giovedì 28 maggio 2015

Leandro the Fisherman

I met Leandro in Trieste, on the wharf named "Audace" (I prefer its original name, San Carlo/Saint Charles, a little more elegant that "audacious"), a place that is beloved by both townspeople and tourists, for its wonderful view over the gulf, especially at sunset.
It was a sunny day and I was wandering without any special aim. On the wharf there was someone sleeping, someone else reading a book or having a conversation. Finally there were some guys fishing. All of them had one fishing pole per person, except Leandro, who had three ones: one in his hands, the other two on the ground. This seemed to me quite curious and I decided to approach him. This was an excellent choice .
"What did you caught today?", I asked him while we were sitting on the wharf.
"Look!", he told me and opened a plastic bag. Inside there were squid and cattle fish, together with a scad.
"I come fishing here in Trieste quite every day, from the end of March to the end of May, every year", he explains to me. "I come in the evening, stay all night long and at about 11am I take the train and go back home."
Leando comes from Gorizia, my hometown, and went to the same middle school as me, the school Virgilio. He enjoys, as I do, meeting new people and talking with them. But a part of that, we don't have anything in common: my life, normal and sometimes boring, cannot be absolutely compared to his, adventurous and out of order.
He's 52, has two kids and plays guitar. For many years, he lived in a community. He also lived about four years in Amsterdam,  a city where I have never been and that seems quite different from Trieste and the rest of Italy.
According to Leandro's story Amsterdam is a bustling town, where, as I could understand, people have respect for others and if you're in trouble, government takes care of you. This doesn't mean that everything is perfect there, but it's better than here, where the motto is "every man for himself", with the blessing of government, always ready to save money on welfare (personal view).
We were talking about that while drinking a coffee at a neighborhood bar, run by some Chinese guys, where a couple of gipsies were playing the trumpet and the accordion. I took a "capo", a kind of coffee that you can find only here, but this is another story (later on I'm going to talk about that). For the moment I just want to declare Leandro today's winner, as I really enjoyed the time spent with him.
That's all.




mercoledì 27 maggio 2015

Little birds grow

Do you remember those little seagulls who were born on the roof across from mine some time ago? Well, they are still there. Unfortunately one of them, the littlest of the brood, didn't survive. I really hope that his God will give him another chance to live.
Instead, the other two are growing quickly, while their parents take care of them, providing them with foot and recovery, when the weather is bad.
Feathers started to come in last week but they are still quite invisible. Nevertheless they sometimes emulate their parents, spread their little wings and jump up on the roof shingles. Sometimes they slide down and start shouting until they get up again.

I'm really lucky as I can look at this nature's show every day. And I feel happy as I can share with you this experience. Needless to say who are today's winners.

That's all.



Seagulls Trieste
Seagulls Trieste
Seagulls Trieste
Seagulls Trieste
Seagulls Trieste
Seagulls Trieste
Seagulls Trieste
Seagulls Trieste
Seagulls Trieste
Seagulls Trieste
Seagulls Trieste
Seagulls Trieste

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martedì 26 maggio 2015

War is not a show


Blindo Centauro
If I were a director, Trieste on Sunday would have been the perfect set for a military action movie: plenty of women and children in the main square and around, some men from the East, traditionally dressed, some women wearing headscarves, numerous uniformed soldiers and some military assets: a lightweight attack helicopter (Agusta A129), armed with machine guns, a cannon, anti-tank missiles and/or anti-aircraft rockets (unit cost: over €20 million); a light wheeled armoured fighting vehicle (Puma 6*6), armed with machine guns; a tank destroyer (Blindo Centauro 8*8) equipped with a 105 mm 52 calibre cannon and with two 7.62 mm machine guns (unit cost: over €1.5 million); a mine cleaning robot used by bomb squads within the italian Army, similar to that used in Kathrin Bigelow's movie "The hurt locker".
By adding some special effects and a few Hollywood stars the movie would be done, without too much effort.
But I'm not a movie director and in Trieste the set was not built for a movie, but for a military show, within what was supposed to be a commemoration for Italy's entrance in World War I, but that was actually a great party, which involved thousands of people, enjoying military fitness courses accompanied by very rhythmic music, looking with wonder at the skydivers, collecting information at the stands set up by some military corps, clapping for "bersaglieri" (an infantry unit, that can be recognized by its distinctive wide brimmed hat) and the military band, taking pictures of their kids on the chopper or on the tank.
I asked a friend of mine, who was living in Sarajevo during the siege: "What do you think about all that stuff?" She answered: "I cannot stand it". Personally I cannot stand it too. I've never been under fire but I can imagine what does it mean and I can imagine what the military assets shown in Trieste are for: shooting something or somebody.
All respect due to those soldiers in Trieste on Sunday, who were fulfilling their obligations, let me say that weapons are not toys for kids and war is not a show. Weapons are used to shoot, war is a tragedy. If you don't believe me take a look at what's going on in Syria, where people who are still alive are escaping the war, not celebrating it.
Therefore today there are no winners.

That's all.

p.s. To better understand what was the situation like during the weekend click here.




Puma 6x6
Puma 4x4
Puma 6x6
Agusta A129
Puma 4x4
Agusta A129
Agusta A129
Agusta A129

Note: pics 4 and 7 were taken in Gorizia the day before, when something similar was going on.


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lunedì 25 maggio 2015

The fascist legacy

Gorizia 23 maggio 1915Fascist legacy is not merely a BBC documentary film about the unpunished Italian war crimes before and during World War II. It rather also indicates particular attitudes and behaviors characterizing some contemporary societies.
I'm referring to those countries who celebrate their entrance into World War I, which had over 17 million deaths and 20 million wounded.
I'm referring to the members of right-wing extremist groups, marching like soldiers and carrying flags with symbols that closely recall those used by nazis and fascists in the Thirties and Forties.
I'm referring to all local authorities who allow creepy and perverse right-wing extremist demonstrations to take place in towns that were destroyed by World War I and by Fascism itself.
I'm referring to all national or local authorities who allow these kind of demonstrations to take place next to historical festivals, where scholars and journalists are discussing about some of the major events of 20th century.
I'm finally referring to all those who prefer to believe in an ideology, rather than to the facts, because it's easier, because they don't have to "waste their time" by reading books or by going out of the door to see what's going on, because an idea is more charming and more exciting than the mere facts.

And the facts are the these: on Saturday I took a train and went to Gorizia, my hometown. It was rainy there and at 10.00 A.M. only a few people where around on the main street, leading to and from the railway station.
While walking in the park "Rimembranza" I took a couple of pictures and right after I was stopped by a police officer who asked me to show my ID. The woman in uniform wanted also to know why I was in Gorizia, assuming I was there for the demonstration. "No, I'm here for the history festival", I answered briefly. Indeed, I was going to listen to a lecture about the Armenian genocide, as part of "éStoria", the renown festival of history which takes place in Gorizia every year.
At lunchtime I took a walk around the town up to the former border crossing "Casa Rossa" (Red house) on the Italian-Slovenian border. In the forecourt there was a circus tent. I asked the permission to take some pics but I was denied.
So I went back to the station, where a group of people from Gorizia, Nova Gorica and other nearby towns were gathering to demonstrate against the national meeting of "CasaPound" (an italian right-wing extremist organization), that was going to march through the town and celebrate the 100th anniversary of Italy's entrance in World War I, with the motto "Italy, Rise, fight and win!" as if it were a football championship.
"What fuck do you have to celebrate? Do you think a war has to be celebrated?", I would have liked to ask to those dark-dressed guys from all over Italy, singing the national anthem and carrying flags and banners that recall fascist and nazis mottos and symbols.
I would have liked to ask something similar to a soldier who was next to an armored truck, exhibited in front of the town theatre, but I preferred to remain silent, 'cause he was really polite and nice and I didn't want to be unpleasant with him.
Finally, I wouldn't have dislike to listen to another lecture within "éStoria" but I felt really tired and preferred to go back home.

These are the facts. Exciting? Touching? Moving? Not at all, but I prefer these ones to any kind of ideology, keeping in mind the words of Hannah Arendt ("The origins of totalitarianism").
"An ideology is quite literally what its name indicates: it is the logic of an idea. Its subject matter is history, to which the "idea" is applied; the result of this application is not a body of statements about something that is, but the unfolding of a process which is in constant change. The ideology treats the course of events as though it followed the same "law" as the logical exposition of its "idea." Ideologies pretend to know the mysteries of the whole historical process - the secrets of the past, the intricacies of the present, the uncertainties of the future - because of the logic inherent in their respective ideas."
And later on: "The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction {i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false {i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist."
Against any ideology, against any fiction, I declare the mere facts today's winners.
That's all



Gorizia 23 maggio 1915
Gorizia 23 maggio 1915
Gorizia 23 maggio 1915
Gorizia 23 maggio 1915
Gorizia 23 maggio 1915
Gorizia 23 maggio 1915
Gorizia 23 maggio 1915
Gorizia 23 maggio 1915
Gorizia 23 maggio 1915
Gorizia 23 maggio 1915
Gorizia 23 maggio 1915
Gorizia 23 maggio 1915
Gorizia 23 maggio 1915
Gorizia 23 maggio 1915
Gorizia 23 maggio 1915
Gorizia 23 maggio 1915
Gorizia 23 maggio 1915

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