Pray for Syria

Someone once said that democracies are the best choice to guarantee peace and stability, because freely elected public officials couldn’t possibly go against the Will of the People. And people in general do want peace. I bought it then. But now we are facing a dire reality: they start wars without reason, against everybody’s interests. Voters don’t matter anyway. And even if they did, they wouldn’t be able to understand the issues and make an informed choice, so it’s moot. Let’s go then. Merrily going with the flow. (Whatever nowadays passes as) political leaders are always eager to ride the last wave of inevitable, recommended and proper (but ultimately woefully…

Continue reading

The Old Establishment Crank beat the Fresh Populist: does it matter?

Renzi and Bersani

A guy beat another guy in a Primary: big deal! Here’s a quick recap to understand some aspects of Italian politics; we can use what follows as a starting point, departing from there to get into more general stuff. In Italy the Partito Democratico (the most important party, founded in 2007) tried to mimic the US Democratic Party even in the choice of the name. It’s actually the inheritor, through a complicated series of transformations, of the defunct PCI (Italian Communist Party). Many things changed through the last 2 decades, but a strong sense of partisan commitment and a political apparatus that takes no prisoners are still a mainstay, a…

Continue reading

Are you an evil genius? Help us clean up politics!

Spin Doctored by Versionz

Reading Italian job ads sometimes morphs into discovering a treasure trove of curious animals. If you ever contemplated the possibility of becoming a mystery shopper, you know what I mean. It’s not entirely unexpected to find a job posting containing a mistake in the title itself; it’s a little more puzzling to find, as it happens, an ad regularly posted week after week since 2005, still displaying the same original grammar mistake, in full sight… But I digress. A few days ago I stumbled upon an ad for a position of “political consultant”. What could this be? After perusing the website of the advertiser, Polo Tecnico, I got the answer:…

Continue reading

Afrika, the nonviolent game (oh, poor animals)

Lioness attacking a zebra

A note about animal lovers, starting with an interview with Phil Harrison, the bald president of the Sony game development branch. He says that the upcoming PS3 video game Afrika will be something like a virtual photographic safari (zzzzz), so no big caliber rifles for us: “It’s not about killing and it’s not about running around the environment shooting elephants and hippopotamuses — that would be awful.” Aww, sure! Poor savannah animals! I’m wondering what Harrison is going to say the day they launch the next Grand Theft Auto… :D Apparently in the virtual world a drug dealer roaming around town, stealing cars and killing old wives is ok, while…

Continue reading