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Updating my last post,  a few minutes later.


Pommegranade is an emblem of Italian lifestyle.
Around the table, chatting, sharing, eating.

I have a weird relationship with Italy, this country of mine.
A weird symbiosis.

On one hand, I feel deeply tied to it; I couldn’t belong anywhere else. I feel Italian in so many ways it would be hard to even begin trying to explain.
I consider it even more than a matter of nationality and language: I feel the descendent of a great family that made history and went through possibly every condition known to mankind. I feel Italian, and I feel it as a responsability and an honor. It is not a matter of blood; we mixed with so many people that there is no such a thing as Italian blood. I rather think of it as a way of looking at life and, by being so, open to newcomers regardless of what their passport says.

On the other hand nowadays I feel as if it were drifting away. I happen to be in front of the tv today, and I found it disturbing. I know perfectly what the situation is, what is the role of tv nowadays and how a specific role it plays in today’s peculiar Italian political scenario.
Still, I cannot help it finding it alienating.
I see stupid shows, and I know that people watch it, that they talk about it, that even though I usually avoid them nevertheless they are there. Always there. Then I go out, and people around me, those who call themselves Italians as well, look so distant. But they are so many, and I am the one left feeling different.
My concept of Italianity is annihilated by the crowd. I feel outnumbered and cut out. It makes me paranoid.

What I still find relief in is food. I go to the supermarket and buy cold cuts, mortadella and speck, and bread.
At home I have mozzarella di bufala and salad. These are the kind of things I crave for whenever I have been abroad long enough. I wouldn’t go buy them in a deli abroad, because they would be ridiculously expensive and they probably wouldn’t even taste the same. Food is connected with places. When I’m in a different country I eat local food. When I am in Italy, I eat italian. If I lived abroad, I would have to come to a compromise.
Tonight bread, mozzarella, speck, mortadella, salad, and probably a glass of umbrian red wine are going to reconnect me with my origins and heal my social wounds.
Tomorrow, as usual, I will continue try to figure out how to do my share in bringing everyone out there to remember who they are. Saving me and my country.

Frankie Hi NRG — La Morte dei Miracoli (1997)

Quelli che benpensano (English translations of the lyrics available here)

Sono intorno a noi, in mezzo a noi, in molti casi siamo noi a far promesse senza mantenerle mai se non per calcolo, il fine è solo l’utile, il mezzo ogni possibile, la posta in gioco è massima, l’imperativo è vincere – e non far partecipare nessun altro – nella logica del gioco la sola regola è esser scaltro : niente scrupoli o rispetto verso i propri simili perché gli ultimi saranno gli ultimi se i primi sono irraggiungibili. Sono tanti, arroganti coi più deboli, zerbini coi potenti, sono replicanti, sono tutti identici, guardali : stanno dietro a maschere e non li puoi distinguere. Come lucertole s’arrampicano, e se poi perdon la coda la ricomprano. Fanno quel che vogliono si sappia in giro fanno: spendono, spandono e sono quel che hanno…

Sono intorno a me ma non parlano con me… Sono come me ma si sentono meglio…

.. e come le supposte abitano in blisters full-optional, con cani oltre i 120 decibels e nani manco fosse Disneyland, vivon col timore di poter sembrare poveri : quel che hanno ostentano, tutto il resto invidiano, poi lo comprano, in costante escalation col vicino costruiscono : parton dal pratino e vanno fino in cielo, han più parabole sul tetto che S.Marco nel Vangelo.. Sono quelli che di sabato lavano automobili che alla sera sfrecciano tra l’asfalto e i pargoli, medi come i ceti cui appartengono, terra-terra come i missili cui assomigliano. Tiratissimi, s’infarinano, s’alcolizzano e poi s’impastano su un albero – boom! – Nasi bianchi come Fruit of the Loom che diventano più rossi d’un livello di Doom..

Ognun per se, Dio per se, mani che si stringono tra i banchi delle chiese alla domenica – mani ipocrite – mani che fan cose che non si raccontano altrimenti le altre mani chissà cosa pensano – si scandalizzano – Mani che poi firman petizioni per lo sgombero, mani lisce come olio di ricino, mani che brandiscon manganelli, che farciscono gioielli, che si alzano alle spalle dei fratelli. Quelli che la notte non si può girare più, quelli che vanno a mignotte mentre i figli guardan la tv, che fanno i boss, che compran Class, che son sofisticati da chiamare i NAS, incubi di plastica che vorrebbero dar fuoco ad ogni zingara ma l’unica che accendono è quella che da loro l’elemosina ogni sera, quando mi nascondo sulla faccia oscura della loro luna nera..

One day in advance to when tradition tells us it is supposed to be, on March 20th at 6pm spring was here.

And I actually remembered that after I had been at the supermarket and found some yummy looking fava beans staring at me from their shelf: how could I resist? They are the quintessential early-spring food if you ask me (but many many more Italians would agree with me), and as soon as the winter is over and they appear in grocery stores it is simply impossible to resist the temptation. It’s like proving to yourself that it’s time for the sun to start warming you up again, for the temperature to rise, and for that cold to just let you go.

I brought them home, got out of the fridge some average mature pecorino cheese, and made myself a snack, that eventually became lunch when I couldn’t stop eating.

Someone would ask: no wine? Not at noon: at noon it makes me sleepy and can’t afford naps right now.

As I was getting them out of their buds I noticed some of them were actually still a little small, but oh well, they were just the first ones of the season.

There’s some un-stereotypical Italian snack for you. If you have a chance, give that a shot.

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