Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Word of the day: Vaffanculo

Please allow me to introduce to you Miss Welby, a blogista who posts in both English and Italian. She pretends to be the secret daughter of Piergiorgio Welby, the Italian poet who fought a long battle for his right to die and, after he achieved his wishes, was denied a religious funeral by the Catholic Church (in case you are puzzled by his not-very-Italian surname, Welby was the son of a Scottish footballer).

From Signorina Welby I learned of the death of Miles Kington, who is also remembered by Michael Bywater in the Independent. Kington's writings for the Independent are here, and he also wrote the paper's obituary of his editor at Punch, Alan Coren, which includes this fond memory: "A couple of days before the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, I heard Coren saying on The News Quiz, in answer to a question on her and land-mines, "I don't know much about Princess Diana or about land-mines, but I do know that you poke either at your peril..."

Speaking of Italy, The New Yorker has a long letter about the efforts of comedian Beppo Grillo to bring about reform of the political culture and the efforts of the state to stop him and his followers, which include extraordinary restrictions on Italian bloggers. Meanwhile in Connecticut, the latest thing is taser parties.

And finally, which of us could resist a story with the headline runaway lawnmower kills monk or a blog called Nicest Girl and Destroyer of Planets?


Lyndon said...

I recall in a book by Dario Fo he talks about, having been doing snarky TV satire, he met his future wife when she came up and accussed him of being a performing monkey for the middle classes.

Seems Beppo Grillo is achieving something from the same position. I look forward to reading past the first paragraph. There's a cafe near here gets the New Yorker. Might be time for some nachos soon.

Michele Boselli said...

Thanks Paul, I've given you a permanent link several weeks ago, but forgot to let you know. ciao :)