May 9, 2012

Beppe Grillo? Lost in Translation...

Beppe Grillo
Beppe Grillo emerged as the big winner from yesterday’s local elections in Italy. The list of articles below should help you get an idea about what is going on. If anyone is interested in my opinion, I’d say that’s okay, I’m not worried about that. On the contrary, I think this might turn out to be a good thing. But that’s not what I wanted to talk about here. There’s something a bit more curious—and less binding…

I’ve always thought that Italian politics is often “lost in translation,” I mean, it’s difficult enough, for us Italian speaking people, to understand it, I can imagine how abstruse it may be to non-Italian speaking readers and commentators, who don’t have access, so to speak, to “first-hand referrals.” There’s an old Italian saying that goes “Traduttore, traditore” (the translator is a traitor), but this is perhaps not the biggest problem, except in the case of today’s Il Sole 24 ORE article titled “A Clear Message to the Political Forces” (see below), in which the translator/traitor felt like adding sua sponte an “explanation” to the term “Grillini,” which the author of the original Italian version, Stefano Folli, had used in his article. The translator added (into brackets) that Grillini means “the followers of gay rights activist Franco Grillini.” Unfortunately though, Grillini is the nickname to the members of Movimento5 Stelle, leaded by Beppe Grillo, who has nothing to do with journalist and cofounder of the gay rights movement Arcigay Franco Grillini ... Poor Stefano Folli (a very good man), and poor Sole 24 ORE!

[Italian Politics Updates - 4]

  1. PDL and League Routed as Grillo Movement Advances in Administrative Elections | Corriere della Sera
  2. A Vacuum in the Moderate Voting Bloc | Il Sole 24 ORE
  3. A Clear Message to the Political Forces | Il Sole 24 ORE
  4. Italy's political outsiders have their day in the absence of Berlusconi | The Guardian
  5. Left-wing, grassroots candidates lead local Italian vote | Ansa
  6. Italy local election sees gains for left and grassroots | BBC
  7. Napolitano calls on parties to reflect after local elections | Ansa


  1. I totally agree with you. One of the biggest problems/issues we have in Italy is that italian politics are always "lost in translation" especially since we probably have the worst journalism in the world, where articles are written not with the intent to inform but only to express the personal opinion of the journalist (be it left or right).

  2. Socialism, which today is more meaningless than it ever was, seems to take advantage of human weakness. After being conditioned long enough by the media concerned, half a population will opt for 'le changement maintenant'. This to avoid austerity and any painful remedies previously prescribed by a government intent on continuing to face an economical crisis on a far more realistic basis.

    In France the concerted objective of the nine candidates was more to overthrow Sarkozy, than to raise Hollande to great heights. This included middleman Bayrou, who seems to drift where the current takes him, harbouring the hope that he will eventually end up moored somewhere by someone kind and important enough. But when one goes against one's own convictions to contribute to defeat a President candidate that half the population of France believes in, it can never be done with impunity.

    In Italy it's probably a bit more complicated, but I suspect that the left-wing media, spurred on by Hollande's victory (by a resounding 1.63%) is making their presence felt more than ever. After all, the myth of socialism is international.
    Apparently no French flags were to be seen at the Bastille when Hollande's victoire glorieuse was announced. (Palestinian, Iranian, Turkish, you name it, etc.).
    Maybe Obama was also encouraged by Hollande's victory to make his gay announcement.

    It's Utopia time, when all is possible. Miracles are made. Debts and austerity are cast aside with disdain, everyone is 'normalised'. 'The family', naturally and nationally in its classic sense, no longer merits the amount of support it was previously given, and the borders are open to others, (to avoid mentioning the politically incorrect word 'immigrants') as long as they become 'socialists'. The more the merrier, for the future ballots, before future radicalism..