Thursday, 17 November 2011

The Resurgence

(WARNING: This is post contains personal political beliefs.)

Not only has the Berlusconi era thrashed the last bit of dignity of this country, most tragically it has exterminated its hope, will power and, ultimately, brains.

You know that a country has really sunk beyond revival when its people are imposed a government of barons, bankers and bigots and they genuinely cheer about it... because they have been told that it's the solution to a crisis caused by barons, bankers and bigots.

Don't get me wrong, I am ecstatic about Mr B's long due departure. I am not happy at all about how it happened. We needed Revolution, we got Restoration.

We are back to the roots now, back to the old-line liberal conservative politics of 150 years ago, as Norma Rangeri wrote on il manifesto today. We are celebrating the 150th anniversary of Italy, we are really celebrating the 1st... Let's see how it goes this time.

The bankers of God
Monti's supposedly technical, non-political government.

The week that changed Italy - a minimal press gallery

Letting technocrats run Europe is bad politics and bad economics 

It's a mistake to put unelected officials in charge of Italy and Greece (ADITYA CHAKRABROTTY - The Guardian)

Democracy must not be regarded as merely an optional extra when solving economic problems. (DAVID SKELTON - NewStatesman)

Banker's Choice

How Europe propped up the buffoon Berlusconi

Italian politics was a joke. But, within the security blanket of the eurozone, most people simply shrugged their shoulders (JACKIE ASHLEY - The Guardian)

Berlusconi's exit – what does it mean for Italy? Seventeen years of Berlusconi has meant rising poverty, rampant price-fixing, strengthened organised crime, a burgeoning black market and a shocking brain drain. So what next for troubled Italy? (TOBIAS JONES - The Guardian)

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Occupy the world - Meanwhile in Italy

Sorry about the interruption... we were trying to occupy everything.

Dismayed by how things turned out for the worst in Rome, this blog has avoided commenting on the October 15th worldwide protest.
There we go again, we thought, we always stand out for the worst: the worst government, the worst police, the worst little violent proto-fascist few.
Following the news about the "Rome riot" we felt exactly what the mainstream media wanted us to feel: shame or scorn.
Some of us were ashamed because Italy was ruining the party for the whole movement. The other half was looking with contempt, having confirmed that the pinkos out there are dangerous.

So while the whole world was making a difference, we were plunged back in the same usual pit of petty politics, recrimination and whining.
In the Italian press you won't find news about what an incredible day the 15th of October was on planet Earth, but you can profusely read the comments and reactions of pretty much any obscure public figure, you can be lectured about the deep roots of violence in this country, you can find improbable interviews to mysterious black bloc members.

Once again we are the 99%. Once again only the other 1% counts.

Millions of people in 82 countries, 951 cities across the world, participated to the Day of Rage, peacefully. [pictures] 500,000 people in Madrid listened together to Beethoven's 9th symphony, massive demonstrations of the indignados all over Spain (350,000 in Barcelona, 100,000 in Valencia, 40,000 in Zaragoza). There were amazing scenes of cooperation in New York where 10,000 protesters 'took their message from the outpost of Zuccotti Park into the heart of the city, thronging into Times Square' (the Guardian). And then London, Berlin and Tokyo, Athens, Chicago, Copenhagen, Frankfurt am Main, Santiago del Chile, Toronto, Zagreb, Sydney, Lisbon, Brussels, Cairo...
...and yes, Rome with 200,000 marching and a few idiots smashing, with the compliance of the police and the government.

As Repubblica journalist Vittorio Zucconi commented:
A government that is unable to grant order and security during an authorized and peaceful protest, a government that is unable to foresee what we all feared, a government that allows a few hundreds smashing professionals to easily join the flow of the march, wearing uniforms and gas-masks [...], should resign rather than exploit the actions of these hooligans. All the more, if the same day in no other world capital, where similar demonstrations were taking place, anything like this happened.

Now the Italian government will be discussing special laws to increase the police power and put a stop to
"Preparatory acts to commit violence".
Acts such as surrounding a square of mostly peaceful protesters, obstructing all ways of escape? Driving a police van at full speed in a square full of people? Or raiding a school in the middle of the night, beating people and planting evidence(*)?

Oh wait a minute, the last two are not preparatory acts to commit violence, they are just plain acts of violence, so sorry about the misunderstanding.

Condemning young people to unemployment and precarious work
Cuts to the health system and to education
TVnews and politicians daily fomenting hatred against immigrants
Taxing the poor and letting the rich prosper
ARE all preparatory acts to commit violence.

The occupation goes on, spread the word, join the protest, occupy everywhere, "crush the hatred play your ukulele naked".

Friday, 2 September 2011


«I'm leaving this shitty country of which I'm sickened!»

It was not an unemployed researcher joining the stream of Italian fleeing brains, who said this.
It was not a lesbian woman or a gay man, who got married in Amsterdam or New York and who does not have any recognition and spouse rights in Italy, who said this.
It was not a factory worker, who after twenty years on the job watches the production being displaced to more profitable countries, who said this.
It was not an immigrant, arrived with immense strain, who hoped for a better life and found exploitation, injustice, discrimination, who said this.
It was not a pinko, an "indignado", a dissenter, a communist, who just couldn't take it any more after 17 years of Berlusconi, who said this.

It was Berlusconi, who said this.

"One of them things you say late at night!"

Yeah, he said that too. After all what Prime Minister hasn't...
"late at night, with half a smile on your face, paradoxically, as something that does not exist".

No worries, he reassured he is not going anywhere, he's staying right here "to change the country", to solve the big, ominous problem of Italy...

phone tapping!

For once Berlusconi and I have something in common: rampant unpatriotism. Though if he really wishes to leave this fraudulent dump, I might as well stay.


don't miss the new movie by Gustav Hofer e Luca Ragazzi, award winning authors of Suddenly last winter

Thursday, 11 August 2011

They may not have a future, but they got smart phones - the UK riots according to the Right-wing press

The London riots are all over the Italian press, as well as all over the media in every corner of the world. The conservative papers choose the virus metaphor and they seem to revolve around the question "are we going to get infected too"?
Hardly surprising.

But while the international copy-cat panic creeps through the front pages, another copy-cat phenomenon meets the eye.

The Berlusconi family newspaper il Giornale embraces the interpretations and the visions of its British ideological twin, the Daily Mail and offers its readers an enlightened and profound explanation of what is going on in the streets of London and the streets of Birmingham.

One leading commentator of the paper writes:

Sbandati e vigliacchi senza passato né futuro In Inghilterra va in scena la guerra della feccia

which sounds something like

Morally-wrecked and cowards without a past or a future

England stages the war of scum

The fact that they have no past and, especially, no future, does not seem to insinuate any doubt in il Giornale (or in the Daily Mail) about the causes. 
There does not seem to be much interest in understanding WHY this is happening. The Daily Mail this week alternatively blamed twitter, the liberal intelligentsia, moral decline, phone hacking hysteria. and so on.

The media hum-drum repeatedly let us know that these looters have blackberries and i-phones, that it isn't as if they were starving or something, sure they have no future, but hey one cannot have it all.

Il Giornale's writer (Tony Damascelli) tells us it's really about greed: "they are hungry for luxury and never satisfied". And don't forget, it's obviously about drugs: "this is to make money, to by drugs, to go back to their holes and refuse education, refuse jobs"Slackers and junkies, that's it and of course... they are black!

The writer goes on saying that unfortunately David Cameron is not Margaret Thatcher, that there is "no rigor and no vigor", that the government is fragile, the police is fragile and it's because of the chaos created by the phone hacking scandal (where have I already hear this one?).
So far we have learned that Tony Damascelli is a Daily Mail reader. But it gets better and better. In the following paragraph he assimilates the looters to Adolph Hitler, for no particular reason, but the fact that it is a right wing commentator's habit to nazify the "other" (remember Glenn Beck?).

The article then concludes explaining that there is no class war going on, it's just pointless violence and crime, they are nothing but rats, let's sanitize: "The rats' faces are on the front pages of every newspaper. They can't get away from the island".

Since there is no socio-economic cause but nihilistic greed, there is no need for any socio-economic solution, punishment is all we need. Conservatives and right wingers of the world unite.

But wanting to understand what is going on in the UK does not mean endorsing or even justifying crime and violence, it means looking at a picture that is bigger than one's own spectacles and trying to solve a problem that goes beyond the cuts in the UK, goes beyond the contingent financial crisis and is rooted much more deeply into our society.

So far most commentators, in the UK and abroad have failed to see that, the right-wing press blames it on the "scum" of society, the left-wing one on right wing governments. Replace hoodies with immigrants and Cameron with Berlusconi and the recipe works for every national palate.


The looting was, on one level, pure nihilism; on another, it was a crude attempt by rioters to mimic the conspicuous consumption exercised by the affluent and credit-rich. It was an expression of the values of a society in which we have been taught that, in the words of the former Labour minister Alan Milburn, to lead a good life is to "earn and to own". (theNewStatesman 10.08.11)

in the map of shame

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Meet the markets

Yesterday Italian journalists spent the day telling the Italian public that we were all nervously waiting for Berlusconi's crisis (or anti-crisis) speech at the Parliament. Many also told us that while we still had to wait in trepidation we shouldn't expect anything new or useful.
Nothing new or useful was said after all and all newspapers opened this morning with big dull titles about same old same old. The media hasn't found the morbid crime of the summer yet.
If you want to hear what a failure the prime minister's speech was, the foreign press is eager to tell you: the Guardian, the Independent, the Daily Mail, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Irish times, the Australian, the BBCDeutsche Welle, you name it...

But what I'd like to discuss is something that may sound even more un-newsworthy and obvious, that is the way we are used to talk about markets. The way we are taught to think about the markets.
The radio was quacking in the background all day and I kept hearing "the markets ... the markets ... the markets ...." and after a while I felt for them, the markets, poor chaps, poor family, poor rock band... But WHO are these markets anyway?

In Italian, as well as in English, there seems to be a massive tendency to anthropomorphize the markets. Just reading through the articles mentioned before we find plenty of examples, there are "stunned markets", "nervous" markets, the Deutsche Welle titles "Berlusconi seeks to soothe market nerves".
So it's normal, that's how one conventionally speaks about the markets, the economy and lots of other inanimate things, we make them human, it a bit like seeing a smiley face in the moon (we do that all the time, it's called pareidolia) it's the way our brain works, we just can't help it, can we?

I did a very informal analysis of how the markets are represented in the Italian media, looking at the past month's news on a variety of outlets (moderate, left wing and right wing dailies, financial papers, catholic press, weeklies) and the picture that emerged was very much homogeneous. The markets are people, just like you and me.

They have cognitive processes:
the markets judge, the markets have understood, the markets don't give much weight to the declarations,  the markets think, the markets obviously doubt about it, the markets are skeptical, the markets will start to make conjectures, the markets believe, the markets are ever more convinced, the markets know, the markets are not stupid ...

Emotional ones:
the markets remained indifferent, depressed the markets, calmed the markets, worried the markets, shocked the markets, scared the markets, the markets' nervousness, the markets' mood, the markets' euphoria, the markets' fear, the markets' relief, the markets might loose confidence, the markets are worried, the markets wish, the markets are taken by surprise, nervous session for the markets ...

They are involved in communicative interactions:
convince the markets, give a signal to the markets, the markets demand, make the markets understand, his first interlocutors will be the markets, that's what the markets ask, the markets reply, the markets are telling us, the markets can't give an adequate answer, and the markets said "...", listen to the markets ...

They have senses, in particular sight:
the markets look with apprehension, is seen by the markets, the markets foresee, the markets look attentively, the perception of the markets, right or wrong the markets perceive, the markets like, the markets don't like ...

They do very human things:
the markets wait  (they appear to do a lot of waiting), the markets cheer, the markets hunt, the markets menace, the markets will punish, the markets attack, the markets go on the rollercoaster, the markets bite Italy ...
and as for biting one needs teeth, the markets seem to have many more human body parts:
arms the markets wave
legs the markets stagger
shoulders the markets leave behind their backs
lungs the markets are gaping, the markets exhale with relief
hearts the markets are in fibrillation
they suffer and they keep on suffering, they have serious health problems

There is the markets' revolt and the markets' dictatorship. Still WHO these markets are we don't know, human in every respect, but with no faces.

Berlusconi's speech will be forgotten tomorrow, the global accumulation of patterns humanizing inanimate and abstract things in our language stays and strengthens every day. The more obvious, the more NORMAL it gets, the more problematic. We are to talk to, listen to, respond to, blame ... the markets but we can't. The markets have no name, no picture, no criminal record, no job to loose, shoes to buy, rent to pay, pets to feed, kids to see through school, relatives to bury... The markets are not accountable, people are.

In the meantime "Silvio challenges the markets" and off on holiday he goes (yesterday's was last session for the Italian parliament) ... the markets of course don't sunbathe and don't 'bunga bunga' party, do they?

Friday, 8 July 2011

"Like a butcher's shop"

Remembering G8 Genova 2001-2011

Like a butcher's shop - was the description by one of the convicted police officers, Michelangelo Fournier, of the way Italian police beat innocent protesters at the G8 summit in Genoa 2001.

read more:
Nick Davies on the Guardian 17 July 2008

Monday, 4 July 2011

from the media closet the perfect moral panic, goes with everything, right for any occasion, ladies and gents meet the Black Bloc

institutions, politicians, commentators, dutifully followed and fomented by the media have embraced the black bloc story.

"Terrorism", "attempted murder", "illegal violence" (no problem with legal violence) are just a few of the expression clouding the news about the Val di Susa protest.

The  mainstream media don't get the numbers right, they don't get people, causes, effects, they just don't get the story right, because it's so much more convenient to rely on the easy scapegoat. And on goes the humdrum about English speaking anarchists, the black bloc is back! 

But there is a strong and resourceful local community reclaiming and protecting its territory that will not be silenced.
You can follow the adventures of the Val di Sherwood on Twitter #notav

Activists online (on initiative of the writers collective Wu Ming) bewildered by the absence of #notav in the list of most tweeted hashtags, have collectively started an hashtag guerrilla, hijacking the tag #saldi (sales).

Experiment and resist!

70 thousand NO

learn more about the NO-TAV movement

Friday, 1 July 2011

Marco Travaglio, Italy's foremost investigative journalist (from the Independent)

The thorn in Silvio's side: Marco Travaglio has made a career out of exposing the Italian PM

He is even founding a newspaper based on The Independent to report on him.
By Lillo Montalto Monella

For politicians everywhere, if you get hammered in two consecutive rounds of elections, you've only yourself to blame. Or at least, the opposition – for having done its job well.
But in Italy, the reverse is true. As a result, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi held the media solely responsible for his defeat in last month's local elections (when he suffered a major setback in some 90 Italian cities, almost losing the right-wing stronghold Milan to a communist lawyer and Naples to a former prosecutor).
In particular, Berlusconi blamed a couple of journalists. One of them is Marco Travaglio, who has been a thorn in the premier's side for more than a decade.
Travaglio has a nose for all sorts of political and judicial intrigues, even though they are never particularly hard to find in Italy.
In September 2009 he founded a newspaper modelled on The Independent, to provide a medium for his regular criticism of the Italian establishment.
He was in London in June to chair a debate about Berlusconi's approach to politics and the media. The debate, "Italians are better than their Prime Minister", was organised by London Metropolitan University and Il Fatto Quotidiano (The Daily Fact) Travaglio's paper, which shifts 150,000 copies per day, a big deal in a country where the top paper, Il Corriere della Sera, sells around 480,000 copies every day.
With sales figures on the up and a net profit of €9m for 2010, the paper has built its success on Italian scepticism towards traditional media outputs, which are regarded as biased and unreliable.
Travaglio's speech outlined his approach to the issue: "In Italy, a journalist who finds a news story spends more time trying to convince his editor to publish it than in finding it. Our paper was born for this purpose: giving shelter to those reporters who would like to consider their job done once they have found a story to tell."
Il Fatto Quotidiano's character reflects Travaglio's and its editorial policy has been clear since its first cover story, which uncovered an ongoing investigation into Berlusconi right-hand man, Gianni Letta, which "nobody dared to talk about". After years digging behind the scenes, Travaglio was thrown into the spotlight in 2001, when he published the book L'odore dei soldi (The Smell of Money) a controversial account of the origins of the Italian PM's fortunes. The allegations in the book sparked a huge debate after the author appeared on a chat show, giving many Italians their first chance to hear about the mysterious origins of Berlusconi's media empire and his alleged ties to the Mafia. The PM sued for millions for having "literally shattered his public, political and entrepreneurial reputation," but was unsuccessful.
Travaglio is now touring Italian theatres with his vitriolic show, General Anaesthetic, in which he ridicules the contradictions of a country anaesthetised by a media that is a "servant to the political power" and oblivious of its role as society's watchdog.
As well as appearing on stage and in print, his tongue-lashing editorials are the flagship part of the successful talk-show AnnoZero, broadcasted on Italian state television, despite being on Berlusconi's blacklist.
Summing up his quest, Travaglio told his London audience: "We just do what journalism is all about: we call thieves 'thieves' and gentlemen 'gentlemen'. It does look obvious but, believe me, it is not in Italy."

(The Independent 01.07.2011)

Lillo Montalto Monella is an Italian reporter and photojournalist. A version of this article originally appeared at

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The face of power - by Massimo Gramellini

To know the face of Mr Bisignani is the privilege of few. The 10 or 11 million Italians who talked to him over the phone have never met him in person and the man in the street who has only lately learnt about his existence see every day the same picture, one taken ages ago, with drop shaped glasses on a smooth face.
It’s a paradox, isn’t it? We keep being told that we exist only if we are visible, and in the meantime nobody knows the people with the real power. Never spotted a banker on talk shows’ chairs, not even in the States. The puppeteers send the puppets to shamble on TV. May be they are worried that by having their image reflected on thousands of screens their soul would be taken away. Or may be they simply know that power feeds on fear and nothing makes fear fade as familiarity.
Just one step below the invisibles, are the audio-authorities: those who do not participate to TV shows, but phone the studio live, voicing their looming monologues from the top, over the faces on screen. Another step below there is the one who appears speaking from abroad, on a broad screen the size of a Mao poster. But he appears, which mens he does not count much. The ones that really do not count a thing are the habitual TV guests. The puppets hugging their chairs, clattering for attention, for a close up, while the mutter the mantra “I didn’t interrupt you, do not interrupt me”. The despondent people despises them and votes them. The faceless power despise them and uses them.

[Translation by Anna Marchi. Original available LA STAMPA - 23.06.2011]

P4 and the 4Ps: pimps, prostitutes, plunderers and profiteers

Italians are learning about the P4, the latest and updated version of the masonic gang that rules the country behind the scenes.

Bisignani is the man in the shadow,  politics, media, business, banks, he seems to have been running things in every district of power. He is all over the front pages, but there is just one old picture of his face, we can read everything he said over the phone, but we can’t see him and don't know much about him. (On this issue my translation of an excellent column by Massimo Gramellini)

Immediately the more visible 4Ps sitting in the government and the parliament rush to push through the gag law to impede the kind of phone tapping that is exposing the underbelly of power.

(“It’s a useless government” / “Monsters, jerks and sluts”)

While pimps, prostitutes, plunderers and profiteers sit in the government, the right wing press tells us Brunetta was right about the “worse part of Italy”, it’s there and it’s the precarious teachers, “so called teachers” says ilGiornale, who protested outside the Parliament asking Berlusconi to quit.

(Brunetta was right / There you are, the worse Italy)

IlGiornale and Libero also tell their readers they shouldn’t worry about P4, that doesn’t exist, just like mafia, the real P4 are magistrates (also called PM in Italian, how very convenient for a nice tabloidy headline).

(They only spy the government. The real P4 are the magistrates)

Berlusconi won yesterday a confidence vote and vowed to stay until 2013. He said he has to because “the majority is strong and cohesive”, he said he has to because it would be “folly” to leave the country in political and financial instability, “ending up like other European countries which are virtually bleeding”, he said he has to because there is no alternative to his government, he said he has to although it is “a great sacrifice” but someone has to do it.

Friday, 17 June 2011

The worst part of Italy - a post PC story

This is a post PC story. It's not a post Personal Computer story, it's not a post Italian Communist Party story (though it may well be), it is a post Political Correctness story. Post implicates an ante, which is probably a misleading concept in the Italian context, but in the global world please allow the idea that we can be post PC, without having ever been there.

On June 14th the web on this shore of the big world was invaded by a viral video where the Minister for Public Administration and Innovation Renato Brunetta calls precarious workers "the worst part of Italy". Within minutes a Facebook page requesting the resignation of the Minister was created and within an afternoon it collected more than 10 thousand subscriptions (the number this minute is 37,508 and growing). Brunetta readily replied from his webcam claiming he was attacked by a bunch of drag-precari that were in fact brigadists exploiting the dramatic situation of so many young Italians, in order to push through their own agenda. These people who savaged and insulted him, he said, "are not the victims of precariat(1), they are the victims of their own failures".

Apparently in Italy there are about 4 million losers, victim of their own failures.
They used to call them "flexible", flexible is good isn't it: it bends it doesn't break, it folds you can carry it everywhere, it's soft it doesn't hurt.
It doesn't hurt, but they get hurt, another name for them is "casualised workers", doesn't it recall "casualty" =  someone or something that is damaged or suffers as a result of something else. Then you have "intermittent workers", as if you could live intermittently, intermittently pay rent, intermittently eat. "Temporary workers", hey don't look at me everything is ephimerous, just go and "hold eternity in an hour".
Then the word "precarious" arrived. Unsteady, unbalanced, unstable, DANGEROUS. The people at the top planned it to be dangerous for us, and indeed it is, but it turned out it is dangerous for them too. Precariat will become the new proletariat. Then it is a post Communist Party story!

So the new communicative strategy is making the "precarious worker" disappear. A conservative politician won't be caught dead saying the words. "Precarious worker" is a political label not a socio-economic category. Let's just refer to "project worker" (it makes it nearly sound as if they have a plan), "freelance workers" (it makes it sound as if it was their choice), or "self-employed" (that is empowering!). But those "precarious workers", those bogus precarious workers I mean, they are just the worse part of Italy.

Recently ISTAT (the National Institute of Statistics) revealed that there are 2 million young Italians who don't do anything. They don't count as unemployed, because they are not even looking for a job, they don't study, they live with their parents, relying on the family as lifejacket. They are called the idle "lost generation", though the Italian term used to describe them is much more revealing. They are "rassegnati", they are hopeless. About 1/5 of Italian youth, between 18 and 34,  is hopeless; after that we become plain useless.
HOPELESS is an interesting lexical choice. It suggests that it's our responsibility having lost hope, rather than conveying the idea that somebody stripped us of our future.

According to senator Giorgio Clelio Starcquadanio (PDL),  Berlusconi's party lost the regional elections and the referendum, because on the other side there is an army of 4 million slackers "who have fuckin' nothing to do and spend all day fiddling on the web" and making a hell of a rack.

Hopeless, losers, failures,  the worse part of Italy, slackers, squadrists, web-jerkers... I told you it was a post politically correct story.

The FB page requesting Brunetta's resignation has in the meantime reached: 37,749 attending.
The tenor of the comments is admittedly quite offensive and unimaginative. They pick on him for his "stature", now that is a low blow! On the other hand if they had hit higher they'd have probably missed the target.

It's post PC baby, or just call us: differently stable.

(1) It is necessary here to stress that the words “precarious-precarity-precariat” are a linguistic innovation, which in the last year has spread from Italy and Spain to all the European networks engaged in a reflection on casualisation. Superseding the better known terms “flexibility-flexworker”, the introduction of “precarious-precarity-precariat” marks the emergence of struggles that are constituent of a new terminology and new imaginary from which, in turn, new rights come to light. (Marcello Tarì and Ilaria Vanni, On the Life and Deeds of San Precario, Patron Saint of Precarious Workers and Lives)

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Freedom is participation - evolve or die!

It was a joyous sunny morning reflecting on the wet pavement. We were walking home after the busride from Rome and an amazing Europride parade.
You might have heard of it by now, you certainly know about Lady Gaga's speech and what a powerful, moving and serious speech it was. I felt proud and honored to be there and grateful.
We went to the newsagent, we wanted to see our day printed in sticky ink. A discussion started around the counter covered with papers, "look at that, this Lady Germanotta attracted 1 million people, she brought 1 MILLION people in the square with a 30 min show, while we have to make all this effort for the referendum". I raised my head in disbelief, sleep brushed away by a sudden anger, "you may find out - I said - that we would have been in that square anyway". I wanted to say more, but I left, my stomach churning, leaving silence behind.
We would have been there anyway, I thought again as I was going to vote. We flooded Rome's streets for our rights, we flooded the electoral box the next day for our rights, and yours too. But that man at the newsagent's did not seem to notice how the two things were connected. Some "friendly" newspapers did not seem to notice either. L'Unità - a left- wing committed newspaper - decided that 500,000 people marching and a gathering of 1 million deserved a small mention somewhere on page 22, after 20 odd pages about the referendum. Most media thought, as the man at the newsagent's, that it was all about Lady Gaga, they failed to register that as she brought thousands of people together, it was thousands of people together bringing her in the first place.

I have no problem with the fact that a Versace dress tickles journalists' pens more than the broken voice of a lesbian parent, the swelling heart of a mother, the stinging words of the president of the transgender movement, but I want the man at the newsagent's, I want journalists, I want everybody to realize that the meaning of the Europride parade is not different from the meaning of the referendum. As the Italian songwriter Giorgio Gaber said "Freedom is participation". The Pride parade is a carnival, it is an expression of sheer joy, it is a show of us being us and of us being here, it is a protest, made of energy and rage and exhilaration. And you Mr newsagent's man should have been there too. Besides it was a fabulous dress and boy what a voice ;-)

Today it is another joyous day, the sun is struggling to break through the clouds, the street is filled with cheering chats about the referendum and I am grateful to all 26,130,637 Italians who voted.
It is priceless to see the papers spread on the counter spread with YES, even more priceless to see this:

But hey, 26 million, listen, you should have been with us too. And if you still think that we are not talking about the same kind of RIGHTS... well "evolve or die".

Friday, 10 June 2011

The revolution will not be televised - Bring your own camera!

Such is the moral pillage, the devastation of hopes, the bonfire of ideas  perpetuated by Berlusconism in this country, that we hang with desperation to voices from abroad.
A famished readership of Italians, tired of walking the globe gaunt and apologetic, has spent the morning posting the Economist's front page on their Twitter and Facebook accounts, as if crying LOOK LOOK, DO YOU SEE IT NOW? The king is naked! 

But, is he? The foreign press has declared Berlusconi dead many times, unfortunately this country ain't the foreign press. If you want change, go out and get it, go out and MAKE it!
The campaign for this weekend's referendum is "Vote YES to say NO!". We should learn the lesson, quit shaking our hanging heads in disapproval, shame, dismay and DO something.

We can "like" The Economist as many times as we wish, but it won't make our revolution.
Vote, make a difference, protest, march at the Europride, strike, climb on the roofs! And while you are there, bring your own camera, because the revolution will not be televised.

PS: On the margin of this quick rant, I'd like to thank the Economist and to inform ilGiornale's readers that they might want to ask around before ruling it out as yet another Communist pamphlet.

But this article is just too hilarious, you need to have a taste of it. A rough translation of the opening paragraph follows:

The Economist, once a serious British business magazine and now playground of the European leftist lobbies, throws some more mud on Italy and on Berlusconi. Put together a bunch of stale articles read on LaRepubblica and ilFatto Quotidiano, add a vulgar headline (The man who screwed an entire country) and done, your front cover is ready[...] It is as if today we had titled: "Economist, it's shit". And who could controvert. Or "Queen Elisabeth's a cockblock". Sure we would be deemed quack and vulgar, slimy scribblers on the paycheck of power. Those dumbos at the Economist, however, today will be praised as free and refined analysts.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Silvio gets a blast at long last and it's a newspaper feast

May 31

Natural disaster metaphors cover all the front pages: it's an earthquake. The Prime Minister's party "reduced to rubble in the cities" says Corriere della Sera, among others, and one cannot but think of the real rubble of l'Aquila, left behind and covered up by the Italian government and its media.

In the meantime Berlusconi warns the liberated citizens of Milan and Naples "You will regret this" and predicts the incumbent catastrophe "pray the Lord to be saved". A suspicious mind may have maliciously wondered who he meant by Lord.

Berlusconi, the papers remind us, turned this local elections campaign into a referendum on his persona and his leadership. The people's response is splashed all over the press: FAILED!

With a few exceptions, today's front pages are all about the Emperor's defeat, rather than about the winners, only the (real) left wing papers do not miss a rare chance to rejoice. "I can't believe it!" titles ilManifesto, "Thank you Italy" goes l'Unità.

But on a day like this one really does not want to miss the right wing press. In an early online edition yesterday Libero chose to open with the winners:


The morning edition though throws the ball back to the looser, hitting with satire:

"Blow for Silvio
Crying and not shagging"

(The headline is difficult to translate, because one should be able to render the Neapolitan dialect. What it made me think of and I found quite hilarious is "BLOW NOT BLOW JOB").

The Berlusconi family paper ilGiornale managed to avoid the discussion about winners and losers by turning the whole business into a sentence of insanity.
Despite the intentions, it was a treat to see a Che Guevara flag on the front page:
The newspaper's "psychodrama": "The left talks about 'liberated cities' but they are ready to give them away to gipsies and muslims".

What a day...