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giovedì 25 giugno 2009

The Pleasure Of Conquest

The man who never paid

(Italian version)

When Berlusconi says he never paid a woman, I believe him. I think he's telling his truth.
Of course, he presents them with lots of cadeaux: bracelets, necklaces, cds with Neapolitan songs composed by himself. And then maybe a job in a tv show (or in the European Parlament, better still). But that doesn't mean he's paying, doesn't mean he expects anything in return. It's just... how did the ancient kings call it... Munificence, that's it. That doesn't mean he ever paid a woman.

The girls with an Eastern European accent, in Santa Claus costumes. The bunch of semi-naked ladies sailing to Villa Certosa, his Sardinian residence... the escort girls who admit they've spent one night with him... One of them may become a showgirl, another one a Minister, but none of these women has ever been paid by Berlusconi, how could you think such a thing? They all went to see him because they really like him. They love spending an evening with him, carefully laughing at his jokes, watching clips of his speeches and his villas on the big screen, listening to his old-fashioned songs. An evening like that may happen once in your lifetime, and you'll never be the same again. Your life-story will forever be divided in “Before” and “After You Went To Berlusconi's Party”. Who on earth would ask for money for something like that? You just go down on your knees and thank God.

“I've never paid a woman. I’ve never understood what would be the satisfaction if there isn’t the pleasure of conquest”. He told us so. He was not joking. He's not a whore magnet, he can't picture himself like that. He's still the fabulous stallion the girls can't help falling in love with.
It may not be a sex affair – the 72-year-old guy doesn't search for sex, but for that particular thrill: the Pleasure of Conquering. So what could be worse than a Prime Minister who divorces because of a sex addiction? A Prime Minister who's divorcing from reality, because he can't face it anymore. We could be ruled by a sex-addicted monarch (it has happened already), but not by a dumb one. That would be too dangerous, even for Italian standards.

Berlusconi has changed our history, our mind: our way of life, our dreams, everything has been reformatted and recreated by him in the 80s, when he was our tv tycoon. And then he changed our politics in the 90s, turned it upside down, as we shifted from the “Catholic vs. communist” struggle to the “Berlusconian vs. Anti-berlusconian” puddle. He fooled everyone, and nobody has fooled him yet: not until now. In fact, there's only one man in Italy who could defeat him, and that's himself. Should Berlusconi fall, that will be Berlusconi's last, and greatest victory.

That would mean that he really has come to believe the lies he has told us so many times: in the ghosts of Eternal Success, Pleasure and Luxury he gave us in the 80s. Those were the days, when he taught his salesmen to view the Italian Consumer as an “11-year old dumb boy”. And yes, that's how his tv shows treated us. And there was no alternative: no surprise that we have become, little by little, that not-so-clever-11-year old boy. What surprises me, is that he followed us, sometimes even preceded us, and now he's just as dumb as we are. Hey kid, what d'ya want? You want boobs? Ok, push the button. All the boobs you can watch and squeeze: easy, fun and free. Daddy's gonna pay tomorrow.

We should have suspected that some years ago, when he confessed he loved watching late night tv sales. Sometimes he actually picked up the phone and bought something (something he was selling: doesn't it sound disturbing, selling and buying stuff from himself, kind of... self-eroticism?) In the last days of his 2006 campaign, he told his audience that he was sure of his victory, because the night before he had personally held a bizarre poll: he made a few calls to a sexy hotline, and ask every girl: “Will you vote for me?” And every girl, guess what? Told him “Sure”. Now, it's not just the fact that he did such a stupid thing, but the fact that he told us – he told us to vote for him because sex-line girls can't be wrong – we should have understood right then: we were losing him.

And now he's lost. The perfect victim of Berlusconism: a hedonistic syndrome which pushes one to seek pleasure without ever getting satisfied. He can not sublimate his libido through the exercise of power: he has told us more than once that he doesn't enjoy his job as Prime Minister – soooo boring. So he's filling up his toy room with girls: easy, free and fun. But he just can't get enough.

His lawyer, Mr Ghedini, at the end of a bad day, could not deny Berlusconi had sex with an escort or two. He could not deny that someone paid them. All he could say was that Berlusconi couldn't be prosecuted for having sex with an escort, because he wasn't the person who actually paid her. He was just (in Ghedini's words) “the final user”. I swear, it doesn't sound less strange in Italian – what the hell is a “final user”? It's just legal slang, yet there's something biblical in the phrasing: as if those women had been created for a purpose, and they kept searching for it their whole lives long, until they finally found it: and their purpose was Being Finally Used By Berlusconi.

But what about him. How sad it must be to wake up one day and discover that those ladies don't love you, and they never did. They were just being paid to be used... but who was finally using who? You brought jewels, they brought microphones. How could they be so material? Whoever taught them to behave like that? Is there a conspiracy out there? Of course there is. And its name is Berlusconism.

Will you survive if you stop believing in yourself? Can you get through the summer without one of your favorite orgiastic pastimes? We've all seen you rise again from the dust a dozen times, but this time seems different. You're a little older, and you have to deal with that. That means facing the strongest enemy you ever had: yourself. Good luck.

(Sentitevi liberi di correggere, è un esperimento).

17 commenti:

  1. Peccato che sia già preso, potevi fare la versione inglese per ogni post...

  2. Good Leonardo, nice post (the umpteenth one!).

    Nel secondo paragrafo io userei showgirl al posto di soubrette e split invece di devided, mi suonerebbe meglio.

    Ps stai studiando l'nglese perché hai intenzione di trasferirti all'estero? O è una delle "i" della scuola dell'Utilizzatore/Corruttore?:)

  3. i18n Leonardo.
    After all, even Repubblica publishes the English version of a few articles...

  4. piccole dimenticanze: nel paragrafo di ghedini, c'è prima un "Berlusconi can be prosecuted for having sex with an escort", ma forse intendevi che *non* può essere perseguito; poco più avanti, doesn't sounds.

    poi, perché in questa versione scompare completamente ogni riferimento ad apicella? ma se è quello che nel mondo ci invidiano di più!

    infine, ho l'impressione che in inglese certe parti siano parecchio più morbide, e in qualche modo alcune sfumature vadano perse; ad esempio le questuanti qui questuano molto meno che in: "Forse è ancora più triste scoprirsi utilizzati, magari da una signorina qualunque che faceva la simpatica ma in realtà pensava solo al regalino, al rimborso, alla raccomandazione, al disbrigo della pratica."

    io credo che invece questa parte andrebbe resa con più cura in inglese che in italiano, perché forse è la cosa più difficile per alcuni stranieri, che magari vivono in una repubblica o in una monarchia costituzionale in cui l'aristocrazia non conta veramente granché, per cui hanno perso l'abitudine alla genuflessione, all'inchino, alla risata obbligata e quant'altro rende così unico questo bel paese.


  5. "how do they called that"

    io ci vedo un errore, poi non so

    "it has happened yet"

    non already?


  6. Sto correggendo a tutt'andare.
    Certe cose comunque non le riesco a tradurre tout court, le riscrivo e basta.

  7. "cadeaux" lo usano solo in Italia :) (e ovviamente in Francia) "gifts" please... "how do the ancient kings called that", are these kings still alive ? "how did" please (and it sounds terrible anyway, sorry). "no-one of those women have never been paid by Berlusconi" -> "none of them was ever paid".... "If Berlusconi will fall" -> "Should Berlusconi fall"... "we were loosing him", is he a dog you are unleashing? if not, that's "losing"... "doesn't sounds", there's an "s" too much... "what the hell a “final user” is" -> "what the hell is a final user"... "finally" is a false friend, you probably want "eventually" or "in the end"... "We all have seen" -> we have all seen... and I don't think "material" is the word you want there...

    Lo stile e' tipicamente italiano, ma vabbe' ;) kudos for the effort.

  8. - più che "the final user" (manco poi lui la ammazzasse), "the end user". Se non ti torna bene con lo stile, allora "the ultimate user"

    - How sad IT must be

    - and nobody fooled him (meglio che "no-one", e senza lo "yet", tanto c'è un until now" subito dopo)

    - se "material" fa il verso a Madonna, ok; altrimenti "clumsy".

    più quello che ha scritto GiacomoL (anche se più che "gift" userei "little present")

  9. ps: ti sei messo il fuso iraniano per solidarietà?

  10. Sì, una specie.
    * Grazie ancora. Però "cadeaux" resta, ha quel sapore cosmo-cialtrone che serve.
    * Resiste anche "final", proprio perché non ha senso (e ugualmente il "finally" successivo): è il legalese che diventa nonsense.
    * Salverei anche "material", proprio perché suona strano, ma il senso è quello (webster: "Concerned with worldly rather than spiritual interests").

    Comunque l'obiettivo non è una prosa perfetta: se si sente un po' di sforzo è anche meglio.

  11. bravo leo!

    -nella prima riga a me suonerebbe meglio 'he has never paid', no? lo stesso alla fine, 'it doesn't mean he has ever paid etc.'
    -metterei gli articoli sempre (*it* doesn't mean etc.), anche se a noi suonano ripetitivi in inglese formale scritto ci vanno
    -none of ... HAS ever been paid
    -it's no surprise we have become etc.
    -as if those women HAD been created
    -they kept searching... all their lives (long non è necessario mi pare)
    -facing the strongEST eneymy you'VE ever had

  12. un altro:
    sexy hotline è un simpatico italianismo -- piuttosto, sex hotline

  13. the 72-year-old guy (year va al singolare)

  14. quando dici "presents them" non si capisce. "present" l'ho sentito raramente usare cosi' ma il problema e' soprattutto "them": non si capisce che e' riferito alle donne.

    vabbe', per quel che vale la mia esperienza, tradurre dall'italiano all'inglese e' piu' difficile che scrivere in inglese direttamente perche' uno ha in mente le espressioni italiane e tende a riprodurle un po' meccanicamente.

    in bocca al lupo per l'esperimento.

  15. amici in giro x il mondo hanno molto apprezzato questo post in english, sarebbe proprio carino continuare (tanto c'è chi diffonde il verbo eheh)


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