We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Every evening, the whole town comes out for la passegiata - the evening stroll - and puts on la bella figura, followed by a late supper.
My theory is that the ladies lead the men down the shopping streets, where the shops remain open until 7 or 8.
The main problem with the Italian economy, in my opinion, is not so much the lack of work ethic - although there is that minor issue - it's that everyone spends all of their money on cigarettes, wine, and fashion. How many shoes does a lady need?
This photo in Firenze, this past Friday evening. Che bella vita.
You can never have too many shoes, especially Florentine leather....So I believed in my frivolous youth. Now I just wear Dansko clogs and Birkenstocks. And sigh approvingly at the footwear of the Russian villainess in "From Russia with love."
Life in Latin America (at least Buenos AIres and Rio de Janeiro) is similarly sybaritic, and contrary to our Protestant work ethic. Extremely pleasant in small doses until one notices the police are carrying submachine guns and tanks patrol the streets during elections, and four million children live on the streets... One wines and dines charmingly, rides wonderful Argentine horses across the pampas, or gapes at the micro bikinis on Copacabana and Ipanema, enjoys glittering opera and ballet. And suddenly realizes that nobody ever ever discusses politics or economics.
Argentina is such a fabulous country because 50% of its population are Italians who went there after the US limited immigration post Sacco & Vanzetti. Hence cafes, and people strolling and eating late at night. Hence wit, debate, love of music, etc Hence also (?) the inclination towards fascism. What is it about these people who know how to live the good life, cherish culture, yet allow dictators and stormtroopers to take them over?
no one knows what it is that drives a group of people to hide their faces in their hands as they watch their freedom roll by in a caravan. As Il Duce passed by on the streets of Rome, Perez-Jimenez on the streets of Caracas and Peron on the streets of Buenos Aires, and the list goes on as does the ignorance of so many looking for a fine meal , good wine and fabulous pair of Florentine shoes.
I don't think that this particular person looking for a fine meal, etc. in Florence last week was ignorant,but certainly many are.
All of us have experienced it at times--the willingness, sometimes the longing, to look the other way, avoid awkward topics, focus on our own little wants and needs whilst a society goes to hell in a handbasket.
I remember as a heedless child looking out my BA apartment window, seeing a tank with its gun pointing at our building. The President's daughter lived there, and there had just been a coup. We knew from the concierge that she was skiing in Bariloche, so was safe. But what occupied my childish thoughts that day? I was wondering how I would do in ballet class, if I would be able to turn fouettes well enough to avoid being wacked by my teacher's cane. Fortunately, the narcissism of the dancer no longer puts blinders on me. But it's tempting at times now to adopt the childish defences against anxiety. I was never afraid of the coups or the police so long as my universe revolved around ballet class each day, and the effort there to create an oasis of beauty and magic.
Oh, and by the way, I think that we in this country now are watching our freedom roll by in a caravan. And it doesn't matter who our President is. Principalities and powers, forces greater than any figurehead....
yes, I agree that the one on the passegiata is not ignorant I was speaking in generalizations. I like your imagery and I am sure dancing in your mind was a better place to be when the tankrolled by. Freedoms in any country are fragile and the US is no different but I would rather be fighting for them here than anywhere else.
Yup, better here than anywhere else. Nothing like living overseas for a decade to appreciate this place. And pontificate endlessly to one's children about how their criticisms of this country may be valid, but they have no idea how bad it is elsewhere. The kids tune out,as is developmentally appropriate...