Last Saturday at 10 in the morning they showed a documentary about Mussolini. They didn’t put the credits at the end and I missed the beginning, so I can’t tell you what it was called or who directed it. I started to watch it in the middle and as it went on I decided to take some notes to share here. It’s not that I am already seeing ghosts where there aren’t any, but tell me if all this isn’t too much of a coincidence…
- He always wanted to win over his audience even if this meant contradicting himself over and over in the media. - Under his government you could only belong to one party. - The media only talked about the prosperity of the country. - He had initiated censorship at the beginning, which ended up becoming the status quo of his regime. - He promised progress and development. - He made himself Commander in Chief of Italy. - He fought wars against the will of his people, in which thousands of soldiers died. - His wife was barely seen in public. - His family held positions in the government. - He introduced compulsory military service. - He was very paranoid and toward the end of his life his mental state was terrible. - All the bad he did outweighs the good he’d been able to do.
Note: I have no picture of Mussolini, so I decided on this one by pure "coincidence".
This is an excerpt to a version of the song, Epitaph for Vladimir Visotski by Karsmarski Jacek (Polish dissident songwriter), which includes Ciro Diaz in his latest album, The Blue Slug, that I listened to compulsively for at least two months, especially on the street with my mp3 inherited from a friend who now has an I-pod. (Download the lyrics here) (Download the recording and album cover here) The song (in summary, which runs about ten minutes) is about a desperate artist going through the circles of hell in search of an answer or death, and at the end of his journey there is only loneliness and the weight of the supreme power above himself. So I found myself at times catching the bus across Havana at 12 noon in August under the perennial sunshine and with the distressing feeling of not going anywhere, or arriving too late, or going for pleasure ... I feel that I have already arrived at the eighth enclosure (this is the finale of the song) where there is nothing, and I feel useless and empty, and I look at people without faith who walk along the street and who have so much fear that they no longer know they're afraid, and who have seen so many Roundtables and so many news broadcasts that they no longer know what belongs to reality or just to the TV screen. They cannot discern that they no longer believe, but cannot disbelieve either, and just move along past me not going anywhere.