Friday, July 29, 2005

Post Number Forty-Three: Du gamla, du fria

I haven't written much in the past two weeks. There was much I wanted to write about, yet it's been so hot in Milan and I have been so tired, that even turning my PC on was unthinkable for it heats the room.

Anyway, there's another reason for which I am going to write nothing for another three weeks and therefore (perhaps) disappoint a couple readers of mine, if I still have any.

In fact, I am leaving tomorrow: I am going to Stockholm, leaving this cursed summer behind with its heat and its humidity and moving to Sweden for three weeks, three long blessed weeks where I will be in the company of trees, lakes, and fresh air.

So I bid my readers goodbye for the moment, and wish everyone a pleasant summer. I'll be back with my annoying blog in September. Till then, enjoy your time and remember: selfishness is not living the way you want to live, it is asking others to live the way you want to live (Oscar Wilde).

Monday, July 18, 2005

Post Number Forty-Two: Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!

Of Fantasy and Fairy Tales

"Suddenly the King cried to Snowmane and the horse sprang away. Behind him his banner blew in the wind, white horse upon a field of green, but he outpaced it. After him thundered the knights of his house, but he was ever before them."
(The Return of the King, ch. V)

Whether you are one of the half a billion readers of the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, or one of the (presumably) as many viewers of the movie by Peter Jackson, I think few will fail to recognize this excerpt. Both in the movie and in the book, this is one of the most emotionally powerful and breathtaking scenes of the Return of the King, the third book which completes the saga of the Lord of the Rings. As the Orcs of Mordor, gathered in the hundred thousand on the fields of Pelennor to siege the human bastion of Minas Tirith, seem close to triumph, swarming in the streets of the white city, there rings a horn in the distance. And hence appear the ten thousand knights of Rohan, the legendary Rohirrim, rallied by King Théoden to bring much needed help to the lands of Gondor. "Death", they cry, loud and terrible, and like a tide they sweep across the battlefield, overwhelming the Orcs.
Personally, both viewing the movie and reading the book, I felt this scene as a magnificient moment of relief. When everything seemed lost, when catastrophe was obviously upon Minas Tirith, hence upon Good, upon the free men of Gondor, there comes the Rohirrim, and they ride to victory, for the world's ending. I could write a novel on the feeling but certain things are better felt than described. If you are as sensible to the Lord of the Rings as I am, you know what I am talking about without my need to speak further.

According to J.R.R. Tolkien's definition of a Fairy Tale, moments like the arrival of the Rohirrim in the fields of Pelennor are essential to the very fabric of a Fairy Tale. The ultimate purpose of such a story, in fact, is to lead the reader through an apparently hopeless drama, and then, when everything seems utterly lost, when all hopes are almost forgone, only then there comes a sudden change of events, that gives the reader that sense of relief which is exactly what the Fairy Tale is meant to provide, and which is what the reader ultimately seeks.
Fairy Tales are not stories for children, as many tend to assume since the nineteenth century. But this requires a little historical/philosophical explanation.

During the European Middle Ages, the greatest bards (because stories were sung by bards more likely than written down by authors) told tales of elves and goblins, knights and damsels, Kings and (especially) Dragons. Stories like this hold little ground in the everyday experience of the Medieval laymen. Nonetheless, such stories are anything but limited to the Middle Ages, or to Europe. The Greeks told fantastic stories of Gods (usually called Mythology, but ultimately, not very much unlike Fairy Tales, from which Mythology differs because it lacks the "happy ending"). The Chinese of all ages record stories of Dragons, damsels that pretend to be guys and fight in the Army (Walt Disney's Mulan is but one of the many), and if we move on to Africa, Oceania and South America, everywhere in the world human beings invent stories that hold no resemblance with their everyday's experience. It appears therefore, that telling stories is not a cultural mishap of Europe, but rather a human need. Or at least, a human instinct.
In fact, it never fails to strike me that a story like the Lord of the Rings, which is obviously very European (very English, to be precise) is nonetheless universally appreciated and read by the Japanese and the Moroccan, the Scandinavian and the South African, the Australian and the American, the Argentinian and the Russian.
When the Enlightment came, together with its values and its Reason, Fairy Tales fell its prey. For stories of Dragons and Trolls were considered close to Unreasonable superstition, and therefore deemed unsuitable for the mature reader. Hence, the Tales ended up in the realm of Children's Books, where they never belonged. In the 1800's, philosophers changed their mind quite radically. They decided that telling fantastic stories wasn't that wrong. Actually they enjoyed superstition, they felt a return of esteem for the Middle Ages. But it wasn't until the Twentieth Century that at least a part of the authors decided Fairy Tales could be for mature readers, after all. Which is what they had always been, though.
In the Middle Ages, the adventures of King Arthur, Roland and Orlando were not intended for children. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was all but a story for children.

Tolkien is among the first authors in the 20th Century to recognize the value of Fairy Tale, and in the intent of giving England its Mythology (because he didn't deem King Arthur a truly English legend, as it was imported from France), he created the now (righteously) legendary saga of the Hobbit, the Lord of the Rings, and the Silmarillion.

According to Tolkien, Fairy Tales are not allegories: they do not represent a metaphor of something happening here and now. They are rather "applicable". That is, they tell something of such universal value and meaning, that anyone, in any age, can find a way to apply the Fairy Tale to his experience. Because, as Tolkien puts it, he doesn't speak about lightbulbs, which are contingent to our time and experience, but about lightnings. Anybody can see the difference between a story where a policeman born in New York City on Jan 23rd, 1969, manages to arrest a local Mafia boss, and a story where a valiant ageless Knight, armed with shield and a magic sword earned through great peril, confronts and finally defeats an evil dragon whose intent is to burn down the whole Kingdom.
Everyone has a Dragon to kill, like Bilbo in The Hobbit. Bilbo's Dragon is called Smaug. Our Dragon could be called Established Beliefs, The Math's Teacher, Adolf Hitler, Physical Impairment...
In everyday's life, victory is never certain. Sometimes "evil", whatever that word might mean, wins. Sometimes, it loses. The power of Fairy Tales consists in providing the reader with hope. In this sense, holy books like the Bible or the Quran are "Fairy Tales", for their aim is precisely that of giving hope to the readers. So, Fairy Tales should really be taken much more seriously and not confined to the diminutive and often misused realm of children. Tolkien goes as far as to say children should never be spared the most gruesome details of a Fairy Tale. Either they read it all, or they'd better not read it.

Fairy Tales, in modern literature, have acquired a new name, one that was applied to them to account for the impossibility of relieving them from the sign "Books for Kids". They are now called Fantasy stories.
And I am fixated with Fantasy stories.

I am in complete agreement with Tolkien: Fantasy stories, the truly good ones, are those that ultimately give hope to the reader. In fact, they should be defined as stories about the Fantastic, which lead to a happy ending. Anything lacking one or both such attributes, should not in itself qualify as a truly Fantasy story.
Science Fiction, for example, is not truly Fantasy, or at least not in its most traditional form. Science Fiction (with which I am equally fixated) is only as good as it is acceptable by the reader. Star Trek is a very good example of perfect Science Fiction, and the books by Asimov are equally wonderful. In Science Fiction there is little room for what is Fantastic, because depicted stories must have a relatively cogent scientific basis. I hope to make it clear through a simple example: can you perceive the difference between a positronic robot a-la Asimov (incidentally, also like Data from Start Trek TNG, and not by chance), and a Dragon?
Dragons do not exist. They cannot exist. There has never been, nor there will ever be such a thing as a fire-breathing reptile with huge bat-like wings and mighty fangs.
Positronic robots do not exist as well, but they could at least in theory be real. They are loosely based on scientific theories.
Ultimately, the difference between Science Fiction and Fantasy is summarized in one, critical, detail: magic. There can be no magic in Science Fiction. Science Fiction is about technological marvels, which is precisely what Fantasy cannot be about. Because Science Fiction is about lighting bulbs, and Fantasy is about lightning bolts.
Mixing the two genders is usually criminal. They just do not intertwine. The only case I have seen Fantasy and Science Fiction mingle without devastating both genders was in the Star Wars Saga. But in that case, the mingling is purely superficial. Star Wars is ultimately not Science Fiction as much as it is "Space Fantasy". Especially as long as the concept of The Force was left out as some Magic rather than spoilt with the whole idea of Midiclorian (honestly, that completely spoilt the balance of Star Wars, in my opinion).
But I'd rather not digress and stick to Fantasy.

So, the ultimate difference with Dragons and Robots is that Dragons are magical. Magic is essential for human beings in many senses. Magic represents the desire of men to master what's beyond their control. It can be either a positive or negative concept, depending on who's the writer. Tolkien was adverse to Magic as he perceived it as an unspoken instinct to technology (after all, it is technology that serves the purposes ascribed to Magic). He even insisted that Elven Magic was not Magic, and that another word should be invented to describe it (the elves try to explain Frodo this very concept, in the Lord of the Rings).
Personally I am not adverse to Magic. I of course know that Magic doesn't work, but it somehow defines the charm of a Fantasy Story, which I have described as based on Magic after all.
Exposition to Fantasy (in the Tolkien's sense of stories that, through a Happy Ending, provide the reader with a sense of Hope) is in my opinion essential to every human, and this is the reason why humans of all ages and cultures keep inventing such stories.
I also believe that a stubborn belief in improvement can be the result of heavy exposition to fantasy, as opposed to a nihilistic pessimism which is often typical of our age. Personally I deem myself relatively optimistic, in the sense that I recognize this world basically sucks (with few notable exceptions) but I am also stubbornly convinced that it can improve and that in the end it will be improved.
I am convinced , as well, that this stubborn belief of mine is a consequence of the fact that I have read, and keep reading, a lot of fantasy that inevitably leads to a happy ending. In fact, I tend to dislike stories that lack a happy ending. They do not provide me with that sense of hope that is what, after all, we are looking when attempt to evade this world where happy endings are not necessarily the norm. This is not to say that I do not read or fail to enjoy completely sad stories, but I deem them less evocative and less poignant, in many ways.
Because, after all, let's be frank: take the story of a love that ends in tragedy when the beautiful young maiden is killed by disease (see, for example, Autumn in New York with Richard Gere and that marvelous beauty of Winona Ryder). As much as I loved that movie (and the main actress), and as much as it filled my heart with sincere grief and my eyes with warm tears (I weep a lot when I see such movies), there wasn't anything there that could compare with the feeling that stormed upon my heart when I saw the Rohirrim riding their horses against the evil Orcs, crying Death with their axes and swords raised...
The same feeling after all, that I felt when the Ents marched out of Fangorn to move war against the industrial abomination of Saruman. Considering my almost irrational love for nature, there's no reason to explain how it feels to see the trees reacting to the insults of men. Every time I see the movie or read the book, inevitably I tell myself "I wish trees could move war against industries".
Fantasy is about Dreaming, and there's no point at Dreaming if it's a bad dream. We all dream of a better world, and I presume no one is dreaming of a worse world. Hence why Fantasy is so dependant on its ultimate Happy Ending.
Tolkien called it the eucatastrophe, the "Happy Catastrophe". A final catastrophe that, when everything seems lost, reveals its happy ending.

There would be no relief if Sauron won. Saurons of our world win all the time. My Saurons are called Silvio Berlusconi, the evil dictator of Italy, Microsoft, the evil industry of Bill Gates, and pollution, and so on. I need, and I believe many others need, stories that tell us Bill Gates is not ultimately unbeatable. So, I feel no need to read that Sauron wins.
I also believe that most of those that would rather have it the other way, either weren't exposed to enough fantasy and are therefore lost their chance to become "hopers", or they have been disillusioned by the world, and therefore they have lost their ability to dream.
But dreaming is what humans do best. Dreaming is a natural feature of our brain. Dreaming is what led philosopher to state ideals that contrasted the obvious reality, and ultimately, it's been thanks to the dreams of certain people that civilization progressed. I already addressed this matter in another post a while ago.

A year ago, or so, I started my first attempt at writing a novel. I seriously lack time, and sometimes I doubt the skills either, to pursuit such an endeavour, but I am supported by a very limited number of readers. It is a fantasy story, and it's written in Italian (it also existed in an English translation, but it turned out too hard to type it in two languages, and my English reader wasn't even too satisfied of the result).
It is about two girls (I find it easier to write about girls, for many reasons - including the fact that when I was a kid, my favorite books included Little Women and Little Princess). One of them is a dreamer, the other one is anchored in her real world. They are both transported in some Elsewhere, where Magic works and castles float in the air. One through the power of her dreams, the other one sucked into it by the very fabric of the reality she was so fond of. In the Elsewhere, they will both learn to measure things, that is, mingle Dreaming with Realism to cope with life on both planes of existence. But first, they will have to join forces with the Five Wizards of the world of Elsewhere to defeat the evil Barnsheth, the Robber of Dreams.
At the level the story has been developed so far, Elena and Manuela, the two friends from our own world, are teleported to a magic land. Elena wakes up in the Castle that once belonged to the valiant Silver Paladin, a red haired maiden who lived centuries before and already defeated Barnsheth. The Castle is now inhabited by the Archmage Aristius, who believes Elena is the reincarnation of Artemis, although the teen-ager girl seems unfit to wear an armor and wield a heavy sword. Aristius sends Elena and five companions, chosen among the most powerful adventurers of the known lands, on a journey to recover the lost Diadem of Diamonds, a magic artifact that would grant Elena immense powers and account for her lack of physical strength.
At the same time, the athletic blonde Manuela is imprisoned by Barnsheth himself, and with great difficulty she finally accepts to be in a world of magic, where her main need is that of escaping Barnsheth's yoke.
The two friends will live an incredible adventure before meeting again, and the outcome has yet to be unveiled.

I love Fantasy. I love it because I love the Ride of the Rohirrim in the Fields of Pelennor. Because I love seeing Sauron's Tower of Barad-dur shattered like I'd hope for Bill Gates' empire.
Fantasy is about Dreaming.

And above all things, I am a Dreamer.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Post Number Forty-One: Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité!

Of the French Revolution

Yesterday was the 14th of July. On the 14th of July, 1789, the population of Paris, exasperated by Aristocracy and the Church, finally revolted: in one of the most famous pages of world history, the Parisiennes, helped by the National Guard, sieged and captured the prison called La Bastille.
This was the first act of a glorious Revolution that toppled the French Aristocracy and led the people of Paris to the creation of the first Republican government of their history.
Although a dozen years later the Republic was turned into an Empire by Napoleon Bonaparte, the French people had changed the Western World forever. When Louis XIV referred to himself, he was the King of France. Napoleon addressed himself as Emperor of the French.
The difference is subtle yet immense. For Louis XIV, the land mattered the most. He was the King of all the lands within the borders of France. He owned the land, therefore the inhabitants, of whom he could dispose according to his whims.
For Napoleon Bonaparte, the people mattered the most. For the fist time in Central Europe, Napoleon was not the Emperor of the land that fell within the borders of France, but the Emperor of the People that lived inside those borders. Thanks to the French Revolution, the People had returned to be the center of interest of the leaders; as it had previously been during the Roman history. Rome addressed itself as S.P.Q.R., "Senatus PopulusQue Romanus", The Senate and the People of Rome.
But what changed history the most was the Declaration of the Rights of Men, based on the Declaration of Independence of the United States, signed in 1776. A Declaration that the French people signed with but one mot in mind:


Freedom. The first of three simple yet immense words. Freedom.
Freedom means to be allowed to think and speak openly, in public, and uphold your ideas. It means that no one can tell you what to do, that your desires lead your life and not those of the King.
Freedom is this blog you are reading. I am free to type it, you are free to read it.
Freedom is going out at day and at night, walking the street without the worry that some policeman might convict you because he doesn't like your face. Freedom is paramount. Freedom of speech is the first motor of culture. I tell you my ideas, freely, you answer me telling me yours, and we both grow together: my ideas enriched by your comments, and viceversa.
Freedom nowadays is often taken for granted, but it's not to be forgotten that, as it was stated during the early years of the Twentieth Century, "Freedom is like Air: you understand its importance when it's missing".
In the world the French people knew in the 1700's, Freedom didn't exist. The French fought for the ideal of being free, and today this Continent can call itself liberated. The European people are free, sometimes even more so than the Americans.
Freedom, I value above all things: there are things I won't do, like smoking a joint, and yet I still fight for the freedom others deserve of smoking their joints in peace.
Freedom must be always fought for. Those in charge don't like free people and free speech. Freedom is dangerous. It can lead people to think with their head and perhaps claim their leader is wrong. In the likely hypotesis they are right, the leader might have to stop exploit his subjects.
As Voltaire put it: "I don't agree with you, but I will fight to death to let you state your opinion". This is the essence of Freedom: being ready to fight to let those you disagree with speak their opinion.

Equality. For the French people of the 1700's people weren't equal. The King was best of all. Aristocrats were better than merchants. Priests were as noble as the Dukes and Archdukes. The laymen were nothing but servants. Laws differed depending on your social status. There was inequality.
But Jefferson had stated a new, immensely powerful claim: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..."
Equal. We are equal. This is more than just an ideal: we are human beings. Of course some of us are beautiful and some are ugly, some are good and some are evil, some are smart and some are dumb, some are tough and some are weak. Don't think the French didn't know there were males and females in the world! But they thought, like I do today thanks to their Revolution, that what makes humans equal counts more than what makes them unequal. Despite the difference, we are ultimately similar. We suffer and we rejoice, we love and laugh and suffer and weep, we feel pain and pleasure, we eat and drink... we are all humans, and therefore members of the same great family. We are equal hence we share the same rights.
My friends, my enemies, my neighbors, and all those who live and lived on this planet, all the saints and sinners, all the lovers and warmongers, all the emperors and shephers, and every poet, musician, greedy manager, painter, sportman, beautiful and intelligent girl... every human being that was ever born in this small planet of ours is equal to us and shares my same rights.
It is an ideal the French thought worthy of dying for, and it truly is: for by being equals, we are taught to ignore the differences and stress the similarities. And by saying that, we will finally be led to realize that all living beings on this planet are equals. Because we share the same planet. We live side by side, sometimes one off the other, but in the end, we are equal.
Watch another human, and you'll see the mirror of yourself in her.

This is where the two previous ideals lead us to.
We are all free, we are all equal, and therefore we are all Brothers. The pain of one man is our pain. The joy of another is our joy. This is particularly poetic for it's not the result of some religious dogma, but the natural, rational consequence of the fact that all humans are Free and Equal. All together, we thrive on this world of ours as members of a one great human Family.
Today we take Freedom for granted, tend to forget Equality with great ease, and never ever glance at Brotherhood.

Yet, on the 14th of July, 1789, thousands of French people rallied under the ramparts of the Bastille under the spell created by these three grand ideals. The three ideals that even today the European Constitution has defined as the foundation of our Continent's culture. And they trascend the borders of Europe to extend across the oceans, uniting all the people of the world. It strikes me with awe and almost moves me, to think of so grand ideals sprung off the minds of a people that suffered for the whims of bored Aristocrats.

Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité. Even today, the grandest ideals ever conceived by human minds.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Post Number Forty: Misunderstood

Of How Hard It Is To Make Yourself Understood

I am not typing a blog for a wide audience. Hence, being understandable by a wide audience is not - and it won't be - my aim. Nonetheless, it is extremely interesting to see from the comments I receive that making one's self understood is a lost cause.

Those who know me, already know how I tackle things. Sometimes I choose the logic, rational approach (when I am serious). Sometimed instead, I just want to have fun and mock men. I love mocking men.
Anyway those who don't know me might be led to misunderstandings. Especially because most of the things I believe and say here, are not in line with this era's zeitgeist. Zeitgeist is a German word that means, more or less "Spirit of the Time". It doesn't really translate into any other language but German.
I will give an example.
In the Twentieth Century, mostly thanks to the Americanization of world culture, it is generally believed that Lightness is better than Weight. Weight is oppressive, tasking, depressing. People think that lightness is fun, but to be more precise, they think that fun is lightness.
Mindless, easy life with no thoughts, just entertainment, is fun. Entertainment is intended to be light.
This is so rooted in the spirit of our time that almost no one ever stops and wonder if entertainment should really be light. Has anyone considered the possibility that lightness might not be fun? A lot of people go to discos, which are a very light form of entertainment (as opposed, for example, to reading a philosophy text by Immanuel Kant in German). These people are quite positive that going to a disco is fun, and it is incidentally more fun than reading a text by Kant in German. The whole industry of entertainment has been built on the conception that the lighter is the better.
But is lightness really all that fun?
I am not trying to tell people what is fun, because I am here to tell people what I think is fun for me. Whether there is general agreement on the point is not my interest: in fact I already know there is no general agreement, otherwise the world would be more like the late 1700's and less like the early 1600's.
Because, see, there have been times in history when people thought otherwise: they thought that lightness was not fun. For example, the Roman Stoic philosophers really thought that light things were not so fun. They thought it was much more fun to read a text by Aristotle in Greek than going to the Coliseum to watch the Gladiators.
The French Philosophes thought it was really a damn lot of fun to write an Encyclopedia.
Ludwig van Beethoven was convinced that music would be much more fun to listen to and to write, if it was heavy with deep meanings, passion, intensity, and emotional charge. A big change with the previous generation when the people thought that music was fun if you could dance it.
So, the fact that today we think that light things are fun, is relative, not absolute. This is critical to understand my point.
If we accepted that lightness is the only possible way to have fun, then it might seem that I am a boring person that protests against his peers because they are having fun.
This is completely, utterly and immensely WRONG.
First of all, I am a supporter of Hedonists, and insist that we have the unalienable right to have fun. Having fun is a significant concern. Making life pleasant is paramount.
What I believe is that not everyone has fun in the same way. I am positive that Izzy, Sarong Party Girl, just to mention someone I stated I wouldn't mention again, is trying to have fun. She follows her own path to enjoy her life and I am vibrantly supporting her choice, regardless of the fact that I, for one, would not have fun living her life.

Then there is the question of why lightness might be not so fun.

And here's where I go one step further, telling an opinion that might be mistaken for an attempt to tell others what to do.

Lightness is dangerous. Our world has sunk into an ocean of lightness. There's a lot of things we deem important that are in fact transient and of scarce significance. They do not really matter. Things that matter are those that last. Human beings as individuals are here for a short time. We come, we live our short life, and then we go into oblivion. I am thoroughly convinced that this short permanence on this planet must be given a meaning. Not because I like it so, but because I believe that mankind needs a meaning. Why else are we so attracted by religion? Let's leave aside those that use religion as an excuse to let others tell them what to do. Let's talk about really religious people. Those that seek an answer for the reason they are alive for and ascribe it to some God. People like them revert to religion because they feel the void around them. They feel this world is empty, and whether they realize it or not, they are squeezed by the unbearable emptiness of the world. Life in itself is such a pointless thing: think about it. Think of herds of antelopes migrating back and forth across Africa. Imagine you are an alien on a starship, one that lives for a very long time, millennia; You look down at planet Earth and see antelopes migrating south and then north and then south and then north. Generation after generation, with no other reason to do so than producing another generation of migrating antelopes.
You could look down in the same way to mankind. But men are not antelopes.
Humans have this capability to create things that outlive them. They can think and stick to ideals, they have imagination, creativity and an immense potential. A human life can mean nothing. It could just be an insignificant transient mishap. But think of what humans can do in that life.
Think of the masterpieces sculpted by Michaelangelo. Think of the music written by Mozart. Think of the words signed in the Declaration of Independence. Think of the poetry of Shakespeare.
Can you feel the power of meaning? While there is nothing wrong with some light entertainment, I insist that our life cannot revolve around light, meaningless, transient happenings. It's dangerous. For us. For our inner selves. For our innate instinct to creativity, to imagination, to do things that outlive us.
When humans are induced to lose themselves in purely light, transient things, they often feel deprived of something. They feel something is missing. They can become nihilistic, think that everything in the world is pointless, that life is just a temporary wait till we can cease to exist for good. Very often this kind of universal pessimism induces humans to self-destruction.
If you have seen the movie Requiem for a Dream, you know what I mean. The author of the book that was turned into the same named movie, believes that our dreams are doomed and we are living in a world where nothing is worth much. Struggling is pointless. Life is cruel and everything sucks, plainly.
I refuse to agree.
I insist that this pessimism is derived by the overdose of lightness. I firmly state here and elsewhere that those who dare believing in ideals, those who dare fighting, those who create, love, and make things that last, they are not going to be nihilist-pessimists.
Think of Beethoven. At age 27 he turned deaf. Being deaf meant that he had to bid farewell to music, the only thing that really mattered for him. Can you imagine how it felt for him? If you have read the Testament of Heiligenstadt, a letter Beethoven wrote to his brother when he was in Heiligenstadt, Austria, you will know how humane and how moving the desperation of Ludwig van Beethoven was. In that letter, Beethoven stated he wanted to commit suicide. He saw everything was falling apart. His life, his greatest dreams, his hopes to live a normal social life. Being a deaf in the early 1800's, and a composer, moreover, meant to be cut off the world. And he loved social life. He yearned for contact with humans. But he was terribly ashamed of telling others "would you please write that down, I can't hear you". It's not nice. It does not feel nice. It's a pain. An immense pain.
But Beethoven did not commit suicide. After writing that letter, somewhere in his soul he found the strength to say no. If destiny opposes me, then I will fight destiny.
The result of this super-human struggle is the fifth symphony. Perhaps the most famous music ever composed. G-G-G-Eb. Destiny knocks at your door. Listen to it. Listen how the drama of the first movement slowly transforms into a fanfare when we reach the fourth, last movement. Compare the feeling of desperation created by these simple four notes that haunt the melody throughout the first part of the symphony, with the brilliant, joyous C major of the grand finale.
It's Beethoven telling us how it was for him. How terrible everything felt when destiny knocked at his door and how hard it was to fight his doom, and how powerful the joy for finding the courage to shout NO. To destiny.
There's all this in the fifth symphony.
But this is not lightness. There is no lightness in this. This is weight. It is giving a meaning to your life. It is fighting off the forces that oppose you and dare. And not only he won and became a famous composer: he's probably the most famous composer ever.
Don't you also feel inspired by this example? When I hear the fifth symphony I can't help being in awe of Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven was not a pessimist. He thought there were things worth fighting for.
Those who find a meaning for their life, tend to be not pessimist. And that's because humans need that meaning.
So, here's where my message becomes more "universal", that is: directed to many and not just me. When I daresay look: lightness, lack of meaning, pointlessness is dangerous. It leads to self-destruction.

Because lightness is not necessarily that much fun. Sometimes it can be terrible. Terribly hard to bear. Sometimes we just damn need some weight if we don't want to be overcome by the unbearable lightness of being

We should not end up believing that, simply because one human's life is but an insignificant thing in the eternal flow of time, it means that it is pointless, or that nothing good can come from it.

We live in a world inherited by the past generations. Some, actually many, of those humans have built architectural marvels, created artworks, chased ideals, written Constitutions and passed an immense legacy of culture, beauty, and dreams down to us.
I say, it's our duty to do the same for those that will follow us in the next generation. Let's not forget that some weight is necessary, that we are humans like those that came before us, and we can build upon what we received from them. There is an immense wealth of marvels that humans have created. We are humans. We can go on creating.

But we must never forget, that we need to attach a meaning to our life, that it cannot be all about having some light fun and reproduce. I insist: this is not what life is all about. This is what life would be all about for antelopes in Africa, not for men that write symphonies, build cathedrals, and sign the Declaration of the Rights of Man.

We are better than animals. We can avoid being squeezed by the Unbearable Lightness of Being.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Post Number Thirty-Nine: Sex Vampires

Of the Relationship Between Men and Sex

I am fond of Gothic stories. In particular, I love Vampire stories. In the recent years, a new series of vampire stories were written by Anne Rice. Although I never read any of her books, I made an opinion of what kind of atmosphere she has created by watching recent movies on vampires. Interview with the Vampire was superb. I also enjoyed Underworld. I actually find underground goth culture fascinating.
Vampires, in modern literature, have created a sort of society, with allegiances and feuds, with subtleties and tricks. Something between Masonry and the Vatican. But all the social bonds fall apart when vampires need to feed. In the end, they are predators and they are after one thing above all: Blood.

Human males (and males of other species) have one thing in common with vampires. They have also created a sort of society, with their allegiances and their cult for the ultimate Penis deity, but everything falls apart when men need to fornicate.
The verb to fornicate, usually expressed in the form to fuck, is generally defined as a sexual intercourse between a non-married couple. Wow, there's a lot in this sentence. Sexual intercourse. Couple. Non-married.
It is generally agreed that sexual intercourse consists in putting the Penis deity inside a vagina and then move it in such a way as to create a friction with the labia and inner vaults of said vagina. This action normally requires :
1) a penis and
2) a vagina
Normally, men are endowed with only one of these requirements and this creates the first, grand problem of men. Fornication requires a couple. At least two individuals. One has a penis and the other provides a hole, preferably a vagina.
Women have a complex and refined relationship with sex. The way a woman approaches the feeling connected with sexual intercourse is so intense that it often resents poetry. Each woman feels intercourse in a different way. Some women are even afraid of that pleasure. Most men try to teach women that the pleasure they derive from sex is wrong. Some even indulge in telling them that taking pleasure from sexual intercourse is evil for a woman, that women are not meant to enjoy it. Some, especially in Africa, go straightforward mutilating clits and locking vaginas with stitches when the girls are still babies. It's called infibulation and it is the ultimate brutality of men against women.
Anyway, men live sex in a totally different way. Men rever the size of their penis, men love their leader and they measure his might by the size of his penis, but ultimately everything men do ends up in one thing: their need to put their own penis, no matter how large it is, inside a vagina, no matter whose vagina. When a woman's bladder is full, she feels the need to pee. When the penis of a man is bored, it feels the need to fuck. Sex for a man is like the need to pee for a woman.
Confronted with this desperate desire, men forget everything about leaders, masters, sexy women, power, war, evil, good, and whatnot. They need a hole and they need it soon. As soon as they have eased their need, they'll be back to the old society and its rules, but before, it's like blood for a vampire. Anything else comes second.
Men are so driven by this need for sex that they do not even really enjoy sexual intercourse as much as women do. There is no comparison between a man's and a woman's orgasm. Judging from how sex has evolved, it seems that in the human race sex has the purpose of pleasing women and calming down men.
Men find a humongous obstacle on their penis' path to the holiest of holes. Since women do not approach sexual life like they approach a toilet, sometimes they just do not wish to have sex with a particular man. Maybe they'll love to have sex with every other man in the world but one. And that one really needs to pee his sperm cells somewhere.
There are usually two possible solution for the most desperate man:
1) masturbation: that is, using his own hand to create the required friction and temporarily solve his problem. It doesn't feel completely the same, yet I have heard of men that indulge in this activity more than five times per day. Quite a feat indeed.
2) rape: that is, whether the girl likes it or not, the brutish ape will put his own penis inside her vagina, end of the story. This is usually considered very bad manners and quite heedless as far as the girl is concerned. Sometimes, even men understand it's not too nice to rape girls, especially because it could be their girl.
Their girl.
What does it mean, their girl? Certainly, men do not think they own other men, usually, but they think they own a girl. Here's what happened at a certain point of men's history.

Men needed to feed their penis with some friction, and normally they would prefer a different girl's hole each time, but it's a rather difficult task to convince a number of women to provide their holes and besides, men like to know the offsprings are theirs and not someone else's. So men sat around a table and thought: how do we get to put our penis in a hole whenever we need to feed it and at the same time stop killing each other because we fear someone else is reproducing? Then, some particularly brilliant man proposed: There's enough women for every men after all, so instead of fornicating with every girl we meet, let's put a sign of some sort on one particular girl and let's call it a property of one man only! Each one gets a hole to feed his penis and no one gets hurt. Cool uh?
It was of course a man's idea, therefore quite an imbecile one, especially because women weren't asked an opinion (maybe they would rather have more than one man around, considering the high risk they ran that one man could be an imbecile). Men didn't really care too much about women back then (neither they do today, normally) and stood up clapping their hands and chose a name for this certificate of property, and they called it marriage, and decided that it was such a good thing, that each man could have his own personal sex toy for free , that they even invoked their religions to bless the idea. They decided that it was a Divine Institution, that the entire society could be founded on this cool thing. Amazing, men thought: now they could take one girl, celebrate a marriage, and their penises would have a permanent hole to enjoy friction with.
Men established precise rules: once a girl is owned it's private property and other men can't have it. You know, it's because it's hard to get some resources to exploit and sharing what is so rare already would be disastrous. Besides, there always was that children matter, and who the father was...
Unluckily men hadn't taken into account a few interesting details:
1) girls also enjoy sex, much more than they do, yet they are not enslaved by any need to fuck.
2) knowing that a girl is someone else's property induces other men to steal it, if anything to show that man that they own a much larger penis (being the size strictly connected with blunt actions like stealing girls)
3) girls are not objects
number 3) is still impossibly taught to men even nowadays.

In order to account for points 1) and 2), men created laws to punish adultery (usually punishing the girl), instructed girls that sex is bad and evil and so on. For point 3) there's nothing to do. There's only that much a man's brain can fathom, and as we say in Italian, one can't squeeze blood out of turnips.

Nowadays, after millennia since marriage was invented, men are horrified when girls enjoy sex. They see that as a potential threat basically: a girl that plays around with her vagina is likely to be impossibly contained within the bonds of marriage. It's a disaster. They might not own her, ever. She might be impossible to tame and to instruct to give her vagina for free to one man only.
Giving it for free by the way is critical for men. Having to pay for sex feels like paying a tax on breatheable air. Can you imagine a vampire having to pay to drink blood? What's worst is that the need for blood is so intense that a vampire would pay for it, but then he would feel like shit. Men hate it when they have to pay to feed the needs of their penis. That's why they are so quick at chastizing prostitution. Not only they have to bear the pain of needing to put the penis in a vagina, but they also need to pay to satisfy this natural necessity. How evil.

Men are sex vampires.

For a standard man, it doesn't really matter how beautiful or intelligent or important his woman is. Have a look at the standard laymen couple. Unfulfilled and dissatisfied human blobs. Why? Because they got married simply because she was the only woman that gave his penis a hole for free. Sometimes men are beyond redemption. I would rather take an Oscar Wilde then, one that has the guts to seek pleasure rather than the need to pee.

Because, luckily, as well as not all men revere their penis, not all men confuse sex with the need to pee. Hedonists (a category of people which I respect a lot) seek pleasure above all, they would never have sex with anyone unless this anyone is a pleasurable person. But they would never have sex with one person only as well.

In a certain sense I am also a hedonist, in the sense that I also seek pleasure in my own way. I don't go for the excesses that are typical of real hedonists of course. But I despise immoral chauvinist institutions that are meant to frustrate life rather than exhalting it.

Personally, I am not fond of sex. I understand and appreciate those that seek it for their pleasure, but personally I find it annoying as I said somewhere else. Foreplay and other practices are much more fun. The best, in my opinion, is taking a woman to orgasm without the need to have intercourse with her. Playing with a woman's body to provide her with pleasure is almost an artistic way to enjoy sexual life. In my opinion.

I also have a very peculiar relationship with activities that others relate to sex.
I'll give an example. Whenever I was told I could, I loved to kiss my friends. I am speaking of course of French kisses. Kisses are lovely. They are sweet and intimate and not nearly a sexual activity, regardless of what everyone else believes. I love to French girls, but I prefer to kiss friends: it's a great way to tell them I adore them. But of course, most of them would disagree on this point. And I am not really the type that would infringe their rules.

But then again, this would take me too far, and it's too late, and this post is about men and their vampiric attitude towards sex. So, goodnight, and see you.

PS: There was another entry number thirty nine before. I read it and considered it disgusting. I couldn't accept I wrote it. So I made this one, which is a lot better. In my opinion.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Post Number Thirty-Eight: Haunting Unbearable Lightness of Being

Of a Train of Thoughts Induced by Lack of Sleep, and Of the Always Unbearable Lightness of Being that Triggered The Creation Of This Blog

I admit I am (pleasantly) surprised. First of all, this mail I got. On an old account, one I should shut down soon. It was telling me someone wrote a testimonial for me on my page on I have to be honest and point out that I open that page very rarely. I don't know why it doesn't really catch up with me. Perhaps because in the end, I am too talkative. Many things can be said about me, but certainly not that I am coincise. Well, someone said that too but he was probably on high.
Anyway, I got this testimonial notification, and noticing who wrote it, I just couldn't wait to see it.
Look, let's be straightforward, for once in my life. Who wrote it knows I am talking of her words. I'll be frank, my friend. Your esteem almost moved me. Really. I don't exactly know what is it that I have done or said to deserve so much from such an intelligent human being, but know that, for an incredibly long time (entire minutes!) you left me wordless.
And that is quite a feat. For anyone.

Then, there is the sudden "popularity" of my blog. I never really thought it could be of interest to those who don't know me already. Actually I thought I was going to be the only one reading it (and actually I don't read it). Nonetheless it seems that a number of people, whose comments evidently indicate an interesting mind behind the hands that typed them, have come here, read my words, and (with my pleasure) keep returning. I feel the urge to apologize for not taking into account the fact that more people are reading me now. I'll keep typing as if I and few others were the only readers, because that's how thoughts flow out of my mind. And if you keep returning, you will always have my warm welcome.

Hopefully, Miss Izzy, the Singaporean famous Party Girl, will excuse me if I quote her by saying that blogs are strange. Although not for the reason she mentioned in her entry, a few days ago. More precisely, for other reasons too, one of which is that they drive people close to someone else's mind, even when this someone is faraway, and never met.
Heh, what am I saying? I must be really sleepy if I can't see what I am saying: blogs are like books. Good philosophy books, sometimes, or good diaries. Or bad books, depending on who the writer is. When we open a book, a magic box of immense power, we hear and feel the words and thoughts of someone who is not near. But you need to be an accomplished author to publish a book (which is a nonsense, if you think about it). Anybody, instead, can type a blog. And read it for free. Does this equal to say I am writing a book here? No. Not really. It's just a flow of thoughts, although I admit my entries are often connected, in subtle ways.
But I am writing a book after all. A fantasy novel. But that's another of my fixations, fantasy, and nobody deserves two fixations on the same day.

Hadn't I loved English so much, my blog would be in Italian. This means that no one would probably enjoy it unless they were fluent in Italian. But then again, I do love English. Many things happen by mere coincidence. Human beings find it very hard to accept that, very often, there is no reason why things happen. They just do happen. Or actually, there is a reason in the sense that whatever happens is always the result of something else that happened before and triggered a chain of consequences. In this neverending game of causes and effects, our brains, or more precisely, living things, are the chaotic element. A micro-current flows through the synapses of a certain brain of a certain living being, and triggers an unpredictable and unforeseen action, which in turn activates a flow of consequences that branch throughout the spectrum of possibilities. Sometimes I entertain myself thinking of what would happen if something apparently insignificant never took place.
During the early centuries of the glorious history of Rome, the Gauls came very close to razing the city. Their plan was to attack at night and catch the Romans by surprise. But geese (I mean the birds, yes) on the Capitol (which is the main hill of Rome and not the Congress in Washington DC) were disturbed in their sleep by the approach of the Barbarians and their quacks waked up the Roman soldiers. The plan of the barbarians failed, and Rome was saved. By quacking geese.
Absolutely beautiful. If there hadn't been geese on the Capitol Hill that night, I would most likely not be here today. I would not even exist. It makes quite an effect to think I owe my very existence to a quacking goose. But it makes much more an effect to think that somehow, everything that happened after the geese woke up the Romans actually led to some of the most beautiful pages of human history: the pages that tell us of the Roman civilization.

Those who started reading my blog only recently, in my opinion are missing the best entries. Why is this blog called "The Unbearable Lightness of Being"? It was the topic of my very first post. Those who wish to know, should have a look, perhaps.

When I started typing this post, I wanted to mention the fact that I do not believe in God. Then I realized I did it already, in my post number two. Perhaps I should start reading back my old entries. Lest I start repeating myself. Not that I don't normally repeat myself.

I once talked about my blog with a Russian girl I adore. I know she wouldn't agree with most of my writings, especially about Art, although of course I am not going to change my opinion on what Art means. Her opinion, anyway, counts a lot (although not hers alone). I tried to explain then, what this blog was all about. Why I am typing it. What I am trying to do by typing it. I thought it would be very easy to explain, but then it turned out it wasn't. I had to think about it seriously before realizing this is an exploration. I am probing my own mind, in the same way I loved to dissect and analyze pretty much anything I've come upon. If a pattern exists in everything, then a pattern exists in my mind too.
There are certain milestones, in my way of viewing the world. One of them is weight. I need it. I crave it. I yearn for it. I do not gain pleasure from lightness. Perhaps it's a limit, but I am proud of it in my own way. We live in a world where light, inane things seem to be what counts the most. Buying the newest trendy wear. Going out dancing. Having mindless fun. No thinking. No fusses. No hidden meanings to find. Just instant satisfaction.
Don't you feel it's void? I do. My own experiences at the Disco were tragic if not melancholic. First of all, few things I hate more than dancing. Especially because I *really* can't stand disco music. Much less loud disco music. I am that boring and proud of it, yes. So I sat by the counter and watched them, and thought about them. Them, the people. The Saturday Night youngsters that paid more than they'd probably milked out of their parents in one week, to be there and dance. The loud, ultimately empty music. So loud they were numbed by it. Their minds devoid of everything. Emptied. All that existed was the mind numbing sound, the dance, and the hope of taking a girl home and have sex. Mindless sex.
Then I understood them. In the empty world we live, the world of brand new SUV and soft-porn pop videos, the world of grades and exams, the world of social restrictions and mind-boggling threats, these people were just trying to flee, to evade, to find a way out. To clear their mind and stop thinking. To just go there and dance and let the music daze them bringing them to the verge of being dancing machines.
For a split second I almost envied them. I would find no pleasure in this empty replacement for a vacuous void. Then I realized I couldn't envy them. Instead I felt there was a melancholic lack of weight in the world. I suddenly knew why most of those very dancing guys and girls end up taking ecstasy and then something else. And then something tougher than that. And at the end you find them half-dead on the corner of a decadent building in the peripherals of our civilized capitals. They are squeezed not by weight, but by the unbearable lightness of being. This lack of weight is so destructive of humanity, that we almost feel the urge to fill it. Because if we don't, what's life worth?
But then again, I am repeating myself. I know already that I, for one, feel a desperate need for weight. Just that. I love thinking. I love being induced to think. I love reading things that make me think. I am perhaps a thinking machine. And then I love typing my thoughts.

And so the people get convinced that, for sure, they aren't dealing with a normal person.

But that's what I love the most of myself, after all.

Post Number Thirty-Seven: Cosmic Rhapsody

Of my Fixation with Science

I spent a long time in University, for various reasons, majoring Physics. Taking for granted no one among my readers is going to take me for a normal person, I won't digress on what my peers think of me for the simple fact that I chose to major Physics. Physics is very much like a part of my inner self: the human attempt to find a logical path lurking beneath the chaotic superficial appearance of reality.
We have been lucky to live in a universe where natural phenomena can be described through mathematics. If you think about it, mathematics should be a consequence of the way our mind works (when it works), and it should come as an astounding marvelous surprise that equations can predict the course of natural events. I have no intention to waste my (and especially your) precious time digressing in the old argument whether God exists or not and whether He created the world or not. Personally, I shall be honest: I don't care if God exists or not. I have no reason to believe the Christian God (as described in the Bible) exists for real, and I admit that a different kind of God (a-la Immanuel Kant) could exist, or could not as well. Anyway God is not the point here.
In fact, what I am concerned with in this moment, is that I can tell you precisely how long a stone will take to fall from my hand to the ground. I can even tell you what kind of curve a missile will draw in the sky before falling on the head of the next enemy of the American interests. I am not going to tell you this by watching in a crystal ball or uttering magical syllables. I will just write down a few equations and there you go: I give you the answer. And it's gonna be right (unless I make likely mistakes while computing of course).
We live in a universe where, for some incredible coincidence, mathematics are not just a puzzle for absent-minded nerds, but a tool to describe the effects of natural phenomena. Isn't that amazing?
Of course, the charm of this fascinating universe was completely lost in the University, where everything gravitates around grades, exams, tests and whatnot. Things that have little to nothing to do with the natural phenomena we should be studying.
Italian teachers are perhaps unique in the world.

More than 1000 years ago (no typo, I mean one thousand years), the University of Bologna (central Italy) was founded. More or less in the same century another University was founded in Pavia, 60 kms south of Milan, a city that back then was the capital of a local relatively powerful kingdom. Our millenary tradition of University should guarantee for an immense amount of experience, grounded on centuries above centuries of scholarship. In fact, the University of Bologna is the ancientmost in Europe, and I presume in the world too.
Nonetheless, the Twentieth century brought a new form of evil upon our schools: a philosopher known as Benedetto Croce. Let's put aside the fact that he was the official philosopher of Fascism. He also believed, for some reason, that science and art are "inferior" to literature, and that practice is inferior to theory. As a consequence, our Universities were shaped by Mussolini according to the infamous "Riforma Gentile", a plan of Reformation created by Gentile, a Fascist minster, and based on the theories of Benedetto Croce. You can imagine the consequences. Especially because, after that Reformation, no one ever thought of reconsidering it. Well, until we got the present dwarf dictator, Berlusconi. Berlusconi believes that Universities are a sort of business company and they should be led accordingly. What was bad has become worse. But I would rather avoid discussing this kind of things in detail. My stomach is not strong enough to stand the laws imposed by Berlusconi and his bunch of gangsters.
It will suffice to say that the experience I had in University was so disappointing that, despite my natural passion for science, I just couldn't swallow the lectures and especially the teachers.

I spoke so much about these inanities, that I totally forgot why I started typing this post. It certainly had to do with the fact that I spent a long time in University, but unluckily I have no idea what it was supposed to be about. And the fact that I use cryptic titles doesn't help much.

Luckily (or unluckily, depending on my reader's disposition towards my posts) I have many interests, and a number of fixations I keep mumbling over and over again. My fixation with science has deep roots, perhaps the deepest if we don't consider classical music (Classical Music, I can say, has been a part of me since I was born).
I usually like to mark my entrance in the world of science with the day when I was given "Cosmos", a book by Carl Sagan. I presume it's widely known in Anglosaxon countries. In Italy it was almost unknown, especially because the TV program didn't go on air in the country (still thanks to Benedetto Croce's philosophy, yes). I had smallpox and I was trapped in bed. It was the year 1981 and one of my mum's pupils (my mum is a pianist and teaches piano at the Conservatory of Milan) decided, out of the blue, that I had to read Cosmos by Carl Sagan. Yes, in Italian. I might be not normal but I can assure you I spoke no English at 7 year old.
The reading was mind boggling. I admit I didn't really get the whole idea. In fact I read that book again. Five times to be precise, before I turned 12.
There was something with how Carl Sagan wrote about science that just made me dream. I don't know if you ever read anything by Carl Sagan. If you did, you know what I am talking about. It's poetry. Scientific poetry in a way, however this might sound as an oxymoron. Saying that I loved the book is a ridiculous way to put it. Ludicrous. I love an amazing number of books, but I haven't read them five times in five years before turning 12. And I read Cosmos another 4 times after the age of 12. Last time I read it I was 24 and fully aware of its meaning. But not a jot less in awe of that starry vault upon my head.
Incidentally, when I was reading Cosmos for the eighth time, I was also studying Immanuel Kant during my final year in High School. I never truly appreciated Kant's approach to philosophy, but I could never forget his statement: "I live my life with the moral law inside me, and the vault of the starry sky above me". Especially the second part. For sure, when Kant said that, he was feeling the same I did when reading Cosmos, and went out at night watching that starry sky above my head. I couldn't say it any better.

I am fascinated by space. That's why I love *certain* science fiction (that excludes completely the movie Alien, its sequels, its prequels, its latest apocalyptic epiphanies and anything remotely resembling it). In fact, my ideal science fiction show has always been Star Trek. I was desperately fond of Spock when I was young. I actually am STILL desperately fond of Spock.
But Star Trek is another of my fixations and I don't think any of my readers deserve more than one fixation per day, so I will give this post a break. Besides, I am just blabbering. I typed a lot considering I don't know what I started this post for after all. And, what counts the most, I am hungry: and since food isn't going to get cooked by itself and even fixated idealists need to feed themselves, I really think I have more mundane activities to dedicate myself to.

This much, to say: sayonara.

Note: Considering the popularity of Bozzetto's cartoon "Italy and Europe", I placed a link to the right. In case someone missed the post.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Post Number Thirty-Six: Freedom

Of the Celebrations for the End of Fascism

In 1922, Benito Mussolini took power in Italy and transformed the young nation (Italy was unified in 1860) into a dire dictatorship. Mussolini's folly led Italy to WWII on the side of Nazi Germany, until on April 25th, 1945, the Allied forces and the leftist rebels, united, liberated the country.

During the Fascist era, Italians knew no freedom, nor peace. Incidentally, 2005 is exactly 60 years after the fall of Fascism. The City Hall of Bergamo, a nice town in the North of Italy, hired the cartoonist Bruno Bozzetto to celebrate the return to Freedom. Since I have noticed the last cartoon by Bozzetto met some appreciation from my readers, I'll be glad to link to another, although this is not hilarious. I actually find it very poetic.

I would like to dedicate it to all those that just don't fit in the narrow space others have drawn for them. That includes me, incidentally.

So, to all those that seek Freedom, here's the link to Bozzetto's cartoon:

Note: Captions are in Italian. Here's a translation:
"La Libertà" : Freedom
"La Libertà va sempre conquistata" : Freedom must always be conquerred

Post Number Thirty-Five: Italians and Europeans

Of the Difference Between Italians and Europeans

Bruno Bozzetto is a renowned Italian cartoonist. His sense of humor often tends to sarcasm but never fails to crack me up. He made this short flash cartoon about the difference between Italians and Europeans, giving a perfect portrait of what life is like in Italy. Long ago I was asked to link to this cartoon on my blog, so here you are: Follow the link and enjoy the cartoon

Post Number Thirty-Four: Beautiful Life

Of the Beauty of Small Things and of the Pursuit of Serenity.

When I start typing a post, normally, I know what I want to talk about. So I choose the title first, and type the post later.
Today, I will let my thoughts out freely without choosing a precise topic first. Possibly because I am in a conflicting and thoroughly contrasting mood. It's a mixture of melancholy and awe, amazement and nostalgia.
Where to begin from? I suppose it doesn't really matter. Two nights ago I indulged in watching American Beauty (the movie with Thora Birch and Kevin Spacey) for the second time. I am insanely fixated with movies (and books). This I stated already before, in my previous post on fixations. If you have seen American Beauty, you know what it's about. I will give my interpretation of the movie. If you haven't seen the movie, perhaps you shouldn't read further since I am going to spoil much of it.
Kevin Spacey plays the part of your typical American bourgeois. He's married and has a teen age daughter. He is sad, unfulfilled, disappointed. He doesn't have sex with his wife, doesn't talk to his daughter, who in turn hates him to the verge of hoping for his death. The reasons for this man's disappointment is that he is trying to live life the way others expect him to.
Then, the sight of an alluring blonde cheerleader, clicks something in Kevin Spacey's character's mind. He begins to live the life he wanted to live. He drops his job as a journalist after 14 years of career and gets an employment in a fast food, as waiter. "I want the least possible responsibilities" he tells the employer. He starts living his life. He chases his dreams and desires. Certainly, he's no more fitting in the kitsch ideal of American family.
At a certain point, a new character moves in the neighborhood. A former Marine soldier with scarce social life, who hates gays and tries to raise his only child with "discipline". This child, a teenager involved in selling drugs, in my opinion represents the director of this movie. First of all, he goes around with a videocam always in his hands. Second, he's the one that tries to tell the audience what's the hidden meaning of the movie. Because everything has a hidden meaning.
In a strikingly poetic scene, a paper bag is showed dancing in the wind among withered leaves. There is a surprising beauty and a nostalgic atmosphere in this simple sight. Yet it proves the point of the movie. There is a hidden beauty in all things, and most of us deny this beauty because we can't perceive it, because we waste our precious life in the attempt of appearing as something we are not.
In a certain sense, American Beauty reminds me of another movie I have seen, and loved a lot: Coffee and Cigarettes. Ok, true enough: I hate coffee and cigarettes. I drink tea and do not smoke. Anyway, most people think that coffee and cigarettes are pleasurable, and the movie uses them as a "symbol" of what is pleasant. In the last, most poetic scene, two elders talk by a table, drinking a coffee.
One is literally dreaming. He lifts the cup of coffee imagining it's champagne. His toast is to Paris in the Twenties. That is, lightness and pleasure.
"Let's drink another coffee", the dreaming elder says
"We don't have time, it's about time to go back to work", the other answers. This other elder is all about duties and responsibilities. He insists to go back to work, don't waste time pleasuring yourself with coffee.
But the dreaming elder drinks his cup of coffee.
And dies.

There really is no way to explain this concept with words. It's like a Zen story, a Buddhist parable. What are we running after? Why can't this elder drink his last cup of coffee?
He died with pleasure in his lips (literally). Because he did what he wanted to do, in the end.
Ok, I wasn't expecting to mention her again, but isn't this ALSO the story of Sarong Party Girl, Izzy? Chastized like Kevin Spacey's character for living her life the way she likes it, and therefore not fitting the general idea of "good girl" that Singapore's government tries to hammer into its people? And the people that offend and insult her, are just like the old man telling his friend not to drink his cup of coffee because it's time to go back to work. Why denying him his last moment of pleasure? After all we are all going to die, whether we like it or not. If we died right now, would we be pleased of how we lived our life? Would we die with a smile on our lips?
Because this is the concept. It's not about how you obeyed your boss and stuck to your duties and therefore came to the end of your life with a certain sense you did what you had to do. It's about dying with a satisfied, pleasant, light smile on your lips. The smile I presume appears on Izzy's lips when she's doing what she enjoys the most. The smile that appears on my lips when, instead of rushing in my office like everyone else around me, I stop for a second and look north to the astounding profile of the snow-capped Alps, which I can see from the parking lot outside my office.
Most people are unfulfilled and disappointed with their lives. Maybe they think otherwise, but in the end they are not doing what they wish. This is ultimately sad. And they live on because they know everyone else is in the same condition. But when they see someone, in this world, is blissful, this they can't accept. I perceive the way certain colleagues of mine find it annoying that I am never stressed or disappointed at work. I like what I am doing. I like my peers. I like the Alps outside, I like my life, even if I bet most people would hang themselves rather than living my life. I don't do what people expect from me. I do what I feel right for me.
I feel peaceful. Serene. I don't desire happyness. That's an extreme, I dislike extremes. Besides, happyness is transient. What I desire is to be serene and calm in all those moments when I am not plain happy.
This is perhaps the reason why I find Buddhism so resonant with my inner self.
How many of us really realize how beautiful is a paper bag in the wind?
There is a Zen story I like to quote every now and then.

A man was chased by a tiger. He ran through the jungle and suddenly he reached the edge of a cliff. Losing his balance, with the tiger still after him, the man fell off the cliff. As he watched the ground below, he saw another tiger waiting for him at the end of the fall.
He looked around, and saw a flower growing on the slope. How beatiful that flower was!

This Zen story is again about the same topic. Dying with a smile on your lips. Perceving the beauty of a flower while you are falling off a cliff after being chased by a tiger, aware that another tiger is about to eat whatever remains of you after you hit the ground. Of all this fearsome perspective, what matters the most is the beauty of the flower. Because the beauty of a flower can fill our heart with an immense joy.
The flower can be something else for everyone. I see the beauty of the flower when I sit in front of the city hall in Stockholm, Sweden, and watch the calm lake Mälaren and the vast green woods that cover the islands of the city. Because Stockholm is a city among woods. A park city. When it rains in Stockholm, you can smell the scent of a forest while walking in the streets. It's beautiful. It's charming. It feels my heart with a sense of serenity that I miss all the year round.
But someone else can find this bliss in sex, or in a butterfly, or in the people of the world, or in a teardrop, or a shining star, or the light at dusk. There is so much beauty in this world, so much charm, that we should be thankful for passing by to witness it. Why wasting it? Why pretending it doesn't exist?

Why letting life stress us and why letting others tell us what kind of life we should live, forgoing all the beauty of the world to just be "one of the many", something others will call normal and won't consider worth of anything more than a passing glance?
I would feel so empty, if I were "normal". Luckily, of all the people I have met, no one ever called me a normal person.

I love classical music, books, thoughtful movies, the Sindarin language, the plants of Stockholm, the British people, emancipated girls, the profile of the Alps, the foam of the Mediterranean, the scent of woods, the starry sky above my head, the courage of Thomas Jefferson, the skin of Jessica Alba, the mind of my Singaporean friend Viv, the charm of my Russian friend Tatiana, the smile of my Italian friends (incidentally almost all my friends are females - which is the proof that men and women *can* be friends). I love monuments, I love the sound of an organ and chinese tai music, I love the painted glasses of Cathedrals (no matter how I despise the local priests), I love dusk and night time (I am a creature of the winter dusk, as most tell me). I love graveyards in Scotland with mist and glaring tombstones. I love Japan and its culture. I love China and its charm, I love the woods of Norway and the castles of England, the Tour Eiffel and the Coliseum. I love Romans, I love Greeks and butterflies. I love animals. I love cats and lions, tigers and elks. I love the feeling of a morning breeze in Finland.
How could I be stressed in a world where there is SO MUCH to love?

I wonder if anyone would dare read so far. I guess this is quite a boring entry. But I don't type for my readers, I type because I feel like typing.

I was saying at the beginning that I was feeling amazed. Well yes. I really didn't expect to discover something I found out no longer than 60 minutes ago. I found another comment from Izzy, in my blog. Considering that my blog is probably the last thing a normal teenager would like to read, I felt somehow proud that that teenager, instead, still drops by. As usual ever since Viv mentioned Sarong Party Girl on her blog, I paid a visit to Izzy's musings, and ... well, there was a link to my blog...
Well, if you are reading here, thank you Izzy. I am glad you appreciate this blog enough to consider it worth a link on yours. I presume this means that a lot of people will see the link and drop by to pay me a visit. I expect most of them to flee in terror. I'm of course going to love those that won't.

Today, I have decided not to spit poison on anyone. I often complain about Americans, about the Church, about our stupid dwarf dictator. If I do that, it's because in the end I just wish people were serene. I know they could, they just don't see the point. You know why I am so angry with the Italian government, why I am so ashamed of being a citizen of this Medieval dictatorship? Because I love Italy. I love it so much that it makes my heart bleed to see it reduced to a land of idiotic girls and zombified apes.

I think I have said enough. And I have chosen a title for this post. I bid my readers goodbye and see you in my next post.
Au revoir!

Post Number Thirty-Three: It's a Matter of Style

Of the British Reaction to London Bombings

Sometimes I am recalled to the real world by the most unlikely chain of events.
In the past two days I have thought about typing a word or two on the Brits and on why I love them, but then I was distracted by various activities, most of which rather mundane.
I was now indulging in one of my fixations, that is women. In fact, I was considering how flawless and close to perfection Jessica Alba's skin is. Her body would be very close to my ideals if only she wasn't so petite. Had she somewhat broader shoulders, perhaps slightly larger bones... but the skin is perfect, or very close to perfection. And her muscles very elastic and flexible. Lovely, but something is missing... Anyway, seeing that she is not perfect enough, I jumped away from her pictures and moved on to Viv's blog, one of my favorite pasttimes after all. That reminded me of London, and I can't just let time go by without praising the Brits.

It has been said by Winston Churchill that the days when the powercrazed Nazis bombed London were the most glorious days for England.
Now I know what he meant.

How do people react to fear?

Let's go back in time.
When Saudi Arabians (SAUDI ARABIANS: heard this name? S-A-U-D-I A-R-A-B-I-A-N-S) attacked New York City (probably for fun) they toppled the Twin Towers. Americans reacted by screaming and shouting and rallying in cathedrals singing "Glory Glory Hallelujah" and showing off their muscles. Then they caught the occasion to invade Afghanistan and build an oilduct through that nation. Later they invaded Iraq, which had nothing to do with Al-Qaeda, had no weapons of mass destruction, and was pretty much minding its own business posing zero threat (ZERO THREAT: heart this concept? Z-E-R-O T-H-R-E-A-T) to the USA.
Fear, screams, panic and some rich bastards that caught the occasion to invade innocents leaving the responsible terrorists in peace. Nobody invaded, attacked or reprimanded Saudi Arabia. Still, almost all the terrorists on the planes that toppled the Twin Towers were Saudi Arabians. Osama Bin Laden is Saudi Arabian. Saudi Arabia has declared war against the Usa. Hello? Republican dickheads? Anybody home? It's SAUDI ARABIA, your source of oil dollars, that is attacking USA, not Iraq and not Afghanistan. No way trying to talk to the deaf. Americans are convinced it's been Saddam Hussein.
Maybe tomorrow Bush will tell them it's been China. Or North Korea. Or Iran.
It's been Saudi Arabia, anyway.

Pathetic. I am sorry for the American people. No one deserves the evil multinational companies that plague America.

Now terrorists (Saudi Arabians?) attacked London.
The next day, life was going on as usual, almost as if nothing had happened. No scenes of panic, no rallying in cathedrals singing "God Save the Queen"; I have seen people with stitches talking quietly at the news as if they had no bruises.
The Brits cannot be scared off. They do not lose control. The Brits are not afraid of the bombs that exploded in London. They are not panicking.
This is precisely what I esteem and admire in a people. One of the things I find most annoying in Southern Italians is the way they think they have to stress, uselessly exaggerating their emotions. Crying and shouting for any stupid reason.
In front of pain and disaster, the Brits haven't been shaken at all. They are back to their lives, keeping their emotions well hidden within their heart, which is where they are supposed to stay. The terrorists have lost their battle in England because they can't bring terror in London. The Brits don't react to fear. They have a dignity that most other peoples (Italians for example) do not have.
After this terrorist attack I understood how it must have been in London when the Nazis exploded V2s on the city.
Simply, the Brits were unshaken. They kept living, reacting with their undestructible dignity against brutality.
Incidentally, a people that knows no fear will not fall prey of dictatorship. In fact, Britain is the only country in Europe that never knew extremist dictatorships. There has never been a British Hitler, Franco, Mussolini, Pétain, Stalin.
I am in awe of the British people and their reaction to bombings. The Brits don't go on the street shouting and screaming and *pretending* to be suffering. They suffer in silence, with British dignity and honor.

Thank you, British people, for this lesson of dignity. I mourn your dead in silence and honor the Union Jack, and wish you to stay British forever.

We all should learn from them.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Post Number Thirty-Two: Dickheads

Of the Role of Chemistry on the Mind of Stupid Men.

The fact that a number of bombs today killed dozens of innocent, possibly Muslim-supporting, Brits might seem to have little to do with testosterone, but in fact, as in many other human disasters, chemistry played a major role in this.

Bombing innocents, blowing their bodies off, blasting means of transports in a capital, is profoundly illogical. That is, illogical for those endowed with a brain. This means that the majority of people out there is cut off already. Especially men. Men don't have brains, they have penises, unless they are very, very lucky.
What does killing accomplish? There are 10 million people living in London. They are probably scared today, many of them are pondering revenge against the Muslims. Because they are certainly taking for granted it's been the Muslims (unless someone wondered if it was Chirac protesting for the Olympics). Somewhere, some (male) person is watching the news and feels gratified for the scenes of horror and fear that are being broadcast. Then, maybe the next day, the Brits will bomb another village in Iraq. Bomb here, bomb there, kill this, kill that. Nobody sees that the problem is rooted elsewhere.
Let's be frank: men are bastards. Some of them are filthy rich bastards and most are filthy poor bastards. The filthy rich bastards (usually in charge of multinational companies based in the USA) like to exploit and wreck the filthy poor bastards. The filthy poor bastards would just like to switch roles with the filthy rich bastards. And so on, forever, in an endless cycle of exchanged stupidity and irrationality.
There is one word to describe the filthy rich and the filthy poor bastards alike: dickheads.

It's not just profanity. It's what they are: people whose dick replaces their head.

In my ideal world (and I live off ideals) the United Nations is a supernational government in charge of every nation in the world. People are free to do what they wish with their life (including having sex on the street, drink alcohol at the age of 4, marry their gay lover, adopt 200 lesbian daughters, smoke joints, and revere freedom). Wealth is distributed reasonably equally (that is, pretty much everyone has what he needs to survive decently and nobody really has too much). Religions are abolished and humans are fully rational and peaceful.
It's my ideal perfect world. Of course, it's impossibly done, but it's not THAT FAR from the Netherlands. The Dutch are the best people in the world and they don't even know it. Their prince is gay and they didn't even notice it.
I love the Dutch. Really. I wish I had a Dutch girlfriend.

Why isn't the world really like the Netherlands? Mostly because of men and their testosterone.

Men and women tend to be different in at least one important characteristic.
Have you ever tried putting a large number of women together? It doesn't take long before they start scratching at each other and bite. Each woman, deep within herself, wants to be the only one. Somehow, women seem to be self-centered, obsessed with other women, disappointed to share the world with others. A woman is the center of her own world, and another woman is a potential enemy. Nobody can hate women more than women themselves.
The way women hate each other is subtle. They steal each other's boyfriends, they make nasty jokes to humiliate their peers, they are able to hold a grudge for an entire lifetime.
Men are not like that.
Put a large number of men together and they will look for a leader. Men are basically pack animals. They move in packs, act in packs, and follow their leaders. Being the leader is everything. Men want to be the one that leads all the others. Napoleon Bonaparte, Julius Ceasar, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, they led. The others followed. Men revere blunt, selfish behaviors. Men fight each other and test their muscles. They respect the strongest man in the pack. They accept whatever the leader says and are ready to kill in the name of the leader. They are able to kill people they don't hate only because the leader told them to do so. Men are pack animals.
But how do they choose who the leader is? Led by their testosterone, they search for the most masculine traits. The biggest, toughest, most brutish ape is the leader. And who is the most brutish ape? the only ape that can challenge and beat the old leader. Men are apes. They are pack apes. Gorillas and chimps have the same obsession for leadership.
Men like to show off their power because it proves they are the leader.
There is one thing women will never really understand: a man doesn't want the most beautiful, sexiest girl for themselves because she's special. They want her to show other men they are better than them. A man will feel inferior if his girlfriend is uglier than another man's.
A man doesn't want to be rich. A man wants to be RICHER than his peers.
A man wants to be TOUGHER than the others
A man wants to be more ruthless, more daring, more dangerous, more blunt, more offensive, more evil, more selfish, more brutish than other men so they will revere him and adore him, and they will follow him, and he will be they leader and they will be the pathetic zombies to dispose with.
Echoes of this manly attitude are everywhere in man's history, and male philosophy (think of Nietzsche's superman). Nazi hyerarchs were doing nothing but responding to their most natural masculine instincts when they persecuted the Jews, the untermenschen, the "under-men". Men are naturally Nazi. There is nothing more natural for a man than being a filthy Nazi bastard, obeying the filthy Nazi Adolf Hitler and persecute the Jews. Nazi is male. For a man, Nazi is good. Nazi is heaven. Nazi is the ultimate paradise, the reason to live, the essence of life.
That is, for a man led only by his lowest instincts. Men led by testosterone.
Men do not know that their pursuit for power, wealth, women and the likes are actually induced by the amount of testosterone in their blood.
Still, if you ever go to male's public lavatory, you will see how men peek at each other's penises while they pee. It's because they can't help it. The ultimate manliness is the size of their penis. Girls don't give a damn about the size of penises. A girl can be contented with any size. It's men. They are obsessed with it. Because in the end, the apish side of man knows that the larger the penis, the manlier the man. Men are obsessed with the fear of finding someone with a larger penis because in the end, whatever they do, he will be the leader. Some monkeys choose their alpha male just by watching each other's penises. Men do the same.
That's why men are so intolerant of being insulted for their penis' size. It's where their manliness resides, their leadership, their power, their feeling of superiority.
Women can't understand that (luckily) because they don't have a penis.
In the end, all the evils of the world, all the injustices, the inequalities, the lack of democracy, the persecution of women, originate from the obsession men have for the size of other men's penises.
Once a man rationalizes that being a leader is basically testosterone-induced bullshit, he becomes free.
When someone honks at me on the highway and zips away surpassing me at 200 kmh while I obstinately stick to the speed limit, I know he's just trying to tell me his penis is larger than mine. That's really the whole point. He's showing me he's the leader. And if I were like other men and I let my testosterone led my mind, I would accelerate and zap past that man to show him that, damn it, MY penis is at least seven inches longer than his. Luckily, knowing that it's all testosterone, I don't give a damn. In fact, I don't care about other men's penises, because I am not looking for a leader. I am not a pack animal.
The American Republicans are so obsessed with their penises that they are beyond the very concept of gay. Have you noticed how right-wing men revere muscled soldiers? Ever seen pictures of Fascist Youth or Nazi Supermen? Large, muscular, blunt: precisely what men like. Men like men, they are gay. Republicans in particular, they are tremendously gay. They love muscular men and keep their wives home cooking food and making babies.
It is known that gays have a larger amount of testosterone in their blood than the average man. Surprised? I am not. Soldier loving Reps are gays, just they don't know it. They love their leader. If they were free of their social restraints, in the woods, they would pay respect to their leader by letting him introduce his vast, immense penis into their tight asses.
Isn't that the meaning of showing their middle finger after all?
I wish girls understood this simple thing. Of course, the standard girl is attracted by the leader guy, the one that is most manly. In the eyes of other men, the one with the largest penis.

Luckily not all men are gay and obsessed with penises. Usually, scholarized left-wing intellectuals free themselves of the slavery of testosterone and penis size. You can recognize these men easily: they don't give a damn about the size of their penis. They don't try to drive at 350 kmh. They don't want the most beautiful girl around to show her off to other men. They don't love leadership. Very often they are Communist or Socialist.
Some societies are led by women. One of them is Sweden (where 66% of the Parliament is occupied by female politicians). Another is Holland (the Queen is a woman). These societies tend, in general, to be socialist. England being a notable exception. England is always an exception, but they don't really count. They are different. And I like them, the Brits I mean. The Scots, more, and the Irish a lot, but those islands are inhabited by cool people. Even when their female leader is a crazy liberist called Margaret Thatcher. Going to war with Argentina for some rocks in the Atlantic. Very manly: to show that the size of British penises is way beyond the comprehension of Argentinian people.

Being rational means to understand you are led by the size of your penis, you are obsessed by it, and you realize you hate being led by it.

I am so wary of letting testosterone lead my life that some friends of mine call me a lesbian. Because how can I be a man when I don't show a hint of natural manly behavior? Well, perhaps I am not a lesbian (sadly) but I think I can agree with those that call me androgynous.
It's because I don't act upon the biddings of testosterone. When men stop letting testosterone drive their actions, they become androgynous in the eyes of others.

So what's this London bombings about after all? Behind all the hatred, all the injustices, all the religious zeal and whatnot, there's just one thing. Some people really want to tell the Brits: "Look, our penises are larger than yours". Just what they tried to tell the Americans when they toppled the Twin Towers. Just what the Americans tried to answer when they toppled everything standing in Iraq.

If only you knew how I hate men and their dicks.

In my ideal world men are androgynous, women are strong and emancipated, and penises are inside panties. They are used to pee and to please women. And this ideal world cannot be achieved in my lifetime, because men have penises that don't want to stay inside panties.
Because they want to be the largest.

We live in a penis-led world where only a few islands of peace can be found, wherever men have been overruled by women.

Hail to the Penis, the great mastermind, the leader of all men.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Post Number Thirty-One: Sarong Party Frenzy

Of a Singaporean female

Let's be frank. I can't keep out of other countries' business. It's probably because Italy is such a devastating mess, such a disappointment, that I prefer to look elsewhere. Or maybe because I have friends across the planet worldwide, I don't see them as foreigners but just as people, and what happens in their lands somehow has to affect me too. Or maybe because I am curious and need to know things others don't mind about. Or all these things together.

It's not really important. While reading my friend Viv's blog, I encountered her musings on a certain "Sarong Party Girl" I had never heard about. I didn't really care too much about it at the beginning, but then I realized this Sarong Party person was a big thing in Singapore, so I just had to know what the fuss was all about.

Apparently, "Sarong Party Girl" is a Singapore-born young girl (presumably in her late teens), who likes to talk about sexual topics and post pictures of her naked body on her blog.
I paid a visit to this blog to read what she was talking about. I didn't look at the pictures, whether you believe it or not. I have seen many naked girls already, in pictures and in reality, and no, however young and exotic (for a European), peeking at another one is not going to excite me enough for me to bother. I was much more interested in knowing what she was talking about. As it seems to me after reading few paragraphs at random, this girl is definitely emancipated, and this is probably why there's so much fuss about her.

Ok, from my own point of view, girls are free to do as they like with their body. If they wish to post naked pictures of themselves they are most welcome to do so. Not that I care to watch them, but if it makes them feel better, I am not going to stop them. Anyway, I am pretty sure that the fuss is more about the topics she talks about than the pictures. And the way she discusses about sexual matters made me think she's quite intelligent, actually mature.
It also made me understand, incidentally, that Singapore is very much like Italy: proud and quick to condemn girls as soon as they are emancipated.
Really sad. I find it even easier now, to understand why Vivien (my friend in South East Asia) feels the need to come to Europe every now and then. I would feel castrated in a society that finds so much interest in insulting an emancipated girl for her courage to speek tongue-in-cheek.
Probably, Singapore is, like Italy, sexually frustrated. The whole country, I mean. Italians are very sexually frustrated. They are so frustrated that most Italian men are actually gay and they don't even realize it. You understand a man is a frustrated gay when he is particularly intolerant against gays and likes anorexic girls with undefined curves. Italian girls tend to the "Velina" model. It is impossible to explain to foreigners what a Velina is. It must suffice to say that a "Velina" is a young, smiling, very slim girl whose only desire is to dance and pride herself of her own lack of culture (=brain). Girls like this represent the typical model of the typical Italian girl (that is not to say all Italian girls are like that, of course, but a great number wishes to become like that). Girls like this also represent the frustration of the feminine gender. I find them revolting.
Guys who like girls like that are brainless zombies divided in two categories:
- gay zombie
- etherosexual zombie
The first of course includes all those Italians who are gay but do not accept this fact. Declared gays are not included.
The second group includes what little remains.
Zombies of both categories lurk in Italian cities with only one thing in mind: sex and related topics. They are produced in great numbers in countries where the majority of girls are irrationally ashamed of sex, their naked body, and such. Italy is such a country.
I am beginning to believe Singapore is another such country.
Sweden is not such a country. In Sweden, nakedness, sex, sexual topics and such are usually considered normal. They are part of the normal essence of their society. In saunas, men and women enjoy the heat together completely naked. It is my intention to show Vivien when she comes to Malmoe, that most people go to swim naked, in perfectly public areas with no way to conceal themselves. Because, in fact, they never thought of a reason to conceal themselves. What's wrong with naked bodies?
In Sweden, no one would notice Sarong Party Girl. All girls talk about sex. Ok, it is TRUE that Sarong Party Girl talks about sex with wit and maturity. She's smart, no doubt. Most people in the world are not smart, regardless of where they are born.
In Italy, Sarong Party Girl can't really exist. But then again, it couldn't exist in Singapore as well so I presume that somehow, some day, we will have an Italian Sarong Party Girl and I will welcome her with joy. Unlikely to happen soon because Italian girls are not simply sexually chastized by the state but, more fiercely, by their obscene, medieval, repulsive religion, the evil, diabolic Catholicism.
At least Singapore is not Catholic.
Anyway, ladies and gentlemen, here's the thing.
I see no reason to talk that much about Sarong Party Girl. She's just a normal girl talking about things that every normal girl should talk about. Sex, politics, drugs, emancipation, the length of dicks and whatnot, what's the problem? They are topics. There are no forbidden topics. Nothing disconcerting, nothing to be ashamed of. I often think about the concept of shame, and I have come to believe it's idiotic. Really.
Most people would be disappointed to see, say, two naked lesbians indulging in sado-masochist practices in a public place.
Well, have you ever really wondered, rationally, WHY so?
Is there any RATIONALE behind shame? I can't find any. We have been told certain things are not to be done in public. Well, why? In which way are they going to physically affect me?
In the happiest country of the world (the Netherlands), prostitution is legal. Nobody screams and shouts at infamy because their oh-so-pure infants saw a naked prostitute behind a shop window. What's so infamous with a naked woman? Don't those oh-so-pure infants see the breasts of their own mother every time they need to feed?
What's this fuss about sex? In most societies (unaffected by the ever-diabolic evil of the Christian Church) sex is made in public, discussed in public, publicly performed in rites.
During the celebrations dedicated to the goddess of Spring, in ancient Rome, dozens of girls had sex in the streets of the capital to lose their virginity on the day dedicated to the deity. Why are we so stupidly, inanely ashamed and irritated by sex?
Why are we drooling like imbecile dogs just because a Singaporean girl has published naked pictures of herself? Are we (men) ever going to wake up from this general stupidity.
I actually applaud the courage of Sarong Party Girl. She challenged the customs of her own society, which is never easily done and often a reason to be chastized by people that think they know everything about right and wrong.
I just wish a girl could post naked pictures of herself in peace. And talk about whatever amount of sex and related topics she feels like talking about.
Personally, I have nothing else to say about this, so I won't mention Sarong Party Girl(s) again in the future.

Enjoy and live your life, people. And reconsider shame.