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While the eternal city is still licking it’s wounds after October 15, which was untimely followed by torrential rain and flooding a few days later (video), and while the world rises in protest against the economic crisis and the EU works day and night trying to avoid economic breakdown that would carry the world down the toilet together with the Euro and the old continent (maybe we should have thought about it before..?), things like this happen.

We aren’t quite there yet; we need less people feeling they NEED plasma televisions, and more cops on our side. 25,000 people for an iPhone or a tv. 200,000 for protesting. There is definitely room for improvement.

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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..

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

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