Tag Archives: Italy

My kingdom will soon be reunited!

For men of great power, the machinations of political fortune or misfortune are most often shrouded from the prying eyes of the public — a silent, unscrupulous waltz in the inky shadows of dimly lit parlor rooms.

Sometimes, however, your political rivals simply drop dead.

So it was that Giorgio Carbone, erstwhile Prince of Seborga, died — and in doing so removed the last great obstacle in my quest to reunite the ancient thrones of Greater Paximiliano. Seborga — a tiny province nestled adjacent to the Italian riviera — is not the final step, but it has proven the most intractable, thanks to the admittedly awesome rule of Carbone:

After convincing his Seborgan neighbors of their true significance, Giorgio Carbone was elected prince in 1963. He gracefully accepted the informal title of His Tremendousness, and was elected prince for life in 1995 by a vote of 304 to 4. Voters then ratified Seborga’s independence, which, by the prince’s interpretation, it already had.

Prince Giorgio established a palace, wrote a Constitution, and set up a cabinet and a parliament. He chose a coat of arms, minted money (with his picture), issued stamps (with his picture) and license plates, selected a national anthem and mobilized a standing army, consisting of Lt. Antonello Lacala. He adopted a motto: Sub umbra sede (Sit in the shade).

While Carbone was my rival lo these many years, I plan to keep Lt. Lacala in his position. I cannot afford to lose the support of the military. I will also keep Carbone’s picture on the money and retain the national motto, because it would take forever to photoshop new Seborgan dollars and, let’s face it, sitting in the shade is awfully relaxing.

Giorgio Carbone, Elected Prince of Seborga, Dies at 73 [NYT]

Leave a comment

Filed under pax arcana

Italy seems interesting

Pax Arcana

In fake Italy, a shy American 30-something woman catches the eye of the olive-skinned Italian hunk while Andrea Bocelli shouts vaguely-operatic tunes into your brain:

In real Italy, that guy could rape her as long as she was wearing jeans and the prime minister taps models and actresses for government positions. I’m not saying Italy is ass-backward and sexist, but I’m certainly not not saying exactly that:

The future politicians also include Eleonora Gaggioli, an actress best known for her role in the popular television costume drama Elisa di Rivombosa; Camilla Ferranti, who appeared in Incantesimo, a soap opera set in a cosmetic surgery clinic, and Barbara Matera, who competed in the heats for the 2000 Miss Italy contest and went on to become an announcer on the state television channel Rai.

To prepare for Strasbourg, the prospective women MEPs were given a political crash course by the cream of Italian politics. At the headquarters of the centre-right People of Liberty (PdL) party they received a seminar in European history and current affairs, Nato, the European Central Bank and the IMF from Franco Frattini, the Foreign Minister, Ignazio La Russa, the Defence Minister, and Mr Berlusconi.

He told the women: “You will have to study and prepare yourselves on all the workings of the institutions of Europe as well as the international ones.”

Berlusconi says he’s trying to reinvigorate the political process with a few “fresh faces.” And just because these ladies are actresses and models doesn’t mean they’re morons. It’s not like he’s appointing strippers to cabinet positions or anything.

Oh wait:

The women will follow in the footsteps of such glamorous figures as Mara Carfagna, the topless model who became Minister for Equal Opportunities.

Now thats a-spicy a-meatball!

Beauty of democracy as Silvio Berlusconi picks model MEP candidates [Times UK]


Filed under Uncategorized

Hey you! I no like-a you language

Pax Arcana

As if fomenting shitstorms of hatred in some of the world’s most dangerous places weren’t enough to make the Euros hate us, it looks like our words are creeping into their languages.

First the French revolted against the increased use of English-ish phrases like “le weekend.” Now the Italians have thrown down their meatballs in disgust over the use of words like “welfare,” “briefing,” and the ubiquitous “OK.”

The result is the predictably insane effort to reverse the course of linguistic globalization. Leading the charge is the Dante Alighieri Society:

Over the last four months the society, named after the Florentine poet Dante, author of The Divine Comedy and regarded as the father of the Italian language, asked visitors to its website to nominate their least favourite Anglicisms.

The results judge the ugliest imports to be ‘weekend’, ‘welfare’ and ‘OK’, followed by ‘briefing’, ‘mission’, ‘know how’, ‘shampoo’ and ‘cool’.

The worlds of business and politics contribute many of the alien words, from ‘question time’ to ‘premier’ and ‘bipartisan’.

Other English words regularly used by Italians which escaped the ire of the society’s correspondents include ‘sexy’, ‘webmaster’ and ‘water’, short for water closet or lavatory.

“Italians unite against il weekend”, the society declared on its website. “In short, it is clear that Italians are calling for more respect and more protection for correct language.”

Obviously the Dante Alighieri Society is acting childish here. Here is my response: Beatrice Portinari was uglier than bucket of baccala.

Also, gnocchi is a way uglier word than shampoo.


Italians vote for ugliest English words [Telegraph]


Filed under media