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The New Yorker published an extensive article about me. The journalist who wrote it litterally followed me for four months, to get it done. I had my hard time convincing my wife I had no affairs with him. Anyway, it was definitely worth it.
Chances are that you have been able to spot the news somewhere, since you probably live outside Italy. Here, of course, the press did its best to hide or misquote the news.
Here are a few lines from the article. You can download the full pdf version of the article by clicking on the link above.
"On September 8th, two million people in two hundred and twenty cities across Italy celebrated V-Day, an unofficial new national holiday, the “V” signifying victory, vendetta, and, especially, “Vaffanculo” (“Fuck off”). The event had been organized by Beppe Grillo, Italy’s most popular comedian, to protest endemic corruption in the national government. Grillo, a bearlike, trumpet-voiced man of fifty-nine with a pile of graying curls, is a distinctly Italian combination of Michael Moore and Stephen Colbert: an activist and vulgarian with a deft ear for political satire. [...]
Grillo has galvanized Italians by talking about corruption with irreverence and humor—indeed, by talking about it at all. The country’s mainstream press is controlled, or owned outright, by political parties and corporations, whose malfeasance tends to be glossed over or ignored on television and in newspapers. (Grillo is organizing another V-Day, to be held on April 25th, to protest the subservience of the press.) Journalists who write about corruption face the constant threat of libel suits. Grillo has won a dozen such suits and is facing at least four more, including one for about fifteen million dollars in damages, brought against him by Biagio Agnes, the former director of Stet, then the national telecommunications company. (Grillo criticized Agnes, during a comedy show in 1993, for dishonest business practices.) Since 2005, however, he has addressed the public primarily through his blog, at beppegrillo.it, which, according to Technorati, the leading search engine for blogs, is the eighth most read in the world. Here Grillo not only denounces political wrongdoing but runs something of a parallel government, complete with a cabinet of volunteer policy advisers, including the architect Renzo Piano, the actor and playwright Dario Fo, and the economist Joseph Stiglitz, who wrote the preface to a book Grillo recently published online about Italian labor law. (Grillo, who has made tens of millions of dollars from comedy performances, books, and DVDs, finances his Web site and his political activism with his earnings.)"

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 04:24 PM in | Comments (12) | Comments in Italian (translated) Post a comment | Sign up | Send to a friend | | GrilloNews | listen_it_it.gifListen | TrackBack (0) |
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Ciao Beppe -- The New Yorker article was my first introduction to your work. I write to tell you that you have an enthusiastic new fan! I hope you took the comparison with Michael Moore and Steve Colbert as the compliment it is. I am very glad to know of you, and will be following your blog and your activities. Thanks for your courage, style and sense of humor -- the world needs more of all those things.

Posted by: Marion Capriotti | February 3, 2008 05:21 AM

The article references your ad in the International Herald Tribune inviting any country with a comparable number "of convicts" in parliment to become a sister nation to Italy. Hmmm, does this count:
*29 have been accused of spousal abuse
*7 have been arrested for fraud
*19 have been accused of writing bad checks
*117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at leased 2 businesses
*3 have done time for assault
*71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
*14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
*8 have been arrested for shoplifting
*21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
*84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year

That would be the U.S. Congress.

Posted by: Don Ogden | February 1, 2008 01:41 PM

Ciao Beppe,

ora che persino BankItalia ha dichiarato quello che sappiamo di gia', che i ns. salari sono fermi da 2001, quando ci darai (visto che hai anche Steglitz on board) un resoconto di tutti gli aumenti di ogni singolo parliamentare e la spesa di loro 'bonus'; come apartamenti super-scontati, macchine blu, spese per pranzi, trasporti ecc. ecc. ecc.

Vediamo quanto si e' accresciuto i guadagni medie dei parlamentari vis a vis noi poveracci.


Posted by: Francesca Maggi | January 30, 2008 07:27 PM

Congratulations!!!! Well done! I have been reading your blog with great interest since a friend suggested it to me over a year ago!!!

Posted by: Isabel Gallagher | January 30, 2008 10:25 AM

The New Yorker in this article give more information about Who is Beppe Grillo and about his life and experiences, than all the Italian press did in the past 25 years.

Posted by: Simone Grassi | January 29, 2008 08:56 PM

I read the full-lenght article and I must admit I was moved by some parts.
However, dear Beppe, keep on your own way as the great man you proved to be so far and don't get into politics, you'd be tricked and moved as a puppet by the "dinosaurs" and their vile servants.

Posted by: Jason R. Forbus | January 29, 2008 07:51 PM

Mueller sounds like good company too. His closing vignette from your trip to Sardegna was particularly moving. Good for him & the New Yorker for helping to tell your story to a broader -- if a very elite -- community. And thank you for posting it, because the New Yorker's website had held it back for subscribers only.

I grew up in Padova in an apartment in front of a tower called La Specola, where, Galileo Galilei had a studio for a spell. "E pur si muove" (and yet it moves) he was supposed to have exclaimed on observing the movement of a pendulum in that room. I have always seen this as the perfect metaphor for Italy -- with its fake government and fake media creating an almost perfect illusion of democratic activity. But the reality was that nothing ever seemed to be able to shake itself loose of the muck and mire. Nothing ever rose above it.

But your "vulgarian activism" is doing just that, and it is shocking to think that your activities are treated with such suspicion, skepticism and hostility in Italy.

When I compare the demands of the last V-Day, for example, to the lofty ideals that Barack Obama is promoting with such grace in the US right now -- your position could not be more humble. Americans, it seems, are empowered to summon dreams and to demand that their nation be redeemed; yet ordinary Italian citizens will be vilified for daring to ask for much less -- Just to be treated without contempt by those they have elected to serve them.

Coraggio, Beppe!

PS: Just one request, however. If you hold functions in England, please suggest to your activists that they use real names and usable contact information. The last V-Day info was not very transparent at all.

Posted by: luca menato | January 29, 2008 06:44 PM



"Mario Draghi ? Impossibile immaginarlo a Palazzo Chigi. E' un vile affarista che venderà l'economia italiana". Lo ha detto l'ex presidente della Repubblica Francesco Cossiga durante la trasmissione Uno mattina.
."Sembra che Mario Draghi, già socio della Goldman & Sachs, nota grande banca d'affari americana, oggi Governatore della Banca d'Italia, sia il vero candidato alla presidenza del Consiglio di un 'governo istituzionale'. E così avrà modo di svendere, come ha già fatto quando era direttore generale del Tesoro, quel che resta dell'industria pubblica a qualche cliente della sua antica banca d'affari". Lo afferma, in un comunicato, il senatore a vita Francesco Cossiga
Adusbef, che in perfetta solitudine ha segnalato l’inchiesta penale della Procura della Repubblica di Pescara e denunciato alla Procura di Milano- competente ad indagare per la sede legale in Italia- una gigantesca frode fiscale ai danni dello Stato, da parte di Goldman Sachs e di altre banche di affari per un controvalore di 4,3 miliardi di euro ai tempi in cui il prof. Mario Draghi aveva la carica di vice presidente per l’Europa (carica ricoperta oggi dal prof. Mario Monti), condivide pienamente le preoccupazioni del presidente emerito della Repubblica Francesco Cossiga.
Il Governatore della Banca d’Italia Draghi, denominato “Mr. Britannia”, appellativo che gli deriva dall'aver partecipato, quando era direttore generale del Tesoro, alla riunione semi-cospirativa con i banchieri della City di Londra sul panfilo della Regina Elisabetta, il 2 giugno 1992,dove si discusse di “finanziarizzare” il sistema economico italiano, per trasformarlo in un sistema in cui la finanza avrebbe preso il sopravvento sull'industria e sulla politica, mediante le privatizzioni, non ha le qualità necessarie per guidare un Governo istituzionale.
Ha buona memoria il presidente Cossiga: Draghi, oltre ad essere stato per circa un decennio segretario del Tesoro, presiedette tra il 1991 ed il 1993 il Comitato per le privatizzazioni, con quella logica che è stata definita "svendita" delle partecipazioni statali italiane,la liquidazione dell'Iri, l'affare Telecom Italia, quindi Eni, Enel, Comit, Credit,Autostrade,ecc.
Adusbef che si è battuta per contribuire alla cacciata dell’ex Governatore Fazio, non esclude nei prossimi giorni,di iniziare una raccolta di firme, per chiedere le dimissioni di Draghi, perché un signore che non ha mai chiarito la genesi di una gigantesca frode fiscale ai danni dello Stato per 4,3 miliardi di euro da parte delle stesse banche di affari che oggi vigila, è uno scandalo che deve essere portato all’attenzione della pubblica opinione che paga le tasse fino all’ultimo centesimo, anche con la finalità di rompere quella cortina di silenzio e di omertà del giornalismo economico.


Posted by: Nicoletta Forcheri | January 29, 2008 06:43 PM

...and there remains only the hope that something will change into the better in Italy. It seems that we are living here in a banana republic reigned by the kings of political procrastination.

Posted by: Thomas Krüger | January 29, 2008 06:37 PM

It seems that only Grillo knows good and honest people. Unfortunately, people he deals with are part of the italian system (of power!).
It easy to get the rest...

Posted by: mario rossi | January 29, 2008 06:02 PM

Beppe you are worshipped everywhere in this world (except in the head of the Maffia ignorance supportes that govern our country)please please please keep fighting to clean up our Parlament i will go all the way from Dublin BY WALK WITH NO SHOES TO VOTE AND SUPPORT A PERSON LIKE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for ever "MAGICO BEPPE"
Gionata Dublino

Posted by: frau gionata | January 29, 2008 05:52 PM

How about a loan?

Posted by: Sharon Duncan | January 29, 2008 05:35 PM

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