Sunday, 21 February 2010

Arseholes (kangaroo) and princes (not)

Disaster was narrowly averted yesterday evening when Pupo, Pickles and the unknown tenor (see two posts down) came second in the Sanremo song festival. How they did this is anybody's guess, but foul play certainly shouldn't be ruled out and consumer associations are already asking for an investigation to be made. Given that the odds of the unholy trio not making the finals were substantial, there was clearly room for a little imaginative accounting down Ladbrokes way. I wouldn't be surprised if Bertolaso, the nation's saviour, hadn't put a bob or two on them, possibly even of his own money.

I'd have a more detailed account of the evening, which sounds fantastically unstructured and infantile in a way only Italian TV can be, if I'd seen it, but I was, and am, in the UK. Still, I'm sorry I missed the scene where an infuriated orchestra ripped up their sheet music and refused to play, not to speak of Antonella Clerici (see photo) exclaiming Che topolona! at the sight of the private parts of all-round entertainer Loredana Cuccarini or the brass band of the Carabinieri playing the Star Wars theme in a bid to calm things down, like a foretaste of the new regime. This kind of nonsense is not only the stuff of Sanremo legend - it's also, paradoxically, par for the course on Italian telly.

People who don't know the Bel Paese often wonder how on earth the Italian version of a programme like I'm a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here can just go and on for hours, weeks, months, without anyone even seeing a kangaroo's arsehole, let alone eating one. Well, it's easy. All the people on it forget that they're there to further or revive their careers and just go completely OVER THE TOP! It's as though a horde of utterly spoilt children on truth drugs were given free rein to loathe each other and then, to their horror, slapped back into sense and forced to realise what they'd done. It's boring for hours on end and then deeply, grippingly, stomach-turningly awful in a way those of us brought up on the milder fare of Anglo-Saxon television can't begin to imagine. It's almost as excruciatingly adolescent as John Fowles' journals. Well no, not quite that excruciatingly adolescent.

2 comments:

Wendell Ricketts said...

I *am* sorry you missed it, Charles; it was a new low in Italian television. I mean, I don’t even think the Mohole Project has sunk deeper. Actually, when the three “Super-Finalisti” were announced, I was still reeling from, first, an endless, repetitive, high-school-musical-inspired “Tribute to Michael Jackson,” after which a nearly tearful Clerici allowed as how she felt as if Michael were “here with us again.” (Yeah, just like the son was “here with them again” in “The Monkey’s Paw.”) Really. I mean it looked like something choreographed by Stomp, if Stomp was a troupe made up entirely of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. And then hearing those three queens (um, I mean, “nice young men”) gush about how being a Michael Jackson dancer was such a deep and meaningful experience ... well, as somebody once said in some campy, nasty-minded movie, “Another minute of that and I won’t have to take my appetite suppressant.” That was followed by the most excruciatingly embarrassing ten minutes I’ve ever seen on television (and that’s saying a lot), in which Maurizio Costanza tried to wedge a note of social responsibility in among all the fur coats with his obviously rehearsed “interview” with three workers laid off from the Fiat plant in Sicily (Well, two – the third was a woman who got laid off in 2008, so it wasn’t clear what the hell she had to do with anything.) Costanza invited Bersani to comment, at which point his onorevole muttered for a few seconds, and then extended the microphone to Scajola, who fulminated like a rabid ferret (with his companions standing up on their seats to see who in the audience was DARING TO BOO while a Berlusconi-annointed Minister was propagandizing. And then it was STOP AL TELEVOTO and via con the 3 super-finalists, with the orchestra and the audience howling, and Clerici looking sort of drugged and terrorized. Dolce Metà was convinced Pupo &cie. were going to win—not because people really liked the song, but because they were pissed off that others were bashing a song with the words “cultura,” “famiglia,” and “amore” in it. In the end, the winner was the Greater of Two Weevils, yet another product of the Amici Factory (where every male who wins is a friend of Maria’s—and also of Dorothy’s, but don’t spread that around). With a perfectly insipid song that includes a line about “making love in every way, in every place, in every lake.” (Sweet thought, but I’d personally omit the lakes with crocodiles and/or Schistosoma in them....) What was it Bette said in *Of Human Bondage*? “After I watched Sanremo, I had ta wipe my mouth! Wipe my mouth!" [P.S. Sorry for going on so. I'm not going to blog about this, and you gave me the opening I desperately wanted!]

Charles Lambert said...

Well, I'm not sorry Im issed it, for two reasons. The first is that, objectively, it must have been a crock of shit. The second is that it's stimulated you to write one of the longest, funniest and most splenetic comments I've ever been lucky enough to receive. The actual event pales...

I was convinced they'd win too. At the same time as being convinced that the whole thing was fixed. I'm just post-trust.