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And, while we’re on the subject of the disappearance of facts:

I haven’t got any links to British news outlets this time, as no one’s yet written about it.

Actress and comedian Sabina Guzzanti – who had already been sued repeatedly by Mr B. for allegedly spreading “lies and insinuations” about him and his government – took the stage during last Tuesday’s anti-Mr B. political demonstration in Rome, and waxed *very* polemical against Mr B. and the Pope.

As of today, her website is down, and has been down for approx. 48 hours. It was up briefly yesterday, and Guzzanti was able to post a brief statement saying she had been “hacked”.

By whom, nobody knows.

Then she was “hacked” again. Her brother Corrado’s website (he is also an actor, director and comedian, and shares his sister’s views on politics) is “closed” as well.

Their father, Paolo Guzzanti, is a senator with Mr B.’s party (yep!), and his site is up and running. While of course disagreeing with the gist of his daughter’s pronouncements, he has expressed solidarity with her, stating that “Sabina’s blog is under attack and has been silenced”.

I shall now employ the word “censorship”. I might even go so far as to use the word “regime”. Now, should I stop posting here, you’ll know I’ve been (a) arrested, or (b) “hacked” myself. If they understand English, that is. Reckon I’m safe, for the time being.

Part 1 is here.

Perhaps, when the architect Daniel Libeskind produced his grand plans for an art museum and office tower designed to inspire civic pride in the heart of Milan, he should not have been surprised when Italy’s gaffe-prone Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, said the bent structure emanated a “sense of impotence” because it is not manly enough.

‘Not manly enough’: Berlusconi’s verdict on Libeskind work

Whereas Mr B. is manly enough to have his own private harem of “little butterflies”, and a peculiar taste in ministers.

“Dear Mara,” he said to her publicly on one occasion, “I am obliged to point out to you the rule that applies inside Forza Italia, the rule of ius primae noctis”, which the medieval right of a feudal lord to sleep with the bride of one of his subjects on the first night of her marriage. “You know I like women of easy morals …


On 3 July, L’Espresso published highly compromising transcripts of Berlusconi’s phone calls with influential political figures and important members of Rai, the Italian public service broadcaster. Some publications, such as Libero, tried to save his reputation by saying he was just giving a career break to his actress friends, and that he cannot be blamed because he likes la gnocca (‘pussy’). Yet, in reality, the actresses were pawns in a political game whose purpose was to bring down Prodi’s government. But Italy has an odd habit: if no one talks about a problem, then it simply ceases to exist. This leads to the ‘disappearance of facts’, as the journalist Marco Travaglio puts it, which means that the spotlight ends up on ‘la gnocca’ rather then on political corruption.

Please get me out of this country, like, NOW.

After a grand total of three weeks’ holiday – mostly spent at home, though relaxing and in great company – am now back at work on two new translations. Couple of very funny books, to boot. I love working when everybody else is on holiday, so then I can take two weeks off in November and tell them all to bugger off.

Meanwhile, it would appear FriendFeed is my new drug of choice. Love the lightheartedness of most conversations, feels a bit like a *very large* IRC chatroom. Great way to meet new people and discover new blogs and tumblelogs. Plus, unlike Twitter, I think I can find a way of posting in more than one language on FF without going mad. I was thinking of subscribing to some French and German people, so even if I don’t write back I still get some language practice.

Oh, and I’m writing this on my new EeePc900. Best buy in 2008 so far.

EeePc 900 personalizzato

This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

New series. For the benefit of posterity, a chronicle of events in this sick excuse for a country. With special attention to Berlusconi’s antics.

In one week since winning the elections, Mr B. has managed to make himself look like a complete dork and embarrass his own country the world over. Twice.

1) The Pink Cabinet

This hasn’t really been reported on Italian media (wonder why?), I’ve only seen it on blogs. And of course, on European media outlets:

When asked by an Italian radio to comment on the composition of the Spanish cabinet of Prime Minister Zapatero – with nine female and eight male ministers – Mr Berlusconi suggested it is “too pink.”

“Now he [Mr Zapatero] has asked for it, he will have problems leading them,” said the Italian leader. “In Italy there is a prevalence of men in politics and therefore it is not so easy to find women who are ready for the government,” he added.

The comment went almost unnoticed by Italian media, used to his frequent playboy-kind of jokes, but it sparked an angry reaction in Madrid, with Magdalena Alvarez, Spain’s infrastructure minister, describing it as an offensive.

“Many of us women would refuse to work for a government that had Mr Berlusconi as prime minister,” she noted.

Please don’t ask me to comment on this. I’d rather not to.

2) Ra-ta-ta-ta-ta

Mr Putin was speaking at a press conference in Italy, where he was meeting prime minister elect, Silvio Berlusconi. Pressed by a Russian journalist on reports in Moscow that he had divorced his wife Lyudimilla, he said: “There is not one word of truth”, adding that the private lives of political leaders should be “shown respect”.

While Putin struggled to answer, B. mimicked shooting the journalist with a burst of machine gun fire. (See video below) I would like to remind readers that in Putin’s Russia, 20 journalists have been murdered since 2000, Anna Politovskaja being just the most prominent of them. I don’t think there’s any need for me to comment any further on this.

More to come: I’ll try and make out a comprehensive list of silly/outrageous/criminal acts and statements made by this man. People everywhere need to be aware of the full extent of Italian masochism. Because – remember – we have voted him into power. Again. And again. Well, I for one certainly did not, but over 50% of my fellow Italians did. There must be something wrong with democracy.

There. I’ve imported my old Blogger blog into a shiny new account. I’ll try my best to start blogging in English again. Not promising anything though.

I have entered the wondrous and voyeuristic world of Twitter.

I apologise profusely. It’s been a few hectic weeks, I’ve been working like mad (from home, thank God, and here’s another one of my 43 things ticked off), I’ve set up a new website, and generally done things, been places. Well, done things, mainly — been nowhere interesting.

Frustrated as I am at having nothing of consequence to write, I reckon I’ll just shut up now. Thanks for reading.

I am endlessly astounded at how, the more you do, the more you want to do. I have now between seven and nine projects running, between work and play (the exact number depends on whether a ten-line description/declaration of intent in my personal organizer actually qualifies as a “project”). And I’ve been working like a whirlwind for the past few days.

Work is going fine, play is going even better. Really, I can’t complain. I just need to persuade myself that I simply do not have the time to add to my to-do list. Pity, as I’ve just thought of a wonderful idea for yet another website…

Next person who texts me to say “Merry Xmas”, I’m gonna shoot them.

Now, let me get back to work.