Over the weekend, after Berlusconi's government passed a new law so he gets another 'Get out of Jail Free Card' just like in the Monopoly game, Berlusconi continued his verbal onslaught against the institutions of Democracy, including the branch providing 'checks&balances' - the Italian judiciary and the very Constitution itself -- Both of which need serious reform since they aren't to his liking.
In his defense, he stated that with 31 cases lodged against him, even Al Capone was a novice in legal matters. And while it may be the case that the media he doesn't control treats him like an outlaw, he's treated as Zeus by the media he does; replete with the myths surrounding his own rampant virility - which he added to over the weekend, joking that, "I'm not the most powerful man - well, that is if you don't include one respect."
He may be right, but...Al Capone? This is the only image we have in 2011 of an outlaw with national appeal? American Capone was born in Brooklyn in 1899. One hundred twelve years later, there's no better substitute? Really?! Even after the great Pizza Connection capers and the Godfather films? Even John Gotti got offended.
Perhaps it's because reams of paper have been used to document Capone's life, with even more on celluloid..But, still - we can't come up with our own Mafia figures -- in the birthplace of the Mafia? 'Sicily, we've got a problem.' A brand image problem.
I'd like to offer up Salvatore (Totò) Riina, head of the Corleone clan. Is he ignored because he's so butt-ugly? After all, Capone was much better looking, almost like singer Silvio as a young man...same hairline, in fact. The most famous turncoat was Tommaso Buscetta - I'm sure he was up to his eyeballs in legal hassles - and think, with his entering the change of identity program, he's probably had just as many facelifts as our man Berlusca. Then there's also Bernardo Provenzano, born in 1933 and on the lam - assuming he's still even alive.
In fact, with Berlusconi's love of double entendres, he might even like what they said about Provenzano - well, at least part of it: Provenzano had a shot like a god - too bad he had a brain like a bird.