A normal country, a normal electoral campaign February 29, 2008Posted by dorigo in humor, news, politics.
In a world where standing out is a good strategy in one’s life, in one’s job, in one’s way of living, I long to live in a normal country. The electoral campaign climax in Italy is approaching -elections are scheduled for April 13th-, and inevitably we start to see and hear things we would rather prefer to be spared.
Daniela Santanché, a charming and capable woman who self-proclaimed herself a candidate for premiership by the lone party from the extreme right she leads, declares today that she never had to make compromises for her career, adding -in case one could equivocate- that she never “gave it away” for personal interest. Given the fact that she later remarks she is actually more manly than most men, one is left wondering if she has ever really found herself in the condition of having to make that choice of integrity.
Silvio Berlusconi continues to mistify his observers by acting funny, this time making the “umbrella” with his arms in reposte [italics needed by established reader sensitivity to fancy terms, :o) ] to some offer he did not subscribe to. One is led to remember when he performed in two other pretty italian gestures: the “corna” (in a group picture with other european leaders, see below)
and the “dito medio” (middle finger) – see below.
If I had to make a prediction on the electoral outcome based only on the information above, I would say Berlusconi beats Santanché 3-0 (Veltroni, the candidate of the Democratic Party, does not qualify since he hasn’t said or done anything outrageous yet). Silvio Berlusconi is the one who can capture most brilliantly, with quick and sapient strokes, the essence of the average italian voter. A true Zelig, to which anybody can liken himself. Ms. Santanché, on the contrary, fails to realize that chastity and integrity are not valuable attributes in Italy nowadays: italians have learned the lesson far too well from their leaders of the past, and the perception that the country is divided in mettinculi (“a**-f***ers”) and piglinculi (“a**-givers”) is as vivid as ever.
I still have to see, though, a politician who admits he or she had to exchange sexual favors for a quick career. Now, that would be interesting. I have a feeling that the reaction of italian voters would then surprise everybody. Pierferdinando Casini should really consider that option.
UPDATE: Amara sent me a note on the meaning of the gesture of Berlusconi in the picture above. It is pasted below.
“Italian gestures are a language all their own, and I didn’t know what the corna gesture meant, so I looked it up in an old book that I have at home: _Senza Parole: 100 gesti degli italiani_ (_Without words, 100 gestures of Italians_) by Pierangela Diadori (1985), and scanned a few pages of the relevant portions. For the benefit of Tommaso’s readers, here are some pictures and words and examples for this particular gesture. For those who know implicitly what this gesture means, please correct any mistakes.
To make the corna gesture, fingers up or down, means that you want to ward off a suggested or real misfortune or danger.
If you are directing the corna at someone with fingers vertically up, then you are referring to that person as a man whose wife is adulterous.
These two attached photos likely refer to the first meaning, however Berlusconi is a consummate shock jock, so maybe he meant the latter. And if you direct the corna at a bus driver, you might possibly be punched and arrested.”