followed by intermittent showers of clichés


Edward Lucas offers a rather witty lexicon of Western journalistic clichés and buzzwords on Central and Eastern Europe in The Economist. They bolt together worryingly easily. My five minute effort to string them together in the shortest possible sentence(s) produces this (clichés in italic):
“Amid the dreary communist-era towerblocks and flashy new cars, anti-Western extremists seems set to replace liberal-minded reformers, whose heavy-handed attempts to stay in power and out-dated populism have lacked the steely go-ahead determination seen in the rest of the word. The result? A population whose yearning to embrace Euro-Atlantic institutions has given way to quiescent acceptance of bureaucratic cronyism and thoughts of migration”.
I couldn’t get in ‘jovial’, which apparently means drunk in quality journalese, but depressingly, this could easily be a description of Serbia you are likely to read in the next weeks – but that doesn’t seem a laughing matter. Eric Gordy’s EastEthnia blog drops its humorous edge and sets out some scenarios here and doesn’t use a single one.

2 responses to “>CEE: Storms forecast followed by intermittent showers of clichés”

  1. Big Andy says :

    >Hey!A former student here: if we value readable, concise, news from around the world in English, every week; where else apart from The Economist should we get it?I completely accept the point that it has a (classical) “liberal” bias, but, whats my workable alternative?

  2. Sean Hanley says :

    >Thanks for your comment. not suggesting people stop reading the Economist indeed or Ed Lucas’s blog – not least because I quite often agree with both. I guess such cliches are a functional and useful shorthand, the price we pay for concision and clarity. On the other had, these prefabricated expressions do slip into place all too easily – I use some some of them myself – and the danger is they could as block on fresher or sharper newer thinking about the region, whether (neo-)liberal or other. I guess our ‘alternative’ – I think this is the point of Ed Lucas’s piece – is to read the Economist with a critical eye.

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