Posts filed under ‘Politics’
I never thought I’d quote Steve Miller (the bane of my university years) but “time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future”. I can’t believe it’s already November and that my little girl is already two months old and my “big” girl just turned seven!
For the last few weeks “time” has been on my mind: the lack of, the speed of, the wasting of, the quality of, etc.
I’ve also been pondering how best to reconcile my need to write with my überbusy existence). Yes, I’m getting used to life with three kiddos but I still have the urge to create things other than babies and clutter. I’d also like to communicate in some way with the outside world because I’m cooped up at home most of the time. But how to do it in between feedings, laundry and sleeping?
The only thing I could think of that would best fit my schedule is a point-form list of what I’m doing, thinking about, reading, etc., because world wants to know! Ideally I’d like to post one every day but, come on, we all know how prolific a writer I’ve been lately I’m also going to write traditional posts (god willing!) from time to time so this new system isn’t set in stone.
Ok, here we go!
What I’m watching: My current obsession is the American version of The Office. I can’t get enough of it and I’m trying to control how many episodes I watch per day because I don’t want it to end! I have Seasons 1-5 (thanks Sue!). I was a huge fan of the UK Office and was doubtful I’d enjoy the US version but I was so wrong. The writers and actors have done a superb job with each and every one of the characters. Maybe in some twisted way it reminds me of work and is a way for me to “escape” to the office every day.
Music of the day: yesterday I enforced a No TV day and played CDs instead. A little bit of Schubert and Vivaldi but my favourite was The Beatles White Album. Perfect for a rainy day, or any day for that matter. That time spent in Rishikesh did them good. It has a bit of everything and will never let you down (well, except for Yoko’s screaming in Revolution #9. It scared the baby.).
Best read of the day: this is actually from a few days ago but I happened to read it now. I had no idea the Japanese were this crazy for doughnuts. They sound like my kind of people!
What I’m eating: I just polished off a heaping plate of spaghetti with sugo di stufato d’asino. That’s just a fancy way of saying “stewed donkey meat sauce”. I know, it doesn’t sound as good in English but let me assure you, it was yum. Oh, and last night the hubster made a divine risotto alla zucca, or pumpkin risotto. He also cooked his famous frittata, this time with turnip tops (cime di rapa). And thank god I can have a glass of wine from time to time because tonight we’re going to open up a bottle of San Colombano, the only DOC wine produced in the province of Milan.
Best moment of the day: Baby and Diggy “talking” to each other. She was even laughing a little bit. So sweet!
Worst moment of the day: My kids overhearing the expression “bunga bunga” and giddily repeating it over and over again. Cringe cringe cringe.
Well, this turned out to be longer than I thought. But it was fun!
Will I keep up with it? Only time will tell.
By now you’ve all heard about Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Boy, was that a surprise! Not that the man didn’t deserve it. Just wasn’t expecting it, is all. Am looking forward to seeing what the folks at SNL are going to make of the whole thing.
But I had an even bigger surprise a couple weeks ago. While on my way to work, listening to the fantabulous Luca Bottura on Radio Capital, I had the shock of my (relatively) young life. Bottura announced that (gasp, horror!) there was an official committee to promote the nomination of Silvio Berlusconi for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. And it was no joke! There’s an official site and everything, in Italian and Itanglish, where you can find out how to make donations to “back Silvio Berlusconi’s candidady (huh?!? Is that like becoming his sugar daddy??? Eww, no grazie!). You can also find out why Silvio is on a par with Jimmy Carter, Muhammad Yunus and Al Gore. Truly thrilling science fiction.
But it gets more awesome. There’s even an official song/anthem, called La Pace Può (Peace Can). Are you ready for it, kids?? (warning: children, expectant mothers and diabetics are advised against watching this masterpiece)
Now be honest, did you throw up in your mouth just a little?
For those of you who don’t know Italian and couldn’t grasp the pure poetry of Loriana Lana’s lyrics, here’s an approximate translation of the first verse. Barf bags ready?
I will repeat
these words endlessly.
And the wind will be the one to spread it
and the world shall listen.
see for yourself
Abruzzo wakes up in disbelief.
Snow and sun
and your hand is here.
There is a President
that will accompany us.
He put his hand where?!? Now, how can our Silvio win the Nobel Peace Prize with lyrics like that? At least Obama had Michael Franti. Berluska clearly needs our help. Let’s come up with something better so that the great man at least has a fighting chance. Am very much looking forward to your suggestions (anche in Italiano se volete)!
I’m just watching Michele Santoro‘s program Anno Zero. It’s a miracle that the show is still on, considering the “freedom of the press” we’re enjoying in Italy at the moment. Santoro’s guest, journalist Carl Bernstein, is not impressed. And no one else in Italy, or anywhere else, should be either. I’m sure many of you have heard about Berlusconi’s recent scandals and how he’s trying to muzzle the press in Italy and around the world through lawsuits. I’m not going to get into the details but you can read more about it here, here and here (among other sources).
On 3 October, there will be a demonstration in Rome in defense of freedom of the press in Italy. I cannot be there in person but my contribution is to urge all of you to read the following appeal published in the newspaper La Repubblica and to show your support by signing the online petition.
Appeal by three Jurists
The libel action against “Repubblica” is the last in a long list of attacks against this daily which can only be seen as attempts at silencing the free press, at benumbing public opinion, at removing us from the international information scene and ultimately at making our Country the exception to the rule of Democracy.
The questions addressed to our Prime Minister are real questions that have prompted people’s interest not only in Italy but also in the media across the world. If they are considered to be “rhetorical” questions that suggest answers that displease the person to whom they are addressed, then there is only one and very easy way of responding: the reaction should certainly not be that of silencing the people who ask those questions.
The response instead is that of intimidating those who exercise the right and duty of “seeking, receiving and imparting information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”, as stated in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights approved by the Assembly of Nations when memory was still very much alive of the way information degenerated into propaganda under the illiberal and antidemocratic regimes of the 20th century.
What is astonishing and worrying is that not only are these initiatives not unanimously stigmatized, but they are not even reported by the media, and that furthermore there are jurists who are even willing to give them legal form, utterly dismissing the harm this will cause to the very seriousness and credibility of the Law.
People all around the world (450,000 to date) have expressed their support of the appeal, including Doris Lessing, Sting, Bernard-Henry Levy and Roberto Benigni. To sign the petition, click on this link and scroll to the bottom of the page.
I’ve been noticeably (or not!) absent from the blogosphere for a number of reasons. Mostly because I haven’t been inspired to write, which is strange considering all that’s been going on in Italy (elections, Papi, etc.). Maybe the Milanese mosquitoes have sucked the lifeblood out of me. Or perhaps I was just plain disgusted at the non-stop media circus surrounding all things Berlusconi. But strangely enough, thanks to Papi Silvio, I have found my mojo again. And its name is Magic Italy!
Behold the majestic logo, the flourish of the Tricolore, the shining star peeking demurely from behind the “c”, the sand dunes in the background. Yes, I know what you must all be thinking. How can so much awesomeness be possible? Why, it’s all the handiwork of Berlusconi and Red Sonja, the new Minister for Tourism. She proudly announced on the news that the Prime Minster had been personally working on Italy’s new tourism logo “for days”. Days! Now that’s dedication. And all that hard work has paid off. This will be the symbol of Italy’s rise from the ashes, the siren which will beckon the world to our mighty shores, the macaroni to our cheese!!
Ah, who am I kidding! It looks like the intro to an infomercial or as my husband said, the opening credits to a bad porno (and I have NO idea why he would know!). THIS is going to relaunch Italy’s flagging tourism industry? Um, my two year-old could have probably drawn a better logo in minutes, with his feet. Seriously.
So now it’s time for a little contest. Can you do better? Can you make up a logo for Italy’s Ministry of Tourism? Ask your children to take part as well. Come on people! Get your crayons and finger paints out!! And don’t worry if it takes “days”. Italy needs you!!!!
Just thought I’d show you the POSITIVE coverage Barack Obama’s victory has been getting in the papers and magazines here in Italy. From what I’ve seen and heard, most Italians are thrilled by this historic event and hope that it will inspire a similar change in the country’s political class.
But it was class, or the lack thereof, that came to the forefront during Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s press conference in Russia yesterday. His mindless, condescending comment about Barack Obama only goes to show how provincial and out of touch Italy’s politicians actually are. Now I don’t know what possessed that little man to say that – senility, vodka, too much Viagra. Whatever it is, he’ll have to snap out of it soon because the country is changing. I took the subway yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to see how multicultural Milan has gotten over the last couple of years. There was a Muslim girl, a Filipino man, an Asian woman and an Italian guy standing on the platform in front of me, all reading the same page in the newspaper, all reading about Obama and the change that has come not only to America but to the world. Is Italy ready?
Let me talk about something serious for once. I know most of you read these blogs because you’re fascinated by Italy. And I get it. I really do. It’s one of the reasons I moved here. The picturesque towns, the history, culture, the food. But over the last two months, a lot of things have been happening in the Bel Paese that have really started to get me worried:
- 19 year old Abdul William Guibre, born in Burkina Faso but raised in Italy, was beaten to death by the owners of a Milan bar because he was suspected of stealing a package of cookies. The attackers shouted insults like, “We going to kill you you dirty n******!”
- a Chinese man was beaten up during an unprovoked attack in Rome
- AC Milan’s goalkeeper Cristian Abbiati announced he was a Fascist
- upon leaving school for the afternoon a 22 year old Ghanian student was mistaken for a drug dealer and was savagely beaten up and insulted with racial epithets by civic police in Parma
- six African immigrants were shot and killed in Castel Volturno. The attack was apparently ordered by the Neapolitan mafia.
- during a World Cup qualifying match in Bulgaria, Italian fans set a Bulgarian flag on fire during the national anthem and made fascist salutes
- Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano met with Pope Benedict XVI and called for the Church and State to work together to combat racism
- the lower house of parliament approved a plan to create separate classes for immigrant children. Foreign students would have to take a special exam before being allowed to attend classes with Italian pupils
- Roberto Saviano, author of Gomorrah, the best-selling exposé of the Neapolitan mafia, vowed to leave Italy after an assassination plot was recently uncovered
Pretty disturbing stuff. I didn’t want to get you down before the weekend but I believe it’s important to share this information. I know it’s a particular, complicated moment for the world in general but these things cannot and should not be happening here in the 21st century. Despite all this, I still haven’t lost hope in the Italian people.
Let me leave you with the words and music of two great men, Mahatma Gandhi and Marvin Gaye
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it–always.” Mahatma Gandhi
You know, the first time I laid eyes on Sarah Palin, she just looked so familiar to me. But I couldn’t put my finger on it. Till now.
Uncanny, non? The woman in the second picture might be familiar to those of you living in Italy. Her name is Moira Orfei and she’s a “circus mom”. No she’s not a freak on display. She’s a member of the important Orfei circus family and was once considered a great beauty, by Fellini of all people. Now she’s famous for her beehive do and love of lipstick, just like Sarah Palin. Separated at birth, I tell ya!