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An ‘untimely death’ in Verona

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

By chance this week, this monkeys saw an episode of the truly terrible Francesco’s Italy (worth watching, if you turn the sound down), where host Count Francesco Da Mosta pulled his alfa-romeo spider into Verona. In keeping with the rest of the series, Da Mosta gave us a keen insight into the city’s history and […]


Monday, April 28th, 2008

Sunday night and off with me to the theatre for some art. “Art,” as far as I can tell from the Polish theatre, means never saying. Shouting, sobbing, laughing (never for any apparent reason), whispering, moving from table to chair to settee to chair to table – all these are fine and acceptable but merely […]

Right or wrong, surely it’s news???

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

On Friday, the 25th of April (liberation day), an estimated two million people gathered in over 40 cities in Italy to protest about the state of journalism (print and television) in Italy. Over 500,000 people in one day queued up to sign a petition calling for three specific referenda to change the way information is […]

It’s not the Senate, you know

Monday, February 4th, 2008

Tip of the hat to an indignant letter writer – the Italian equivalent of ‘digusted, of Tunbridge Wells’- spurred into action to write to La Repubblica having viewed the ‘spectacle’ of Italian senators reacting to the vote of no-confidence in Romano Prodi’s government. For those of you who didn’t see the clips, attached below is […]

On Mastella’s resgnation speech

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Last week the Justice minister Clemente Mastella gave a teary-eyed speech of resignation to the parliament, upon learning that he, his wife, and most of their political party – the UDEUR – were being formally put under investigation for political interference in public appointments (in particular within the health service). Mastella’s resignation, followed on Monday […]

Stop it – you’ll just encourage them

Friday, November 16th, 2007

You’ll be familiar with the ever-so-slightly desparate attempts by the movie and music industries to convince consumers that bootleg copies of films and music not only rob the industry of vitally needed funds, and provide poor audio visual quality, but also provide funds to organised crime. The ads where a man buys a cheap film […]


Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

From today’s Irish Times: European consumer affairs commissioner Maglena Kuneva will issue an ultimatum to Europe’s biggest low-fares carrier and scores of other EU airlines tomorrow over the way they sell tickets online. She is expected to threaten to “name and shame” those airlines she believes are breaking European consumer laws and ask national regulators […]

You are Stupid. Obviously

Monday, November 12th, 2007

Further, it is obvious that since form is a principle of choice […], new forms will reveal new things in reality, new connections, and naturally, the more the internal coherence of these new forms is stressed in relation to others, the more rigorous they will be. Michel Butor, “The Novel as Research,” translated by Gerald […]

Primo Levi’s Suicide

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

I stumbled across this fascinating article (thanks to a posting on Chet Raymo’s excellent Science Musings blog. It’s an old article, but was news to this monkey. I had always presumed that it was accepted fact that Primo Levi had committed suicide. Virtually every mention of the celebrated Italian chemist/author/holocaust survivor ends noting that Levi […]

How justice works under Prodi’s Government

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

You have to feel sorry for Silvio. While he was in government the European media went to town detailing his every infringement of the democratic norms (of which there were plenty). Since Romano Prodi has been in power scarcely a whimper – for example, how many people outside of Italy know that the current Prime […]

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