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“We are not

We are Italian
We hate
I taly. 28 May 1985. hand frantically for me to
Montecatini Terme. A come next to her. I put
magnificent, almost- the pizzas down and
summer snug Tuscan move quickly to her.
nightfall. I have just come
up to the intercom at the Heysel Stadium. Brussels.
door of the building on Via The Liverpool-Juventus
Manzoni where my vest- game has been
pocket studio apartment interrupted. To my horror,
is located on the third I see Liverpool fans on the
floor. I hold two pizzas. pitch with bats and chains
One margherita con threatening Juventus
cipolla and a marinara for aficionados. Maria Luisa
Maria Luisa. I ring the bell tells me the sportscaster
to have Maria Luisa open has reported that a wall
the door for me arms- has collapsed; it is
filled and to signal to her believed there are people
that she can take the cold crushed to death under
beers out of the frig and the rubble and the feet of
pour them. I walk up. shocked spectators who
are trying to escape in a
When I arrive, the door is stampede. I cannot
ajar, I see no beers, and believe my eyes, and I
Maria Luisa—glued to the have to remind myself I
TV screen—is waving her am in Europe and not
Yankee Stadium in New train back to Montecatini.
York. I am really sad and It is almost late. We walk
depressed. I have never down the stairs solemnly,
even dreamt in all my and before we go to the
years that a spectator car, I toss our uneaten
sport might provoke pizzas into the trash
violence and death. I feel disposal unit in the street.
as if I have come upon a We say little on our way. I
very dismal, exceptionally kiss Maria Luisa goodnight
unbelievable discovery. I and walk the kilometre or
am lost for words. Maria so to the train station to
Luisa is practically crying. catch one back. I feel
very bad. I am perplexed.
Even still more seemingly The train comes. I look to
impossible is the fact that see if there are others as
the game will be played deadened as I. I cannot
to its finish! I am determine that. About
dumbfounded. 47 fans— twenty-five minutes later
32 of them Juventus the rickety train pulls into
supporters—are dead. Yet Montecatini Terme—the
the show must go on. I main station. I start my
understand later on that ten-minute walk up the
the decision was based on street leading to my
the thinking that if the apartment. All of a
game had not been sudden, I hear a caravan
played out, more violence of about fifteen cars and
would have erupted. I do trucks—overflowing with
not agree. I believe we all young men and women
should have hung our screaming with joy and
heads in shame for the shaking their fists about
rest of the night. with gleeful energy—
coming towards me. I am
The tragic event is finally puzzled to discern what
over. The television news’ the commotion is. All the
programs begin the revelers are dress with
lamentable rehashing of some violet; they are fans
the night’s events as of La Fiorentina—the arch-
death toll verifications rival in Italy of the famous
come sadly trickling in. Juventus squad. The La
The next morning I will Fiorentina tifosi are
watch, benumbed, videos shouting at the top of
(some of them their lungs: Grazie,
amateurish) of the rescue Liverpool! Grazie,
efforts to bring to life the Liverpool!! Grazie,
trampled bodies with Liverpool!!!
broken limbs. It is a

ghastly sight. I feel the efore talking to you
same I did when I visited about Racism, my
my men in a field hospital dear reader, please
in Kontum after the battle read with me these three
of Dak To. definitions of it which I
copied out for you:
It is time to accompany
Maria Luisa to her home 1. From lo Zingarelli
in Sesto Fiorentino. I do 1998, edited by
not have a driver’s Miro Dogliotti and
license, so I must take the Luigi Rosiello,

Zanichelli; wing, and a bigot of
Bologna, Italy: enormous stature, set the
“Teoria che tende “tone” for me in the
a stabilire una beginning: “Don’t ever
gerarchia tra le invite a nigger into this
popolazioni house.” Amen! I studied
umane, esaltando for sixteen years in
le qualità superiori Roman Catholic schools:
di una razza, “Cross your legs, girls,
affermando la and shut the gates of
necessità di hell.” (When are Roman
conservarla pura Catholics going to come
da ogni to terms with the truth?…
commistione e priests do not want to
respingendo le marry…if they did they
altre in una stato would never have even
di soggezione.” thought of joining an
2. From The Concise organisation that keeps
Oxford Dictionary, them from women…
Sixth Edition, priests are women-
edited by J. B. haters…they want to be
Sykes, Oxford alone with themselves…
University Press, they think they are better
1976; Oxford, than we are…even a dull-
England: “Theory witted Jesuit would
that human understand this…priests
abilities etc. are belong to a class of
determined by people unified by a
race.” community of interests for
3. From Merriam- them more powerful than
Webster’s love….) I served for two
Collegiate years on active duty in
Dictionary, Tenth the United States Army; I
Edition, edited by was a social worker in the
Frederick C. Mish, northwest section of Fort
Merriam-Webster, Lauderdale, Florida; I lived
Incorporated, in the north of Florida—
1994; Springfield, part of the Deep South—
Massachusetts, for four years; and, I have
United States: “A lived in Italy for more than
belief that race is sixteen years with those
the primary who might be considered
determinant of the greatest racists in the
human traits and history of Western
capacities and that Civilization—they have
racial differences been practicing the art of
produce an Racism for centuries and
inherent with spectacular
superiority of a precision.
particular race.”
I am sensitive to acts of

Racism and have been for
know about Racism.
most of my life. Racism
How could I not? I
denigrates that which is
have lived with it all
good about humanity, and
my life. My mother,
because there is so much
fanatically Roman
of it in all parts of the
Catholic (Irish wing), right-

world, it has become also brought to light many
almost popular to opine interesting aspects of his
that there is, in fact, no personal life. But let us
remedy for the causes of now concentrate on
Racism, they being so Mark’s face. That face,
ingrained in the innate for me, is a “racist face.”
makings-up of the human I have seen it time and
being. This belief is so time again during my life.
common, it helps in There it is. Mark’s face. A
almost giving carte very listless face. I have
blanche to racists to espied thousands and
perpetrate their rants and thousands of them.
ravings. Racism gives Mark’s is a face full of
humankind a bad name. hate and full of fear and
Which is to say that if full of cowardliness. One
Racism did not flourish as ashen with sadness, rigid
it does, the world would from smirking, and
be a better place to live smitten with loftiness. In
for all individuals—a less Vietnam, that face said
vexed place to be in. this to me: “Lieutenant, if
Racism establishes the you want to make the
truth that most of us are United States Army your
weak-willed, that we are career, don’t associate
inclined to take the easy with those nigger
way out when we should privates.” That face said
be confronting, for sure, this to me: “Tonight we’re
that which is threatening having a company party
us and our fellows. The to celebrate that nigger’s
orchestration of hate (Martin Luther King)
against whatever minority death. Are you comin’,
group or member of that lieutenant?” That face
arrangement by parties said this to me, under its
larger than it, is one of breath, refusing to salute
the most despicable acts me, when no one was in
of pusillanimity sight of us: “Lieutenant,
conceivable. There are you’re a nigger-lover.
many other why and You’re a Jew-lover. And I
wherefores I can bring to don’t salute Yankee scum
the forefront to express like you!” In Florida, that
my disgust for Racism, face said this to me:
but it is now more “Why don’t you go back
interesting to concentrate to New York where you
specifically on those belong?” That face said
characteristics which this to me: “Here in Lake
distinguish the racist from City we know how to take
others. care of our nigger
problems.” That face said
Remember Mark this to me: “The Division
Fuhrman? It is pretty of Family Services of the
much agreed upon by State of Florida is not
most people that Mark corrupt and mismanaged
possessed racist as you say. We do our
inclinations, and these best to help the Negroes
were revealed—most in the northwest section
embarrassingly for him of Fort Lauderdale where
and his defence attorneys you are assigned. You are
—during his trial which being released from our

organization because you But because he was a
are insubordinate.” very courageous man,
instead of writing some
This face can be found prosaic, academic treatise
easily in any city in the on the subject which
world. This face is would have blanketed all
malignant, and it is the peculiarities of all
invested with potentially forms of Racism—thereby
unlimited growth. It keeping the author safe
expands within itself and unperturbed in his
through the strength of its generalizations—Sartre
ignorance and its craving picked a fight with anti-
for punishment inflicted in Semitism and its
retaliation for an injury or adherents per se. He was
offence. This face pounds not one to dillydally—as
and beats to the ground many academicians are
that which is around it. wont to do—about
This face, in the course of matters he deemed
time, sinks in its own menacing to society and
poison. I cannot imagine which he thought should
why this disease is not be nipped in the bud with
alphabetized in the determination.
Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental According to the grand
Disorders published by French philosopher, the
the American Psychiatric linguistics (thought
Association! patterns) of the racist are
devoid of substance and,
Perhaps you have heard therefore, easily engaged
of Jean-Paul Sartre? He in verbal counter-
wrote a very interesting attacking. The adversary
book, Réflexions sur la of the racist—using
question juive, in 1954 in serious words because he
Paris, France, and which or she holds to the word
was published by and employs them to win
Gallimard, a very famous an argument against the
Parisian publishing house. racist—must respond to
It was Sartre’s intention to the buffoonery of the
bring to light one of the racist who retorts by
most sordid sides of trying to discredit the
human behavior, anti- earnestness of the non-
Semitism, and his racist counter-attacker.
experiences fighting The one intolerant seeks
Fascism and Naziism to hit back with banter, to
during World War II no intimidate light-heartedly,
doubt influenced his to displace from normal
sense of disdain for the position or relationship
tragedy that had been the argumentation at
inflicted upon Europe’s hand. When confronted
Jewish population during with the propriety of
that conflict. Sartre, language, the bigot is
surely, did not think that afraid to appear
Racism was the breeding ridiculous, incredulous,
ground for anti-Semitic and he attempts to
individuals exclusively. mitigate the confrontation
He knew there were many he is embroiled in at the
different strata of Racism. moment.

inventive; he prefers to
Interestingly enough, keep things as they are
Sartre points out this sticking to those rules
characteristic: the racist which maintain the status
is often provincial- quo. The racist will not
minded. (Are racists assume responsibility for
living in metropolitan his or her actions because
areas less racist than in doing so, his or her
those living in the bluff will be called
countryside?) For immediately. Nor will
example, the anti-Semites racists form any faction
he talks about in his book from which they may be
and who were all French singled out for
citizens, could boast a identification. They prefer
two-thousand-year-long to join secret
tradition. They were organisations. (The Ku
“glued” to their Klux Klan, of Scottish
birthplaces and counted origin, is a hooded group.)
so much on the wisdom of Racists will not elaborate
their ancestors, they felt any fixed program which
they did not need to be might evidence their
intelligent for the simple actions or plans of them.
reason they had been They do not seek legal
benefiting from what identity or registration as
others of their past had a legal entity for dread
been already doing for they will be caught sight
centuries. What was of. They hide in the dark.
there to be learnt!
Attachment to their The racist wants to be a
property was paramount disciplined member of an
to their thinking. Their undisciplined group. The
possession of it was part little person needs those
of the cause of their fears. who can be hated to
Their land had not been sustain—as high as
bought. It had been possible—the level of
passed down to them anger in his or her being.
through the centuries. The racist wants to
The countrified racist is destroy people, not
fixed to his property. He institutions. The
fears to lose it. He is intolerant one is
suspicious of others whom concerned with what is
he feels might take the perfidious for him or her,
acreage away from him. and goes about trying to
It is very easy for these combat that intimidation.
country bumpkin-like Sadly, the racist is not in
racists to divine plots search of that which is
about usurpation of intelligential. He takes
property by foreign the long, slow road to
invaders and, of course, hatred. As a
the Jew is the classic butt consequence, the illiberal
of these ultra-nationalists’ is apprehensive of himself
prejudices. or herself. The racist is
Sartre says there are Sartre makes this
other ways we can observation near his
identify the racist. For closing: the racist is very
one, the racist is not much interested in occult

powers, magic, involved in an enthused
irrationality—all things discussion about which
that are intuitive. one of their systems of
cruelty is better at

I talians are one of the mastering the domination

most misanthropic of of victims through the
people in the world. various means of torture
But victims of their and murder available to
Racism and xenophobia implement the maddening
should take heart. horrors of the two. The
Italians are, above and German speaks about the
beyond, more gas chamber, mutilations
unforbearing of of body parts, firing
themselves than they are squads, and many other
of any other existing systems of abuse. The
ethnic group! As a matter Northamerican speaks
of fact, Italians despise about lynchings,
themselves so much castrations, beatings,
more, they have slavery, rape, and still
subconsciously conspired more systems of abuse.
to start eliminating their Both compare notes.
stirps under the aegis of a They learn from each
methodical, self-imposed other. They teach each
demographic standstill other better ways to
that has already ruptured torture and wound and kill
their proliferation more innocent people who have
than did the two world become terrorized by
wars of this century. A them. They drink into the
mass suicide is evolving night enjoying their
in Italy and hate is the friendship and feel
weapon of choice. (Listen confident in assuring one
to this quote by an Italian another that they are
journalist: “Ho imparato accomplishing something
che in Italia bisogna for the betterment of this
parlar bene di tutti. world. Along comes the
Quando dici una cosa Italian. He sits with the
cattiva succede un black-garbed German
putiferio. La capacità di man and the hooded Ku
moltiplicare l’odio da Klux Klan man. The first
parte delle persone di cui thing he wants to say is
parli male è infinita. Io that he can devise death
non odio e non voglio instruments that are
essere odiato. Non voglio better than the German
mettere in circolazione and Northamerican’s, and
tossine di malanimo. that he can kill more
Questo è un Paese di efficiently and reap better
odiatori professionisti.”) results. No one can do
Italy is sinking in the mire this work more effectively
of its own vindictiveness. than the Italian. He is the
best at everything. He is
Let us hypothesize about also the best at being
highly-bigoted individuals, doubtful about himself.
members of the Gestapo (Schopenhauer: “Il tratto
and the Ku Klux Klan who, principale del carattere
socializing, drinking beers nazionale degli italiani è
together in a spirit of un impudenza perfetta.
camaraderie, are rabidly Questa consiste sia nel

non sentirsi troppo impari with them because the
a nessun compito, onde la outsiders know that no
loro presunzione e one else in the world is
sfacciataggine; sia nel particularly impressed
non sentirsi troppo alti with Italian furbizia.
per nessuna cosa, onde la Therefore, why should
loro bassezza.”) Italians be? (Henry
Kissinger: “Voi italiani
Italians consider siete vittima di un’unica,
themselves the most furbi peculiare forma di
of all. A furbo is an stupidità. La vostra
individual gifted with presunta furbizia. Se
cunning. Perhaps it is so ammiraste meno la vostra
that Italians are furbi as furbizia, sareste
much as it may be said probabilmente i più
that they have endured— intelligenti e i più civili.”)
throughout their long

history—all varieties of uppose you are an
invasion, oppression and African from
other national tragedies Senegal, a scruffy
that have left them Albanian from Albania, a
particularly sensitive to Chinese with almond-
suffering and obligated to shaped eyes which
do all needed to survive distinguish you from your
(Italians sold the fellow Italians, a
virginities of their Florentine Jew who has
children, through spent his life hiding the
lotteries, to United States fact that he is Jewish, an
Army G. I.’s—all lined up Arab woman with your
and hoping to win—during head covered, an olive-
the bacchanalia of post- skinned Tunisian, or an
World War II Italy), or Indian who has recently
better said: mangiare! arrived in Italy after being
Furbizia, the fine art of stuffed illegally into the
being calculating, is hull of a ship filled with
something of a carry-over other poor people who
idiosyncrasy fixed in the have paid their way to
character of the Italian, come thousands of miles
and it has come to mean, to escape persecution in
to some extent, a taproot foreign countries in the
of ability and power East, seeking a better life
naturally lacking in non- in Europe…. It is Sunday
Italians. With this ace up afternoon and the Franchi
every Italian sleeve, Stadium in Firenze
inhabitants of The Boot (Florence!) is filling up
kick their way, frequently, with fans, tifosi, come to
to have their way, to even see some important
a score, to put across match crucial to the
their point of view. overall Class A standings.
Always, there is present You know damned well
this ratiocination: “We that you better stay a
Italians are something hundred kilometres from
special.” No doubt they that place! And why…?
are. Their opinion of Well, inside the stadium
themselves comes across there is the stench of
rather anti-climactically violence all over the
for most foreigners living place. Sections of season

ticket-holders, grouped savagery, and they
under diverse remain silent hoping the
organisations with their entire ugly scene will—in
blazoned flags or logos, some way—just melt
are expressing their pent- away out of their sight. It
up emotions and taking never does. These more
advantage of a unique reserved spectators never
opportunity: to let it all have even a grunt to
out against anything voice their opposition to
caught in the nets of their the disgusting shows of
disapproval and rancor. dissoluteness. Bocca
There are banners with chiusa. It is hard to find a
anti-Semitic slogans child among the
written on them. There thousands of gawkers.
are chants against This is not the place to
Africans, Albanians, bring the innocent, nor is
Chinese, Jews, Tunisians, it the place to invite your
Indians—you name them! friend who is visiting you
There are Nazi salutes to from another country. It
greet their favorite would be just too
players. The Mayor of embarrassing. What is
Firenze, the Cardinal of amazing is that people
Firenze, the owner of La are not usually killed
Fiorentina, businessmen, during these marvels of
bankers, lawyers, police ferociousness. The
officials, doctors, actors, loathing is pretty much
actresses, and the editor contained—it has to be or
of La Nazione, a it will not be able to be
Florentine daily replayed next time—and
newspaper, Vittorio Feltri instead of breaking bones,
(he who still refers to what is broken the most is
African people as the stadium itself. If you
“niggers” in his columns— want a fight while you are
just as my mother did in visiting Firenze on
our home!) are all there. vacation, the place to go
They are talking and is the stadium on
laughing with other Sundays. (Is World War III
“notable” personalities in on its way?)
the V.I.P. section of the
stands. The Oh, no! The referee has
demonstrations of hate made a favorable call on
and brute force (by now behalf of an opposition
hoards of combat- player, and all the La
equipped police are Fiorentina tifosi are
spraying rambunctious furious! A rain of coins
fans with water hoses and and cigarette lighters is
shooting off tear gas falling onto the field…oh,
canisters at them) do not no! Thousands of La
interest the “City Fathers” Fiorentina tifosi are
one iota, and they appear shouting at the top of
to be so used to these their lungs: PUT THE
brutish commotions, they REFEREE IN AUSCHWITZ
do not even anymore take WITH THE REST OF THE
notice of them. In some BASTARD JEWS! HEIL,
parts of the circus, more HITLER!…oh, no!
sedate ticket-holders are Someone has thrown a
frozen to the spectacle of “paper bomb“ onto the

field, and La Fiorentina boarded, setting fires to
will now be automatically garbage disposal units,
disqualified for the next throwing rocks at passing
game. The tifosi cars, ripping telephones
applaud…oh, no! out of their sockets,
Helmeted police are spraying windows and
chasing some juvenile street signs with violet
delinquents through the paint, and one tifoso with
stands and other tifosi are a hatchet in his hand is
throwing anything they chopping away at a tree!
can get their hands on at The La Fiorentina tifosi
the police…oh, no! An have a surprise for their
ambulance has pulled up opponents who are now
to take away an injured entering their trains and
tifoso…oh, no! Tifosi are buses. About two
trying to break the bullet- hundred have gathered
proof panes of glass that near the train station and
help keep them from are positioned, in hiding,
going onto the field…oh, ready to pelt the parting
no!…oh, no!!…oh, no!!! train with rocks, bottles,
pieces of metal, and
The “game” is over. The anything else they have
stadium is a mess. Things found not tied down. A
are broken all over the Molotov cocktail a few
place. There are charred years ago burnt ninety
pieces of wood and shards percent of a Bologna
of glass as far as the eye tifoso’s body nearly killing
can see. The tifosi are him. (The Ferrovia dello
energized to go home, to Stato spends hundreds of
continue in the streets of millions of dollars each
Firenze their acts of year repairing damage to
violence. About two trains that have
thousand visiting tifosi, transported
tifosi of the opposition football/soccer fans on
team, caged in an area Sundays.) If you walk a
with high fences around block over, you will see
it, must wait at least half that each and every car in
an hour until the La that via has a long scratch
Fiorentina tifosi have on its side etched on by
disappeared from the the keys of the La
confines of the area Fiorentina tifosi.
surrounding the stadium.
They will be then Oh, no! A group of almost
escorted, through the thirty La Fiorentina tifosi
streets, in long lines, by have encircled two
the police very anxious to Albanians who happed to
put them on their trains be in the area probably
and buses home. unwittingly. They will not
Meanwhile, on their ways be killed. The tifosi know
home, La Fiorentina tifosi better. However, the
are destroying the team foreigners will be spit
bus which transported the upon, kicked, punched,
opposition players to the and left on the ground in
stadium. They are agony. Fellow tifosi have
overturning cars, breaking been set at the corners of
storefront windows which the streets to warn of
foolishly were not arriving police vehicles.

Often, the police just paramilitary clothing,
watch and let the tifosi flags, Rebel flags of the
run amuck crazed with ex-United States
howling. The faces of the Confederacy, arms,
Albanians are white with symbols, et cetera, they
terror, and they are doing form “our group” against
whatever they can to “their group.” There are
protect themselves— leftist and fascist
without saying a word. elements in the stadiums.
(Let’s ask the tifosi of La The Italian hooligan
Fiorentina how they treat expresses a bad feeling,
their girlfriends and which is generalised, of a
wives!) dissipated society:
Florentine society. They
Stadium violence is kicked bring their chains, brass
around so flittingly so. It knuckles, hammers,
is subject to long holdings cigarette lighters, axes
forth by droning and explosives to blurt
sociologists and out their desire for
psychologists and passion, myth and
beyond-all-bounds dreams; but, what oozes
“journalists” and out from their
vainglorious civic leaders, nonconformity is their
but little is done to quell incompleteness, their
the destructiveness. It bafflement. These
has become an accepted individuals are empty.
fact—an uncomfortable They exist to belong to
one, but not that much so. their rustled groups;
The reason? The tifosi ridiculous concoctions:
blackmail the teams: “Let Che Guevara Group, Dixie
us rumble and do what we Group, Marxist-Leninist
want, or we won’t buy our Group, Nazi Group, Bad
season tickets.” Other Boys Group, Renegade
ignoble approaches are Group, et cetera. All their
employed. They are not heroes are negative ones.
bluffing. They are the They are the paladins
masses. They are hated by the
discontented. (Bertrand establishment. The tifosi
Russell: “Cynicism such are nihilistic. They cannot
as one finds very create anything. Violence
frequently among the renders these individuals
most highly-educated visible, but they will be
young men and women of violent only in a place
the West results from the which is socially
culmination of comfort acceptable and where
with powerlessness. they can hide in groups:
Powerlessness makes the stadium. (Those two
people feel that nothing is Albanians might be killed
worth doing, and comfort in the stadium; outside
makes the painfulness of they are safer.) The
this feeling just cowards make gestures at
endurable.” Russell said the TV cameras—with
that in 1930, my dear their faces erased by ski
reader!) And in the masks—then escape to
masses they are supreme. hide in the masses.
With their banners, These delinquents believe
swastikas, death signs, it is better to transform

themselves into family. It is very common,
revengers in the stadium still, to find unmarried
instead of being nothing. forty-year-olds living with
They have no values and their parents.
they yearn to publicize
their insignificance. Children are taught to
Should it, then, surprise oblige. As such, they
anyone that Italy is speak in a monotonous
number one in Europe for sonance without any
use of heroin, cocaine and enthusiasm for life. They
amphetamines? I hope are tense—on the alert to
not. do what they must. The
I have compiled a simple kids are catechised when
psycho-socio identikit of they are tired and angry.
these Florentine monsters They are loaded up after
for you, and I think it will school with English
help to serve to bring you classes, piano classes,
to a better understanding karate classes, swimming
of them and Italy, “the classes, ad nauseum.
problem child of They must do that which
Europe”—a CNN Freudian their parents did not!
blurting out. (Bettina Parents platform their
Luscher’s baldness is not children saddling them
the only thing CNN is with their maxims.
trying to cover up!) Schools teach the same
boring subjects, in the
Their mothers and fathers same boring way.
sacrifice them for their Children are bribed to
very own ambitions. Italy learn. They are always
suffered a great deal after being corrected, chided.
World War II, and Kids are forever,
grandfathers and neurotically, being asked
grandmothers and fathers questions; controlled.
and mothers then set They are inflicted with
themselves the goal to humiliation at every turn.
give all they could to their The children lack
little darlings so they motivation, vigor; they
would not have to are conformists, obeyers.
languish as much as they Apathetic. Passive-
had to. But, they aggressive personalities.
overreacted by vitiating They get what they want
what they thought was by manipulating for it.
best for their offspring. They grow into little
Italian parents do not tyrants. They do not have
impart their love to their to earn anything. They
children. They give them are exempt from manual
their thoughts. Children work and that which
have become a would require them to
commodity of sorts. No partake in some activity
one believes that children they could say they
come through their created or invented and
parents; they believe they then enjoyed. They
come from their parents. possess no spontaneity.
Possession. Children are They have no sense of
not heartened to leave duty to others. They are
the nest; they are brought taught to have rights only.
up to be soldered to the Possessive mothers,

grandmothers, aunts and is the only place they
mother-in-laws condition cannot be ensnared.
their children not to love
(Visit Firenze’s Careggi This sad state of affairs
Hospital and go to the exists today victim of
feeding rooms in the neglect and hypocrisy. It
maternity wards. If there has been incubating for
have been some births decades, not addressed
recently, you will find two by governmental,
or three mothers— religious, political and
cigarettes dangling from economic institutions. As
their mouths—bottle- if the quandary did not
feeding their newborn. exist. Warning signals
You will also see, in the have been flashed time
cloud of contraband and time again in the
MARLBORO cigarette past, but no one has ever
smoke, their mothers and responded to them. The
grandmothers and aunts sickness has spread on
and mother-in-laws and beyond. It is believed
brushing off the cigarette by many that the chance
ashes that have fallen for a turnabout is now
during feeding time onto impossible. Italy is on its
the GUCCI sweaters of the way to extinction.
mums.) Italian kids parrot
the customs of other There are many who will
nationality groups. not lose sleep over this
Others’ clothes, others’ “fall” of modern, self-
music, others’ ideas. indulgent, corrupt Italian
They are not respected. society. They will surmise
They respect not. They haughtily that Italians
are always riveted to the cooked this plate
television or video games’ themselves, and now they
screen, and they go to must stew together in it.
study tired of watching Italians want to go down,
television in lieu of going down, down; and, they
to watch television tired want to be brought closer
of studying. They are to some Final Action.
pushed to compete—but They are destroying more
not on an intellectual than they are producing.
level. Their parents are It will not be kind, or just,
thinking only about their if Italians are let alone to
immediate lives and those limp to their Final Plunge.
of their children. The Their problems are
children are not listened Europe’s. Italy is an
to; they are preached to. obstacle to the economic
The children are given and political stability of
bad example. They are the European Union. It
not given love. It is no needs Europe’s help
wonder that these warped desperately.
individuals seek a violent
outlet in the stadium: it is Most interesting are the
the only place where they reasons why this is so.
can revolt—feel One must stretch the
themselves free from a imagination in all
suffocating family directions to draw some
oppression. The stadium precise conclusions. It is
incredible that a society

that boasts of an almost- Florentines. These
two-thousand-year-long masters of the
history should have found Renaissance were all
itself in this unthinkable screaming in shock:
predicament. For Firenze, “Who are these
the responsibility is imbeciles? Who are these
perhaps even greater for imbeciles? Who are these
it was here that the seat imbeciles? What has
of humanism was warmed happened to our city?
so well five hundred years Our art and traditions
ago. What can we say have been left in the
about Firenze today? Why hands of fagged,
has it fallen into such a muddleheaded
dismal state? Could it be overseers!” They were
that the very values of a overwrought. I was
devotion to the hoping that at that
humanities have no moment a caravan of
sense, no merit? Must we Northamerican tourists—
re-evaluate the moral and trekking in slow motion
spiritual fundamentals of and on their three-week
Western Civilization that tour of The Old Continent
for so long have nurtured —would float by for Dante
our intellects? Is this and his friends. We could
agony that Firenze is have flipped a coin to see
suffering through the which of the two came off
result of it coming to an the more ridiculous.
unreal dead end? What Heads, the
can be done to alter this Northamericans; tails, the
disaster course? Can it be Florentines! (From A
altered? Why cannot the Book of Aphorisms and
Florentines relate to Quotations by Anthony St.
themselves and their John: “116.
society in a hale and Northamericans have
hearty manner? Why been obtuse for more
cannot the Florentines than two hundred years.
enjoy themselves, put Europeans have been
themselves to that which obtuse for more than two
has a basis in reality? thousand years.”) Look at
Why are Florentines afraid the Northamericans!
to seek a new Little fat, flush old ladies
interpretation of their and chubby sales
place in this world? Why representatives (Hey,
are Florentines so man! I’m on vacation, not
alienated? civil rights!) from
multinats who have won

I daydreamed the other international sales

day that Dante, campaigns, slobbering
Boccaccio, Giotto, from one plate of pasta to
Leonardo da Vinci and another, their heads
Michelangelo were spinning from rich, red
together in Piazza della wines, subsidising racist
Signoria, in front of taxi drivers, racist hotel
Palazzo Vecchio, under clerks, racist waiters,
the same balcony from racist travel agents, racist
which Adolf Hitler bankers, racist barbers,
addressed thousands of racist electricians, racist
roaring, applauding audio/visual technicians,

racist stenographers, Nations to send task
racist printers, racist forces of psychologists
photographers, racist and psychiatrists into
display builders, racist Firenze to weed out the
translators, racist hatred which is destroying
musicians, racist security Firenze from within? Is it
guards, ad nauseam. not time for B-52s to drop
When the Northamericans How to Raise Children
come to pay their bills, books all over Toscana? Is
the Florentines smile and it not time that we do
kiss them on both cheeks. something drastic to save
Then the descendents of Firenze from the
the Renaissance about Florentines? S.O.S. from
face, up the middle Firenze! S.O.S. from
fingers of both hands and, Firenze!! S.O.S. from
violet with envy of the Firenze!!!
Northamericans’ wealth,
ridicule how “fat, Three days before I
uncultured, and—of finished this article, I was
course—how terribly on a Florentine bus going
dressed are those home, seated at the back
Northamericans!” (We with other immigrants.
Florentines must be (Just as in Alabama in
better than they are!) 1953!) There were five
This disgusting ritual gruff-looking Albanians
plays itself out time and talking and laughing in
time again and has been their own language. After
grinding on so for a number of stops, three
decades. Northamericans bus line ticket controllers
tilt home, their cups filled entered the bus and they
with “culture and found that, as usual, each
souvenirs” and two or Albanian did not possess
three nights fattening up a ticket. The Albanians
in Florentine restaurants had no I.D. cards, and as
the average Florentine the ticket controllers
citizen cannot afford to go wrote out their penalties,
to. the Albanians offered
names and addresses
But let us not ramble which—the controllers
further on about stupidity, said—were false. When
my dear reader. Let us the ticket controllers left
get one thing clear in our the going-home, crowded
minds: Firenze has the bus, the Albanians took
lowest birth rate in the their fines, shredded them
world. There are now into confetti, and threw
about 57,000,000 Italians, them into the air. Not one
and in about thirty years Italian in the bus blinked
there will be 7,000,000 an eye. They watched
less—and then 25% of with tight-lipped
Italy will be over sixty five virulence. The Albanians
years of age. Is it not stared back at them—
time to come to the they too—defiant. Not
rescue of Firenze and, one Italian thought to call
hoping for the best, wish the police. To do so would
with all our might that mean that the Albanians
Italy will follow suit? Is it enjoyed the same rights
not time for the United the Italians possessed;

and, these, the Albanians
would never have in racist
Italy. Nor would they
have a decent house to
live in, a decent job to
labor with, a decent life to
live with decent people.

Firenze is an incubator of
xenophobia, racism, and
hate. And as such, it is
killing itself. Steadily,
furtively it is marching to
the destra.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell

you. Vittorio Cecchi Gori,
Italian Senator with
immunity against
prosecution, courier
pigeon between Vatican
“Incorporated” City and
Hollywood City, and
bankroller of that
magnum opus of
demagogy and
disingenuousness, the
film Life is Beautiful, is
also the owner of—you
guessed it!—La

La vita è bella? For


* * *

Written by:

Anthony St. John

Casella Postale 38

15 December 1999


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