[A week ago a prestigious British magazine asked us for a long piece on Grillismo. We wrote it and submitted it, but there was some misunderstanding, and they edited it too heavily for our own taste. We clarified the matter with them, but at that point we were way beyond the deadline and the issue went to print without our contribution. Too bad, but no grudge held. The piece was too long - almost 5,000 words - to submit it to any other mag or newspaper, let them do all the editing all over again and have it published in a reasonable lapse of time. Over here the situation is very bad, and people abroad are completely disinformed about it. Every day we read nonsense and bullshit on Grillo by people who completely ignore the reactionary, authoritarian nature of his movement. A harsh reality is biting our arses and we need to send a message in a bottle right now. In the end, having no other possibility, we decided to publish the piece on this ugly, obsolete, long neglected blog, which is in bad need of complete reconstruction and a new start, but even in its present form is better than nothing. Of course it isn't as authoritative as that London magazine, and potential circulation is ludicrous in comparison, but what else can we do? Please feel free to copy our analysis and republish it wherever you want. Thanks.]
«Marriage is a bond between a man and a woman. How can you institute marriage between two persons of the same sex? Why not marriage between three persons then? Why not marriage between you and your animal? Some people have a strong relationship with their animal, would you allow them to marry it?»
(Francesco Perra, 5SM candidate at the recent national election, 8 June 2012 )
- Atualisaçoes nos comentarios -
[Pedimos aos leitores para reagirem. E eles já o fazem! Todas as sugestões que demos ao final deste artigo estão sendo postas em prática entusiasticamente, melhoradas e compartilhadas por uma multidão de pessoas que estão horrorizadas pelo que está acontecendo na região de Veneza. Editores estão produzindo declarações e lançando comunicados oficiais, a mídia nacional está começando a cobrir o assunto, a Associação Nacional de Bibliotecários (AIB) condenou enfaticamente a proposta e convidou os leitores a relatar qualquer tentativa de censurar e banir livros. Contudo, isso ainda não é suficiente. Precisamos que as pessoas de fora do país saibam o que está acontecendo, há o fedor da prática nazista de queima de livros na Itália, e o caso do fugitivo “ex-terrorista” Cesare Battisti (agora no Brasil) não é mais que uma desculpa para a repressão. O período de declínio de um regime pode ser muito longo, e é seu período mais perigoso, à medida que os lacaios ficam cada vez mais desesperados e recorrem a todos os tipos de atos absurdos de modo a manter suas garras sobre a sociedade.]
As melhores palavras, dadas as circunstâncias, foram encontradas por nosso colega Serge Quadruppani. Aqui estão, traduzidas do francês: (more…)
[Traduit de l'italien par Gaia Manco. Mise à jour dans les comments]
Serge Quadruppani a su trouver les mots les plus indiquées. Les voilà: (more…)
[Traducido desde el italiano por Nadie Enparticular. ACTUALIZACIONES EN EL COMENTARIO]
Las palabras más adecuadas a las circunstancias las encontró Serge Quadruppani. Las traducimos del francés, son estas: (more…)
N.B. UPDATES BELOW, IN THE COMMENT SECTION
[English translation of the "call to arms" we issued yesterday. We asked readers to fight back, and fighting they are! All the suggestions we gave at the end of this article are being enthusiastically put into practice, improved and shared by multitudes of people who are horrified by what is taking place in the Venice area. Publishers are making statements and releasing communiqués, the national media are starting to cover the affair, the National Association of Librarians (AIB) has strongly condemned the proposal and invited readers to counter any attempt at censoring and banning books. However, this isn't enough yet. We need people abroad to be aware of what's going on, there's a stench of nazi book burnings in Italy, and the case of fugitive "ex-terrorist" Cesare Battisti (now in Brazil) is nothing more than an excuse for repression. The period of a regime's decline may be very long, and it's the most dangerous period, as the lackeys get more and more desperate and resort to all kinds of senseless acts in order to keep their grip on society. Thanks to Gregorio Magini of Scrittura Industriale Collettiva for translating our piece, we really wouldn't have had time to do it! In the next few hours we'll provide translations in French, Spanish and Catalan. We badly need a Portuguese version. French-speaking readers can already read Serge Quadruppani's article on Rue 89.]
The best words, given the circumstances, were found by our colleague Serge Quadruppani. Here they are, translated from French: (more…)
Silvio Berlusconi and Gianfranco Fini
The London Review of Books blog published an article we wrote to dispel some dangerously hopeful fantasies on Berlusconi’s decline.
People ask us: Is this the end for Berlusconi? And we answer: No, it isn’t. Not necessarily. And even if it were, it wouldn’t be the end of Berlusconism as a fetishistic mass cult, an ideological current in Italian life and a certain way of using the media.
The most likely outcome is Berlusconism without Berlusconi. His former allies who are strong-arming him into resigning as prime minister are preparing a continuation of Berlusconism by other means. Gianfranco Fini, the former neo-fascist who is now being idolised even by some left-wing amnesiacs, is yet another Man of Destiny pretending to have come to town this morning. People seem to forget that Fini is still the man who was in alliance with Berlusconi for 16 years; who took advantage of Berlusconi’s conflict of interests; who voted for every shameful bill on employment, the environment, the judiciary and so on; who supported the police in every case of brutality against demonstrators, strikers or prison inmates; and who personally devised two very repressive pieces of legislation: the Bossi-Fini Act on immigration and the Fini-Giovanardi Act on drugs. In Italy, amnesia rules.
Read the rest on the LRB blog.
[Yesterday's tweets on what happened in Milan:]
B. called “a miracle” that he survived the assault. No, it’s a miracle he’s still around after 15 years & with such an obsession for death.
From the hospital: “Why do they hate me?” Maybe he really wonders why. For yrs he’s been living in a world apart, surrounded by yes-men.
Little girl, 4 yrs old: “Dad, what happened?” Dad: “A nutter hurt a villain”. Little girl thinks it over, then: “It’s a stupid story!”
@Meandy maybe Tartaglia and Berlusconi have more things in common than they’d want to know. Two delusional types bumped into each other.
Tartaglia from jail: “I HATE BERLUSCONI!”. Yeah, we kind of imagined that. Whatever the reason, how discourteous to jump such a long queue!
One of B’s aides “He will not exploit the assault in the next election campaign”. Usual self-negating denial, but there’s something strange.
It sounds like he and his clique were *really* taken aback, like they’re having problems trying to impose the Reichstag frame.
Opposition leader Di Pietro: “I’m no hypocrite, I won’t visit B. at the hospital”. We Rn’t fans of this guy but it’s the right thing to say.
Shopping frenzy in Milan. People rushing to buy a Duomo souvenir like the one used to smash Berlusconi’s face. No joke, it’s happening.
The right-wing wants to shut down websites and social networks where people are boisterously expressing solidarity to Tartaglia.
“Sow wind and reap whirlwind”. Because of this title on Di Pietro’s blog http://bit.ly/6yTMFP a spokesman for B’s party wants it closed down
Reports say he’s really in pain & can hardly eat. He didn’t expect it. He’s shocked. From now on, everything will be different in his life.
RT @synthjock: First Tiger Woods, now Berlusconi. It’s really not an auspicious time to be an oversexed billionaire right now.
When politicians get smacked. A top 10 list of assaults, http://bit.ly/5Fd72L
“Berlusconi looked like Floyd Patterson after a 7 round drubbing by Mohammad Ali” CounterPunch http://bit.ly/52Kk6A
Bogus pro-Berlusconi groups on Facebook. Names were changed, hordes of people found themselves enlisted as fans of B. http://bit.ly/71RLxx
Name of a huge FB group raising funds for earthquake victims changed to “Support Silvio Berlusconi against Tartaglia’s fans”.
t least 500,000 unaware people were passed on as fans of Berlusconi when FB group names were suddenly replaced, reports La Repubblica.
Until this morning, this Facebook group was devoted to promoting Italian brands, then the administrators renamed it http://bit.ly/8t5jfG
Until this morning, this Facebook group with 1 million members was devoted to protecting animals, now look at it http://bit.ly/6kqxUL
“I found him shaken, annoyed – as if woken, really out-of-sorts, from a bad dream.” A bad dream. What an interesting thing B.’s doctor said.
[Here's how we covered the event on twitter last night:]
Berlusconi punched in the face Is the Reichstag burning? Is Tartaglia a Van der Lubbe?
Does this really take us by surprise? Wasn’t it an orbital event, always on the verge of taking place?
Will there be retaliations tonight? And how long is “tonight”?
Tartaglia, the guy who hit Berlusconi in the face, is a multimedia performance artist, see his “dancing mirrors”:
He didn’t punch Berlusconi. He hit him with a small model of the Milan cathedral, which one can buy from street vendors. Performance art.
Now, if there’s one thing the Milan cathedral is, that’s *gothic*, which means acuminated. No wonder it cut Silvio’s face
Tartaglia’s first words after being arrested: “I am nobody”. Are we witnessing the return of Berlin Dada?
Is a Reichstag on fire or “He that flies justice in the court must expect to find it in the street”? Edward Sexby, 1657
Is a Reichstag on fire or “What happened to the king of Portugal is an occupational accident of kings”? Lenin, 1908
Years of facelifts & hair transplants & blepharoplastics, fake tan, thick layers of greasepaint, until at 73 he looked weirder than Jacko.
He wanted to turn his own face into a work of art, to challenge aging and death. Each David’s foot meets a Piero Cannata with a hammer.
The media is talking about it only in terms of political violence, solidarity with the premier as victim. Bad frame. The Reichstag frame.
We’ve got to understand what happened last night also in terms of culture, imaginary, the boomerang effect of icons and myths.
You probably know what happened yesterday. Everybody knows. The whole world is talking about it.
Three years ago we were slightly ahead of our time when we wrote:
In 1993 Berlusconi “took to the field of politics” because he couldn’t survive as a tycoon after his political referents had been wiped off by the “Clean Hands” anti-corruption inquiries and trials. He was very likely to end up in prison for corruption, money laundering and mafia-related activities. By entering politics and taking over, he could exert power directly, with no mediations, and pass laws that put spokes in the judiciary wheel.
Since the beginning, he could remain on the saddle only if he managed to project all of his personalities in one laser beam: he must keep depicting himself as an entrepreneur, a politician, a glamorous media attraction, and the founding father of a new country, a country made of gaudy plastic and consumerist dreams [...]
Gradually his multifarious image entered a crisis. His self-descriptions as a media attraction and a founding father became the weakest links of the semiotic chain. As his charm wore out, he got ever more nervous and scared of ageing. Nowadays, after all those facelifts, eyelid repairs and hair transplants, it looks like his head is shrinking. He failed himself with his compulsive urge to be adored. In the meantime, he disgraced himself too many times, he cut too many poor figures. Berlusconi turned into Burlesquoni.
We wrote that Berlusconi was finished. We were slightly ahead. Seemingly wrong in the short term, damn right in the long run, ’cause now it’s happening. He’s crumbling down. It will take some more time, but he’s rotting out from the inside. It will be painful and dangerous, but he’s definitely falling down. Berlusconism in the strict sense is in irreversible crisis. Unfortunately, Berlusconism in the broader sense will stay with us for countless years. Berlusconism is less a political movement than a cultural epidemic. The damage that’s been done to Italian society is very serious, and there’s no longer any Left to take advantage of this moment in any interesting way but, hey, something big is taking place, and certainly we won’t cry for the man.
Events in Italy have always – for better or worse – had an extraordinary influence on the whole of European society, from the Italian Renaissance to Fascism.
But, all too often, Europe has not become aware of these events in time.
There is currently a great deal of attention in major European newspapers on some aspects of the crisis that has engulfed our country. But we believe that it is our duty – the duty of all those living in Italy – to inform European public opinion on other alarming aspects that have not elicited such interest, such as the draft legislation proposed by the Italian Government, called the “Security Decree”. If it is not prevented, this legislation runs the risk of disfiguring the image of Europe and dealing a severe setback to human rights worldwide.
The Berlusconi Government, using security as a pretext, has imposed on our Parliament – over which it has total control – the adoption of laws discriminating against immigrants, laws the likes of which we had not seen in this country since the passing of the Fascist Race Laws.
Read the whole text here.
Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile;
your feasting and lounging will end.
- Amos, 6, 7
Italy’s Berlusconi hit by female escort allegations
Silvio Berlusconi faces claims that women were ‘paid to be at parties’
Showgirls ‘were paid’ to attend parties at Berlusconi villa
Those four slanders are four lies told by the premier
Niccolo Ghedini, Berlusconi’s lawyer said: “Even if what this girl says is true, which it is not, the Prime Minister, according to her reconstruction, would be the end user and therefore not punishable by law.”
The end user. Women are just things that you use.
‘It’s women that will destroy Berlusconi’s honour and credibility.’ (Gad Lerner)
Quick update. Another framing mistake by Ghedini: “The Premier has never paid women. He could have a large quantity of them for free”.
Silvio Berlusconi attacks press for defamation over unanswered questions
Divorce and ‘Daddy’: Why Silvio Berlusconi is suddenly not so popular
What a lurid and stupid country. All the evil things this guy and his racist lackeys have been doing, and it took this real-life mockery of a shabby soap episode to make him lose popularity (just a bit anyway).
However, he isn’t answering those ten questions, is he?
In his book The Forbidden Bestsellers of Pre-revolutionary France, cultural historian Robert Darnton argued that the fall of the French Ancien Régime was made possible by sex-related muckracking, thanks to hundreds of popular tracts and tales exposing the aristocrats’ decadence and corruption. Italy has never been that kind of country: in the 1920′s and 1930′s sex-related and perversion-wise rumours on Mussolini and the Fascist elite made the Duce even more popular. It took a world war to overthrow him. The Italian populace admires philanderers and womanizers. Bill Clinton risked impeachment because he’d cheated his wife, gotten a blow job from Monica and lied about it in public. Over here he’d have gotten a medal, and slaps on the shoulder from any man he’d meet.
However, moral corruption is reaching ever more heights. Those ugly, sinister mugs have been getting away with behaviours that would be unconceivable elsewhere. The rumours that circulate can’t be published, but they’re really “caligulesque”, and probably 100% true.
Not many years ago, this guy was worn-out and in decline. If he got back on the saddle, it’s largely because his alleged political enemies never ceased to play along with him, always in his conceptual frame.
Hope follows strange paths. We’ll see what happens.