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nikkibong
12-05-2010, 05:34 PM
A TNR blogger flags (http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/79650/can-silvio-berlusconi-sink-any-lower) this disgusting episode reported by julia ioffe:

Their favorite activity, however, seems to be holding joint press conferences. At one of their most memorable appearances together, in Moscow, in 2008, a Russian journalist named Natalia Melikova asked Putin about his apparent marital trouble and rumored romance with the young and indecently plastic gymnast-cum-parliamentarian Alina Kabaeva. When asked about the liaison, Putin’s face hardened. “There is not a word of truth in this story,” he said. Berlusconi, giggling, regarded the exchange. When Putin had finished answering, Berlusconi cocked his hands, and, imitating a gun, fired with a silent “Pow! Pow!” at Melikova. It had only been a year and a half since Anna Politkovskaya, an investigative journalist, had been shot in her Moscow elevator, and Melikova was reduced to tears. On the dais, Berlusconi laughed, and Putin nodded.

...this seems like as good as a time any to put in a request for a "What's The Matter With Italy?" diavlog.

PLEASE NO GENERIC IR PROFESSORS pontificating about "europe," but rather a DV devoted solely to this most beguiling (and beautiful) of countries. i think the rot extends far beyond the merely political "arena" (good word here) . . .and would prefer a more thorough sociological/historical analysis.

British writer Tobias Jones wrote this (http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Heart-Italy-Tobias-Jones/dp/0865477248) superb book on the country and would be an excellent interlocuter.

Ocean
12-05-2010, 05:58 PM
I wouldn't blame the whole country for what Berlusconi does. He's somewhat sui generis.

nikkibong
12-05-2010, 06:02 PM
I wouldn't blame the whole country for what Berlusconi does.

who said i do? i'm not "bashing" italy. but it is a strange and beguiling country - so sophisticated, so graceful, yet so vulgar.


He's somewhat sui generis.

yet that's not really true. he comes from of a long tradition of italian leaders (usually on the right) who have tremendous amounts of power and influence throughout all sorts of aspects of italian life and society - media, sports, industry, government. and the people who populate his ruling coalition are right out of the (not so distant) fascist past. literally. NB: i'm not saying they are the "intellectual heirs" of fascists. they are fascists - in the upheavals of the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, they were quite open in their embrace of f word.

Ocean
12-05-2010, 06:39 PM
who said i do? i'm not "bashing" italy. but it is a strange and beguiling country - so sophisticated, so graceful, yet so vulgar.

I don't know enough about Italy to respond to this. Most of the Italians and their descendants that I met when I was growing up were from the Northern part of Italy. I think that there are considerable differences between North and South. I always had the impression that there's a lot of classism. That may explain the paradoxes that you find as they represent features of different classes and customs.


yet that's not really true. he comes from of a long tradition of italian leaders (usually on the right) who have tremendous amounts of power and influence throughout all sorts of aspects of italian life and society - media, sports, industry, government. and the people who populate his ruling coalition are right out of the (not so distant) fascist past. literally. NB: i'm not saying they are the "intellectual heirs" of fascists. they are fascists - in the upheavals of the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, they were quite open in their embrace of f word.

So you think that Berlusconi is a typical Italian? I guess the Italians I knew of, tended to be more careful about the image that they project. Berlusconi seems very clownish in a certain distasteful way. I think I understand the aspect of entitlement that you seem to point at in your comment.

By the way, my comment wasn't meant to antagonize you. The interest in having a larger picture discussed that you describe in this comment, wasn't so clear (to me) in your first one.

I agree that it would be interesting to hear a discussion about the topic. There's some talk about concerns of rising fascism in some parts of Europe.

bjkeefe
12-05-2010, 06:49 PM
... a long tradition of italian leaders (usually on the right) who have tremendous amounts of power and influence throughout all sorts of aspects of italian life and society - media, sports, industry, government. and the people who populate his ruling coalition are right out of the (not so distant) fascist past. literally. NB: i'm not saying they are the "intellectual heirs" of fascists. they are fascists - in the upheavals of the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, they were quite open in their embrace of f word.

Wait a minute. Ratzinger's actually from Germany.

;)

operative
12-05-2010, 06:54 PM
A TNR blogger flags (http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/79650/can-silvio-berlusconi-sink-any-lower) this disgusting episode reported by julia ioffe:



...this seems like as good as a time any to put in a request for a "What's The Matter With Italy?" diavlog.

PLEASE NO GENERIC IR PROFESSORS pontificating about "europe," but rather a DV devoted solely to this most beguiling (and beautiful) of countries. i think the rot extends far beyond the merely political "arena" (good word here) . . .and would prefer a more thorough sociological/historical analysis.

British writer Tobias Jones wrote this (http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Heart-Italy-Tobias-Jones/dp/0865477248) superb book on the country and would be an excellent interlocuter.

Many problems with Italy, one being that it's essentially two different countries--the difference between North and South in Italy is far more pronounced than in America, and even compared to the differences in Belgium (while they speak the same language in Italy, unlike Belgium, there are some significant differences between northern and southern Italian).

Berlusconi is a pretty slimy guy, those policy-wise I'd prefer him to the far lefty socialist who briefly got power not too long ago. Italy certainly needs better leaders.

graz
12-05-2010, 07:22 PM
Berlusconi is a pretty slimy guy, those policy-wise I'd prefer him to the far lefty socialist who briefly got power not too long ago.
What a shocker. Operative taking the side of an authoritarian thug over a perceived leftist (no name necessary?), regardless of the impact or implications.
Sounds like a typical North/South or Republican/Democrat divide. How simple is that?

Many problems with Italy, one being that it's essentially two different countries--the difference between North and South in Italy is far more pronounced than in America, and even compared to the differences in Belgium (while they speak the same language in Italy, unlike Belgium, there are some significant differences between northern and southern Italian). He did ask politely, didn't he?

PLEASE NO GENERIC IR PROFESSORS pontificating about "europe,"

operative
12-05-2010, 07:28 PM
What a shocker. Operative taking the side of an authoritarian thug over a perceived leftist (no name necessary?), regardless of the impact or implications.

Prodi, and yeah, his name wasn't necessary. The implications of Prodi or a similar economically suicidal fool running the country would be an economic decline, so yes, I'll take the boorish thug over the suicidal lefty.



Sounds like a typical North/South or Republican/Democrat divide. How simple is that?

Except it's not typical. There will be divisions in any non-homogenous, spread-out state, but Italy is, among developed nations, is probably the starkest.

graz
12-05-2010, 07:29 PM
yet that's not really true. he comes from of a long tradition of italian leaders (usually on the right) who have tremendous amounts of power and influence throughout all sorts of aspects of italian life and society - media, sports, industry, government. and the people who populate his ruling coalition are right out of the (not so distant) fascist past. literally. NB: i'm not saying they are the "intellectual heirs" of fascists. they are fascists - in the upheavals of the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, they were quite open in their embrace of f word.
I can't provide you with a conclusive answer to your expansive question. But I can highly recommend this: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1023490/

graz
12-05-2010, 07:55 PM
Except it's not typical.
That's my point. But you've reduced it to simple divides, as is your wont.

There will be divisions in any non-homogenous, spread-out state, but Italy is, among developed nations, is probably the starkest.
Again, thanks for the obvious. If you have any actual insight, feel free.

operative
12-05-2010, 07:59 PM
That's my point. But you've reduced it to simple divides, as is your wont.


Again, thanks for the obvious. If you have any actual insight, feel free.

Here's my proposal: split up Italy. Haven't heard that one floated too much. If Belgium's going to split up eventually (it probably will), Italy should too.

graz
12-05-2010, 08:00 PM
Here's my proposal: split up Italy.

Okay. Let's do it. Just Nike!

Wonderment
12-05-2010, 09:29 PM
so sophisticated, so graceful, yet so vulgar.

Sounds like a hot date (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_g19C39QfVDA/R9j19aHMozI/AAAAAAAAAIE/TKluREiWrRs/s320/Ashley_Alexandra_Dupre_Spitzer_call_girl.jpg)for Elliot Spitzer.

nikkibong
12-05-2010, 10:15 PM
Many problems with Italy, one being that it's essentially two different countries--the difference between North and South in Italy is far more pronounced than in America, and even compared to the differences in Belgium (while they speak the same language in Italy, unlike Belgium, there are some significant differences between northern and southern Italian).

Berlusconi is a pretty slimy guy, those policy-wise I'd prefer him to the far lefty socialist who briefly got power not too long ago. Italy certainly needs better leaders.

i'm not sure how much you know about italian history (though i have my suspicions), but it's woefully reductive to say that it is "two countries." (yes, yes, we all know the cliches about Milan being more teutonic than latin.) if anything, italy is dozens of countries. (and on the linguistic point, dialectic differences are actually quite marked from region to region, it's not a simple southern versus northern issue.) italy wasn't a unified country - a country, period - until 1861. prior to that, it was essentially a network of feuding city-states.

and, for what its worth, burlesconi derives much of his political support from the prosperous, cosmopolitan north, and not the supposedly backwards heel of the boot.

you remind me a bit of matthew yglesias -- an expert on everything, yet nothing.

nikkibong
12-05-2010, 10:19 PM
I can't provide you with a conclusive answer to your expansive question. But I can highly recommend this: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1023490/

will certainly check it out, thanks.

operative
12-05-2010, 10:36 PM
i'm not sure how much you know about italian history (though i have my suspicions), but it's woefully reductive to say that it is "two countries." (yes, yes, we all know the cliches about Milan being more teutonic than latin.) if anything, italy is dozens of countries. (and on the linguistic point, dialectic differences are actually quite marked from region to region, it's not a simple southern versus northern issue.) italy wasn't a unified country - a country, period - until 1861. prior to that, it was essentially a network of feuding city-states.

and, for what its worth, burlesconi derives much of his political support from the prosperous, cosmopolitan north, and not the supposedly backwards heel of the boot.

you remind me a bit of matthew yglesias -- an expert on everything, yet nothing.

Heh. I won't claim to be an expert on Italian history. Outside of reading The Prince, studying Italian fascism, and knowing the broad outline of Italian history, I'm not all that knowledgeable on the subject. But I took a class as an undergrad with a professor whose expertise was in immigration and social politics in several European states, and who had done some studying in Italy, so some of my views on the matter are reflective of hers. Italy is pretty boring to me, especially compared to China and Japan.

graz
12-05-2010, 10:52 PM
... Italy is pretty boring to me ...

Thank you Mr. Grayson. You were the bore in question, not Italy.

operative
12-05-2010, 10:56 PM
Thank you Mr. Grayson. You were the bore in question, not Italy.

Someone's a little defensive of Italy, a country whose record isn't all that impressive. You can see a country's 20th century significance by how they colonized--England had the least bad colonial system, covering the most diverse swath of territory. France had a perpetually bigoted system that left more instability. Italy was a pathetic little goon country that got in too late and couldn't even hang on to Ethiopia for more than a few years--basically, the Ethiopians pwned them, a testament both to Ethiopia and the ineptness of the Italians. Italy gave us Mussolini, a comical, blustering goon who was the dimwitted henchman to the main villain of the 20th century drama. At least Italians aren't as pompous as the French.

nikkibong
12-05-2010, 10:59 PM
Someone's a little defensive of Italy, a country whose record isn't all that impressive. You can see a country's 20th century significance by how they colonized--England had the least bad colonial system, covering the most diverse swath of territory. France had a perpetually bigoted system that left more instability. Italy was a pathetic little goon country that got in too late and couldn't even hang on to Ethiopia for more than a few years--basically, the Ethiopians pwned them, a testament both to Ethiopia and the ineptness of the Italians. Italy gave us Mussolini, a comical, blustering goon who was the dimwitted henchman to the main villain of the 20th century drama. At least Italians aren't as pompous as the French.

wow, now i remember why i can barely stand the forums here anymore. in all sincerity, fuck off. if you don't find italy "interesting," why weigh in on this thread at all? just to pollute what could have been an interesting discussion?

it's easy to determine the intellectual and spiritual depth of someone who finds china (!) more interesting than korea. buh bye.

nikkibong
12-05-2010, 11:00 PM
Someone's a little defensive of Italy, a country whose record isn't all that impressive. You can see a country's 20th century significance by how they colonized--England had the least bad colonial system, covering the most diverse swath of territory. France had a perpetually bigoted system that left more instability. Italy was a pathetic little goon country that got in too late and couldn't even hang on to Ethiopia for more than a few years--basically, the Ethiopians pwned them, a testament both to Ethiopia and the ineptness of the Italians. Italy gave us Mussolini, a comical, blustering goon who was the dimwitted henchman to the main villain of the 20th century drama. At least Italians aren't as pompous as the French.

then why do you like japan you stupid motherfucker?

operative
12-05-2010, 11:23 PM
then why do you like japan you stupid motherfucker?

You couldn't throw in this pearl of a "point" into your prior post?

The answer is very obvious. Japan succeeded at pretty much everything that Italy failed at. They found leadership that was not merely blustering fools. They succeeded in their colonial ambitions. They have been a far stronger and significant country than Italy for the last 100 years. Italy was the Fredo to Germany's Michael Corleone, and now they're just the Fredo to several Euro countries.

Japan's been in an economic funk, but they have still been far more interesting for all of their history. Oh, and Japanese cinema is far greater than Italian cinema (or French cinema, for that matter).

nikkibong
12-05-2010, 11:31 PM
You couldn't throw in this pearl of a "point" into your prior post?

The answer is very obvious. Japan succeeded at pretty much everything that Italy failed at. They found leadership that was not merely blustering fools. They succeeded in their colonial ambitions. They have been a far stronger and significant country than Italy for the last 100 years. Italy was the Fredo to Germany's Michael Corleone, and now they're just the Fredo to several Euro countries.

Japan's been in an economic funk, but they have still been far more interesting for all of their history. Oh, and Japanese cinema is far greater than Italian cinema (or French cinema, for that matter).

goal post moving -- japanese colonialism was far more racially chauvinistic than french colonialism, yet you upbraided french colonialism on the basis of its racial supremacist bent. on the one hand, you take a cooly pragmatic stance on colonialism, championing grotesque japanese "competence," on the other, you pretend to be a humanitarian. but it's obvious you are just looking for any available way to get in an anti-gallic cheap shot. (like you know ANYTHING about france or french people.)

but more broadly, what you fail to see is that this is not a contest. one can have interest in both italy and japan. but i guess not you: Operative, the Anti-Renaissance Man.

please do not feel compelled to respond.

operative
12-05-2010, 11:36 PM
goal post moving -- japanese colonialism was far more racially chauvinistic than french colonialism, yet you upbraided french colonialism on the basis of its racial supremacist bent.

Oh, it was absolutely morally repugnant, absolutely. I am not defending the morality of it at all--not only was the Colonialism racist, but the Japanese abuses in China (and, to a somewhat lesser extent, Korea) were astoundingly cruel.

But that does not change the fact that they were effective. Japan grew from being a totally divided series of kingdoms to an astonishingly strong and developed country with one of the most effective militaries in human history in a fairly short period of time.


but more broadly, what you fail to see is that this is not a contest. one can have interest in both italy and japan.

Sure, but what a waste of time. Far better to concentrate on Japan.

nikkibong
12-05-2010, 11:38 PM
Sure, but what a waste of time. Far better to concentrate on Japan.

helpful suggestion: you'd have more time if you didnt post here 14.77 times per day.

operative
12-05-2010, 11:42 PM
helpful suggestion: you'd have more time if you didnt post here 14.77 times per day.

I'd hardly occupy that time with studying a boring country like Italy otherwise. China, Japan, India, of course America. East Africa is quite fascinating, so is Southeast Asia. Western Europe is a bunch of has-beens (France) and never-was' (Italy). The has-beens are at least interesting at one level. The never-was'--Italy, Belgium--not so much.

TwinSwords
12-05-2010, 11:44 PM
wow, now i remember why i can barely stand the forums here anymore. in all sincerity, fuck off. if you don't find italy "interesting," why weigh in on this thread at all? just to pollute what could have been an interesting discussion?

it's easy to determine the intellectual and spiritual depth of someone who finds china (!) more interesting than korea. buh bye.

I strongly second all of that.

nikkibong
12-05-2010, 11:44 PM
I'd hardly occupy that time with studying a boring country like Italy otherwise. China, Japan, India, of course America. East Africa is quite fascinating, so is Southeast Asia. Western Europe is a bunch of has-beens (France) and never-was' (Italy). The has-beens are at least interesting at one level. The never-was'--Italy, Belgium--not so much.

well, whatever it is you want to study ...

the library awaits.

flights are cheap now too! please -- don't delay!

graz
12-05-2010, 11:46 PM
well, whatever it is you want to study ...

the library awaits.

flights are cheap now too! please -- don't delay!

That's laugh out loud!

operative
12-05-2010, 11:48 PM
well, whatever it is you want to study ...

the library awaits.

flights are cheap now too! please -- don't delay!

Thanks but I already do plenty of studying on material that is actually relevant in the world, unlike Italy and its chain of idiot leaders, of which Burlusconi is merely the latest.

nikkibong
12-05-2010, 11:50 PM
Thanks but I already do plenty of studying on material that is actually relevant in the world, unlike Italy and its chain of idiot leaders, of which Burlusconi is merely the latest.

is your keyboard jammed? or just your brain?

TwinSwords
12-05-2010, 11:50 PM
Thanks but I already do plenty of studying on material that is actually relevant in the world, unlike Italy and its chain of idiot leaders, of which Burlusconi is merely the latest.
I'm curious, op. How did you become such a nasty person? Have you always been so hateful? So small?

operative
12-05-2010, 11:54 PM
I'm curious, op. How did you become such a nasty person?

The irony in this statement coming from you is very rich. Considering the level of bile you have for folks on the right, you really ought not talk.

rcocean
12-06-2010, 12:05 AM
The irony in this statement coming from you is very rich. Considering the level of bile you have for folks on the right, you really ought not talk.

Please stop calling yourself "on the right" - you're at best a libertarian or an open borders, "free-trade", out-sourcing, tax hating, neo-con who's liberal on everything else.

Like most neo-cons/liberaltarians, you have some weird dislike of the Frogs and the euros in general.

"Freedom Fries" anyone?

operative
12-06-2010, 12:11 AM
Please stop calling yourself "on the right" - you're at best a libertarian or an open borders, "free-trade", out-sourcing, tax hating, neo-con who's liberal on everything else.

I'm on my right, you can stick to yours, though it's honestly much closer to Jim Webb's hybrid lefty/righty populism than anything else. My conservatism is the conservatism of Buckley, Hayek, and Friedman. In other words, it's what we can recognize as intellectual conservatism in modern American political history.

But feel free to call me a libertarian (just hope that Florian doesn't show up to yell at you for doing so). Yes, I do support a very, very open immigration policy, and I reject the idea that the government has any right or obligation to shape or control the ethnic makeup of the country (also, the more diverse, the better).

Fundamentally, I support individual freedom and self determinism. By vilifying economic freedom and freedom of labor markets, you are taking the side of those with authoritarian mindsets. You're free to do it, and free to call yourself a conservative, but I certainly don't agree with you.

(I am not, under any reasonable usage of the term, a liberaltarian.)


Like most neo-cons/liberaltarians, you have some weird dislike of the Frogs and the euros in general.

I don't think it's weird at all.

chiwhisoxx
12-06-2010, 01:23 AM
Please stop calling yourself "on the right" - you're at best a libertarian or an open borders, "free-trade", out-sourcing, tax hating, neo-con who's liberal on everything else.

Like most neo-cons/liberaltarians, you have some weird dislike of the Frogs and the euros in general.

"Freedom Fries" anyone?

Sometimes I get the feeling that being "on the right" simply means agreeing with RC on every issue. Even one deviation automatically makes you a heretic, and a liberal in swaddling clothes.

AemJeff
12-06-2010, 01:31 AM
Sometimes I get the feeling that being "on the right" simply means agreeing with RC on every issue. Even one deviation automatically makes you a heretic, and a liberal in swaddling clothes.

That's what it seems like to me, too. It's an awfully convenient point of view for him to have taken, I think. What I post in response to anything he says can be dismissed because I'm stupid, and liberal (please pardon the redundancy!) Anybody claiming to be on his side who chimes in with a criticism is a "liberal moby" who can be ignored for exactly the same reasons. His self-confidence is unassailable.

Florian
12-06-2010, 03:15 AM
British writer Tobias Jones wrote this (http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Heart-Italy-Tobias-Jones/dp/0865477248) superb book on the country and would be an excellent interlocuter.

Brilliant, amusing and informative book, nikkibong. I read it when I was living in Italy (2001-4).

Educated Brits are famously Italophiles, while being in almost every respect unItalian---in their politics, food, sense of humor, manners, sexual mores, aesthetic sense. It must be a case of attraction for opposites. English poets and novelists have written more on Italy than on any other European country, except perhaps France.

My own impression of Italian politics--I was living mainly in Bologna---was that the government, whatever party is in charge, is universally distrusted, but not taken altogether seriously either, as if it were a foreign body. In a sense, Italy never became a nation state, and politics are still very local in character. One Bolognese told me--I think he was repeating a cliché--that there are two kinds of Italians: those who believe that Africa begins in Naples, and those who believe that it begins in Rome. By which he meant, chaos.

Ocean
12-06-2010, 07:48 AM
Op, without wanting to add to the public humiliation that you've been subjected to in this thread, I do think I could add a word of two to sum up what happened here.

You came up on this thread, in a lecturing mode, even when the more you were questioned and the more you answered the more dubious it became that you had any firm knowledge about Italy. There's nothing inherently wrong with not knowing how little one knows, because that's often the case around here. That's one of the attractive features about this forum. You get to find out a whole bunch of things, including how little you really know about some topics. And then you learn, if you care to.

But you stayed on that horse, defending dubious knowledge. You made a statement, that to be benign, I've got to say it was extremely peculiar. You said that Italy is boring. When I think of Italy, the actual country with its people, its geography, history, art, architecture, music, academic accomplishments over the last couple of millenia, I can think of many things but boredom. What aspect of Italy do you find boring?

Second, you established some criteria about colonialism as a way of measuring the importance of a country. I guess you were thinking about some modern aspects of colonialism, because if it was about imperialistic and cultural expansion, well, O-M-G, those Italians wrote the book.

Anyway, I know very little about Italy. And I'm not a college student (like you, right?), but, boring would not be feature that comes to mind when we talk about anything Italian. With the exception of one or two Italian men that I've met in the past. But that's another story.

operative
12-06-2010, 09:43 AM
Op, without wanting to add to the public humiliation that you've been subjected to in this thread, I do think I could add a word of two to sum up what happened here.

More like circle-jerk by Euro-obsessed lefties but I digress...


But you stayed on that horse, defending dubious knowledge. You made a statement, that to be benign, I've got to say it was extremely peculiar. You said that Italy is boring. When I think of Italy, the actual country with its people, its geography, history, art, architecture, music, academic accomplishments over the last couple of millenia, I can think of many things but boredom. What aspect of Italy do you find boring?

Oh geez where to begin. Italian cuisine is tremendously overrated, as is Italian opera and the language. Italian cinema is, perhaps even more than French cinema, overrated. The country has basically never had political leadership of any note outside of the hilariously inept (Mussolini). Northern Italy is basically France-lite, and southern Italy is basically a gangster state. When I said that I know relatively little about Italy I did not mean that I know nothing, I meant that I'm not a specialist in the topic.



Second, you established some criteria about colonialism as a way of measuring the importance of a country. I guess you were thinking about some modern aspects of colonialism, because if it was about imperialistic and cultural expansion, well, O-M-G, those Italians wrote the book.

The Romans wrote the book. 2000 years ago. Then they fell apart and descended into pure stupidity very quickly. But I'm talking about the modern state of Italy and its more immediate antecedents, not the Roman Empire--that'd make about as much sense as talking about Sparta as having something notable about the modern state of Greece (another lousy country, btw, but at least one that gives us the peculiarity of a Western European country that is particularly fond of violent protest). Or, the society whose name I forget, but who was swallowed up by Rome but not before they gave us lasagna as again being of credit to Italy.


Anyway, I know very little about Italy. And I'm not a college student (like you, right?), but, boring would not be feature that comes to mind when we talk about anything Italian. With the exception of one or two Italian men that I've met in the past. But that's another story.

我不是大学生。

graz
12-06-2010, 10:13 AM
我不是大学生。

That's right you're the cafeteria's janitorial engineer. Like in that movie Good Will Hunting. Hey it's not a highfalutin reference, but I'm no engineer either.

operative
12-06-2010, 10:14 AM
That's right you're the cafeteria's janitorial engineer.

Not really.

nikkibong
12-06-2010, 10:30 AM
More like circle-jerk by Euro-obsessed lefties but I digress...

what are you, some kind of marxist? not every act or interest is a manifestation of political ideology. an interest in europe is not inherently "leftist."


Oh geez where to begin. Italian cuisine is tremendously overrated, as is Italian opera and the language. Italian cinema is, perhaps even more than French cinema, overrated. The country has basically never had political leadership of any note outside of the hilariously inept (Mussolini). Northern Italy is basically France-lite, and southern Italy is basically a gangster state. When I said that I know relatively little about Italy I did not mean that I know nothing, I meant that I'm not a specialist in the topic.

actually, you've proven you know nothing with your ugly little screed. bozo personal opinions delivered as "fact" are hardly convincing, especially when they are obviously designed to offend. oh, and for what it's worth, some of the absolute worst meals i've had in my life have been in beijing.



The Romans wrote the book. 2000 years ago. Then they fell apart and descended into pure stupidity very quickly. But I'm talking about the modern state of Italy and its more immediate antecedents, not the Roman Empire--that'd make about as much sense as talking about Sparta as having something notable about the modern state of Greece (another lousy country, btw, but at least one that gives us the peculiarity of a Western European country that is particularly fond of violent protest). Or, the society whose name I forget, but who was swallowed up by Rome but not before they gave us lasagna as again being of credit to Italy.

you are a hateful little shit aren't you?


我不是大学生。

你是中学生.

guess what - i can understand the elementary-school level simplified chinese you are writing in!!

operative
12-06-2010, 11:50 AM
what are you, some kind of marxist? not every act or interest is a manifestation of political ideology. an interest in europe is not inherently "leftist."

Not inherently, no, though I do think that on average more lefties than conservatives are fond of Europe. Just like more lefties are fans of Mad Men.




actually, you've proven you know nothing with your ugly little screed. bozo personal opinions delivered as "fact" are hardly convincing, especially when they are obviously designed to offend. oh, and for what it's worth, some of the absolute worst meals i've had in my life have been in beijing.

You can get bad meals anywhere. I actually would extol Singapore for its more diverse and metropolitan cuisine--it takes the best of Chinese, Malay and Tamil and throws it into one exciting end result.





you are a hateful little shit aren't you?


Only toward Europe. Well, don't get me talking about the incredibly racist past of Australia and New Zealand (two countries that I still admire more than Italy)...



你是中学生.


是。我不宣称我的中文是好。实施上,很不好。

Ocean
12-06-2010, 07:27 PM
Oh geez where to begin. Italian cuisine is tremendously overrated, as is Italian opera and the language. Italian cinema is, perhaps even more than French cinema, overrated. The country has basically never had political leadership of any note outside of the hilariously inept (Mussolini). Northern Italy is basically France-lite, and southern Italy is basically a gangster state. When I said that I know relatively little about Italy I did not mean that I know nothing, I meant that I'm not a specialist in the topic.


Ah, la bella Italia! Coloro che non amano l'Italia non capiscono l'amore. Peccato!

Florian
12-07-2010, 06:21 AM
Ah, la bella Italia! Coloro che non amano l'Italia non capiscono l'amore. Peccato!

Forse non ha mai conosciuto l'amore? Quindi non fa parte dei happy few che amano il bel paese.

Ceci explique cela.

Ocean
12-07-2010, 07:29 AM
Forse non ha mai conosciuto l'amore? Quindi non fa parte dei happy few che amano il bel paese.

Ceci explique cela.

Nessuna speranza per la povera anima?

Florian
12-07-2010, 10:48 AM
Nessuna speranza per la povera anima?

Nutro seri dubbi.... Lo vedo già nell'inferno di Dante...ma in quello circolo?

Gli occorre trovare la sua Beatrice.

Ocean
12-07-2010, 08:00 PM
Nutro seri dubbi.... Lo vedo già nell'inferno di Dante...ma in quello circolo?

Ottavo?

Gli occorre trovare la sua Beatrice.

O almeno il suo Virgilio!

Florian
12-08-2010, 03:51 AM
Ottavo?

Giusto! Sei veramente geniale.

O almeno il suo Virgilio!

Appunto.... ma se vuole ascendere al cielo ha bisogna di una Beatrice. Credo communque che vuole rimanere nell'inferno.

Ocean
12-08-2010, 07:41 AM
Giusto! Sei veramente geniale.



Appunto.... ma se vuole ascendere al cielo ha bisogna di una Beatrice. Credo communque che vuole rimanere nell'inferno.

:)

kezboard
12-09-2010, 01:18 PM
Greece (another lousy country, btw, but at least one that gives us the peculiarity of a Western European country that is particularly fond of violent protest).

Greece is defs not a Western European country.

operative
12-09-2010, 05:36 PM
Greece is defs not a Western European country.

I'd say to a large extent the matter is subjective. I wouldn't consider Greece an Eastern European, since it does not have a Slavic tongue (Romania doesn't either, but it's the lone exception) and doesn't have all that much common history with Eastern Europe (granted, you could to some extent make that case about East Europe).