Neanderthal man


By now, the name “Berlusconi” is evocative, and crepuscular. It takes us back to our past, like those old songs that take us back to another age, those "Golden Oldies". Who doesn’t remember "Neanderthal man" and who wouldn’t immediately associate it with the old convicted criminal?

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I'm a neanderthal man/
You're a neanderthal girl/
Let's make neanderthal love/
In this neanderthal world...

His party is disappearing. The only ones now voting for it are the nostalgics and one or two who are the same age as him. When he appears on TV he causes a collapse in the audience share and for a TV product like himself, that is the point of no return. His policy of backing two horses, as coined by Brunetta, in which one day he’s saving Renzie’s government (out of an elevated sense of responsibility...) and the same day he’s criticising it (to save face), a policy that would cause him to lose votes, but in reality it’s always the same, because it’s always a matter of a single “horse”: the well-being of his companies and of his financial interests. He’ll stay wrapped in moth balls while supporting the Renzie/Napolitano government guarding his loot, otherwise, tomorrow brings no certainty, just as when he took over from Rigor Montis and his whole business empire was collapsing in a matter of days. In the “King of the Castle” game between Forza Italia and all those taking part, and his own business interests, Berlusconi has no doubts, he’s not going to hesitate in sacrificing his old party: it’s got no programme, it’s not acting as an Opposition but nor is it in government. There is not a single reason to vote for it. At this point, it would be better to support Renzie, his remote-controlled stand-in, if this will save his ass. He’s a political hermaphrodite. He has already set out his stall for the time after the elections (for the good of the country...) if the economy were to collapse, he’s willing to form a government of broad (very broad) agreements. What he’s willing to do for the family silver! A bit of free advice to the Forza Italia supporters: abandon ship, the captain has already left, using the only lifeboat.


Beppe Grillo’s VINCIAMONOI Tour from 5 May to 23 May. All the dates:
05 May: Cagliari, piazza dei Centomila
06 May: Palermo, piazza Politeama
07 May: Bari, Parco 2 Giugno
08 May: Naples, piazza Sanità
Today: Reggio Emilia, piazza Prampolini - 9:00 pm
10 May: Bologna, piazza San Francesco - 6:00pm
11 May: Treviso, piazza dei Signori - 9:15 pm
12 May: Brescia, piazza Duomo - 9:00 pm
13 May: Bergamo, piazza Vittorio Veneto - at 9:00 pm
14 May: Novara, Piazza martiri della libertà - 9:00 pm
15 May: Pavia, piazza Vittoria - 9:00 pm
16 May: Tortona, piazza Duomo - 9:00 pm
17 May: Turin, piazza Castello - 3:00 pm
17 May: Verbania, piazzale Flaim - 9:00 pm
18 May: Verona, piazza Bra - 9:00 pm
19 May: day off
20 May: Pescara, piazza 1 maggio - 6:00pm
21 May: Florence, piazza SS. Annunziata (to be confirmed) - 9:00 pm
22 May: Milan, piazza Duomo - 6:30pm
23 May: Rome, piazza San Giovanni - 6:00pm

VINCIAMONOI! {We’ll win!} Download, print and distribute the M5S posters and fliers for the European elections:

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4 J.Buat, faint ydy dy oed di? Penboeth.

Posted by: John Waddington | May 11, 2014 05:56 PM

to view the
Treviso, piazza dei Signori

Posted by: john buatti | May 11, 2014 11:28 AM


February 2013

Comedian Beppe Grillo turns blog into Italy's third-largest political movement

The votes are being counted in Italy's general election, and for the first time in perhaps decades the clown at the centre of things might not be Silvio Berlusconi, but rather a comedian called Beppe Grillo. A comedian on an anti-corruption crusade, his success (and his political movement) has been built on the back of his blog -- the most popular in the country, and one of the most widely-read in the world.

Grillo's blog has long hosted names of politicians convicted for charges of corruption, and in posts the satirical comedian has railed against the corruptions problems in Italian politics. In 2007, he corralled his supporters into a one-off "V-Day Celebratio" where the "V" stood for vaffanculo -- "fuck off". Other campaigns targeted certain bills or vested interests, with the culmination being the launch of the Five Star Movement (M5S) in 2009, a populist bloc whose unifying characteristic isn't so much what it's for as what it's against -- the status quo. Its members organise online, it has an extreme direct democracy slant, and, judging from exit polls and seat projections, M5S looks likely to be the third-largest political bloc in the Italian parliament.

The M5S phenomenon is so unusual that think tank Demos was compelled to commission a study into it which was published last month, and it's perhaps the best illustration of the growing disruption the web is bringing to electoral politics. Of M5S supporters who were polled, tiny minorities said they trusted official authority figures -- two percent parliament, two percent financial institutions, six percent large companies, 34 percent traditional media sources. 83 percent were dissatisfied with the state of democracy in Italy. 76 percent, however, said they trusted the internet.

Grillo is by far the most web-savvy of the political actors in Italy, with vastly more Twitter followers (700k+) than pretty much any politician, and he's used his large footprint to point out corruption that the mainstream media wouldn't report on. He's been quoted as saying that M5S's organisation is one of "feet on the ground, head on the web". M5S rallies have been known to attract more than 100,000 people at a time. In May, it won local elections in Parma, shocking the other parties who had perhaps not taken M5S seriously.

Posted by: john buatti | May 11, 2014 10:58 AM


Britannica Encyclopedia

Beppe Grillo, in full Giuseppe Piero Grillo (born July 21, 1948, Savignone, Italy), Italian comedian and social critic who cofounded the Five Star Movement, a political party in Italy that espoused a broadly populist, antiestablishment platform.

Grillo grew up in working-class surroundings near the port city of Genoa. Having demonstrated an aptitude for musical and comedic performance at an early age, he began appearing at local nightclubs while he was still a teenager. Grillo studied accounting and began working for his father’s business in 1968, but he left it a short time later to focus on comedy. In 1975 he moved to Milan, and two years later he made his first television appearance, on the variety show Secondo voi. Throughout the late 1970s and early ’80s, he was a staple on Italian television, and he earned accolades for his film debut in Cercasi Gesù (1982; Looking for Jesus).

While politicians had previously been among the targets of Grillo’s caustic wit, in the 1980s he expressed particular scorn for what he decried as scandalous behaviour in the halls of power, culminating in 1986 with his open criticism of Socialist Prime Minister Bettino Craxi. Grillo’s characterization of the Socialists as a party of thieves resulted in his de facto blacklisting from television. Grillo was vindicated, however, when Craxi fled the country under the spectre of corruption charges, on which he was convicted in absentia in 1994.

Having established himself as a national figure, Grillo returned to live performance. He toured Italy, mixing comedy and political commentary, his status undiminished by his absence from television. Grillo’s wide network of fans sent him stories of corporate misconduct, and his training as an accountant uniquely qualified him to assess the exact nature of the misdeeds. He incorporated the details of his investigations into his act, which led prosecutors to solicit his expertise. In 1993 he revealed the existence of a billing scam within the national telephone monopoly. He also told audiences about balance-sheet irregularities at Parmalat in September 2002, more than a year before the food giant admitted that it had falsified assets and concealed losses that totaled more than $10 billion. The company’s collapse was Europe’s largest corporate bankruptcy at that time, and Grillo testified at the subsequent trial.

In 2005 Grillo launched, a blog that would serve as the springboard for some of his boldest initiatives. That same year he published the names of Italian parliamentarians who had been convicted of crimes, and in 2006 he solicited thousands of proxy votes from shareholders in Telecom Italia in an effort to fire the company’s board of directors. On September 8, 2007, Grillo organized V-Day (“V” being the first letter of an Italian obscenity that was directed at the political class), a nationwide protest that drew over one million participants. The popular outpouring of condemnation for corrupt practices and of support for Grillo led to the creation of the Five Star Movement in 2009.

As scandals involving Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi continued to unfold and the Italian economy was buffeted by the euro-zone debt crisis, disaffected Italians embraced the charismatic Grillo. He became one of the most popular political figures in Italy, and the Five Star platform—which, among other things, called for term limits and reduced pay for officials, along with improved public access to water, transportation, and the Internet—garnered widespread support. In 2012 Five Star candidates won local elections in Parma and Sicily, and it became clear that the Grillini, as supporters of Grillo styled themselves, were a legitimate political force.

The government of technocratic Prime Minister Mario Monti collapsed in December 2012, and early elections, held in February 2013, placed Grillo and the Five Star Movement at the centre of European politics. Five Star candidates claimed roughly one-fourth of the seats in both houses of Italy’s legislature, making their support virtually essential to the formation of a government. According to Five Star’s bylaws, Grillo himself was forbidden to hold office, because of a conviction for involuntary manslaughter that was the result of a 1980 automobile accident. Nonetheless, he remained the face and soul of the movement, even as he refused to work with a political establishment that he had spent decades ridiculing. The resulting deadlock left Italy without a formal government as party leaders struggled to find common ground.

Posted by: john buatti | May 11, 2014 10:39 AM

____________________________________________________'s First Annual Blog Index

From millions of blogs about nothing, we've selected the 25 best about something—from politics and global affairs to shopping and sports.

Beppe Grillo, a popular Italian comedian, actor, and political satirist, writes one of the few non-English language blogs that's become wildly popular worldwide. That's because Grillo speaks the international language of outrage. On a typical day, Grillo's blog may call for Germany to declare war on Italy, or failing that, for Italy to boycott the upcoming Olympic Games in China, or for a prominent politician to stop acting like a "Psycho-dwarf." Most of the outrage has a political point — the Beppe blog features a regularly updated list of members of the Italian Parliament who have been convicted, and frequently calls for tainted politicians to resign from office. Last September, Grillo used his blog to rally marchers in nearly 300 Italian towns for his "Fuck Off Day," to encourage citizens to forcibly remove from office members of the Italian Parliament who have criminal convictions. The rally was such a hit that a second round is planned for April 25th. America could use a political satirist fueled by this sort of outrage, but for now, there's Beppe,28804,1725323_1725329_1725342,00.html

Posted by: john buatti | May 11, 2014 10:22 AM


Top 25 Blogs by

From millions of blogs about nothing, we've selected the 25 best about something—from politics and global affairs to shopping and sports. And, yes, we've got a few about nothing, too —Tom McNichol,29569,1725323,00.html

Posted by: john buatti | May 11, 2014 10:18 AM


7 March 2014

Why so many Italians love Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement
Casting itself as the party of the people rather than the establishment, the movement could come first in European

The Five Star Movement's position on Europe is a factor. From the economic point of view, it argues that the euro is harmful because it has favoured big banks at the expense of small investors. Moreover, European bureaucracy has never worked to give Italy the help it really needs when it comes to developing common approaches to issues such as immigration, defence or gay rights.

Grillo has proposed a popular referendum to decide whether to stay in the euro. He relies entirely on the cause-effect relationship – which has yet to be proved – between the global economic crisis, which in Italy is still far from resolved (in 2013 there were 478,000 less employed workers than the previous year), and the adoption of the single currency. It may seem to be a paradox, but with an anti-European message, the Five Star Movement could come first in European elections.

It would be naive, however, to think that the European elections can be won by just talking about Europe. A campaign mainly focused on Italian issues could benefit the Five Star Movement even more because Grillo's support depends on a lack of trust in Italian leaders more than the quality of his movement's programme. The May elections will be used to test the solidity of the Democratic party after the birth of the new government led by Renzi, rather than to discuss the stability pact, the fiscal compact or civil and social rights for all European citizens.

First, the electoral system could favour Grillo, with the proportional system with three preference votes and a 4% minimum threshold for party representation. The absence of a majority premium obviates the need for coalitions. Second, the Five Star Movement could take advantage of its ability to reduce Italian politics to an eternal struggle between two social blocks at "war" (an expression often used by Grillo). On the one hand there is the "Casta", ie the political, economic and media establishment that, according to Grillo, has no significant differences between the left and the right, between journalism and politics. On the other hand there are the "people", of which the Five Star Movement considers itself to be the only true representative. Italian supporters of the movement voted (and will vote) as a form of protest against the "Casta" instead of not voting at all – even if they don't consider Grillo the solution.

From this point of view, this week's conviction of Grillo for violating the stockyards of the Turin-Lyon high-speed railway could be an additional benefit to the Five Star Movement. On the one hand, almost all the voters of the movement (and most of the leftwing voters, including those of the Democratic party) oppose the project, due to the serious environmental impact and the deemed excessive costs, particularly in this moment of economic crisis. On the other hand, it is difficult for opponents of Grillo to be moralistic since Berlusconi, despite having already been convicted of fraud, met Renzi to discuss the electoral system, and met Italy's president, Giorgio Napolitano, to discuss the composition of the new government.

Grillo's political narrative would not have been credible without the disastrous political experiment of the "technocratic government" convened by Mario Monti in November 2011 and supported by the two major parties, the Democratic party of Pier Luigi Bersani and the People of Freedom party of Berlusconi. The election results of the Five Star Movement in 2013 (25%) were literally ignored by the other parties, who supported another "broad agreement" government led by Enrico Letta, which failed after 10 months.

Renzi's experiment, supported again by a left-right agreement, does not change anything, for now. Grillo continues to be in the opposition, without political responsibility. And as long as there is a model in which the proposals of liberals and conservatives are not easily distinguishable by voters, the Five Star Movement will not disappear. Indeed, it will be able to win elections.

Posted by: john buatti | May 11, 2014 09:50 AM

for John Waddington

You are trying to put down a popular movement by bringing up Mao that for many even today is an inspiration or should we use Margaret Thatcher and what she did to all those mining strikers and reduce the UK to poverty for many year?
You are the one that needs a detailed program before you cast your vote...but yet you keep coming back here for more!
You seem to have a love hate relationship with Grillo or his website or you just come here to get your frustration off your chest for your mediocre life that you live or for what life has served you!

In the UK you will soon have a tax deducted directly from your bank accounts in case you are a much for the English free way of life!
Go there and solve those problems that your democracy delivers if you are from there and complain to them and not here. !
Good luck


I report facts from online news no bull like you do !

spin doctor
1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a person who provides a favourable slant to an item of news, potentially unpopular policy, etc, esp on behalf of a political personality or party

Posted by: john buatti | May 11, 2014 09:45 AM

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