February 15, 2008

Si, puo fare!

I haven't heard much from my politically-interested friends in Italy lately about the debacle that is their government (yeah, yeah, like we can talk). In the shower this morning, I was listening to a report from NPR about the upcoming April elections in Italy. Berlusconi is, of course, confident that he will win handily because Berlusconi is, well, a megalomaniac. But he's going to get a run for his money from Walter Veltroni, the mayor of Rome, and a well-respected politician. It was hilarious, though, to hear Veltroni shout, "Yes, we can! Si, puo fare! Yes, we can!" He unashamedly has ripped off Barack Obama's call to arms - he translates it into Italian but also just shouts it in English. I laughed out loud when I heard this. It shouldn't surprise me, considering the unbelieveable popularity of dubbing movies and of coolifying tshirts with English (real or maccheronico).

When I first got to Rome a little over a year ago, my colleagues mocked me for not following Italian politics because surely newspapers in America had a special section for news from Italy. By the summer, they wanted to know who I thought the front-runner for the US democratic presidential nomination would be. It's the little things that make you realize just how big, powerful, and influential the United States can be. Yes, we can.


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