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:: Saturday, 26 July 2003 ::

Francesco Paolo "Gino" Santomaggio

He loved art and artists, poets, painters, singers, performers, anyone with an outgoing personality and an artistic way of looking at the world. He didn't like the human handbrakes. Not at all.

He loved opera, Verdi in particular, but Puccini, Rossini, Leoncavallo, Mascagni, Donizetti, Bellini, even crusty old Mercadante. Even Schubert and Chopin and Mozart, Bach and Beethoven. But not Wagner. Never Wagner. Too long, too tedious. Just all a bit too German.

He loved fine food, and lots of it, and for years he smoked half corona cigars and his favorite drink was liquer muscat, of all things.

Rigatoni was his favorite pasta. How many of us can actually declare an allegiance, eh?

He just adored fine cars but his favorite was his own Alfa Romeo 1972 GTV 2000 Bertone number plate SS880, mustard coloured with a black leather interior, wooden wheel, unbelievably temperamental synchro, propensity to overheat in traffic, and super special wheels.

And he loved thoroughbred horses and horse racing - sport of kings. Specially the crumbed sausages at Flemington, and the winners circle when Moussorgski was in it, fabulous big grey 1500 metre specialist.

He taught me to play chess.

And he made me wake up in the wee small hours after the restaurant closed, when I was very young, to watch Guiglielmo Olden in "Stalag 17", and Ricardo Vidmarco in "Pick up on South Street", and Marlone Brandone in "On the Waterfront" and Gregorio Pecco in "Moby Dick". He told me everyone in Hollywood was Italian, and they just had to change their names for their careers, and I believed him. Cos when he said those names, it just sounded right. Still does. Burte Lancasta in "The Rainmaker".

I saw all three Godfather pics with Gino at the drive-in, cinema and cinema. He made me watch "Shane" and "The Tree of Wooden Clogs" and "Il Malato Imaginario" and so many films. And when I cried and cried he told me, "Sette Belezze, it's just a moofie. You have to imagine the camera, and all the people standing around." Good advice for whenever you're feeling a bit distraught about a film.

He was the first person, I think, ever to 'boo' at the Opera in Melbourne. Mortifying when it happened. I was there. But I am very proud of him for that now. Because, as he explained then about the lousy performers "How will they ever get better if they don't even know that they are lousy?"

Gino liked Henry Bucks menswear for his sartorial splendour, as he put it, and he liked Bally shoes, and Farrah jeans. He had fancy cufflinks, and him and Ma, when they were not yet parted, liked buying antique furniture at auction. Weirdo English oak antiques, as a preference.

He had the first FIAT tractor in Oz, bright orange, and I learned to drive on it. And the first and maybe only Enciclopedia Italiana in Oz too.

He was a philandering Casanova of the old Italian school and I don't think he regretted it for one second. Swine.

He is my father. And I don't have him to talk to on the phone any more. Or to clink a glass of wine with him any more. Cos I lost him last week. And it's just awful.

But he had so many buddies, so many. So I have them to reminisce with. And I have so many good memories too. And I have the mirror.

He was named after Francesco Paolo Tosti, great Italian songwriter, and he loved Gabriele D'Annunzio, great Italian poet, and philanderer as it happens, both gentlemen from Abruzzo, where Gino was from.

And to quote from Consolazione, a song cycle by Tosti, words by D'Annunzio:
Bisogna che tu sia forte; bisogna
che tu non pensi a le cattive cose...
Se noi andiamo verso quelle rose,
io parlo piano, l'anima tua sogna.
Sogna, sogna, mia cara anima! Tutto,
tutto sarà come al tempo lontano.
Io metter? ne la tua pura mano
tutto il mio cuore. Nulla è ancor distrutto.
...Sogna, ché il tempo di sognare è giunto.

Now is the time to dream. To be strong and not to think of bad times, but let Gino speak softly in spirit and keep us all feeling good.

Well, maybe not softly.

It wasn't his style at all.

:: WB 4:05 a.m. [link+] ::
:: Sunday, 13 July 2003 ::

Again with the "regime" talk.

This morning on SkyNews I get treated to a pitiful exercise in letting a nutter talk and talk. And the nutter talked about how Howard lies, and Oz is an American lackey, and this government is a 'regime' becuase there is no Opposition. And why aren't we in Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur, why are we just in the Philipines? (one 'l' or two, can neveramemba).

And then you look up this nutter - Mr Bruce Haigh, former diplomat for 2 decades, now Mudgee farmer, anti-Howard in the strongest way. And a real 'circle-the-wagons' (hee hee, that yank phrase'd get right up his nose) kinda guy - what business do we have in North Korea? How can this help us?

We are all just lackeys of the US.

Ahem, no.

Agreeing does not make you a lackey, an arse-licker or anything else.

Agreeing means you share a world view. I am in favour of removing the North Korean regime from all power. Of removing their weapons and their madness from the world. And I am in favour of getting Abu Sayef off the planet too.

Bruce Haigh is happy to leave both unchalleneged and where they are, just to keep on keeping on.

Bruce Haigh, former diplomat, farmer of Mudgee, cares a lot about unauthorised arrivals to Oz. Couldn't give two shits about what would make them wanna come here in the first place.

Bruce Haigh likes to feel good about how caring he is. But he does not want to lift a finger for wogs who need some assistance.

Yesterday, a buddy let me know something: North Korea had a history of burials. Now turning to cremations rather rapidly......because they grave robbing....for food, was getting outta hand.


The rats I knew about.

The cadaverous canibalism I did not know about. I will, of course, need to substantiate this intelligence as to include here on my blog without proper checking is not on and I may have to resign my blog because Bruce Haigh will call me a liar.

Really. Who cares what Bruce Haigh thinks? He cannot be taken seriously because he calls the government a 'regime'.

Dash done.

:: WB 5:30 p.m. [link+] ::
:: Saturday, 12 July 2003 ::

Caught a bit of the Insiders this morning - transcript coming.

I like it when the righties fight with the lefties. And interestingly today, one of the couch-group-of-three, Christine Leftie, just before referring to the Howard government as a 'regime', declared that the Oz population has moved on from the whole Iraq intelligence thing and no one cares about the "lying" and "dodgy intelligence" assertions appearing daily in the press, and only the media gives a stuff.

Andrew Bolt picked her up on her use of the word 'regime' and then I think he said something like, ~while ever the left is as sloppy as you, it'll always be out of power~ or something like that. And he said something like ~the complainers are trying to justify their objections to the war~.

Round of applause.

Christine Leftie is an insufferable wanker and the very personification of dripping lefty cynicism which marks her as a loser of the highest order.

She is quite right no one gives a shit. But she thinks it is cos we, who do not share her daft view of the world where the Howard government is a 'regime' (urgh), are all too retarded to understand and if we were just a little less retarded we would agree with her because dripping cynicism is just the best way to live your life, it just gets so much done. Why, it was dripping cynicism that built the Monaro, dontchaknow? Zif.

Whereas, the real reason we all do not give a shit is twofold. First, agreeing with people like Christine Leftie means agreeing with people like Andrew Wilkie. And Philip Adams.

No. Just no, okay? Not til they say something agreeable. And they have not yet on this topic.

More importantly the second reason we all do not give a shit about the intelligence stuff is because it gets us precisely nowhere. We already know intelligence is not a precise art. Have known for ever. Three Days of the Condor okay? [Look it up.]

Here and now: Saddam gone.

No going back then.

All that can come of an intelligence shakeout is maybe a govt shakeout. Maye a change of power. Maybe even a change of govt.

And that is it.

Christine - you have seen the Oz Labor Opposition lately, haven't you?

:: WB 7:12 p.m. [link+] ::
"The film contains (as far as I can recall...) no scenes of penetration."

I would prefer David Stratton not to turn his mind or his pen to the topic of penetration, thankyou.

But since he has.....urggghh.....

This is his review of Ken Park which you can get online no problemo:

Social workers would recognise these characters and situations only too well, and in its unflinching depiction of the way these parents treat their children – either neglecting them, demeaning them or, in the most extreme cases, preying sexually on them – the film is unquestionably important and relevant.

..the concentration by Clark and Lachman on explicit sex is extremely confronting. Though the film contains (as far as I can recall from a screening last September at the Venice Film Festival) no scenes of penetration, there is certainly a fair amount of sexual activity. Clark and Lachman can certainly be accused of a lack of restraint.

A lot of sex. No penetration, but, that David can remember. (Jeez. None he can remember. You are a film reviewer, David. We kinda count on you to remember illegal shit like that. Urgh.)

Well, okay then.

And we should all get out in the street and protest to make sure the film's bunch of sex, including penetration too, maybe, if David's memory has failed him and us, is able to be seen, even though most people do not care whether it is or not, and the only people whining about the stomping jackboot of censorhip in not classifying the film as watchable, are people who mistake classification for stomping jackboot censorship.

And here is yesterday's review by Stratton of The Real Cancun. This, however, is, for some reason, not available online at the Aus site. Can't imagine why not - the other film that was reviewed does get a guernsey. Maybe I'm missing it. Whatever. I'll type, cos it is short, sharp and bitchy:

When it comes to sleaze, however, The Real Cancun takes first prize with no contest. This is reality TV transferred to the cinema - Big Brother on the big screen. The producers, who should hang their heads in shame, selected a bunch of attractive young people in their late teens and early 20's, and assembled them in a beachside resort hotel in Mexico for a vacation of mindless drinking and debauchery, all of it, naturally, filmed. They weren't actors, and there wasn't a script. This, heaven help us, is the Real Thing.


The Real Cancun bad because it shows real things that go on in Cancun by consenting 21 year olds without art, artifice or pretension. Ken Park "unquestionably important and relevant" because it shows.....well, here is another review to put this whole idiocy in perspective:

The worst film I’ve seen since... Well, “Bully”.

I don’t know why I still bother to see Larry Clark’s sexploitation films when each one is more despicable than the previous. I’ll give him one thing, his work his memorable, but so would be the experience of having to watch him rape your children. “Ken Park”, which is co-directed by Ed Lachmen, follows three guys and a girl from Visalia, California, as they do nothing but skateboard, smoke dope and do each other, with the occasional bit of the old ultra-violence.

Shawn has a girlfriend, but he likes her mother better. Graphic sex ensues. Tate’s always yelling at his grandparents and his dog. The only person he tolerates is himself. Graphic sex ensues. Claude clashes with his drunken, abusive father. Graphic sex ensues (I wish I was kidding). Peaches’ dad is a gentler, religious man, but when he catches her being kinky with some guy from Bible Studies, he beats the snot out of both of them. Then out of nowhere, Shawn, Claude and Peaches (who we’ve never even seen together before) are having a threesome, shown in graphic detail, natch.

Why one would make such a film? I see two possibilities: 1) He’s only depicting a reality. If that’s the case, someone needs to tell him we got that teenagers were horny and amoral when he made “Kids” seven years ago, no need to keep shoving this down our collective throat. 2) Clark’s getting off on making films with the crassest characters and the most close-ups of penises possible. In any case, “Ken Park” is by far the worst film I’ve seen since... Well, “Bully”.

Now, how can this film possibly be better than The Real Cancun?

There is only one way.

The quality of the tits.

Moving on, but, the film idiot people like Stratton and Pomeranz and Marr and a bunch of bloggers are getting all upset about is shit. You wanna go to the barricades over this rubbish? Be my guest, idiots. But do try not to get all indignant about how art is at stake and Australia's freedom and stuff is at risk and blah blah blah. 'Cos it is not.

No one who thinks straight gives a stuff about this stuff. It has Pomeranz, Stratton and Marr as its champions.

Do I have to draw you a picture?

I mean, this lousy unimportant cinematic wankercise shit brings out the retard in arts folks, it really does. Try this review. Priceless self-obsession on the part of the reviewer, and a complete inability to notice when he is overreacting to cinema. Radio National, natch:

"Ken Park kills himself because his girlfriend is pregnant. He’s been trying to do the right thing, working to raise money for her. Two troubled kids sit on a park bench, and she tells him she doesn’t want an abortion.

'How would you feel,' she asks the stricken boy, 'if your parents had aborted you?' "

Odd that we ban a film which asks this question.

God, I have a pain behind my eye. This is a retarded question. I would not feel anything because I would have been aborted long before any feelings could develop, Einstein. Simple matter of arrested development...out of the womb.


Odd that a film reviewer, along with a bunch of folks, really, cannot see the pathetic nature of the whole Ken Park exercise.

:: WB 6:20 p.m. [link+] ::
:: Friday, 11 July 2003 ::
Now this is interesting stuff.

Found through Instapundit, evidence of a link between Saddam and Osama. Why is it interesting? Cos the link has been tenous to date, and more investigation, as more and more info comes out of Iraq and Iraqis, is available to us to firm up some of the tenuous info to date. Capisce?

Gotta keep an eye on all this.

:: WB 11:50 p.m. [link+] ::

From Tim Blair's site again (those comments are wild) we get this from some jackass who has linked Blair on his own website under the title "Enemies".


"Murdering lunatic deposed, people. This is a good thing." he quotes from Blair himself, and then writes:

we were lied to, people. this is a bad thing.

Except we weren't.

:: WB 10:41 p.m. [link+] ::
Jason Soon. Oh dear.

He wrote on Tim Blair's site: Once again Tim Blair demonstrates that conservatives are the fairweather friends of freedom all bout the Ken Park kiddie porn nonsense.

Sad wog.

I called my Ma to check she was free right after the whole Ken Park thing broke in the news. I said 'Ma, you okay? Not feeling impinged are you? Feeling fenced in? Like your very liberty is at stake? Hemmed in by an evil classification regime?'

She said "No."

Well, okay then.

Some other idiot commenter on Blair's site wrote: ...The KP6 are obviously arguing that the hang-ups of a few jackass conservative prigs shouldn't be allowed to determine the viewing habits of competent adults, who don't share said prigs' disgust with the very idea of sex. What is so hard to understand about this?

Who you calling a prig?

I do not want Ken Park getting round the classificaiton system, just because Margaret Pomeranz and David Marr are stuck to their seats at the proposect of watching teens get fellated and laid.

Freedom is not at risk. And the film in question sucks.....literally.

The people who mock the KP6 are obviously competent adults capable of not overreacting to a classification system for films. They do not share the progressives' titillation at art cinema. What is so hard to understand about that?

:: WB 8:23 p.m. [link+] ::
5-4-3-2-1 Wilkie

How about the SMH? Always on song. Apparently intelligence evidence once thought to be good stuff but then checked and rechecked and learned not to be worthwhile at all, is somehow "lying".

And who does this stinking rag wheel out to comment? A self-aggrandising lowleveller, who has just got back from being humiliated in the UK when it revealed he, Andrew Wilkie, knows nothing of the workings of this government or its intelligence agencies, and in fact is a peddler of his own intuition and personally held views that the govt is somehow duplicitous to its core.

Big words. Yeah, yeah.

I will simplify: The man has it hand on it, okay?

Now this, from the newly lurched-to-the-right Aus is closer to the mark with "error", but even then that is not quite right.

See, correct infallibile information is attainable. But it may need to be attained after a sorting process. And a checking process.

To suggest that Oz, UK and US govt's are now "admitting" "errors" and "lies", as I heard on a very sloppy SkyNews presentation yesterday morning, is to argue that there was deliberate action in running with dodgy information beforehand.

"Admit". Pulease.

Bollocks, as the Brits have discovered.

Condoleeza Rice, Jack Straw, Alexander Downer, and Bush, Blair and Howard, all in a room together deciding to fabricate evidence to bring on a war......Zif.

More likely, Oz intelligene agencies, UK intelligence agencies, US intelligence agencies, worked superhard to come up with stuff, bunched it all together and then started to sort through it, and while it was getting sorted through, State of the Union addresses were made, and Commons Speeches, and Addresses to the Oz nation to - and some of the material was put into those speeches before being fully checked, and when it was later checked it was found not to be accurate enough and in some cases, downright wrong wrong wrong (niger uranium).


the case against Saddam was not 100% bulletproof from the get go.


It was enough bulletproof at the end.

Even after Blix's obfuscation.

And none of the rubbish made it into Powell's address to the UN, amemba?

So, what are the real complaints, now? I will tell you clear and plain:

The people who have to get up every day and look at themselves in the mirror and know that they made precisely no contribution to the removal of Saddam Hussein, in fact they actively were against his removal and thus for his remaining in place (and don't listen to the idiots who say "I wasn't marching for Saddam" because they fucking were - one foot in front of the other for a couple hours, all because they couldn't bring themsleves to side with Bush and Howard and Blair and Aznar and Berlusconi et al. In a pinch, they chose Saddam. Good grief.)

Those people are still choosing Saddam over Bush et al. They want Bush out. They are driven by what they loathe and not by what they aspire to. But driven, nevertheless. And they want to win. And their game, the one they are playing, is against Bush, Howard, Blair, Berlusconi, Aznar etc etc and against anyone who might not loathe those guys.

I do not believe for one second that Oz intelligence services or any others for that matter, are perfect.

How can they be when they hire Wilkie's?

But I do believe they are not wholly imperfect.

Most intelligence A-grade, some of it C and D-grade. Yeah, well yeah.

Does not change the outcome. Saddam out. Objectively good stuff in my view. Does not make the outcome less agreeable to me. Does not alter my view of government.

Anyone who wants to get all nuanced on my ass, and argue that 'the end doesn't justify the means' and we should not be manipulated into doing good, is just too bloody cynical for words. Yes, cynical. Because they bloody well know it's not a perfect world, and they know that intelligence isn't a perfect activity. But they're trying to act as if it is, and as if, recently, I have been raped by my govt becuase of some niger unranium forgery.

That's the worst the pro-Husseini's can come up with - one niger uranium forgery and one 45 minute bomb statement. That it it. That is it. And to them, what? We should put Saddam back? No. So, what then? We should lynch Howard, Blair and Bush? (well, 'yes', is what they really feel, but ) No. But they do want everyone who is happy about Saddam being out, every pro-war person, to feel ashamed for holding that point of view.

That is what the pro-Husseini's want. They just want me to feel bad about my views. And they want me to admit my wrongness and assume the kneeling position so I can show them how much I admit their rightness.



what Phil Adams wants, and George Monbiot, and Pilger, Fisk, MacKay, Fitzsimons, Alibhai-Brown, Roy, McGeogh, Riley, etc etc etc all want me to feel.

That is their game.

Well, okay. It is a harmless enough game and I will play.

:: WB 8:15 p.m. [link+] ::
:: Thursday, 10 July 2003 ::
Well, okay then

"You're going to see the presumption of innocence, you're going to see proof beyond a reasonable doubt, you're going to see them being represented by an attorney.

"There is no adverse inference for them choosing to remain silent.

"The commission panel members themselves are actually tasked ... to ensure that the accused gets a full and fair trial and I have every confidence that that is what will happen with the commissions."

Not that any of this sort of clear statement is going to settle any of the more hysterical minds of Oz. Like this jerk writing in today's SMH who asks of Hicks in Guantanamo:

A test many of us would accept as to the fairness of a judicial process is: would you be happy if one of your family was subject to the said process? meaning the process of foreigners capturing the Oz family member while he is engaged in violent thuggery in another foreign land that is so blasted, backwards and shitful it dresses its women in blankets and stones them for perceived adultery etc etc, incarcerating him in a leased landplot for over a year while feeding and sheltering him all the while interrogating him too, but always respecting his imbecilic religious conversion to a faith that has zero zip nada to do with him and is nothing more than a trite cover for his violent imbecility, then eventually trying him in a military jurisdiciton, mirroring substantively usual criminal process, even though the acts which brought the violent thug to this point in life are well beyond anything usual and criminal, but rather are determined, murderous and hatefilled.

That process.

As usual in the SMH, letter writers for the most part are idiots. Demonstrated well here. I mean, "would you be happy if one of your family was subject to the process?"

Um. Maybe take a step back - and ask instead: Would you be happy to find a family member was fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan in ~Nov 2001?


Or how about asking another question: out of a population of 18m how embarrassment wouldyabe if you were the father of the only - the single, sole, only - jackass violent thug skippy loser to get his halfwit arse all the way over to Afghanistan fighting.....wait for it.....for the Talibanners, and who hung around long enough to actually get caught by the Americans in ~Nov 2001?

Very embarrassment.

In fact, the jackass's Pa denounced his son first up. Said clear as a bell that the boy just was not right in the head. It was only after the lawyers got involved (they are great lawyers too, eh? Done a heap for the bloke, eh? Self-aggrandising legal wankers) that he come round and starting supporting his son. Sad. Poor man.

See, my Ma is my family. And my Pa. And a bunch of others. And of all the family, not a single not one, ever took up arms for Islamofascists. Hmmmm. Now, what can I learn from that? Oh, I know. I learn that Hicks does not have my sympathy. There is no slippery slope that I need to be concerned about here, okay? We are talking about a shitful violent thug who faught for womenbeating Talibanners and against anything and everything that was about to crush those womenbeating Talibanner bastards.


No slippery slope. The whole "ooooh doooom, we cannot alloow Hicks to be tried by a military tribunal becuase it will be a slippery slope and before you know it all Oz will lose their rights to be tried at Oz trials...." is a crock. You have to do some serious bobbing and weaving into danger - yes, into it - to end up getting caught in a warzone, even when the freakin' terrorists have managed to turn peaceful zones like Manhattan Island into war zones by their reckless violent thuggery.

War on terror - territory, planet earth, sadly. Not my making. Not my mother's making. Or my father's. Hicks' making, the shit. Hicks and his guntoting womanbeating Islamofascist buddies. And every Red Brigader, IRAsshole, Basquebomber Shining Pather, PLOtting suicider etc etc.

But even with a global war on terror, even with all that, still no one comes in the night to take my Ma away. Damn her, but she's just lawful. Damn her to heck, eh?

I wanna see this Hicks on trial. I want to hear him sing like a canary (cos he will, I reckon, his Dad will beg him to - poor ol' man - you can't blame him for sticking up for his loser son, but his initial reaction was as Australian as you could get - he knew his son was a jackass and knew he did not deserve any favours).

Now the lawyers will rabbit on and on about how Hicks should be brought home, so he can be tried here, blah, blah. Like this is some normal crime to be heard by any old magistrate. And they will rabbit on til the man is tried and during and even after.

Zif you would want a magistrate to hear the Hicks case.

This fighting with the Taliban, actually choosing to side violently with those rock monsters over all other peoples, is serous stuff. It is serious. Hicks is the only skip. Round of applause to Oz. In my opinion he's one too many. And it is serious and we need to take it seriously.

There is no slippery slope.

It was fair to challenge censorship laws using a slippery slope argument back in the 70's when books were getting censored, and there was no other way to get them into Oz and past the censor except through customs on the docks which is where the censor got 'em. But nowadays you can easily get stuff which the govt tries to censor, online, blackmarket etc. Society is agile and well developed and can move very fast to bob and weave out of the way of aggressive government to read whatever it wants. No need for a song and dance about censorship, because even though the law is there, no one's getting hurt. The balance is much finer than in the past - we still have to balance while ever the laws are around, but the measuring range is that much finer, between wankers who want their kiddie porn to feel like art and be public, and puritans who don't want anyone ever to have a hardon (see Ken park post somewhere below, on that).

And it would have been fair back while the Iran Iraq war was on, say, or even Bosnia and Kosovo, where Hicks fought as well (thug), to insist he be brought home and tried. But no, while we know how evil and menacing the terrorists are, how souldestoryingly violent and ugly they can be, and what long games they play, well, the balance between Hicks' freedom to enjoy Oz law no matter where he may get caught being a jackass, and the remaining population's freedom to know true terrorists are going to be tried in a serious forum that carries serious weight, maybe even death and won't get released on some nice legal technicality, or be able god help us, to make a bail application, when everyone knows he was there in Afghanistan with a freakin' gun pointing at everyone but the murderous scum running that joint, is a tight balance to make but I think we can do it.

I do not think society will crumble if we let him be tried by military types. Not even American types. Not even if American's Hicks' themselves get different legal treatment. Who cares about that? I do not give a shit about the Englanders caught in Afghanistan, or the Americans. I am interested in the skippy. And I measure my thoughts and my decision as to his current state and future trial by reference to him, and not by reference to others.

Cos he's a skippy. He comes from home.

It is not a slippery slope.

It is a balancing act.

We are in grams and milligram territory, follow?


Typey typey make fingers hurty.

Buona notte.

:: WB 3:18 a.m. [link+] ::
Yeah, well yeah.

The German government was at pains to deny any long-term damage would be done to relations with Italy ...

But Mr Schroder's cancelled holiday exploded into a national political issue in Italy with the centre-Left opposition ...

"The economic harm he is causing is enormous," said Luciano Violante, chief whip for the Leftist democrats. Germans account for 38 per cent of Italy's tourist trade.
The province of Pesaro said it would seek damages from the prime minister's office. Italians seemed to be sympathetic to Mr Schroder. In a survey commissioned by La Repubblica, 49 per cent said he was right to cancel his visit.

Oh, man? La Repubblica is the Sydney Morning Herald/Age of the Italian press.

They will ask Italians whether they think the Germans are right - fer crying outta loud, what they should ask is whether they think the Berlusconi was right, or maybe ask the Italians instead if they agree with Northern Leaguer Stefani who wrote: "We know the Germans well, these stereotyped hyper-nationalistic blonds, who've been indoctrinated from the beginning to feel top of the class whatever the situation." Germans "loudly invaded" Italy's beaches, drinking beer and taking part in belching contests, ...).

Una domanda: for every German absent in Italy this season, how many applauding Yanks, Spaniards, English etc do you think might decide to show up in Silvio's Italy as a show of support? Tanti, I will wager.


And why?

Because the Bel Paese is fantabulous.

Basta. Ho detto tutto.

UPDATE: Tim Blair shares my views. Not bad for a skippy.

:: WB 2:14 a.m. [link+] ::
:: Sunday, 6 July 2003 ::
They cannot take it seriously

The BBC that is.

I have just seen a promotion for a BBC program shortly to screen. Called ... wait for it ... Holidays in the Axis of Evil.


That is how seriously they take world affairs. The BBC. Holidays.

North Korea is threatening to kill us all in insane rhetoric. Mullahs of Iran are beating and jailing their uppity students in anticipaiton of another revolution. And the Iraqis are daily trying to improve their lot while fighting off idiots who weren't brave enough to fight while the war was actually on, but prefer to come out of the dirt after the fighting's over and stab at the remaining forces instead of rebuilding their own nation.

Holidays in the Axis of Evil. This is the same approach as that stupid and venal Susan Sarandon, self-satisfied westerner, declaring she couldn't see any reason to remove Saddam from power, after all, his shitfulness is not reason enough - no problems for her, so no action from her either. Dreadful person. She is a Holidays in the Axis of Evil kinda gal, I will wager.

The dripping sarcasm in the title. Urgh. Enough to make you puke. Cos you know it will not actually be a valuable show - I mean, one does not holiday in North Korea while the leadership starves its people. That is just disgusting.

And one cannot surely in good conscience holiday in Teheran at this moment. Maybe demonstrate with the students, yes. But holiday - no.

And Iraq? You think the BBC is going to declare the country safe enough for a holiday? No. The show will be a diatribe against the removal of Saddam.

What kind of person do you have to be to make a show like that - Holidays in the Axis of Evil? As if there is nothing eveil and malevolent about those regimes and what they do to their wogs. I know. A shitful self-satisfied leftie wanker, that is what kind of peron.

Urggh. Not a great way to start my week.

:: WB 5:38 p.m. [link+] ::
Latin American Idiots.

No, I do not know what they are protesting about. But whatever it is, the method of their protest, the approach and execution, is as stupid as the day is long. See the tears in the gransdon's eyes? "Why is granma such a dolt?"

This reminds me of the stupidity in Mexican Parliament when one of those Mexican Indians from the south addressed Parliament dressed like an idiot - by which I mean her national costume of some sort of hoop dress and eighteen cardigans - and she demanded the right not to wear shoes.

Yes. You read that right. Shoes being a Spanish import. And conquest and blah blah.

Idiocy. It has to be called out. She does not want the right not to wear shoes. That is a sly way of putting it. After all, who of us does not spend a goodly part of each day of our lives non-shod? The way she addressed Parliament, she made it sound as though squads of farriers were patrolling the mountains and slapping comfortable mocassins on all amnd sundry. The horror.

What she really wants is for others not to be allowed to call her a shoeless loser. Fair enough on the strong language. In which case she should ask for just that. And nevermind where the shoes are - on her feet or not.

What she really wants is all the rights and privileges of the shod to be afforded to her, and not to have to change her culture one bit.

We were all shoeless once. And we now have Ferragamo.

That's progress.

The buried folks, up to their necks, with their grandkids beside 'em in tears, really need to grapple with change. It can be for the good. But that achievement is rather heavily dependent upon the buried getting their heads straight and getting out of the dirt.

Buried up to their necks.


:: WB 5:35 a.m. [link+] ::
40,000.00 pounds? 74,000 pounds?

Sidebar Littlejohn. Priceless.

:: WB 5:19 a.m. [link+] ::
If you can't call a nasty shitful German bloke a quasi-nazi, who the hell can you sling that epiphet at, eh?

I love that Silvio ain't sorry. I mean, the whole slur against him and all Italy, we are all mafiosi, apparently, and from a stinking German Green. Even my Ma is a mafiosa apparently.

Djeah Right.


UPDATE: Best headline of the whole affair.

Charming thoughtful post(s) from Europundits' Nelson Ascher.

:: WB 1:48 a.m. [link+] ::
So kill yourself, already, sheesh

I really do not know which Italians this woman is talking to. Certainly not my cousin Fausto and his mates, or my buddy Daniela and her mates. I mean, how is it possible to be so ignorant of a nation, and still be breathing?

She is like those left wingers who simply cannot understand why their leftwing party is unsuccessful at the ballot box, because they actually never mix with real live voting people who think differently to them.

To whit:

From Pinocchio to Mussolini and now Berlusconi: it's a logical progression of lies, boasts and posturing. Pinocchio pretended that he was a real child; Mussolini that he was the leader of an invincible army; Berlusconi that he is the Condottiere who galvanises his people into claiming a seat at high table in the international arena.

Italians, practised in this kind of carrying on, shrug cynically. What can you expect of a fellow Italian but that he should embarrass you in public? He'll blow hot, then cold, puffing himself up with self-importance: but in the end, nothing changes. For even Berlusconi is not much worse than what came before him: there were no heroes to mourn, and no halcyon days to recapture with his overthrow. Recognising this, Italians embrace their future with fatalism. It means they'll put up with a jerk who insults a nation in their name - but under the circumstances, their resignation is far less devastating than any fond hope of a better tomorrow.

Remind you of anything?

Phillip Adams and Hugh MacKay and Marian Wilkinson et al writing about Oz.

Friedman and Moore and Franzen babbling about US.

Monbiot and Alhibai-Brown writing about Engerland.

They are all diseased minds who cannot imagine that pleasure can be had by anyone who is not them. All of us who are not them, must be miserable, self-hating, ashamed to sign our national anthems.

To them all I say, channelling the spirit of Silvio Berlusconi: One day a film will be made about the truly awful people of this world - and it will feature you all.

The truly awful, being all those folks who cannot imagine that people who do not share their world view are somehow happy and successful or at least capable of feeling happiness and of achieving success.

Peasants. Monbiot and Odone, I mean. Not youse all, my readers.

To youse, love.

:: WB 1:43 a.m. [link+] ::
Stratton & Pomeranz sitting in a tree

Trying to work which of them is more turned on by watching some kiddie porn masquerading as art.

I have been following this ludicrous Ken Park film non-showing stuff for a while. And I have a view. It is that the film is surely crap. And, no, I have not seen it. I do not need to. I am a functioning human being and film making was not invented yesterday. I have seen more films than many of the performers in Ken Park have drawn breath. Just like Romance, this film will be unwatchable art crap that feels like cheap porn. Same as Baise-moi was a tawdry exercise in filming loser dysfunction.

The film maker is not talented. Nor clever. If you cannot make a film about teen angst without actually filming teens rooting, you are no director. You are a talentless film wanker, cossetted from your lack of talent by halfwits liike Stratton and Pomeranz.

You want teen angst kid porn? The Last Picture Show. You want loserdom on the big screen? Midnight Cowboy.

That is all.

Except maybe this: should Ken Park not be screened? Dman right it should not. The director has exploited his actors, turning every one into a cheap lay. Even the ones who do not actually get laid. They all stood round and watched. They knew it was being filmed. Like an arty gang bang. I got nothing against rooting in your teens. I have a lot against someone expecting me to give them a round of applause for capturing it on film.

Cheap crap film making. Rubbish. Not worth 12 bucks.

Imagine being an actor in it, actually getting fucked on screen in a way that, hmmmm, never happened to Paul Newman. Or Gina Lollobrigida. And realising you on film getting laid is not even worth 12 bucks to the public.

Cos you know. No one gives a stuff about this film. Or the censors. Or anything that comes out of Pomeranz and Stratton on the topic of life as we know it.

Losers. All.

No one has made a decent film, a real Stalag 17 kind of film for decades. Decades. And do not say "Traffic" cos any film that leaves you wanting to kill all the cast, must be pushing a story that is so stinking lousy and awful it probably added precisely zero to the sum of world knowledge. Urrgh.

Thank god for those French duck flying documentary makers. Now that stuff adds to the sum of world knowledge.

:: WB 1:20 a.m. [link+] ::

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