Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Massimo Tartaglia and Berlusconi's busted face

Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said he is considering tougher limits on freedom of expression and pledged to crack down on social networking sites that “instigate” violence against the prime minister.(...) The internet is one of the few sources of news and information in Italy that aren't subject to some form of control by Mr. Berlusconi. His family media empire owns one of the two major Italian news magazines, two daily newspapers, and three of the seven major TV channels. Three more of Italy's major channels are run by his government. While there are a number of independent newspapers, Berlusconi has sought to limit their room for maneuver, bringing lawsuits against newspapers that have reported on his extramarital affairs and allegations that he used call girls.
Christian Science Monitor

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Till Berlusconi took it over Italy occupied a special place in my mental landscape. If not the "mother" of western civilization -- that would be Greece -- it was the "stepmother" of western civilization, perhaps the "wicked-old-stepmother" of western civilization.

Some of the affection was a Hollywood construct, of course. Soon after WWII, Hollywood was quick to give Italy a fresh coat of paint, so  that, while, after all these many years, Germans are still the favorite Hollywood villains, Mussolini's people were given an immediate free pass, complete with "Roman Holidays" as the "moon hit your eye like a big pizza pie" and with Sophia Loren trotting her marvelous gazongas to the tune of "presto, presto do your very best-oh, live a your life with a zip and a zing".

But it wasn't all Hollywood horse apples. There were Antonioni, Fellini and Berlinguer, Vitorio and Marcello, Adriano Celentano and Mina, Alberto Sordi, Alberto Moravia and Rita Pavone too. They weren't all a dream...

Then the land that spawned Leonardo da Vinchi  excreted Silvio Berlusconi, a toxic mixture of Rupert Murdoch, George Bush, Count Dracula, Ronald McDonald and Wayne Newton. You could say that Italy doesn't do things by halves.

I truly cannot think of any leader since Adolph Hitler who has single-handedly  taken such a fine country and so spoiled it and despoiled it as Berlusconi has Italy: George Bush doesn't even come close, half the job was more than done before he could lay a hand on the United States.

Then the other day a computer geek named Massimo Tartaglia took an alabaster  model of Milan's cathedral and tossed it into Berlusconi's face making rather a mess of that much lifted part of the "cavilieri's" anatomy.

Something that a 19th century anarchist would have pulled off with a pawnshop pistol or a homemade bomb, injuring or killing innocent bystanders, a crazy Italian geek did with simple souvenir. Humanity has advanced.

Signor Tartaglia immediately got himself a fan club in Facebook of about 200,000 members until Berlusconi's government got it taken down. There is a new one which has just opened and is picking up a couple of hundred fans per hour and was just over seven thousand when last I looked. Here is the link if you wish to sign up.

Something in Massimo's nose of a Roman emperor and  his mad eyes make me think that it might be a bit too soon to write Italy off just yet. DS


bailey said...

Silvio polled consistantly at about 60%, it went down, now he has some sympathy.
Recently, I spent 4 mo's in lignano, up north, talking to the same Italians everyday, asking specifically about Silvio, no one committed to anything, and not because they don't want to give their game face away, they just didn't care.

Down South, however, they do, there's a far less industrious attitude and much less opportunity.

Interesting to note, one of thee worst periods in Italian history was when the CIA worked with the Red Brigades, responsible for killing 10's of thousands of Italians, trying to influence their vote, not to mention imposing our horrific consumer based society upon them.

They speak of history often in Italy, and this period is often on their lips, still. In fact, a good friend, an Italian/American, has spent years working on a documentary regarding this period. It is slow going as he's working with the French for funding.

Silvio's a corrupt, opportunistic asshole, like everyone else and yes, the Italians are finally getting tired of his mixing so much politics with business.

They don't like anyone mixing anything with their ability to do business as they please and talk and talk and talk about nothing at all....such a civilized place, the best food, style, weather, sun, viva italia!!!!

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

He is more than a corrupt asshole, Bailey. His control of the TV and newspapers is really sinister. He is like a mixture of Murdoch and the Koch brothers, but much more powerful in Italy than they are in the USA. I think he moved into a vacuum created by the traditional political system at the end of the cold war. I think that he is finished now, and when he dies his heirs will probably tear his empire to pieces.

BTW: As far as I can get from Wikipedia, the Red Brigades killed about 75 people in all. Eta, here in Spain is pushing a thousand... our wine is better too.

bailey said...

Yes, and that's why the Spanish have been so much more successful at exporting their wine and culture than the Italians, lol.

I'm not sure relying upon the Wikipedia to dispute Italian history and politics is the most effective way to support your point, and 75 is rather offensive, actually...but let's agree to disagree...But I'll be spending much of Christmas in Piedmonte, so good chance to research some facts on the ground....

bailey said...

and of course Silvio is an asshole, that's never been up to dispute but I don't agree with the need to cite him as the most corrupt at every chance, that's just careless.

Interesting to note, the Italians are not afraid of their government but the Americans are, and that, I find more interesting than how much more corrupt Silvio is....they have 28 political parties for christ's sake, it's a different system, their tax structure is treated differently, they are a different kind of culture, and there is absolutely no similarity to discuss, wine, otherwise....the Italians HATE it when people compare Italian to Spanish, you have to, at the very least, concede to that...but maybe not, rather, let's just not compare as they are entirely different, the French and Italian are cousins, for better or worse...

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

Yes, and that's why the Spanish have been so much more successful at exporting their wine and culture than the Italians, lol.

Now think that over Bailey... How many people in the world speak Italian?

And Spanish?

300,000,000 people speak Castillian Spanish... And all the American-Indians from the Rio Grande down to Patagonia that practice the Catholic religion...
Wouldn't you call that "exporting culture", if even at sword point?

As to the wine, Ill leave that up to the experts but as far as I read the experts are putting the top Spanish Riojas and Ribera del Duero up with the French grand crus... The only Italian wines I ever see in the shops are spumantes and vermouth.