We leave in about 36 hours. Still no health pass. Panicking? Who, me?
I was really hoping to get this settled before we left, but there’s another day of work ahead in France, so who knows, maybe a miracle will happen. In the meantime, a few things to remember:
I’m taking my laptop with us, but will not necessarily stick to any sort of schedule here. I’ll post when I’m moved to do so, probably mostly pictures but who knows. Part of the excitement of this trip will be getting out of the usual ruts, so let’s hope the next rut isn’t too trying.
Meanwhile, for some reason I started thinking about Italy the other day. Most of us here are old enough to remember when Italian voters put an adult-film actress in their parliament. Ilona Staller, stage name Cicciolina, took office in the ’80s sometime.
And while I’m a modern person and believe there’s no reason a porn star can’t be a policymaker, as I recall, Staller’s career seemed to be mostly dedicated to, as we say today, brand-building. If you can stand the exploding pop-ups and CSS, here’s a Daily Mail story about what she’s up to these days, now that she’s 70-ish. One of the subheads says so much: Between 1987 and 1991, she grabbed headlines with outlandish policy pledges. It would seem so. She offered to have sex with Saddam Hussein in return for peace in Iraq, for one. She married artist Jeff Koons, the guy who floated two basketballs in an aquarium and called it art, obviously a kindred spirit. And now she’s trying to get her ex-MP pension back, after it was reduced by two-thirds.
At the time, as an ignorant American, I recall reading a little more about how it happened – Staller’s career, that is. The upshot was that Italy is so deeply cynical about its politics that the idea of electing a porn actress who’s never going to get anything done, just dick around and make headlines, is seen as n.b.d.
And I think we’ve become Italy.
Look at the current crop of morons vying to become the next Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene or Madison Cawthorn. I was keeping notes on them for a while, but have abandoned the effort. There are so many, most of them young and capable only of barking slogans into a camera while promising to go to Washington and fight the deep state.
Karoline Leavitt, in New Hampshire, called Black Lives Matter a Marxist terrorist organization. Graham Allen, in South Carolina, actually has the oldest cliché in reality TV in his pinned tweet: “I’m not going to DC to make friends.” And of course we can’t forget Caitlyn Jenner, the deeply unserious candidate for California governor, and yes I know she only got 1 percent in the recall vote, but still.
(However. If you have Netflix and are following the Untold series of sports docs, I can recommend the one on Bruce Jenner and his Olympic decathlon experience. I learned a lot about the decathlon, and despised Caitlin maybe 1 percent less afterward.)
Anyway, I think we’ve become Italy. These people are the Cicciolina of their time, treating the deadly serious work of guiding the nation as yet another reality TV show. If we’re not doomed outright, I think we’ve turned the corner to it.
Not that I wish to leave you with bummer thoughts! I’m looking forward to my future anyway — the next four weeks of it. Watch this space. I’ll try to make it worth your while.