Che belli tempi quanno pe' lu rione
sentivi ancora er sòno de ’n pianino,
acordi de chitara e mandolino,
e Nina s'affacciava dar barcone.
Era un motivo semprice
ca riscallava l'anima
de Roma nostra piena de bontà.
The problem with fascismi is not what it said, but what it was ; and here's what it was :
Suppose an old man leaves his place in the uncountable, inenarrable woods ; together with a young boy the old man heads up to town.
They go through towns on their way to town, none of which is quite it. Some are more splendid than the last, some less, but on the road goes, forward The Wanderer beckonsii... blanca huella que todos los dias never ends, and never forgives. It goes on -- and on it goes.
Yet a man is just a man. A boy is just a boy. Eventually they sit, exhausted, underneath a tree. This is as far as they've come, this is as far as they'll go. This is it, this tree.
Is it an accursed tree ? Is it a blessed tree ? Is there a difference between these two ? The last tree at the end is in the end just a tree. Yet the boy asks ; if he doesn't ask out loud his look, his gaze, his manner asks implicitly. The old man answers. What does he answer ? What's an old man say ? Listen with me :
Ma in somma, io vi ci'ho portato fin'aqui. So intervenuti degli impedimenti che, e colpa mia ?! Io ci'avevo tutto chiaro. Tutto scritto qui.
No ? Listen to it again :
If for others it is a road, for us it is life.
This is then the problem with fascism : that it is precisely what it says. "This tree, the tree we've come upon, such as it is, for what it is -- this we will deem the town". Definitive and insuperable, subjectively final and therefore we pretend objectively ultimate. If we started towards Hollywood, then therefore whatever small roadside motel we've ended up within upon running out of gas we'll not merely call The Golden RitzSands. We'll seriously actually believe.
C'era 'na vorta tutto quer che c'era,
povera Roma nostra furastiera!
A chi la famo ormai la serenata,
vecchia chitara amica de ‘sto core?
Er canto de ‘sto popolo tenore
è ‘n armonia de favola passata:
oggi le "baby" canteno
tutte canzone a ritimo
e Nina mo’ la chiameno "Nelly"
It's ludicrous, what can I tell you.
perché, perché te se’ ‘nnammorata
de ‘sta musica ammerigana?
Ma perché te se’ scordata che se’ romana
e li stornelli nun canti più?
For de porta en carrozzella
a balla’ la tarantella
Nannarella, nun vienghi più
co’ li fiori a la loggetta cò la spiga e la rughetta
Nannarella, nun ce se’ più...
- As quite distinct from nazism. Besides the fundamental similarity of cognitively hanging from the same sad root, the two have actually less to do with each other than say stalinism and lincoln-rooseveltism.
I confess to having selected that particular pairing of cripples because I suspect you imagine the two cvasi-contemporary horrors "the differentest there can possibly be". They're not. As a matter of fact the two very superficially distinguishable apparitions of the same exact bureaucratism are just that : two equally regrettable, functionally indistinct growls of the same organized uppity moron, pointlessly multiplied a million ways by unleashed hallucination. They're not meaningfully different ; it is true that the "potential truthfulness" of a fundamentally & irretrievably false world image is secreted by the state in one case whereas in the other case the exact same is interiorized by the individual (or rather, by the broken, by the shattered remnant of a potential individual caught in a self-secreted mirror-web of imaginary, theoretically-potential but never actualized nor for that matter in any way actualizable constructs of the "nobody could accuse" kind) but this distinction crafted out of words alone describes no substantial difference underneath. If let a = 0 and let b = 0, the superficial distinction between a and b denotes no actual difference, you understand me.
- You were there too,
in my dream. [↩]