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Hawks and Sparrows …

I once told a friend that ‘if you wait, eventually the world will come to you.’
She replied that ‘if everyone took that view, no-one would come.’
True, but this article is made possible because I am lucky enough to have friends who do travel.
However there was one thing I didn’t think of – it is very hard to learn another language properly unless you do travel (as my translation of the poster below demonstrates).

I was twenty, not even – eighteen,
    nineteen... and I had been alive for a century,
    a whole lifetime 

    consumed by the pain of the fact
    that I would never be able to give my love
    if not to my hand, or to the grass of ditches 

    or maybe to the earth of an unguarded tomb...
    Twenty and, with its human history and its cycle
    of poetry, a life had ended.
               —from 'A Desperate Vitality,' tr. by Pasquale Verdecchio)


At the end of the town, San Gimignano*, there is a small notice board, randomly stuck up by the roadside.  The notice board has a glass cover. Every so often, a local communist handwrites a message relevant to current topics and puts it up  – it looks easier than publishing a newspaper.

As you may have guessed from the picture it is a poster by the Refounded Communist Party of Italy – the previous Communist Party (PCI) has long since sold out the principles of its much-jailed founder, Antonio Gramsci.

Gramsci

Gramsci

The PCI was once the largest communist party in Europe. It has become the Democratic Party (as in the USA) and has replaced the red flag with a piece of fabric with a tree on it.

The notice board contains a leaflet for people of San Gimignano.

It touches on the employment industry.

Here is my best guess at translation of the leaflet:

Ma che paese vedono monti e i suoi ministri?

“What country do Monti** and his ministers see?”.

Perche altre ad imporci continue stangate facendoci credere che servano ad evitare il “fallimento” e ad uscire dalla crisi, mentre invece (anche se i principali mezzi di informazione fanno finta che non sia cosi) non migliorano ne l’indebitamento della Stato ne tantomeno la recessione in cui sprofondiamo sempre di piu , i tecnici del governo devono ogni giorno anche offenderci e umiliarci?

Why do government technicians impose on us continuing stagnation, to make us believe that they seek to avoid “failure” and get us out of the crisis; but instead (although the mainstream media pretend that it is not so) they do not improve the debt of the State, nor will the recession in which we sink more and more, and why must they also offend and humiliate us daily?

In fondo fanno bene: nessuno li ha votati e quindi non hanno a cui dover rendere conto. I partiti che garantiscono loro voti in parlamento sono altre faccende affaccendati, tra primarie, ondaggi, rottamazioni (naturalmente il tutto all’insegna dell’assoluta mancanza programmi e di contenuti, come se la crisi fosse una sorta di calamita naturale e provvedimenti del governo gli unici applicabili).

Ordinary people make good: no one voted for the technicians and therefore they are not accountable. The parties that guarantee their votes in parliament are busy with other matters, scrapping primary polls (of course all highlighted by absolute lack of programs and content; as if the crisis was a kind of natural disaster and government measures don’t apply).

Lo le battute sulla monotonia del posto fisso, sugli “sfigati, che a 28 anni ancora laureati, sui viziati che non si vogliano allontanare de mamma e papa, sui privilegi dei metalmeccanici she godono di piu giorni di ferie di qualche sottosegretari dalla faccia di bronzo, dopo le lacrime do coccodrillo per l’uccisione a sangue freddo di che restava del sistema pensionistico, dopo che ci hanno spiegato che fino ad oggi abbiamo vissuto al di sopra delle nostre possibilita (chi?) in una societa “troppo generosa e buono verso i debi” , oggi la ministra che forse rappresenta l’eccellenza di questo governo nell’arte dell’arroganza del disprezzo classista, ci ha deliziati con la sui ultima uscita.

Workers in Florence protesting the austerity measures. Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro (CGIL)

Workers in Florence protesting the austerity measures. Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro (CGIL) Photo: Rosa M.

The jokes about the monotony of a permanent job – the jokes on the ‘losers’ who at age 28 still graduate ‘pampered on the privileges of the metalworkers’ and do not want to turn away from mom and dad, have more days off, some brazen Ministers shedding crocodile tears on the cold-blooded killing of the remains of the pension system – after having explained that to date ‘we have been living beyond our means (who?) in a society too generous’ and with too much debt, the minister is so arrogant and shares this government’s contempt of class. we were delighted to see the last one (govt) go.

I giovani non devono essere tropo “choosy” (esigenti e schizzinosi) nella selecetra del lavoro: cosi parlo Elsa Forneso (La ministra del lavoro).

The young should not be regarded as too “choosy” (demanding and picky) in selecting of work so speaks Elsa Forneso (The Minister of Labour).

Naturalmente usando un Termine Inglese, che fa sempre piu figo e che in tanti almeno non capiscono.

Of course, using an English term, which becomes more and more cool at least to many who do not understand.

I problema e che invece viene in mente un detto prettamente Toscano: Becchi e Bastonati!!!

The problem is that instead think of the Tuscan saying ‘becchi and bastonati” literally means ‘humiliated/betrayed/made fun of/cuckolded’ but in this case beaten and betrayed or something like that.

Ian Curr
December 2012

(Thnx JK for sending the photo and CK for her advice on translation)
(*San Gimignano – a town in Tuscanny, Italy
**”Monti” is the Prime Minister of Italy (2012), the word “Monti” also means “mountains”).

References
Funerali di Palmiro Togliatti da “Uccellacci e uccellini” di Pier Paolo Pasolini (1966). Uccellacci e uccellini appartiene a una categoria di pellicole che è definita “film della crisi”, che del ripensamento e ripiegamento ideologico-politico successivo alla morte di Togliatti fa il proprio tema specifico, e che fa parte non soltanto della nostra storia cinematografica ma anche della nostra storia ideologica e politica degli anni sessanta. (www.pasolini.net)

Funeral of Togliatti from “Hawks and the Sparrows” by Pier Paolo Pasolini (1966). I cried when I saw the sad faces of the workers in this film (shown in the YouTube clip). Was it nostaglia on my part? Was it the struggle in their faces? Or perhaps an end to innocence? The people of Rome trusted the Communist Party and its leadership but perhaps such trust is not possible, ever, especially now?
The Italian Communist party
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Lotta continua

[With thnx to the communists of San Gimignano. And to friends who do travel JK, RM, CK, GW & E]

One response to “Hawks and Sparrows …

  1. Film Screening at Turnstyle – On The Resistance in Greece

    Brisbane Solidarity Network have selected five short films all covering austerity, its implications, and the resistance in Greece.

    The purpose is to promote solidarity, to demonstrate the very real effects of austerity.

    The link as follows:
    http://brissol.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/film-screening-on-the-resistance-in-greece-update-new-start-time-6pm/

    Like

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