Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Bringing Berlusconi Low.

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Regular visitors to these musings will know that I have a very low opinion of Mr. Silvio Berlusconi, much in the news in recent days.  Indeed, to paraphrase Alexander Pope:

"I find it hard to know where lies the Fault / For BERLUSCONI's well-deserv'd ASSAULT..."

(A tweet by one of my favourite tweeps, @MrAlexanderPope)

My only comment is "wrong pecker, Sr. Tartaglia, but thanks anyway". 

In throwing the tourist trinket, Sr. Tartaglia has achieved something that no amount of demonstrations or arguments could do. He has humiliated Berlusconi. He has unmanned him in his own eyes.  

Berlusconi has taken to a highly successful extreme the applied sexism on which so much political power rests.  It seems that the language of male hierarchy is the only language that this bottom feeder understands, and I am deeply happy that one who trades in degradation has been brought so low by male-form humiliation.

The BBC reports today that his doctor says "his morale is still a matter of concern".  This is a promising snippet of information.

And fellow deep-chested male self-promotionist Vladimir Putin seems to have understood precisely what is affecting his Latin co-attitudinist.  "Berlusconi", he said on Tuesday "behaved in a manly way in an extreme situation".  A gross exaggeration, of course, but balm to the wounded soul, no doubt.

Only moments before the assault Berusconi had un-buttoned his shirt and asserted his masculine health and vigor to thousands of his delighted supporters.  Now he is depressed, and his departure from hospital twice postponed.   Let's hope he cowers from the press for many days to come.  I am not holding my breath, but I'm not entirely without hope either.

Berlusconi has successfully blurred the boundaries of entertainment and politics by including a former topless dancer in his cabinet and nominating starlets for the European Parliamentary elections. He's running Italy like a cheap bordello.

But if that were the only problem, we would be in a better position to do something about it. In fact the starlet effect is more pernicious and devastating than that. An interesting article in a recent edition of Time magazine How Silvio Berlusconi Uses Women on TV. showed how this reptile has “shaped” his electorate by using his media empire to numb their intellect through mindless TV game shows that are exceptionally demeaning of women.  I think "groomed"  his electorate comes closer to the mark, expressing the perverse and degrading sexuality that is involved.   These shows are nothing but pole-dancing in prime-time, for family viewing (e.g Sunday lunch-time, after church).  It's like total immersion in Zoo Magazine, if you can imagine such a thing.

If you speak Italian, check out Lorella Zanardo's award-winning video on YouTube "The Body of Women" (Il Corpo delle Donne).  It provides a powerful feminist critique of these shows.  Even if you don't have the language, the correlations with food and butchery make the argument visually clear.

This kind of perspective reaches me, and maybe a micro-percentage of those men and women who already understand that the man is a total shit.

But it just doesn't reach the man himself, or those who repeatedly vote for him.  What do they care about humiliating women?  It's what they deal in.

Only one thing has any weight.

I hate to say it, but violent humiliation by another man, especially a socially outcast and highly subordinated man (if the accounts of Sr. Tartaglia's isolation and mental illness are true), seems to be the only thing that has cut through Berlusconi's politico-virility, and if that's what it takes, I am very glad its happened.

Although his other pecker would have been even more appropriate, soft-tissue damage would not have been so comprehensively evident and demeaning as the crunch we are getting from his broken nose and teeth.  So that's OK too.

Or to paraphrase Pope again (but this time penned by me);

"The weighty TRINKET, seized from nearby shelf / expos'd th'Achilles' heal: a fragile (but inflated) sense of SELF".

And at least he won't be a distraction in Copenhagen.

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