It's official, next 9th and 10th of April there will be the national elections. The Big Ones.

Depending on the result, I might or might not turn up at your door.

on other accounts, I hate you, miktex. or latex in general.
I meant to read so much HP (theory) this past couple of days... and I've been as far from the fandom as I've ever been. And I have - oh, lookie... about 30 pages opened. (It's true.) Somehow I doubt I'll be able to reply to everything I want to today.

I was so shocked to come back home Friday night and hear about Sharm al-Sheikh. I'm mainly talking as Italian here, but this was close. I'm not saying that this was a way to get to us - I don't think it's the case, and anyway, I never even thought of that before now - but lots of Italians regularly go on holiday there. Had this happened only last year I wouldn't have been so calm, what with at least five of my closest friends there. Other little side-effect is that the holiday me and a friend were plotting for next week (and, incidentally, we started plotting last friday - "last minute" in the most literal meaning of the term) won't be in Spain as we'd thought at first.
Take the quiz: "Which Random Irish Gaelic Phrase Are You? "

Ta me air meisce
Ta me air meisce - 'I am drunk.'You enjoy a drink - or five - now and then. You can usually be found in a pub - it doesn't matter which one, because they all look the same after a few drinks - or hugging the porcelain.
(And I never got really drunk.)

Now, on more serious topics..
I don't know how many of you know about this. So, this week end there had been the European election (along with the local ones, provincial and/or municipal), no news here.


On Friday, any Italian who owns a cell phone - as to say, every Italian - receives a text message which says (more or less):

"2004 Elections.
You can vote on Saturday 12th from 03.00 pm to 10.00 pm and on Sunday 13th from 07.00 am to 22.00 am.
Document and electoral card are required.
Presidency of Ministers' Council"

Now, that made me angry.
a) How come that while we seem to have all those problems with the national debt and the like, they are wasting money like this?
b) Now, translating a local saying, also dogs and swines have my phone number. I don't want to hear them talk anymore about "privacy laws".
c) Am I biased, or this is a subtle way to say "go and vote (for me)"? Look at the sign. "Presidency of Ministers' council". "Premiership". Which ACTUALLY IS one of the parties to the case. And NOT super partes, how should be someone who sends a message like this.
Having been outside the whole day, I heard the news only yesterday evening. The tv speaker first said that very few saw the execution's record, then - in the same sentence - he spoke about the "dramatic and barbaric execution". Now, tell me how you can say that. Aljazeera didn't transmit it. Only an handful of persons - thank God - saw it. Am I wrong to think that journalists shouldn't speak by hearsay, at least without specifying it, or is it just me being naive?

Anyway, I'm glad they chose not to spread the tape. I can only imagine what it would have been like, and I do remember how often they broadcast the record of when S. Francis' aisle collapsed, back in the 1996. This time there would have been enlargements, slow motions and all the like.

I know that the tendency to turn pain into a spectacle isn't the real point of the issue. Yet- I'm still not going to talk about all the question, I need to know more.
Short update, just to say few words.

there's a way to amuse oneself even in the worst situations.
So, Sabina Guzzanti was relieved of the libel suit, because, in fact, what she said was true.
Response of a minister: then, she was giving informations on a supposed satire program, so said program would have been closed anyway.
Without words.

the state of our journalism.
Lucia Annunziata (Rai president) said: "This public utility is turning into a professionalism abattoir. I'm not going anymore to be responsible for the informative time band of the 20.30, on Raiuno."
("Questa azienda sta diventando un mattatoio di professionalita'. Non ho piu' intenzione di occuparmi della fascia informativa delle 20.30 su Raiuno".)
Which is the problem?
The sandwich.
Scheme of the news topics: [a] government, a lot (first thick slice of bread). [b] opposition, few lines (a slice of ham. Thin). [c] majority. As to say, government again.
On the 20.30 time band.
Do I have to say anything?
So, yesterday evening I was watching Blob, the tv show. It reported an extract from a parliamentary session, where Bondi (the spokesman of the majority party - sic) was saying (more or less), about the Schifani arbitration,

"I'd like to point out that we're not bringing in this bill in favour of a sole person."

At that, the opposition exponents, all together,


Oh, god. Priceless.
So, last Friday there had been my last class of this semester.
No, I'm not glad.
I'm actually missing a lot my Univ friends, especially because most of them (the one(s) I want to see more goes (go) back home for the holidays. Bwah!)
(ok, there's also the little detail that now I've no excuses not to start studying for my exams. Uh! I won't have one on my birthday just because it will be on Sunday. But see next year..)

Oh, and if anyone saw the.. the show (I don't know what else I could call it) on RaiUno last-- Saturday, if I'm not wrong..
It was like seeing tele-sales.
He actually is a seller, so nothing new there, but.. but by now we know how he is. (And I'm still wondering how so many people managed to vote for him, and not even some months later no one had the nerve to admit it anymore. Really. Listening to people, no one voted for him. I wonder how someone can win an election, if no one votes for them.)
But the reporters! The questions they asked!
No one replied to that heap of rubbish bringing forward data. Bringing forward facts.
"Are you planning another 'Italian miracle'?"
And for once that someone actually asks an interesting question, a difficult question, what does he do? He starts insulting her. "Aren't you ashamed you're working for a newspaper like that one?"
How dare you! You're the Prime Minister, not the first village idiot who comes by, you're bound to show some respect! To anyone!
..and I shouldn't even get angry. I have to say anything? )
It had been strange reading Gordie's letter and Chapter Thirteen, with today being the day of the national funeral and all. It was strangely fitting, and obviously unintended, since I couldn't have any clue about the incipit of Part II.
On Sunday the subject of Nassirya went touched briefly. With a friend of mine telling she cried, when she heard the news on TV, telling about the private stories of each soldier. Now excuse me, but it made me somewhat upset, and that's why I didn't tell a word on the subject. Because I saw that very show, and it didn't touched me, but it made me feel quite sick. Call me cynical, if you want. The idea of talking about their life may not had been that original, but surely wasn't all that bad either. What was nauseating was the way they worked the idea out. The words they used, the language, the style. Every very comma was meant to make the whole story heartbreaking. And if you want people to be touched by what you say, you better not make the tricks you use so clear. Honestly, if I could point them out, everyone else could too.
And yet, when I see people take for sure truths every word the news spill over them, without bothering to at least try to think about them, I can't help but get angry. But with my diplomacy skills being what they are, I prefer most of the times just keep silent. I am very aggressive when I'm angry and it proved to be quite counterproductive.
And the Nationalism! The Patriotism! Dear God, how much false is all that! Italians never bothered with Patriotism till now, till the "war" they were anyway so keen on promoting actually produced some effect on them. If this is not hypocrisy, then I honestly don't know what it is. What were the WarSupporters thinking, that it was something far from them? That the bombs exploding would kindly spare Italian soldiers, because they are so nice, and only blow up the rest of the army?
Now don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't care about the 19 men died in Nassirya. But I can't just watch all the apparatus built around them without saying anything.
God. I've never heard of Homeland once in twenty years.
And it's because of what I've said, and not in spite of it, that I feel that those death had been absolutely wrong, and unfair.

(Yes, the icon is ironic.)

Ok, this is very little about At Swim and very much about my own quirks. I apologize, because I'm liking the book in an almost disgusting way, so I will be talking a lot about it. Oh, and Jo? I should thank you. Your positive review (ok, your worship) had been one of the things that had me buying it.



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