it is bright outside today, and with that a blazing cold, dipping into freezing temperatures on the clear nights. last night, standing out on the terrace, accompanied in solitude by a gathering of stars and scattered clouds, with the half moon presiding, i could smell the frost in the air, somewhere wafting down from the mountains miles distant, carried by a chilled breeze. i buried my nose in my knitted mittens and could still catch the faintest scent of last winter’s snow.
i love it and i hate it. i don’t mind the cold, but i can go inside if i want to. i don’t have to sleep outside the train station.
yesterday was the vote to keep the current prime minister, berlusconi, in office or boot him out. he passed by just a few votes. this is a guy who is probably up on the list of the biggest dill weed champions ever. i could use stronger words here, but there may be children reading, so i will keep my profanity to a minimum. he is the richest man in the country and owns 95% of the media. the news programs have little breaks where scantily clad women come out, flirt around, get crass comments thrown at them by the anchors, happily objectified because they know they get a hefty paycheck by allowing the nation to see most of them. in general the media here is crazy ridiculous in its objectification of women. it makes you wonder how any woman could stand it and go willing into it. but then surveys show that school girls would rather be one of those tv bodies than a doctor or teacher or anything else. because of money.
berlusconi does the sex with whomever he pleases, having been caught a number of times with underage girls. women cabinet members and leading officials are often ex-strippers. ties to the mafia? why not! he stays where he is because of money and fear. he buys off anyone because he can, which is probably the reason he is still in office after yesterday’s vote. of course everyone knows he does all these things, but he passed a law (with lots of bribes, we are sure; everyone has there price, i guess) that a prime minister cannot be put on trial while he is in office. so he is untouchable. he uses fear saying that if the people do ever manage to boot him out, the country would fall apart because he owns everything. strange though, that italy has a bigger debt than greece, ireland, and spain combined. also with him gone the immigrants would take over the country. this is the guy who breathed life into the whole ‘tow the refugee boats back to lybia’ thing. and so he stays.
this country’s current state of affairs is a testament to the ridiculousness of a land without the desire for their loving God and how much money owns us all. when you don’t do what you know is right because you have been offered millions of dollars, you have come to a point where you do not own your money, but it owns you; you have become a tool of evil.
this also all gives us very real reasons why Jesus came as a poor man. His kingdom is not of this world…..
the government has implemented extreme budget cuts on universities, and there was a giant student rally throughout rome that turned ugly. i was at the colosseum with phil and peter taking a roommate Chirstmas card photo, and we could see down the great street the mass of swarming anger, waving flags, shouting profanities through megaphones, smoking hashish and drinking (so i was told later by eli, who joined them for a little). they had marched in rage through the streets and at piazza del popolo the real violence hit. cars burning, paper bombs, looting, vandalism, and twenty two demonstrators in the hospital, forty more wounded, with fifty seven police on the injured side as well. i guess the question behind the madness of the rioters is why would people let everything go to hell for more money? its a good question. one i wish we didn’t have to ask. makes one wonder at the future of this country. in terms of political and economic destruction if they keep following a man who is leading them down the broad path of destruction. and also in terms of women ever gaining any societal freedom besides the ‘freedom’ to be a sex object and a house maid.
are you angry yet?
because then today, hanging out with eli, i was given the rundown on the insanity that is afghanistan. a few american soldiers get killed. so their friends murder an entire village. why? ‘oh, sorry, we thought they were taliban,’ they say. they weren’t. but the survivors sure are now. when the russians left they said they would wage war in afghanistan for thirty years to come, without soldiers. and then they sowed their demon land mine seeds. again a certain song comes to mind.
think of the worst things seen in movies, the most absurd scenes of chaos and destruction. these are the stories he tells me of how family and friends leave this earth forever. thanks to suicide bombers, thanks to american machine guns, thanks to a million people who get rich off of the deaths of others, making ever disturbingly creative ways to kills people. a suicide bomber struck just down the street from where he was working once. they could feel the shockwave shake their shop. he talks to me about dead bodies as if it is nothing. he has seen a few. i just finished the book the road where a father and his young son travel and survive in a post-apocalyptic america. after a while the father stops trying to hide the corpses from the boy. what is he hiding from him really, that is not already there?
and this is why i regret so many of my days spent playing games of war and destruction. i made enjoyment out of shooting people. i confess my sins in this way, of time wasted, of the lack of value of human life, of a desire for violence. and while we make it a game, somewhere in the world this crap actually happens.
and i talk of love. and i feel so defeated. i know He wins in the end. He has to. this is the Advent season still, where we wait for Him to come and make all things right. well i feel that anticipation now, more than ever before. give me some time to think and maybe i will come back with something a little less depressing.
God have mercy on us all.