Monday, April 10, 2006


sunday 9th april

i don't know if this story made the headlines outside of italy but;
yesterday was the live, televised funeral of an 18 month old baby, tommaso. i didn't watch as i simply don't like the organised hysteria, the weeping and wailing and people applauding coffins. i guess that's a cultural thing, i'm from a working class, northern english background, from a very close and loving family but one which perhaps has a different ideas to what i see here in italy. different ideas of respect and the like in the case of a loss, a death, hat is sure. for example - a banal and insignificant thing but interesting to me all the same. a short time ago the grandmother of a very close friend passed away. iwas not particularly close to the 'signora', my partner however was and the old lady was close to my children. anyway nic couldn't make the funeral but i could, so naturally i attended. a catholic mass. i am not religious in any way and have certain issues with the catholic church in particular but that would in no way stop me from attending the funeral, i simply had to, as a mark of respect to the lady and as a gesture of friendship and support to my friends. i went to church in black suit, white shirt, black tie - as is 'tradition' in our part of the world, i couldn't contemplate otherwise.
the interesting things was that everyone else was dreesed very casually, jeans, tee-shirts, leather bomber jackets - comfortable and i suppose practical clothes, the funeral lasts a couple of hours then life returns to normal for most of the attendees. i felt very out of place, i felt 'wrong'. however one of the major comments, apart from the nice service, was about the elegant gentleman in the suit. apparently the family was very moved at the gesture. moved at the very obvious gesture of respect whereas i felt most uncomfortably over dressed, like i'd made a gaffe - but i couldn't contemplate attending dressed otherwise.
cultural differences - my attire was strange to, yet most appreciated by the italians, and was, personally obligatory yet strangely uncomfortable to me. as they say here...."Boh!?"

anyway Tommaso.
tommaso was kidnapped a month ago, a month in which we followed the search for him and his kidnappers daily, only to find out in the end that he'd been clubbed to death hours after the kidnapping, because he was crying! they panicked apparently - poor bastards it must have been a terrible strain... no-one knows the true story, the mafia has been mentioned, the father was involved, the father wasn't involved, the killer's wife was most certainly involved - the mother of a 6 year old with heart problems who is now in the public eye. the italian media are a bunch of hysteria-mongering shits if you ask me. tonights news brought it to our attention that this little boy, if he survives his ailments will be forever branded as his father's son and effecually ostracised by society.
he's six for goodness sake! if we brand him now it's obvious he'll be forever in the shadow of his father's crime. in my opinion we should have been informed of his existence, he's going to live with relatives in sicily where hopefully he'll find love, support and a good home. although according to the news the village where his relatives live is a typical small town where children are held accountable for the rights and wrongs of the family - now they all know he's going there!
according to the journalists of TG5, hopefully he'll eventually be able to move away to a big city where he, with his common surname will be able to blend into the background, become anonymous.
absolutely fucking brilliant!
they could have just respected his right, as a 6 year old, to remain anonymous now instead of planting the seed of potential stupidity into the heads of the potentially stupid - a dangerous mix.

tommaso was 18 months old, my boys are just two months older than him. and i worry, not about them - i simply don't have that panic about the baby system set up in me, ( i watch them like a hawk, but from a safe distance. i worry about their futures, in case they turn out like me. i'll consider it a serious personal failure as a parent if they end up with my fears and nervous problems.) i worry about myself - insomuch as what i feel should be done to the murderers of Tommaso, if it was them of course. there's a gut instinct in me which has gradually emerged over the past few years, which i don't like that much as it often involves making people who commit vile crimes, pay a suitable price. i would quite happily kick the shit out of someone who harmed my family (ANY of my family). I couldn't kill. I know that for sure, or do real physical damage - psychological damage yes however - perhaps i am a real bastard..?
i'm just not as easy going as i was. mind you i used to feel no remorse about flattening someone who pushed me on the dancefloor or joining in a ruck against the wankers who where giving us lip for having long hair. but that all passed, or so i thought.
another unfinished ramble.
at least i'm consistent eh?

Tommaso, i couldn't read about you in the papers and i couldn't find it in me to watch that much on t.v. but it doesn't mean i don't care.


State of Being said...

I've stopped watching most broadcast news in the US for the the reasons you mention about Italian media - lack of depth, sensationalism, fear-mongering, etc.

I caught something briefly about Tommaso, but it was as I was passing the channel that broadcasts foreign news (and that half hour was Italian).


michael said...

After a while you do start to think you are living in a madhouse and the inmates are running riot, maiming,raping, murdering, spreading their foul germs ( or fowl germs most recently!) don't you? In the U.K. it's the same ofcourse. The media jumps on some new bandwagon be it global warming, peodophiles, bird flu, AIDS, etc. and frightens us all half to death for a while and moves on to something else.