Home > For thoughts.. > Italy, Italians and a country free fall..

Italy, Italians and a country free fall..

I am back from my usual week end off.. Milan is welcoming me with a saddish clouded sky, the Southern wind usually does that, it brings clouds and humidity, it turns everything so sticky, and it seems that the sand in the air, coming from the South Eastern deserts, drives you nuts, everybody is so nervous, tense, on the verge…

That is a perfect condition for what has been broiling for some time here in the Bel Paese.. firstly it was very much Italian.. always discussing, always scorning, always complaining about politics, politicians, the country, the laws, the taxes and everything else you could ever complain about.. it made the conversation at bars and dehors, it added some critical sparkle to otherwise marvellous cobbled stone hallways full of cheers.. and this is the way we would like to consider Italy: a stunning country populated by nice people, with some witty tongues and a ever-present critical attitude towards “the establishment”. It all made such a superb holiday brochure..

Then the truth..

A country that, in a decade of history, has been steadily falling to pieces, sliding down in every possible ranking apart from those regarding the less appealing features of a country: pollution, criminality, scandals, financial debts and a bunch of others, including a poor research and development investment, appalling country infrastructure, a low level Internet distribution and knowledge, somewhat primitive use of IT (regardless what someone may claim, we are talking “country” here…), let alone a ridiculous education system… in a few words, a Janus-like country… blessed by Nature, offended by its own people.

The past years have been peppered by scandals (political, social, economic ones..) that until recently made mostly those glossy pages on magazines, something we used to laugh and dismiss as “usual”… scandals became more and more significant, massive amounts of money paid to bribe politicians, stolen from the healthcare system,vaporized in unpaid taxes, allocated to elitist privileges…nothing new?? Maybe, but the old Italian way got into a virulent metastasis process and started to permeate and pollute every single aspect of Italian life. The entire system got into Defcon 1, at light speed, since its survival has been put in danger.

The fundamental are above and beyond worry: ageing population, low productivity, poor renewal rate in the working population, cumbersome legal canvass, a stellar public debt, and most importantly a totally inexistent awareness of the importance of “excellence”. if you combine this with the fact that, as a stand-up comedian stated, the sentence written in every court “Everybody’s equal under the law” turns out to be a question with “NO” as an answer, the scenario is pretty depressing.

On the Times on Line there was an article regarding the proposed law to tax (and thus control) everything ever produced on the Web, including blogs… Now, despite the fact that seemingly blogs are “out of the scope of the present law” as stated by some deranged, asinine and seriously daft politician (how on Earth you may come out with this sort of absurd law in the first place, this is beyond my understanding.. almost..), the saddest thing is about making the press for those sort of occurrences..

This is the first time I have actually felt … no, I may be wrong.. I was 11 when an Italian politician was killed by some terrorists.. in May Italy is so beautiful, and yet the day Aldo Moro was killed I felt fear in the streets, I heard the silence of otherwise buzzy streets, I almost remember people walking like immediately before a curfew..and I did not like the feeling at all.. these days I feel a louder, more evident fear, but the smell is the same, fear.

Fear that what was once some silly attitude to laugh about is now a gangrene that start to rotten with a foul stench, fear that all the words you hear from TV-interposed politicians are more like those from a sci-fi B-movie, fear that all the movements, people in the “piazza” and those blogging heavily are just the neural reaction of a dead body… people are scared and try to mask with endless queuing for a plasma TV or a tiny stretch of beach, nevermind being strangled by debt, rising housing prices and low salaries ( as stated by an Eurispes study) with a massive social contribution and (incidentally) poor services..

Read the comments to the above Times article.. 70+ comments and lots of them asking for help.. to give Italy some hope, to freed Italy from a strangling class of new Thugs, to distribute some sort of decent future for the younger generations.. someone, quite ironically I love to think, pledged for the UN to send the Blue Helmets… what a saddness.. we need to be conquered to be able to keep going… as it has always been at least for the past 500 years…

There is a nice and quite wise saying, I thought it was Italian but I am beginning to question it, stating “Aiutati che Dio t’aiuta (Help yourself and God will help you)”… I wander when people will stop moaning for the sake of it and begin to take action, but first and foremost how long will take people to understand that life is at stake here, and you cannot leave your life in someone else’s hands..

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