Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Silvio Berlusconi, the Prime Minister of Italy, can been seen naked in this painting, dallying with Mara Carfagna, a female minister, whom he once said he would like to marry. (It's his face and hers on the torsos.)
Reproductions of this painting have been on display everywhere in Italy. "Bunga-bunga" is what's going on in Italy.
(The term sounds sooo out-of-date ... sixties ... heavy drinking, sex, let it all hang out ... it's not in the dictionary, but it's IN in Italy! )
Silvio Berlusconi and many other semi-naked ladies can be seen on prime-time news in Italy, where the 74-year-old Prime Minister uses his power, his position, and his own libido, to display his fantasies.
Italians are enjoying television with belly dancers, hookers, teenagers imitating hookers, and big-breasted Italian women, during the news, as well as in the commercials.
The Prime Minister is having a ball. He has 95 % of the TV market under his control. He's not only shaping the way Italian women are seen, he's also shaping the way they see themselves.
Alas, it echoes and reverberates. Other countries, and many other Europeans are promoting gender equality, and there's Silvio, jitterbugging, boogieing, bump-and-grinding around -- showing everyone that women are hot-to-trot sex objects.
Right now, Italy is the 74th worst country in the world, in terms of gender equality -- lower than Colombia, Peru, and Vietnam.
(Yow ! Colombia -- the worst of the worst as far as I'm concerned. I was trapped there with a wrong visa the Consul deliberately gave me, so that I couldn't leave the country -- what a nightmare! Maybe I'm overly sensitive about women being treated as sex objects, because of what happened to me in Colombia! )
Well, that's a post to tackle some other time.
In Italy, an entire generation has grown up in a society where soft-core porn is part of the daily news. It’s been 23 years since Berlusconi’s introduced voluptuous women, known as "veline" -- literally “scraps of paper” -- parading through the news segments.
Today in Italy, showgirls appear on every channel. Some, appointed by Berlusconi, actually have official positions in the government. Polls show that young Italian girls are dreaming of becoming TV veline -- not doctors, lawyers, or business owners.
Though his government has tried to reduce Italy's rising domestic violence, Berlusconi apologizes for Italy's growing rape problem, saying with a grin, “We don’t have enough soldiers to stop rape, because our women are so beautiful.”
When the soon-to-be ex–Mrs. Berlusconi, Veronica Lario, protested her husband’s behavior, the right-wing newspaper headlines called her an “ungrateful showgirl,” and splashed topless pictures of her from her former career on their front pages. (Yes, Italy's first lady was a topless actress.)
Will Berlusconi be ousted? He's the Western world's and Europe's richest head of government, and can buy, apparently, whatever support he needs. The opposition party keeps saying he won't win again, but they said that four years ago.
Anyhow, the ancient roads, old towns, churches, shops, homes -- Italy is like venturing into a history book. But Silvio Berlusconi and bunga-bunga make it a no-no place -- not for me to visit again.
London's Sunday Telegraph, November 28, has a fascinating article --"New penis for statue in Silvio Berlusconi's Rome office." The reporter writes: "The reported cost to taxpayers of the restoration – 70,000 Euros ($92, 574) – prompted criticism at a time when the Italian government has slashed millions of Euros from the country's arts and heritage budget, and parts of Pompeii are crumbling into dust.
"The 6ft-high sculpture, which dates from around AD175 and stands next to a similarly proportioned statue of Venus, is on loan from a museum and displayed in Palazzo Chigi, Mr. Berlusconi's office in central Rome.
"The marble Roman statue of Mars has had its snapped-off penis rebuilt and reattached on the specific orders of the prime minister. The new penis has been fitted with a magnet so that it can be easily removed if, in the future, a more comprehensive restoration is carried out ... when the statues return to the Baths of Diocletian museum in Rome.
"They replaced a hand which had broken off Mars and also restored a hand that was missing from Venus."
Well, history books say that penises were often hacked off ancient Roman statues, either as souvenirs or out of prudishness. So the Bunga-bunga guy is ... well ... he's a prudishness fixer, who dearly loves works of art.
Okay, tune in tomorrow, and I'll tell you about works of art and bunga, in Colombia.