Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Berlusconi "offers to resign, with conditions"

Holy Whores! A breaking news update on the NYTimes.com homepage regales me with this exciting information. Now, on to the list of Berlusconi's conditions:
  1. Immunity forever, from everything, including the common flu.
  2. Unlimited spray tans from Golden Tanning.
  3. Lifetime supply of organ transplants.
  4. Bring back Crystal Pepsi.
  5. The remaining members of Ghedafi's female bodyguard corps and his old Ukrainian nurse--nursing duty actually required. Those stool softeners are going to insert themselves.
  6. Most importantly, Herman Cain's old job as head of the National Restaurant Association.
Herman Cain and Berlusconi would probably hit it off.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Frank Bruni sayin' stuff about Italy

I just couldn't resist posting a comment on today's Frank Bruni column in the New York Times, in which he offers political analysis on the Italy's present situation with the subtlety and insight akin to pointing a finger and saying "haha" a la that bully from the Simpsons.

Certainly, the outrageous number of parliamentarians and their astronomical salaries and perks are a problem ethically and fiscally. It's no surprise, however, that none of them move to curb their generous compensation. When have American politicians ever voted for a pay cut?

I found the column lacking in so many ways but it's late and I should go to bed. How about some context? How about thoroughly tackling one topic instead of jumping around from issue to issue making facile comparisons between Italy and the US? This type of writing would have flunked in my college courses.

Here's what I wrote, in case it never makes it through the censors:


Pointing out the corruption in Italian politics is about as difficult and as illuminating as shooting fish in a barrel. For all its shortcomings and despite the current austerity trend, the Italian government still manages to provide its citizens with excellent national healthcare, pensions and affordable university education. 



I'd submit that the many uninsured folks in this country would gladly weather excessive bureaucracy and flamboyant political scandals in exchange for some access to basic healthcare. Oh, and better food too.

Finally, if by some miracle my comment makes it through, and you happen to find my humble and silly little site from the link, here are some links to posts about fun political scandals, written during a period in which I cared about blogging. Enjoy.





Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rome police arrest Colosseum 'gladiator' gang

I knew that the gladiator re-enactors at the Colosseum had a union and a strict appearance schedule. And now they have organized crime. 


Gangsters!

According to this article by the AFP, Roman police arrested 20 reenactors in an undercover sting, hopefully ending a spate of violence between the main families that control the lucrative posing-with-stupid-tourists industry--those pictures do cost about ten euro a pop, after all.

The Roman police work was deliberate and cunning:

Police disguised as gladiators, dustbin men and members of the public raided the gang made up of seven families working with five tourist agencies...The police officers disguised as gladiators were beaten up by the alleged criminal gladiators before other undercover officers swooped in.

"Gladiators" are a feature of the Roman landscape for tourists, with men decked out in bright red capes, helmets with plumes of red feathers and sandals while carrying swords and round shields.
They can be found outside the Colosseum, Castel Sant'Angelo, Piazza Venezia and even in front of St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, preying on the millions of tourists who pass through Rome every year.
Criminal gangs had divided up these tourist sights and were defending their territory with violence, the police said.
Five competitors who had been chased away alerted police to the gang's activities, leading to the sting operation.



Thursday, August 11, 2011

Best Comments from Tonight's Jersey Shore (Season 4, Episode 2)

Our Oompa Loompas and their accidental genius: Jersey Shore S02Ep04
Snooki made her first pizza


  • Walking down the streets of Florence, Vinny: "I thought people were going to pop out of the windows and start singing, Beauty and the Beast style."
  • Deena: "Is that the Vatican?" JWoww: "Yeah."
  • JWoww: "Making coffee in Italy is making coffee in the 1600s" or something along those lines as the crushes whole coffee beans with some kitchen utensil on a cutting board.
  • Sammi? Or was it Deena, while entering Pizzeria O'Vesuvio for their "orientation": "This looks like a Domino's version of pizza in Italy." 
  • Britney from Florida: "Hi." Lady, your life is about to get complicated, methinks. At least your parents will be proud--you're on TV! 
And that's all I've got. Now, for an analysis of Italy's debt crisis. Right...

Best Comments from Tonight's Jersey Shore (Season 4, Episode 2)

Our Oompa Loompas and their accidental genius: Jersey Shore S02Ep04
Snooki made her first pizza


  • Walking down the streets of Florence, Vinny: "I thought people were going to pop out of the windows and start singing, Beauty and the Beast style."
  • Deena: "Is that the Vatican?" JWoww: "Yeah."
  • JWoww: "Making coffee in Italy is making coffee in the 1600s" or something along those lines as the crushes whole coffee beans with some kitchen utensil on a cutting board.
  • Sammi? Or was it Deena, while entering Pizzeria O'Vesuvio for their "orientation": "This looks like a Domino's version of pizza in Italy." 
  • Britney from Florida: "Hi." Lady, your life is about to get complicated, methinks. At least your parents will be proud--you're on TV! 
And that's all I've got. Now, for an analysis of Italy's debt crisis. Right...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Berlusconi's Menagerie of Ladies

Is there a more perfect Berlusconi photo?

Berlusconi a processo per Ruby il 6 aprile rito immediato giudicato da tre donne - GQItalia.it


If you have an hour or seven to spare, check out this 34,234 photo slide show of all the classy chicas that have been connected to Berlusconi in some sordid way. I thought I had heard of them all, but apparently I only knew of a fraction of the players in this bunga bunga tragicomedy.

Jersey Shore Cast Will Cameo in Three Stooges -- Vulture

Jersey Shore Cast Will Cameo in Three Stooges -- Vulture

WTF. I liked it better when they were hermetically sealed in their own show.