I feel for the kid. He is obviously an introvert stuck in a family of extroverts – this was my situation as a child and teen, and it was very difficult. It was made worse by the fact that I was viciously bullied by a family member (who frequently got other family members to join in). I hope poor Barron at least gets support at home – I sense he does. His mother seems very good as do his sibs. But he is now being bullied from the outside. Very unfair. He did not ask for this. I hope people will leave him be, as Chelsea Clinton requested.
I love Italy, but no amount of love for it can help me deal with how easily one can find Fascist — and Nazi — paraphernalia at street markets and even in legitimate stores. It’s very disturbing. I’m not talking about people who might want to collect, say, vintage World War II items. That I can understand. I’m talking about things made today – Mussolini calendars, and lighters with Swastikas on them and so forth. Really icky.
From a liquor store in a trendy Roman ‘hood;
from that same store – yeah, sure, I’ll have some Chateau Adolf and a Barolo Benito;
from a store in a swanky part of Rome;
from a kiosk where they sell newspapers – who wouldn’t want a 2017 Mussolini calendar, with a ‘fascist songs/hymns’ CD?;
and the rest are from an open market in Perugia. This table was set up among the ones featuring cheeses and honey and crafts:
not really my taste, but I gather some might want it on their wall;
everyone’s fave anti-Semitic pope;
lighters that say “I’m a Nazi f**k”;
ashtrays, in case your guests aren’t merely Fascists, but also smokers!;
and still more wine with creepy labels.
And I left one out – check it out on my Instagram. We found it at a local fair in Umbria. Really would not want it on my mantelpiece.
The attacks started two years ago today. I say “started” because, of course, they continued at the Hyper Cacher a couple of days later. Here is a piece I wrote on the matter and on the left’s unfortunate need to calibrate and mitigate the crimes with “buts” and “what abouts” and all other manner of distraction.
Today would have been my brother’s 68th birthday. I wrote about him here (on the anniversary of his death) and I won’t add much in this post, other than to say he would absolutely love this political climate – not the divisions or anger, but the vibrant, rebellious aspects. And it would be so great to have him to talk to about it. In his honour, I post two terrific columns about Obama’s disastrous legacy. Alan would agree with both of them! The first is from Lord Black; the second from John Robson.
I would say my list from last year could easily be repeated/continued, except for #14, which I accomplished and have absolutely no intention of doing again.
These wonderful, rather intimidating (loud, travel in packs, large) birds were all over Rome, but nowhere more so than at the Protestant Cemetery. Here are a few pictures, taken late November.
This has been making the rounds on the internets, and I think it’s lovely. Apparently, these were Jacques Brel’s New Year’s wishes for 1968 and they are just as suited to 2017. I’m too lazy to translate them for you, so if you can’t read French, it’s time to learn.
Friends, readers, please enjoy this New Year’s Eve greeting, brought to you by ABBA. May your 2017 be as excellent as ABBA’s lyrics. Not being ironic – I believe they were among the best pop music lyricists in modern times. And they weren’t even writing in their own languages. I love all the Scando-angst in this song, and the Bergman-esque angles in the video. (On another note, what I wouldn’t give for a dress like the one Agneta is wearing.)
…and to all a good night. (More numinous here.)
Oh, how I love Kathleen Ferrier.
Sing a carol written by a Jew! There are plenty. Today, I offer you this one, from a couple of crooners you might recognize: