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The reason why Italians always tend to run late is because we try to do things together. Conciliating (?) all sorts of different needs and situations require time.
Lots of time.
And the delay accumulates. Like debt.
National debt, national delay.

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I started working on the translation in english of my graduation thesis: The Language Network – 2.0 dynamics and SLA (second language acquisition), and I hope to share it with all of you at the last in a couple of weeks.

It deals with the numerous points in common between the web and the language systems, offering a new perspective on SLA.

Should you already be fluent in Italian or just curious and impatient, here you can find it already in Italian.

As soon as I’m done I’ll publish it here on the blog, maybe on a separate section, don’t have it well figured it out yet.

I already got myself a job at the University for Foreigners of Perugia thanks to it, so in the next future I’ll be working on bringing it to life.

Stay tuned.

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I wonder if when people think about Italy’s winters they still suffer of the stereotype created by  anglo-saxons literature of the 800’s.
And then I think of what in Italy we think of the winter; consequences on our social life, the cycle of seasons of our body, the tiredness of the dark months, the imposed fashion styles and those who follow them, seasonal products and dishes, project for the next good season, the grey sea and the abandoned beaches, enel gas’s bill…

Today I was supposed to go through some material I started gathering up for my graduate thesis, but then something happened.

A mix of events came together, and thoughts I had having for the last weeks, the last days, met a stable disposition in my mind this morning, forcing me to change my schedule and organize this post.

Lately I mentioned how Italy is going through an interesting and promising social phase, and meanwhile the whole world and it’s citizens are facing some interesting challenges, that I defined as real clash of civilizations in my last post.

The arising of new sensitivities that makes the period we are living a revolutionary one is the red lines that connects the Italian scenario, on which I want to concentrate today, and the global one.

Made Italy, we are finally making the Italians, we said. Last Saturday, in Rome, hundred of thousands of citizens went down the streets to tell the people in the palace that we are here, and we are coming. Hundred of thousands of citizen of every age, every part of Italy, that came not in buses organized by some party leader or some organization: they mostly all came with their own means, or by train. Spontaneously. I am young, I know, still I have never seen anything like this happen before. In this country, in Italy. The country where people don’t care, everybody turns around, the mafia still proliferates on a culture that often, to live with no problems, doesn’t see, doesn’t hear, doesn’t speak. Here, people form everywhere spontaneously met in Rome last Saturday, because they start to see that there is no choice but to raise the tone.

Together, like this, we have never done it before. Those who still govern us know this, and they are afraid. They know that their power relied substantially on the fact that Italians were always too divided to take action as a real organic entity; on that they thrived, for decades. I want to make clear that I do not simply refer to the government, to Berlusconi: this is something that will overturn the whole “ruling class” of this country. They are all going to go. It feels good to write that :)!

For these reasons, this soft regime we Italians today live in tried to do all he could to distract the attention from what was really happening: a huge, spontaneous gathering of people that was there to remind them who was the people, and who those who served the people. It is not that hard, when you have a country in which you pretty much have an oligarchy controlling the media, an embarrassing low penetration of the Internet on the territory compared to the rest of western Europe, and a population made for a great part by older people who still think they can still get “informed” by newspapers and news, and have no idea of what alternative sources of information are.

All they had to do, and what they did is allowing violent protesters to organize themselves, take part to the rally, give them chances to create some chaos, have them destroy Rome and let this one be, out of 951 cities in 82 countries in which manifestations were held, one of the only places where things turned violent, and definitely the worst case.

Why? Because by doing so they took away the spotlight from the people, and could even take advantage of the situation to point the finger towards people’s movements and, why not, advance some fascist-like proposals to limit freedom of gathering and demonstration. Nice.

This morning, while going through the news for breakfast, as usual, I came across some video reports of what happened last Saturday in Rome. The website is www.serviziopubblico.it , and it is the new independent initiative of one of Italy’s major old school journalists, Michele Santoro, who recently left, among bitter polemics, the RAI, the Italian public broadcast television, for reasons that can only be considered political. The videos that Santoro’s team offer are not something that you will see in TV news here; they clearly show how things went, from the beginning to the end. They show how only a small group of the protester were actually causing troubles, and how they were let free to do whatever they wanted long enough for the situation to collapse and transform an otherwise pacific demonstration into civil war. Also, not any less important, you see how the great majority of the people Saturday in Rome had nothing to do and wanted nothing to do with that violent phalanx. People wanted the police to intervene, to make the situation safe, to continue pacifically their rally. But the police did not intervene until it was too late. Maybe they were not put into the conditions of being able to do so. Citizens against citizens, workers against workers. Rome burns, and Nero plays the lyre.

These videos were just too good. But they were all in Italian. I spent the whole day adding the English subs, in order for them to be available to a wider public.

These are the 3 videos that I chose; for more refer to the original website, but with no subs, sorry!

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

They last around 12 minutes each.

5.07AM, I’m going to sleep. Tomorrow doesn’t look as a great day for my thesis either 😉 .

This is my contribution to our revolution. It is just a matter of time, we have already won.

You know what I think?
I was thinking of what happened in the streets and the squares of the world these last days
It is a clash of civilizations, Babylon vs Zion, but the real problem is that the majority of the people worldwide isn’t really aware of what’s going on, and that is partially our fault.
I am afraid that at the eyes of many, people that grew up (like us, remember) in the “old world”, this revolution of which we talk about sounds more scaring than else.
They know what they leave, but they can’t see where we are heading…wouldn’t you hesitate?
Often the old world vs us sounds like “growth” against “devolution”, “prosperity” vs “we all need to be a little poorer in order to be all better and safer”. People don’t buy that. You wouldn’t either, and in fact you don’t.
What we fail to do, is to explain what we actually mean.
None of us wants to be poorer. Be colder. Have less fun. Go to less places.
What we want is to be able to consume BETTER. Consuming better means that instead of buying a cheap sweatshirt that in 2 years will be worn out, you get a BETTER sweatshirt, made of better quality, spending a little more (maybe what? 20%, 30%?) but then using it for 10 YEARS. Remember when you used to get affectioned to things? And ten years later you were still happy to be using them? Maybe a sweatshirt, a pan, some knives, a pair of kicks?
30% more in price when you bought it, but then spread over 10 years of use. Maybe it would have still be worth it even if you had to pay 50% more? Even better quality? Even more salary for those who makes them? But in fact, you still consumed less.
Consuming less DOES NOT mean to be poorer. It means better quality.
It also means, I guess, knowing who you really are, because using something for that long you GOT TO LIKE IT! And this is not exactly non-consumistic way of thinking…we are still talking about being defined by things you buy…c’mon.
At the same time, who wants to consume less energy?
I don’t.
I don’t want to be cold in winter. What I want is that energy to come from renewable sources.
Why is our government (ours, also yours!) still investing in oil, sending kids over to war to die only so that prices of a limited good which is already scarce and whose price is already rising and rising as there is less and less, can continue to rise so that those people in Wall Street and Dubai can become even richer?
Wouldn’t it be smarter FOR US to have our government, people that WORK for US, invest into access to unlimited sources of energy, as often renewable ones are, available everywhere on the spot, creating new jobs in research, installation, assistance? Not one big central, but many many little producers, on every roof, on every window, on every tile.
From one big central with one big owner, to many little spots, with many little owners: this is called redistribution of wealth, did you know that, you filthy red!?!?
This is what we want. We want better quality, less quantity. Better sources of energy. Better food, that doesn’t cost us 1€ when we eat it, and then 10€ to take care of health problems that derive from it; better to spend 3, even 4. Eat better, live better.
More local products. More seasonal fruit and vegetables. More jobs around us, better ripen and more tasty fruit.
This is what we want.
This is what a government closer to the people means.
We are 99%. Of the world. We need to work together. Together we have already won.

Rules are for fools. Apparently pointless rules are even more annoying.
Constant negotiation is the only practicable way, together with education. Look at it as a form of active citizenship.

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.

Could I not post this? It couldn’t be more appropriate.

Wall Street Journal: Study Debunks Italian Stereotype.

 

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