Friday, March 27, 2009

March 28, 2009: the Big 5-0 has finally arrived!

Yes, still crazy after all these years (as seen in the picture just after the fantastic AC/DC concert in Milan on March 21, 2009)! So how does it feel to turn 50? Well, with the exception of a few gray hairs (where by the way the sun don’t shine!), a sprained ankle which I’ve been carrying around for some 20 years, a herniated disc (some 15 years), a sore shoulder from one of my many falls playing soccer and a screwed-up knee (again, from 40+ years of playing soccer), well, other than that (the ol’ prostate is STILL doing fine by the way!), I can’t complain much. And yes, at 50 I’m still kicking a ball around with the boys and kicking some serious ass too!

As Giovanni Trapattoni said the other day when he turned 70 (perhaps Italy’s most famous soccer coach who is currently Ireland’s national team coach): “It’s not the age on your ID card that counts but how you feel in you head”! I’d say I agree with that statement. To all friends (and foes) who are reading this and who are hopefully raising a chalice in my honour (!!!!), I do hope to be around for another 50….

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

‘Atsa matta for you!

Well, once again those darlings over at The Economist poke fun of Italians and our Great Leader, Silvio Berlusconi. The Science and Technology part of the fine magazine always proposes something interesting (an example? One issue awhile ago stated that we tend to put on more weight nowadays because we tend to eat more processed food which is softer). In the February 21st issue (p. 77), they spoke this time about how gesticulating can help children learn, especially arithmetic (according to the magazine, “Introspection suggests that gesturing not only helps people communicate but also helps them to think”).

To emphasise the point, The Economist uses two examples. The first one is that “It is sometimes jokingly said that the way to render an Italian speechless is to tie his writs together”. The other example, as one can see by the picture, is the face of what appears to be a “typical” Italian male, gesticulating with his hands and with underneath the caption: “An Italian emphasis”!

The other example we see is taken from the cover of the February 28th- March 6th edition. We see, based on the recent meeting of European heads on the fate of Europe, Germany’s Merkel, France’s Sarkozy and Britain’s Brown all around a restaurant table. The waiter presents the three European leaders the menu of the day. If one looks closely the list includes something on a few major European countries, such as Russia (a brilliant play on words of a spaghetti dish called “à-la-puttanesca”, that is “à-la-whore”, transformed by The Economist into “à-la-Putinesca”). The list goes on and on, touching also Greece and the Irish. But there’s no mention of poor Italy. But wait! Indeed there is mention of Italy, you just have to look very, very carefully to find the jab at poor’ol Silvio: just at the bottom and basically covered by the price of The Economist around the world is the menu which says, “Silvio to go (if only)”!

Since reading the fine British magazine (almost 20 years now), I don’t ever recall any Canadian Prime Minister being made fun, nor criticised, of as much as Berlusconi has in all these years by The Economist. Poor us…