Sunday, April 09, 2006

Palm Sunday, the Big B, and a time for change

I just realized today is Palm Sunday. The reason I know this is because there was a large procession of approximately 200 people outside my window not even 15 minutes ago. It was interesting to witness because, first of all, there were three people holding loudspeakers so that all the neighborhood could hear them singing their hymns (or to me it sounded more like pop songs) and all our neighbors, myself included, were hanging out the window to see what all the commotion was about. People were holding these huge palm fronds and I've never quite seen anything like it.
I also realized today is the first day of voting for the Italian elections which makes this an even stranger morning for me as I thought Sunday was a day for church and everything was closed. I wonder how the Catholic church feels about this, or more importantly about Berlusconi who seems to be the sole person in Italy that is allowed to make any kind of decision (political, social, or economic) whatsoever. And let's not forget that this is the man who said "I am like Jesus" and compared himself to Napolean and Jesus Christ during his political campaigning. Well, this is really strange for me to hear a politician say he is suffering for the Italian people as Jesus suffered for Christians. Talk about a major ego problem. But I am told this election has been very "brutto" and it's not only Berlusconi who speaks of strange things. Among the insults that have been slung between Berlusconi and his main opponent Romano Prodi who is center-left: Berlusconi scoffs "I trust the intelligence of the Italian people too much to think that there are so many pricks around who would vote against their own best interests".Prodi slamming the Big B alluding to his claim of Italy's richest man and his political party Forza Italia "Forza Italia's Hueys, Leweys and Deweys defending Uncle Scrooge are pathetic." Ouch! This is some serious mudslinging here.
And to top it all off I asked my husband how he is going to vote. His response "What??? I'm not voting." When prompted for a little more info he replied "both sides are exactly the same. The best reaction of all would be if every Italian stayed home on election day and said 'sti cazzi' as they watched their frigging television and all the politians were wondering what the heck is going on. Why doesn't anyone want to vote?" I do not agree with his attitude but in observing he and his friends behavior I think there is a certain amount of apathy that could be growing to an unhealthy level.
I recently read an article in the bbc news online that said Italians are really frustrated with the lack of options in their political system and this is especially true of Italy's youth. But if the whole country knows Big B has complete control of the media and has made a large personal fortune from Italian taxpayers' money (and perhaps loads of illegal business transactions) and has the gall to internationally ridicule women and his opponents (mr. bush you should invest in Italian businesses because we have the most beautiful women in the world...oh, and let's not forget Berlusconi's unabashed womanizing persona and the many many inappropriate comments he has made) how could anyone NOT vote? The opponents may not be better and you may have to choose between the lesser of two evils but come on! Isn't it time for a little change?


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