Monday, March 17

United States of Denial

Many people have been asking me what were the comments over in Europe about the Governor of New York’s dalliances on the dark side. I must say that in Italy, the entire incident received quite scant attention. The blurb was pretty much relegated to that of turning to the comics pages and checking out ‘Ripley’s Believe it or Not!”. [Although the bathing suit shot of Spitzer’s hooker did garner a few extra choice placements….]

Once again, the Italians were flummoxed by the complete contradiction of America, with its ‘Sex & the City’ tales and then, its utter contempt when someone goes out into that very city to have sex.

In Italy, it’s not the whores who bring the guy down out of Government: not so long ago, it was the strippers who, after parading topless in the streets, actually formed the ‘Party of Love’ and went on to find a few places in Parliament! Perhaps Spitzer could follow in their platform shoe steps. This year, a porno queen decided to part with the standard posters of stiffs in suits (no pun intended), and decided to show her stuff in a different light, so to speak.

Typically, as the ‘man on the street’ comments go, it amounts to: “If he were an Italian politician, he’d be outed from office for NOT having done it!!” They said the same thing about Gary Hart after he was caught on the ‘Monkey Business’. After all, in Italy, even the real white collar crimes of payoffs, mafia connections, graft & corruption go unpunished, judging by the 50-odd convicted criminal politicians still sitting in Parliament, to keep up their own Monkey Business.

I believe the only reason the hanky-panky doesn’t make headlines here is that most journalists, whistle blowers and the opposition in this Catholic country are pretty much Bible Fearin' types: “He who has no sin cast the first stone”.

And, just like during the cold war, it keeps everyone in a state of détente and, a state of denial.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

what about italy's reaction to the Bear Stern's $2 share, govt bail out crisis? thanks-i enjoy your blog!!!! bravissima!!!!!!!!!!!!

Francesca Maggi said...

I must confess, I have totally ignored the entire story so I can sleep at night...
But, I will offer this: I just love how the Europeans deride the Americans for their rampant consumerism, untold waste of energy, packaging, cars, you name it. And then, as soon as America hiccups, everyone starts whining about how, if the world's motor stalls, they'll all be left at the side of the road...

Anonymous said...

thanks!!! here its been scary working in the finance world. very true about what you said. Im sure europe is feeling america's crisis in more ways than one.

Anonymous said...

francesca, do you have any advice for an american who wants to live in Italy like you....i just dont know how it is possible to live, pay US student loans and eat with 1k/mese. ("generazione mille euro")
grazie,
baci L.

Francesca Maggi said...

And my friends keep telling me, if they continue reading my blog they're going back home!
I'd say, never ever conceive of coming here without a job from the U.S. As an expat, things will go better and you can pay off your loan. As a local, I guarantee three years of low paid jobs (1K/mese), without being hired officially, until you either:
a) decide you love the food, people, history & architecture so much you want to stay and try to reinvent yourself and get money, or not, or
b) you go back home, make the money, and come over on vacation. Problem is, Americans can't take vacations!

That, my friend, is what is called a Catch-22.