This political poster was all over via Cavour last week and for some reason (and I have no idea of this man’s politics, but he works in the assessor’s department of Municipio VIII), it really creeped me out. The whole stoic gaze seems very “dictator” to me and a friend, without me even saying anything, stopped in front of the poster as well, commenting that she found the picture a bit strange. Maybe it’s the way the arms are crossed, the way the hair is “just so”, and the way his eyes kind of penetrate into nothingness. I can’t even imagine how much time is spent cultivating this sort of portrait. The funny thing is that about 15 minutes later when I walked back, all the posters were covered with something by the PdL saying the women on their party wouldn’t stand for a leader who clearly had no respect for women. I don’t often speculate about politics on the blog, but I really feel like this article from the New York Times really captures a lot of the issues happening here and the reasons why Berlusconi has remained, and probably will still remain, in charge even in the face of all the scandal.
Another random fact that I learned last week is that Rome is no longer the “Comune di Roma,” but “Roma Capitale.” I guess we needed a way to make ourselves feel more important than everywhere else in the country, but it seems a bit silly if you ask me. The law went into effect in October, but I’ve just now started to notice it popping up everywhere. I can’t help but think it’s a silly bit of PR generation and a way to give away more of the city’s money in printing up new letterhead, etc. Also a bit of overcompensation, as if to remind people that we’re bigger and better than Milan or Turin. Don’t worry guys, we don’t need a fancy new label to know that we’re cooler! (It’s a joke – don’t write me hate comments if you’re from either of those cities).