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The shipwreck of the Costa Concordia at the Giglio island, and especially the behavior of the captain (phone call recording with English subs), was an ice-cold shower for many Italians. Used to political and economical problems, what has happened in the last months and the last weeks, the fall of the government, the nominated setting up of a so-called technical one, the darkest market clouds we have ever seen gathering up and starting probably the worst financial and economical storm of our lifetime, had still left us kind of numb; Italians are told all their life not to expect too much, to believe that public life and markets are corrupted, that history is implacable and life is short, so better take advantage of whatever one can until one’s able to: in a few words, we are culturally ready for pretty much anything, and this coolness, that at times becomes coldness, often shocks the rest of the world.

This time, though, it’s all of us being shocked. All we have gone through in the last years, months, weeks is finally coming up. People are finally sick. It took Schettino for us to get indignados. Sicily started already, even though mainstream medias don’t talk about yet. Things might not seem connected, but they are. The reaction is starting. The analogy made by Beppe Grillo in his last post is unbelievably accurate.

The Concordia shrinking and sitting by the coast of the Giglio island symbolized our reaching the bottom. From now on, we can only rise.

Today was probably one of the happiest days in my life so far as an Italian.

This past weekend we were called to vote for a referendum made of 4 issues: two of them regarding privatization of water resources, one about the return of Italy to nuclear energy (after we already voted against it in 1987), and a last one about immunity for top political officials (made by the government lead by and benefiting guess who, right now facing four different trials …?). The whole world was looking at us.

Setting up a popular referendum is a complicated issue. Especially if most of the major political parties are against it because of huge economical interests involved in nuclear power and utility management. Political control over public television even managed to suggest through weather forecast, last Saturday, a “nice trip to the seaside”, regardless of the fact that satellite images were showing cloudy weather everywhere. You don’t believe it? Check out the video. Now you know what we mean when we say we have a public opinion controlled by the media.

The problem is that, in order to be valid, 50% plus one of the voting population had to vote. By silencing the referendum issue, by inviting people to go to the beach instead of going to vote,all of those who did not want these issues to be touched were having their game. Not that hard in a country like Italy where mistrust in institution is extremely high and people don’t believe in anything anymore, to the point to vote someone like Berlusconi as prime minister because ‘at least he doesn’t hide his nature as all the rest of the politicians’ and ‘he simply does whatever anyone else in his position would do’ (very common explanation given by Berlusconi supporters and voters)

Regardless of all this, as for magic, the referendum passed.

I have never felt this proud to be Italian like today.

Before today being Italian meant to have a great cultural and historical background, but when it came to society the description is the one I gave a few lines above. Nothing seemed to be possible to save this country. Doomed to cynicism and eternal internal division. This is what I have seen happening all my life, this is what Italy has always been so far. Until this weekend. Until today.

Today we Italians finally raised our heads, we gathered, we united our forces and we did something together as a nation. The famous sentence by Massimo d’Azeglio, “We have made Italy, now we must make Italians”, so often quoted as a memory of our dividing differences, finally seems like belonging to a past which is now a little farther away.

After work today, instead of going home, I wanted to go to the city center; not simply to get some fresh air, as usual. I wanted to see the people gathered to celebrate, I wanted to join my fellow citizens, my people. It felt strange, but good. I felt united to everyone else I met on my way. You probably voted, like me, I thought. It might sound silly, but I can assure you that it is not, not for an Italian. Today I felt like we had what we always envied to other countries: something in common, an identity.That feeling, that belonging, is what is really important. When I got to the city center not many people were actually there, mostly the usual politicized students and some people with flags of supposed-to-be left-wing political parties that never supported the referendum but now pretends they always did.

It didn’t matter. Those flags represented lobbies of interests that already belong to the past. Parties are over, today people won. People were at still at work, or maybe home preparing dinner. Busy, as Italians are. No time for silly celebrations, but we all found the time to go vote, and that is what matters. I did not found what I had thought, but what I consider important was the feeling that led me there.

Starting from today, nobody will be able to say anymore that ‘nothing can be done’, ‘things will never change’, ‘people in this country just don’t care’. No more ‘us and them’, ‘those who don’t care’. We care. And we are A LOT. The majority, apparently. And now we know it.

Today we were the most beautiful country in the world. We made our dream come true, together, as a nation is supposed to do. Thank you, Italy.

The Italian revolution started today. Stay tuned.

I was almost going to bed, turn the lights off.
Then it hit me.
Let’s jump for a second in a hypothetical future: let’s admit that Berlusconi (Yes, it is an obsession. Wanted Italy beyond stereotype? THIS is what goes on in our lives, when we take a look at a paper, when we turn the news on. Unless, of course, you watch Studio Aperto…) stands trial and is condemned. End of the Berlusconi era. Then, what?
Those who voted for him are still here, with us. And we are not talking about a plethora of idiots who actually believed he was innocent all along. These people, in most cases, knew and understood what the deal was. The game was about getting a slice of the cake until you had a chance, until someone like you, Berlusconi, who only wanted some cake himself, gave you the chance to do so. Grab whatever you can, until you can. These people are still here, with us. Italians, like us. What are we going to do?
This is a civil war.
Is this time like the end of WWII? Definitely we have to rebuild. But how? What country do we want? It is unconceivable to think of exclude part of the nation from the process. They might not even want to rebuild, they probably think there is nothing to rebuild, and their president rightfully elected was denied the right to govern. How can we do this? What are we going to do?
Italy this year celebrates 150 years as a unified country. A famous sentence from Massimo D’Azeglio, from those days, reads somethings like: “We made Italy, now we have to make the Italians”. Could it be finally time for it? We’ll have to face it, sooner or later.
Is it late enough, yet?

“The psycho-dwarf in his own way has been the glue of a Nation that is in decay, his alibi and his mirror.”

From today’s post in Beppe Grillo‘s blog.

Insightful, as usual.

Okkkk…this definitely took longer than what I had thought, but here it is: the lyrics for the “Tranne Silvio” video from yesterday’s post, together with the translation and references. These last ones are the ones that took longer. This job made me realize how much crap we took from this guy we still have to call president. When you put it all in a raw and you try to explain it to someone else, someone who might rightfully do not know a thing about it, it all appears truly unbelievable, even from a cynic italian perspective. I don’t know if you’ll have the patience to go through all of the reference, because it’s a lot of stuff. Still, if you decide to, know that every single italian knows this. It’s cultural heritage.

Enjoy the lyrics, sing along!

“Mi hanno chiamato invitandomi a sintonizzarmi su “L’infedele”. Sto vedendo una trasmissione disgustosa.
“They called me up telling to turn the tv on L’infedele. I’m seeing a disgusting show.
Una conduzione spregevole, turpe, ripugnante.”
A despicable, infamous, repugnant way to hosting a tv show.”  (Berlusconi’s attack through a phone call to a tv show, Jan 24th, 2011:  video)


Vai col bonifico!
Go with the transfer!
Le-le
Le-le (Referring to Lele Mora)
Vai col bonifico
Go with the transfer!
FedeFedeFedeFede
FedeFedeFedeFede (referring to Emilio Fede – see also this)
2 times

Vai col bonifico
Go with the transfer
Fe-de
Fe-de
cinque-cinque-cinquemila!
five-five-five thousand!
Vai col bonifico
Go with the transfer
Fe-de
Fe-de
Vai col bonifico
Go with the transfer
Anche se
Even if
in principio una legge c’è
in the beginning there is a law
C’è per tutti
It’s there for everybody
si ma non per te
yes, but not for you
e un motivo sotto sotto c’è
and in the end there is a reason for it
c’è…c’è…
there is…there is…
tu e lei (tu e lei)
you and her (you and her)
lele mora fede e moira orfei
Lele Mora, Fede, and Moira Orfei
oggi a troie poi al family day
today we for for whores and then we’ll go to the family day (see also this, and the pics here)
bunga bunga siamo in 106
bunga bunga we are 106 (see also this)
e Apicella è il dj
and Apicella is the dj
non per te
not for you
vai col bonifico!
go with the transfer!
non per te
not for you
non per te
not for you
non per te
not for you
una legge eh si c’è
a law, oh yes there is
non per te
not for you
fatti pro- fatti pro-cessare!
face tri- face tri-al!
non per te
not for you
non per te
not for you
non per te
not for you

vai col bonifico
fe-de
vai col bonifico
fedefedefedefede
Vai col bonifico
Le-le
……
Vai col bonifico
Fe-de
cinque-cinque-cinquemila
le-le
Vai col bonifico

da sempre processan tutti perchè
everybody faces trial, because
tutti processano!
everybody does!
tranne te!
except for you!
i giudici parlan con tutti
judges talk to everybody
com’è
how come
che parlan con tutti
they get to talk to everybody?
tranne te?
except for you?
la vita che sogni costa un sacco
the life you dream costs a lot
Iris Noemi Ruby Minetti
Iris Noemi Ruby Minetti
e come i capelli
and just like your hair
tutto d’un tratto
all of a sudden
prima li perdi e poi li rimetti
first you lose them then you put them back up
i tuoi avvocati son dei maghi
your lawyers are true magicians
tu paghi paghi paghi
you pay pay pay
montagne di reati
mountains of crimes
passati inosservati
passed unnoticed
le veline la gente le stima
the veline are held in consideration by people
fan di tutto per stare là in cima
they do whatever to stay up there
qui la legge è uguale per tutti
all men are equal before the law
ma non proprio tutti tutti
but it’s not like that for everybody
non per te
not for you

vai col bonifico!
go with the transfer!
non per te
not for you
non per te
not for you
una legge eh si c’è
a law, oh yes there is
non per te
not for you
fatti pro- fatti pro-cessare
face tri- face trial!

se tu sei bella e bionda grida oh!
if you are beautiful and blonde scream oh!
oooh! (sono il sogno delle italiane)
oooh! (I am the dream of italian women)
se tu sei Lele Mora grida oh!
if you are Lele Mora scream oh!
oooh! (Lele è solo un’amico)
oooh! (Lele is just a friend)
se tu sei fidanzata grida oh!
if you have a boyfriend scream oh!

oooh! (non sono geloso)
oooh! (I’m not jealous)
se non sei fidanzata grida oh!
if you don’t have a boyfriend scream oh!
oooh! (benvenuta nel PDL)
oooh! (welcome inside the PDL)

oh oui oui
oh oui oui
quale caso mills?
what Mills court case?
qui al massimo parliam di caso milf
here at worst we talk about a MILF court case
cerca carne fresca e attraente
looking for fresh and attractive meat
meglio se non hanno ancora fatto la patente
better if they don’t even have their license
e se il governo poi traballa
and if the government is a little shaky
farà una legge che lo tiene a galla
he will make a law to stay afloat
a 20 anni sulle navi cantante
20-year-old singer on cruise-ships
ad 80 che si ciula la badante
80-year-old shagging his caregiver
la versione che racconta Ruby è finta
the version Ruby tells is a lie
adesso giran voci che sarebbe pure incinta
now rumors says she might even be pregnant
si sa che alle donne lui regala solo rose
it’s known that to women he only gives roses
“lei comunque non aveva le sue cose”
“anyhow she was not on the rag”
e vedrai che queste feste proibite
and you’ll see that all these prohibited parties
finiranno come mani pulite
will end up like mani pulite
tra due anni saran tutti emigrati ad Hammamet
in two years they will all be emigrated in Hammamet.

hammamet
hammamet
hammamet

se tu sei bella e bionda grida oh!
if you are beautiful and blonde scream oh!
oooh! (sono il sogno delle italiane)
oooh! (I am the dream of italian women)
se tu sei Lele Mora grida oh!
if you are Lele Mora scream oh!
oooh! (Lele è solo un’amico)
oooh! (Lele is just a friend)
se tu sei fidanzata grida oh!
if you have a boyfriend scream oh!

oooh! (non sono geloso)
oooh! (I’m not jealous)
se non sei fidanzata grida oh!
if you don’t have a boyfriend scream oh!
oooh! (benvenuta nel PDL)
oooh! (welcome inside the PDL)


“questa è senza ombra di dubbio la miglior canzone degli ultimi 150 anni, cribbio!”
This is by far the best song of the last 150 year, cribbio!”

There are at least a couple reasons behind my publishing this particular post.
First, I believe that living in a country where reality and people’s perceptions are controlled by the media, but there is no variety of opinions or information to balance that because everything is pretty much under the control of the prime minister, it is important to share images of a moment like this that took place during Raiperunanotte.
It was a moment, finally, of freedom of speech and freedom of information. And we are not used to it anymore. It was a deep breath of fresh air. People could SAY what they THINK.
Second, I want people from outside, people who do not live in Italy, to be able to take a peek into our reality, into where we live.
It is important to understand, to share, to connect.
Normally the only chances that non-Italian speakers not living in the country would have to get an idea of where we live is by reading something on their newspapers or seeing something on tv; that is good, but it is still filtered by someone.
By subtitling this video (the most accurately possible) and sharing it with everyone who might be interested but normally does not have the language and other means to get this, well this is my shot out there to let you perceive reality the way we do.
Why is this show weird? Why is it worth to be shared?
Because in order for this show to happen the organizers almost had to break the law.
Because a public service, paid by taxpayers and that must be free to express its opinion, has been evicted from where it belongs and had to be hosted by a private satellite tv channel, Current TV (Al Gore, founder of Current commented: “Current tells the stories no one else is telling. That’s why we are proud to carry important information shows like Annozero – particularly at a time when other channels are not. Current Italia is committed to independence and truth-telling. We will continue to work with our audience and the Italian creative community on creating and producing the important stories of the day”.  Source here), and by the Internet.
Because in 2010 censorship does not need physical violence anymore. And dictatorships are no longer upheld like fascism or nazism were. They don’t need to be. We live in a soft dictatorship. People go out to buy clothes and to restaurant, but they cannot say freely what they think unless they want to lose everything.
What Daniele Luttazzi says in this short video I posted is nothing but satire. And he is good at it. You would think tv channels fight over him, to have him in their shows.
Nevertheless, this was his first live and broadcast performance in 8 years, ever since Berlusconi decided he was not to be seen on italians screen anymore, pronouncing his infamous editto bulgaro.
This is the reason why I post this. Because only knowing this and seeing the video first hand, understanding what he is saying, one can truly understand how desperate the situation in this country is.
This show was a show for all the morally exiliated Italians, who live their everyday lives pushing forward, and waiting for a chance to get back into control of their lives, of their country.
Enjoy.
P.s.- I am thinking of writing to the organizers of the show, explain my idea to them, and ask them if they are willing to subtitle in english the whole show and then put it all online for everybody to see it whenever they want. What do you guys thing?

I am going to try to explain my point of view over a very complex situation.

Our prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, Italian tycoon and professed self-made-man, is also the founder and owner of Mediaset, half of Italy’s nationally broadcasted antenna tv channels (there is satellite, Sky, but still not as widespread as in other countries).

Berlusconi always used his channels as a way to convey political messages, as it is technically (I don’t agree, but I won’t get it this right now) in it’s right. Public tv, RAI, paid by Italian taxpayers was to be the other half of the tv offer, guaranteeing pluralism and freedom of information and speech.

To make a long story short, many people among whom myself, claim and believe that ever since Berlusconi became prime minister (therefore gaining power over public RAI), he tried restlessly to shut up the last few voices that dared “opposing” him, simply doing their job as journalists and telling stories as they were.

His first successfull attempt was the Editto Bulgaro. Now, with the occasion of the coming regional elections in Italy, he tried the trick again, and even got caught on wiretapping.

One of his first and main targets, Michele Santoro, that used to regularly host the show Annozero (particularly disliked by our prime minister) was forced to shut the show down to respect the par condicio period before the elections, together with all the rest of the political talkshow.

Many saw this as another attempt to shut the “dissidents” up.

The satellite tv channel Current decided to host a special night, Rai per una notte (Rai for one night), to give a chance to these journalists to keep on doing their job.

It’s tonight at 9pm, Italian time. It can also be watched in streaming over the internet here.

P.s.- I will later embedd the code to watch it from here as well, as soon as they make it available.

P.p.s.- I wrote this post right before class, managing to arrive late for it. In the middle of it I got a mail on my phone pointing out this article of The Economist from yesterday. So this is actually an update.

More points of view are always welcome. If you find something and send it to me I’ll share it.

Tonight I went to see Videocracy.
I was really curious. It is about Italy, but it was not thought for and Italian audience, being a swedish production.
It is kind of what I’m trying to do here, in this little bolg of mine. So I was really curious.
The first thing that comes to my mind if I think about the movie is that to me it felt like i was watching a horror movie.
The atmosphere in the room was really tense. It was facing reality, for good, as hard as it is.
Second, the picture in the movie is really good. And the editing too.
It’s a documentary, and all the people that appear in it are not acting.
Still, some of the people that appear in it are so disturbing (and disturbed), real people, influencial people.
And the picture and the editing take it out of them, making them look as bad as characters from a horror movie.
Commenting on it as I was buying some water during the show, I learned for the owner of the theatre that the director himself defined it as a horror movie.
You read this blog? Go see the movie.

Here on the bottom is a youtube video made on a song by Caparezza pretty much about the same subject. Soon I’ll publish the lyrics translated.

L’età dei figuranti – Caparezza: Lyrics

I have been abroad and I am therefore used to a change of paradigm, whenever living in a different place long enough means to start absorbing someone else’s point of you.
By living in Italy now, for how hard one tries to stay neutral, trying to look at things from an impartial point of view. But just as when one lives abroad, also by living in one’s home country, it is inevitable, eventually, to pick up the local habits.
So tonight, when I read this article, I realized how much I got used to considering certain things normal. It’s scary. It’s very scary. This is not normal, but if you live in it long enough you might end up feeling like it sort of is.
Sometime the change feels so close, sometimes it feels so untouchable.


Today’s post from Beppe Grillo‘s blog.
I post it here because there is not a specific link for everyday’s post’s translation, but only the general English link to his blog, which by the way is this.

“What is an intellectual in Italy today? Who still has depth of thought and ethical and moral stature to stand up as a reference point in this national whore-house? How many are there that have survived and why do they stay silent?
In the 1970s the intellectuals used to write in Il Corriere. They were present in everyday news. Montanelli, Pasolini, Buzzati, Montale, Calvino, Moravia. Perhaps they would not have liked to be defined as intellectuals, but they were head and shoulders above the others in relation to culture and often for courage. In an interview, Montanelli said that the principal requisite to be a journalist were the “cosiddetti” {euphemism for testicles}, for an intellectual the same is true. Pasolini would have torn to shreds the psycho-dwarf and his chum D’Alema in a single article. Twenty years of editorials for De Bortoli would not be enough, nor would eternity for PG Battista.
Göring, designated to be Hitler’s successor, said that every time he heard the word “intellectual” he put his hand to his pistol. In the country of the P2 and the permanent mess-up between the PDL and the PDminusL we are more civil. It’s enough to have the position of director or deputy director of a newspaper, a token position in the party, some book published by a publishing house.
The intellectuals, if they still exist, have sold their souls. They have become truffles, courtesans, laughing stocks to be exhibited, scarecrows of the regime TV News or silent shadows, university academics, public charlatans with hand-outs in the left-wing weeklies, authoritative signatures in national newspapers, the gems on the Board of Directors. The intellectual is an extinct species, buried under the tons of shit from the TV and from indifference, by the rooting about of pigs, by Italian society. They have adapted. Better to live a hundred days as a sheep than a day as a free man. The best write a column, responding to readers’ letters and launch appeals for democracy to be supported, even online. Vibrant appeals that are of no bloody use.
The modern intellectual is neither on the right or the left, his cardinal point is his wallet. His distinguishing feature is the adulation of the powerful. He loves to serve and his abilities are available to whoever appreciates them. This political class is disgusting. But anyone who has not lifted a finger for 10 years when because of their role or their intelligence, they could have done so, is even more disgusting.
Italy is in a pre-revolutionary situation. There are all the symptoms. Millions of unemployed at the gates. An abnormal public debt. State spending in a vertiginous rise. Lack of political representation for tens of millions of people. Delirium at the terminal state for Tar Head who has nothing left to lose. Absence of an Opposition. Apart from Kryptonite Di Pietro. A fragile economy. A non-existent civic sense and a disintegration of the State.
La Repubblica’s ten questions on the sex life (whatever of it that’s left) of Wild Bathrobe (Note of Andrea: still Berlusconi), is the most that the Left has managed to express in three five-year periods like an Opposition to the slime that has overwhelmed us. Berlusconi has not been asked ten thousand questions that are much more important on the mafia, the P2, on the origins of his companies. He has been allowed everything. Any conflict of interests. Every filthy law. Every convict in Parliament. With the blessing of the Left-wing intellectuals and the Catholic intellectuals. All bought and happy.”

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