Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Local tabloids 28/09/09

While I was having a coffee at the bar down the road a woman stopped at the next table, hand outstretched for money. To my surprise the three women immediately, though reluctantly, opened their purses, and the woman started praising them and blessing them for their generosity. She was a gypsy woman, but dressed in normal enough clothes for here, so I wouldn’t have known. You could tell from the way she spoke, pointed out mio marito. They gave her money because they will have been afraid she would put the mall’occhio on them (evil eye)!

The most outstanding kind of news gets into the Giornale di Sicilia and the Gazetta del Sud. Both kind of tabloidy though they are the main papers of the region. The former today was delighted that the German woman has been elected as prime minister for Germany, she is rightwing and from former east Germany. 35000 road accidents since January as registered by police, and 900 fatalities, not to mention those seriously wounded. A third under 30. A terrible accident near Rome on Saturday night involving the death of 4 people, some of them 20 year olds, and two pregnant women in the other car were injured, one of whom lost the baby. How awful. Reports on a journalist getting death threats from a mafia guy who told him in the street not to mention his name again in the paper, and a criminal lawyer who got his tyres slashed and a threatening letter as warning not to send a Mafioso to jail. Then some stupid football manager said he wanted the media to write that he accredited his team’s victory in the regional final (some agrigento team) to his ‘brother’ in jail, a mafia capo of some town who has just been arrested. So the mafia is well reported on in the paper, or apparently, so. They probably can only print certain things. I don’t know yet how free they are to report on it. But it freely alluded to anyway. Is it al true, or is It just the spin docs of Sicily making sure the islanders are kept in check with the oppressive mafia mentality?

Berlusconi just back from Pittsburgh where he met Obama and Michele and said to the press that he thought Obama was a fine man and he must go to the beach with his wife because she was abbronzata as well, alluding to his stupid comment from last year about the president being ‘inteligente, simpatico and … tanned’. How embarrassing. An ex prison centre policeman killed his wife from whom he was separating in a town outside Venezia, then killed himself. There are so many crimes like that, once a week I’d say here. Left behind three kids, 25, 21 and 17. Imagine surviving that. How would you feel? Too much violence and anger here. Such extremes of emotions. And who knows what kind of domestic violence preceded the murder. My in-laws have told me about various local women they know or have worked with who had to leave their husbands because they were beating them up.

Yesterday’s paper commented on the alarming smoke coming out of the refinery in Milazzo and the harm it has caused and causes still to its citizens …


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