Guest Post: Italian Disease

Towards the shit and beyond

by Beppe Grillo

Via Beppe Grillo’s Blog
We were a people of saints, navigators and heroes. The Costa Concordia and the Costa Allegra (but who chooses these names?) have destroyed our reputation. We have gone from Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci to Captain Schettino. The saints have signed up to political parties and they write books. The heroes have been under the ground for some time. In Italy there is no other outcome for them. Anyone who survives is not enough of a hero and does not cause enough annoyance. Falcone, Borsellino, Ambrosoli and many others are dead and since then, they have become part of the Italian elite, wallpaper that is good for all purposes, transformed into TV icons, into mafia and pop corn. How could we define the Italians today? Or rather how do the others define us? Mafia people, uncivilised, tax dodgers? In this country everything is uncertain. Justice, work, religion, news. The Italian is in the trenches, scorned abroad and hunted in his own country. He has no reference points apart from his family, the only value that, if it were put at risk, would oblige him to start a revolution, that in Italy would however be more similar to a vendetta than to a national renewal. He’s living in the rubble like the rats and he no longer cares. For some time he’s been thinking that the degradation is normality, home, refuge. He no longer knows anything and he believes or pretends to believe in everything. What’s important is getting to tomorrow. He’s not interested in understanding, nor in raising the issue of the dogmas about growth at any price, even at the cost of life, of the environment, of the future of our offspring. What’s important is to get by so as not to die. Who said that? The Costa Allegra that landed up drifting in the Indian Ocean is now being towed by a French fishing vessel towards the Seychelles. Its engines are out of use. The passengers have slept on the bridge A snapshot of Italy. Is this lethargy that has lasted for decades and that seems eternal, perhaps going to end? Without a reawakening of consciences and the return of democracy (the current set-up should be called by its name: dictatorship) the country won’t make it through. The economic collapse is a symptom and a detonator.


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