Friday, November 11, 2005

Italians and Politics

In Italy, everything is political. So much so that by asking a few simple questions an Italian will know what political orientation another has. Italian Schools, night clubs and football teams are all either right wing or left wing. Normally in football each city has two teams, one called in the same way as the city which is historically working class and another which tends to be more right wing (thus Roma, Milan, Genoa, Torino etc are left wing and Juve, Inter, Lazio, Sampdoria etc are right wing). Music, obviously, is also very politicized. One example is the fuss made about a recent pop song called “Camisa Negra” (the black shirts were Mussolini’s bully boys) which is greeted by boos or fascist salutes in many Italian clubs. Below is a typical left wing song with an approximate English translation (which, however, obviously doesn’t rhyme).

Alle volte mi ritrovo con la testa fra le mani
e penso, penso e rifletto: in Italia c’è un conflitto
una guerra che fa più di mille morti all’anno
tra lavoro e mala sanità, e dimmi tu
se questa qua non è pulizia etnica cos’è come si chiama?
Quando uno che c’ha i soldi può avere tutto
e uno che ne ha di meno non ha diritto
nemmeno a un letto in un ospedale quando sta male e se vuol farsi curare deve pagare
solo che coi soldi che gli danno quelli del lavoro interinale
c’è l’affitto da pagare, il bambino da mantenere
e cosa cazzo vuoi pagare un dottore
quando non sai nemmeno se tra due mesi
c’ avrai ancora un fottuto lavoro
perché il lavoro interinale non è altro che
una prestazione occasionale di lavoro manuale
non qualificato, esattamente il caso in cui
il rischio d’incidente sul lavoro è quintuplicato
e tutto questo non è capitato
ma è stato pensato, progettato e realizzato
dal padronato in combutta con l’apparato decisionale dello stato
per il quale la vita di un proletario non vale non dico niente
ma sicuramente non vale il costo di un’assunzione regolare
con tanto di corso di formazione professionale;
è evidente il disegno criminale o no?
o sono io che sono pazzo?

Sometimes I find myself with my head in my hands
And I think, I sit and think: in Italy there is a conflict
A war that causes more than a thousand deaths a year
Between work and public health, you tell me
If this is not ethnic cleansing
Then what is it?
When one who has money can have anything
And one who has none doesn’t even have the right
To have a bed in a hospital when he is ill
And if he wants help he must pay
Except that with the money he gets from his part time job
There is the rent to pay, the baby to feed
And how the fuck are you going to pay a doctor
When you don’t even know if in two months
You will still have a fucking job
Because part time work is nothing but
An occasional offer of un-trained manual work
Exactly the scenario in which
The risk of a workplace accident is five times higher
And all this didn’t just happen
But it was thought out, planned and carried out
From the owners together with the state
For whom the life of a proletariat isn’t exactly worth nothing
But surely it is not worth the cost of a regular hiring
And a professional formation course
Is the criminal intent evident or not?
Or am I simply crazy?

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