Friday, September 28, 2018

We are against...

Stories and News No. 1122

Yesterday evening, the Italian government set the limit for the budget deficit of 2019 to 2.4% of GDP, a result publicly celebrated by the leaders, but which could lead the already heavily indebted country into conflict with the European Union.

We are against...
We are against Europe.
Even if we have never left Italy.
Barely our city.
Spending whole days in our neighborhood.
Apartment block.
Home.
Laptop.
Maybe, with the exception of dancing in Spain, smoking in the Netherlands and eating crepes in Paris.
Anyway, we’re against.
Because we are, against...
Against the old politics.
Even if the new one is always political.
Even if, as the latter teaches, it often makes impossible promises.
Relaxing on the armchair.
Rejecting the contradictory.

Not accepting criticism.
Favoring friends, punishing enemies.
And, sooner or later, it coming to terms with those who really rule here, namely mafia or under a professional nickname.
Nonetheless, we are against...
With the chest out and the proud chin, we are.
Against immigrants.
Even if we've never seen one close up.
In the sense of really knowing him or her
Listened seriously.
Appreciating or not, but sincerely.
And yet, we are also against the foreigner if he is also a Muslim.
Even if we do not have the faintest idea of what his faith is.
Not having read the Koran.
Never having entered a mosque.
And above all, having never met a Muslim, actually.
Listened consistently, as well as despised or not, but loyally.
We are, therefore, against those who offend our religion.
Even if at most we remember it on Sunday and commanded holidays.
Or, much more frequently, not even then.
By blaspheming like talking, talking and doing more than ever, as if we were blaspheming.
This doesn’t make us less against...
Against the State that steals and delinque.
Although many of us don’t pay taxes.
And most of the time we drive passing with red, let alone slowing down with yellow, we don’t stop on the pedestrian crossing and if forced to slow down we yell to the pedestrian too.
Against, therefore.
We are against, says the motto, the cry, the slogan and the meme, that is, the verse.
What we repeat in chorus, possibly many.
Because that’s what we are.
In the truest and most important explanation that we have finally missed.
We.
Are.
Against… us.


On the same topic:
Story of the cave

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What are viruses today

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Thursday, September 27, 2018

The perfect couple

The perfect couple



By
Alessandro Ghebreigziabiher


"So, kids," the teacher exclaims, "you have finally arrived to fifth grade, next year you go to high school."
The woman makes a rundown of the students, their faces, eyes and smile’s design, more or less enthusiastic.
The reason is trivial, because the coming year and every moment that awaits the young lives entrusted to her is tinged with emotional tones of absolute heterogeneity. Some are anxiously waiting for the imminent afternoon, because they will finally meet their cousin, fresh from birth and tears, and diapers, and milk powder... and luckily we have already moved on that, the teacher thinks with relief.
At the same time, among them, there are those who wait for the recreation to enjoy the tomato pizza torn from mommy, between the usual biological snacks, and those who would never want to go home, unless accompanied by the Avengers, Harry Potter and Jack Sparrow all together, but even a social worker would do well, if they knew what it is, and so on.
Nonetheless, after the above overview, the teacher stops the spot of her visual camera on the two at the last desk on the right, perhaps not a random place.
As it has been for most of the past years, they liked each other from the beginning and since the very first day of school they became inseparable, even going so far as to neglect all the others. As if for both the class were just the other and vice versa.
"You," the teacher calls, trying to get attention, since they are the only ones who have not reacted to her words with a rag of participant expression, "are you ready for the last round?"
"Yes, it's clear," one says.
"Of course, what question is this?" Agrees the other.
A bit irritated by the common arrogant tone , the woman relies on the school power in her hands.
"Did you make the task for today?"
"Right, that’s obvious," says one.
"Are you kidding?" The other replies.
"Then," says the teacher, quoting the topic, "who do you want to be when you’ll grow up?"
"I will try to understand how people are made," says one, "but not all people, I’m talking about most of them. Not what they think most, but what they want more and what they would do anything to have it. So I'll try to find out what most people are afraid of and what makes them angry, what makes them sad and what makes them do bad things."
"And what will you do with all that?"
"Are you really asking me this? Once I’ll know, I'll use it."
"For what?"
"To rule that majority of people and make them do what I want."
"This is what you want to do when you’ll grow up?"
"Sure, everyone would like it, in my opinion."
"Almost all," the other intervenes.
"Right," approves the first one.
"Why," says the teacher, "what would you do?"
"I will be among that majority of people he wants to command and I will tell them that if they want to talk to each other, get to know each other better, meet each other, and above all make friends with everyone who thinks exactly like them, I am the righty guy."
"I ask you the same thing: for what purpose?"
"What a stupid question: in my way nobody will talk to those who think differently, so no one will argue and everyone will agree with those they get along with."
The woman begins to understand their desires and observes the two with a shaky expression, between confusion and restlessness.
"Dear kids, are you really convinced about who you want to become?"
"Of course," one says, "when I grow up I will be a populist."
"And I will be a Social Network," replies the other.
"A perfect couple," the teacher thinks trying to find hope concentrating her gaze on the rest of the classroom...

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Luckily

Stories and News No. 1121

According to some scientists of the University of California, who study brain activity, the connectivity between the parts of the brain responsible for training and especially the conservation of memory increases after a short interval of physical exercises, even light, of ten minutes.

“You're eighty years old, Grandma Teresa,” he says, “how can you walk so much?”
“Ask the legs,” that’s what I answer.
Because I used to ask what I do not know.
“But the legs don’t speak,” he says, my nephew Mattia.
“Yes, but they still move and I do with them, may be blessed.”
He says: “Aren't you afraid of going around, alone?”
That’s what he says, Mattia, my nephew, who is fifteen years old and tells me about fear.
Him….
I explain: “If I were afraid, I wouldn't be still here.”
And I repeat it, two, even three times.
But not because I’m eighty, rather because he is fifteen and he talks about fear.

He says: “But there are immigrants.”
He says it, my nephew, and his eyes grow big.
He already has them big and I’m worried, I don’t want he explode here on the couch, becase otherwise… It comes and eat his remains.
It is the dog and I didn’t say my dog not by chance, since I don’t remember the name.
Differently, I would have said Roll, my Roll, but my loved animal died, and then the Mattia gave me... It, and I think I’ll call him like that.
He says, again, he says: “There are immigrants.”
And I add: “That there are also the sun, when it doesn’t rain, then the rain, when it rains, the sidewalk where I walk on, the BUS 747 that makes a lot of noise, the ambulances when they whiz and remind me of your grandpa in his last trip, those on Jim’s Bar, which are always in front of Jim’s bar, even on Sundays when it is closed, the three greengrocers who compete on the same street, the car electrician who, while working, he’s ever surrounded by at least ten people and none of them works, the garbage that accumulates in front of the bins, the guy who stands on the balcony and pretends to put the plants in order, the same plants that I fear sooner or later will throw down for his watering obsession, that store that always changes, because everything they try it fails, and now there is the lady that sews and because I like her, I would not her to disappear and I bring her the skirts, then I break them and I bring them back again, the other Bar, which no one goes there, some say they don’t wash the cups well, I think Jim of Jim’s Bar is saying that, but I'm not going to either of them, so there's the guy that fixes the TV, and he always has clients, but I think he does like Chaplin in The kid movie, so he enters the houses at night and damages the devices...”
Mattia now says, or he tries to say something, but I wave to him with the hand that I haven’t finished, I take a breath and I go on: “There is the pizza guy who is always angry, and I asked him why he is always angry and he explained to me that he is not always angry, that is his face and I told him I am sorry for him, and that’s the time he got really angry, and then there is also our building’s door whose lock is changed at least once a month because someone breaks down the key on purpose, luckily there is a good concierge, luckily the keys can be redone, luckily we can remedy a multitude of things around here.” And then, I repeat: “Luckily.”
He says, him, Mattia, says: “I do not understand.”
“What,” I ask, and I’m the one to have big eyes and eighty years, now, in front of him who is fifteen and says he does not understand.
He says: “Grandma, remember? I asked you about immigrants, that there are immigrants...”
Well, I tell him that I have a good memory, because I walk every day.
And yes, I know there are immigrants out there and a billion other things to think about.
To worry, of course, and also to be grateful of.
Luckily, I always say.


On the same topic:
New shoes

Watch the video storytelling with English subtitles:
What are viruses today

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Friday, September 21, 2018

The world of lies

Stories and News No. 1120

Once upon a time the world of lies.
You can call it whatever you like.
Who cares about the exactness of syntax and semantics in the current narrative?
The people?
But now they’re there, they finally entered the power room.
The wonderful ordinary persons, the average citizen, traditionally known for virtues and skills that professional politicians never had.
You’re in the populist dream, now.

So, why you feel like living in a strange kind of nightmare?
Oops, don’t say it... hurry up!
Moderate the comments, indeed, block them and, while you're there, turn off everything.
Better not to read between the muddy backwash that could run over you.

It's all right, continue to share the reassuring mantra with others and especially yourself.
The parties you voted would have sold their soul to finally get on the saddle of the government steed.
You know what? They sold it.
They did it before you even start to listen about them.
It's all right, anyway.
Don’t even think about it, otherwise you’ll sleep badly.
Don’t post it on the group home, unless you are fond of a strong digital masochism.
So, come on, let's join the delusions of the leaders of all things, as long as they are viral and above all not requiring fine brains.
Eat the garbage of the strong men only with the weak ones, so your friends will no longer see the difference.
Because everything is fine, now.
Things have changed.
This is the good news.
In the past the candidates who made pre-elective promises without keeping them, they were vehemently attacked, then.
In the pseudo modernity which you woke up in, the aspiring ruler has filled with lies every inch of your neural bulletin board and once he has got the vote he has never stopped doing it.
That’s the consistency of the unpunished malefactor, who fools you before and after.
That's okay with you, isn’t it?
Stay sedated, still, don’t dare move your hands to the keyboard, let alone the brain to the voice, if not the memory.
Don’t say that your government has made you ashamed once again in front of the rest of the planet.
Don’t say what you know better than anything else.
In a few words, that migrants have never been the first problem in your country.
But not even the second, third and fourth.
For sure, not the only one.
If not, wait to remain just you, isolated, against everyone else, that you may read also as the administrators of the national social page.
You simply find yourself in the next phase that you don’t expect.
Because that's okay.
Everything is alright.
Repeat with me, everything is fine.
One more lie, one less, no one will notice.


On the same topic:
Solution to Italy problem

Watch the video storytelling with English subtitles:
What are viruses today

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Things I need and do not need

Things I need and do not need
 
By
Alessandro Ghebreigziabiher


Why you bring bracelets to dinner? Aunt asks.
Mom smiles, Dad shakes his head.
You don’t need them, grandpa says. You do not need those things at seven years old, Beatriz.
Mom now laughs, also aunt, uncle too.
And dad? He always shakes his head.
How can he do it with that stuff on his face?
Because I pay attention to... what is that difficult word that the teacher explained the other day? One moment, I wrote it in the notebook that my brother gave me, I'm going to read.

Here you may put the words that you don’t understand and that you like, Steven explained.
Found it: contradictions.
I really like it, in fact.
It means that one thing has nothing to do with the other, they might be contrary too, and yet they are together, very close.
Are the contradictions dangerous? Fred asked at school, the child named Fred, but he is Chinese, not to be confused with the other Fred who... I don’t know where he comes from, but he is not Chinese, I’m sure about that.
Anyway, you know what? We are never say that Fred, the former, is Chinese. To us, they are Fred one and Fred two. The parents, they are the ones who, when we talk about them, always ask us: which Fred? The Chinese one or the other? And we understand.
We understand that we don’t need that, they do.
Well, I want to make a list.
Title: things I need.
Here are the things I need, but maybe I don’t need to say this, because it comes after the title, but now I said it and let’s go forward.
Mom and dad, first mom and then dad, that’s just what mommy suggests, and dad... right, he shakes his head. Then, the floor, otherwise we end up on the garage machines, because we're on the ground floor, and so we need the ceiling too, because without it the new neighbor on the floor above falls down, and it's trouble. I've never seen him, but his walking makes a lot of noise and he must be very heavy and very gigantic.
No, gigantic no, says mom, maybe it's better to use another word, maybe more common, dad explains shaking his head, but sometimes the best words to say things are strange and that’s why we’re so afraid to use them, that’s what I think.
I continue with the things I need
The light next to the bed, for many occasions: when I read, when I have bad dreams, when it rains hard, and when... wait a minute. There must always be a reason not to stay in the dark? Could we take it off, the darkness?
Okay, I’ll put it with the things I don’t need, later.
Other things I need: the bread to accompany the vegetables, so it hides the taste, the calm sea, the grandma's terrace with pigeons, pigeons, and grandmother too.
That’s everything, I think, the main things.
Now let’s go to what I don’t need.
Title: things I don’t need.
The dark, I told you, I am always sincere, mum smiles, dad shakes his head, never the opposite, because they are a contradiction, but those that love each other. I don’t even need the ants that come when the crumbs fall... but, wait again, I'm having a doubt. I don’t need ants, but maybe someone else do. Maybe to the spiders that eat them. It's important, this thing, I think. This is something I need a lot, I guess. Knowing that when we say that something is not needed, we must not think that it’s the same for everyone. That we are not everybody.
We are not everybody, this is something that I need a lot, says mom, dad doesn’t shake his head because he is in the bathroom and has not heard, and I write it.
To write! Writing is something I need, the pen too, and the sheets, the table, the chair, they are all connected, I could go on forever.
In the end I would say that forever is something that I need, so I’m never tired of discovering new things.
But among all the things that I don’t need, I put one and I'm sure that this time mum will smile and dad will shake his head.
The beard, dad, beard is not useful at all.
It Just pinches.
Oops… I was wrong.
Mom smiled, but dad too!
So even the things that I don’t need make us all happy.
So, maybe, it's not true that we do not need them, right?




Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Story for when you feel down

Stories and News No. 1119

Once upon a time the classic bad day.
Maybe it's today.
Let's be exactly now, the case.
Yours and mine.
In fact, make it worse, imagine a whole period, months, even years.
Take those moments.
Then, open the palm of your hand and place them in the middle.
Observe that pile of minutes when the world rolls like a bowling ball aiming straight at you, the only skittle in the field, helpless before a grim and insensitive destiny.
It happens to you, me, everybody.
Not for a matter of chronic depression, let it be clear.
Let’s not bring doctors and medicines into play.
Do the same with any pretext to close our eyes and our brains before the possibilities, a very holy word.
You might say: “I'm still a teenager, can you realize? Do you understand what kind of society you welcomed me into? Is it my fault of what I found at the very beginning of my days? Will you comprehend why does it bother me?”
Yeah, I see.
Indeed, let's see together, and let’s assume that you could even reply: “Sorry, did you really see me? Did you get how the real winners are made out - or better, up there? Nature has been merciless with me as generous with them, this is the truth.”
That's right, let’s stay on the truth.
Now you could rightly jump out and try to close every discourse with the skin topic: “When my colour is disadvantaged by definition, the soul inside is condemned to a life sentence of literal obscurity.”
It can be, for sure it happens.
As much as it is normal that you might be upset with understandable susceptibility, offering as a non-negligible argument: a gender identity not foreseen by the current moral script.
You are all right, from your point of view, and if all this were not enough, at any moment the punctual seller of better times could appear and after a predictably optimistic words’ game he would show you the usual way.
Read also as the long and hard road of courageous patience.
“No,” you would refuse, “I exist now. And it's time for me to smile.”
“I don’t have any more survivors seconds in my pocket,” you could think with reasonable resignation.
Well, with just as much clarity you should know that Eddie Ndopu’s story is not a fable invented at a desk to reconcile crafts.
On the contrary, it’s a written, told and certainly lived experience with an absolute knowledge of living crudities.
When he was only two years old Eddie was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy.
"He will not survive to five," the doctor told his mother.
Nonetheless, Eddie won.
But he didn’t do it because today he is still here with us and he is twenty-seven years old.
Not because he was the first African with a disability to graduate from the University of Oxford.
Not because he became a global ambassador for humanity and inclusion.
And not even because, besides being young and disabled, he is also black and homosexual.
Eddie triumphed because he fortunately understood that he was - his exact words - "a living manifestation of possibility."
As is each of us is, every day we have left...




“90% of children with a disability across the developing world don’t have access to education … I don’t want us to just have the ramp, I want us to have the whole building.”
Eddie Ndopu



On the same topic:
The life we waste

Watch the video storytelling with English subtitles:
What are viruses today

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Friday, September 14, 2018

Who is on the ship?

Stories and News No. 1118

Once upon a time... no, it’s wrong.
There is, now, here.
A story? Yes, maybe, but also something else.
It's a farce, yes it is.
A nightmare.
A deception, or worse, a trap.
A maze of lies and ignorance that brings you back to the same spot every day.
The one where, in turn, however incredulous, you feel the irrepressible need to bring them back to the center of the village, the sea and our understanding of things.
The people.
In this story, but also something else, there is a guy, him, that I’ve not yet understood who or what it is, what right he has to speak and even vomit madness in the name of the most.
Since the majority, thanks to the sacrosanct voice of numbers, they haven’t given him any credit.
Then, there are the microphones’ sellers, but the ones with powerful, trendy lungs. Long time ago they used to share the what and the how, sometimes the why too, and now it remains only the mere object: inanimate tools, just like that, soulless, like a microphone in the hands of the best screamer on air.
In between, there is the ship.

The ship acts like a ship, as all do.
It sets sail, plows the seas and, if good luck and wind allow, it reaches the shore.
It has ever happened, it’s still a miracle today, if you think about it, and yet, from the very first moment, the most cumbersome biped of the planet crosses the waters from shore to shore, although there is nothing natural in all of that. But immensely human... even if this is a completely different story and - what a bad luck, it’s not ours.
So, the ship finally arrives at the port.
Punctual like a fart that awkwardly escapes from the sick entrails of a professional garbage devourer, that guy mentioned above, as soon as he learns of the landing he activates his own delusional antivirus: "These are not ships in difficulty, this is obviously human trafficking. I will do everything possible for the Moroccans not to disembark. Closed ports!"
"Excuse me, your northerly", says a voice in the vicinity, because there is always one of them next to the screaming guy, also responsible for the social diffusion of the ministerial flatulence. "The truth is they are not Moroccans, but Eritreans..."
"Then, write this: somebody told me that the migrants are Eritreans, but apart from that, I confirm: closed ports!"
"Excuse me, your purity, it seems that those migrants are not even Eritreans, but Tunisians..."
"Fuc..."
"Fuc... and then?"
"Idiot, how many times have I told you to wait for me to say write?"
"Sorry."
"So, write: they just warned me that, given the weather conditions and bad radio reception, the information is inaccurate. In any case, Tunisian migrants, I repeat, Tunisians, will not set foot on the ground. Closed ports! "
"... closed ports!"
"Closed ports."
"Twice... okay."
"What?"
"The ports."
"What do you mean?"
"Hem... in the sense of properly closed, double-handed, right?"
"Idiot, twice idiot."
"Sorry."
...
"Excuse me…"
"I see, but I don’t need you to be sorry all the time."
"No, I said that it seems that those migrants are not Tunisians..."
"Somalis?"
"No…"
"Algerians, maybe?"
"No…"
"Africans, right? Write Africans, or illegal immigrants, done with that. "
"No…"
"No what?"
"Your borders, the problem is that we don’t know who is actually on the ship."
"Why?"
At that moment, the deus ex machina of this tattered story is revealed.
The invisible, servile and accomplice voice becomes free flesh, finds an unexpected sense of decency in the rubble of his heart and a survival lucidity after a deadly bombardment of instrumental lies: "Because since there is a sea, an earth, a sky and humanity himself, where the latter crosses the world, is something unknown to the one who accepts it, as the inverse. Who, without knowing anything, literally nothing of the newcomers will mark them as hostile, it means that he cannot distinguish the friend from the enemy. May the fate protect him, when he will choose who to entrust his life and his loved ones..."


On the same topic:
27 stories

Watch the video storytelling with English subtitles:
What are viruses today

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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Diversity and inclusion stories: White cloud and black cloud

White cloud and black cloud

By
Alessandro Ghebreigziabiher


It took time, to understand.
It always does, when everything is wanted, except to do it.
That's why we need patience.
And that's why I now feel infinite gratitude for those who have had it with me.
A white cloud.
That’s right, a born white one, with all the advantages from that.
The classic cloud, adorable in its soft and elegant shapes.

Protagonist of blue spring or summer scenes, portrayed and admired with smiling looks between more or less childlike drawings and more or less spontaneous photos.
Everything was perfect, at first, even if it was not at all, but it’s hard to see the contradictions of life, where you are unscathed to the cynical vagaries of destiny.
Until they arrived.
Yes, the black clouds.
The cursed version of us.
To stain the scene and the story.
To push the audience look away.
Or worse, to instill anguish and worry of all kind.
“The heavenly vault is great,” some suggested. “There is room for everyone and belongs to everyone.”
Such naive good-natured clouds that pontificate from the fortunate regions, as kissed by perennially favorable climates, so I pointed to them with hot rage.
“It’s not their fault,” others explained, “they are only victims of merciless winds and unpredictable drafts.”
Why don’t you welcome them in your corner of heaven, then? That’s what I used to retaliate with searing livery.
“It’s the consequence of global warming,” some even dared to observe, “which makes everyone's journey foolish.”
Yes, of course, and in the meantime I denounced the risk of our disappearance.
Because black clouds are not like us.
They don’t integrate and tend to be alone among them.
They’re here only to bring darkness and fear.
This was my sing-song lament.
All around fear, yes it is, a key word and emotion inside this absurd story.
I was convinced that I knew exactly what it was.
As long as the nightmare has come true in the most complete way.
Suddenly, I became the enemy.
Because this is also the nature of things in the sky.
The white cloud turns black, sooner or later.
Here's what fear really is, I thought and felt.
Even before seeing it in the eye that observes and ignores.
Even before warning it in what shows off next to you, with more or less studied distance.
And even before discovering that there is no inverse journey, in this inevitable change.
However, there is something as extraordinary as it’s incredibly precious beyond the horizon that we have stupidly turned into a border.
The awareness of what you are, or could have been born.
The responsibility and the weight of being the one who, in spite of the futile exteriority, will irrigate the world.
And more than anything else, the never too late compassion for what I have become.
The most misrepresented and neglected fragment of the firmament.
I said it at the beginning of my life and now I repeat it.
It takes time to understand.
There is always a lot of it, where this is not really what you really want.
But if it finally happens, you know that becoming the other it's the only way to stop hating…

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Racism test online with guided meditation

Stories and News No. 1117

Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has recently declared that she wants to send staff to Italy to evaluate the reported strong increase in acts of violence and racism against migrants, African descent’s and Roma people".
Italian government has rejected accusations, threatening also a punitive cut of funds at the United Nations.
I think this is a global problem. So, regardless of where you live, Italian or not, I offer you a sort of guided meditation text
.

First of all, find someone who can read, able to give the right volume, tone and intensity to the voice.
It is not essential to be a professional.
Someone you like to listen to might be perfect.
Maybe the person you love and the magic will be complete.
Done? Well, let her or him read the following words.
Let’s start, just like that.
We will take a journey inside ourselves, since it's there that the best answers are hidden and some of them are closer to the truth.

This is why we're so afraid even to touch them.
Close your eyes, now, and imagine with me.
Imagine the nation you live in.
Today, at this precise moment.
Imagine what you figure when you think of it.
Focus on discounted details, common places, but also personal interpretations.
Something appears on the mental screen, right?
The shape of the land, maybe.
The borders, the mountains and the rivers, the towns and all the map.
The North and the South.
East and West.
The middle zones and the North, West and the South again.
Cities and provinces, residential neighborhoods, suburbs, and new settlements, countries and districts, all the ways we use to divide us.
Anyway, you may read the word ‘against’, instead of the conjunction ‘and’, I will certainly not contradict you.
I live in today world, just like you.
But let's move on, let's complete the drawing together.
Let’s privilege, optimistically, the already full side of the latter, as if it were the classic glass, but made of paper, ready to be colored.
Let’s remember the typical food and the drinking.
Popular music, dialects, gestures, the unique folklore and traditions.
Let's move on to the artistic and historical riches, the monuments and the museums, as well as natural beauties and landscapes, which – we should put on record, you and I have only inherited.
As inhabitants of this fascinating planet, after our first cry, we found these gifts without any merit other than birth. Which, if you carefully think about it, is not at all a merit, but quite the opposite.
Let’s now focus our unconscious observation on us.
The people, the ones we know or we just meet in everyday life.
At school, on the street, at work, on the subway or the bus, in traffic and shops, in offices and yes, even on internet, hidden by avatars and more or less truthful names.
But let's not forget the politicians of the last thirty, forty years, even more, the leaders more or less worth of the name, those who spread ideas or who merely dramatize them with every popular ways granted to them.
We're almost there, my friend.
Just a small but fundamental clarification: what is racism? Among the various definitions, I suggest you this: active attitude of intolerance (which can result in threats, discrimination, violence) towards groups of people identifiable through their culture, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, physical appearance or other characteristics.
In particular, I invite you to dwell on mere discrimination, or inequality of judgment and arbitrary distinction.
Done?
Now, always keeping your eyes closed, imagine walking and meeting two people in your path.
One is the typical, classical citizen according to your country, with a recognizable skin and the equally common hair, as well as clothes and speech.
The other is identifiable as the average immigrant, maybe dark-skinned, with strange clothes and speaking a foreign language.
Now, whoever you are, indeed, of any region or city, age, social class or political orientation.
Literally whoever you are.
Look with the utmost honesty among the most uncomfortable folds of your conscience, culture you have assimilated up to now, and education given to you or only imposed.
Sincerely, tell me if to you, apart from the outward appearance, there is no difference between the two.
I repeat, no difference.
Yes, I know…
As I supposed.
That is racism, that is the essence of the virus, that is the real enemy.
As I hope now you will agree, it is everywhere, here, today. And pretending it doesn’t exist, it won’t go away, believe me.


On the same topic:
I would like one day

Watch the video storytelling with English subtitles:
What are viruses today

Read more racism stories
Buy my English Italian, dual language books
Listen my music band
Watch my last storytelling show with English and Italian subtitles Sunset
Storytelling videos with subtitles

Friday, September 7, 2018

Story of the cave

Stories and News No. 1116

For some years a story has been told, that is to say, a simplified image is sold: in Western democracies, political confrontation occurs between populists and status quo’s defenders.
From that - an equally widespread pattern - the populists are the true voice of the people and the traditional parties represent the elite who lives outside the real world.
A recent study shows instead that these statements are completely wrong.
The Pew Research Center interviewed the citizens of eight Western European countries (Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) and what emerges is that traditional parties are more popular than the populist ones, which are nothing but an incredibly noisy minority...


Once upon a time the Allegory of the cave.
Yes, that one, rightly mythical, exemplary and more than anything platonic.
In the sense of copyright, not based on an idealistic approach to life.

There is also today, here and now, immodestly, a revised version.
Let’s also remove the word allegory, so we lower expectations and avoid embarrassing comparisons with the original.
Let's call it then the story of the aforementioned.
A little one, okay?
According to my story of the cave, then, imagine that, similarly to the famous allegory, within the latter there are people sitting before the cavern’s wall and shoulders at the entrance.
Imagine a rather large group, which we could also call people.
Moreover, another difference with the perfect metaphor of the illustrious philosopher, let’s consider the case that instead of the fire, and above all the consequent shadows, they got information using only the hearing.
In this way, all that they know corresponds to what they hear coming from outside the cave.
Now, let's leave out those heroic revolutionaries who inspired by the most famous tale, trying several times to show their companions left behind the sunlight, they were punctually slaughtered on the public square by the usual dark instigators, a threatening warning to the noble breakers to come.
Imagine instead that at the entrance of the cave there is a guy without any capacity and quality worthy of note, distinguished by only three aspects: irrepressible thirst for power, total lack of scruples and, more than anything else, a powerful voice.
Imagine him taking a breath and start shouting this silliness: "Don’t go out of the cave absolutely, you’re safe where you are, here there are only diseases and wild animals. Indeed, don’t let anyone in, build a wall and block the entrance, but always working from behind, you don’t want to be blinded by the burning sun, then, sit back and stand still, because the only way to live happily and for a long time, is staying motionless and always looking in the same direction."
And so on, on this sightless road.
At the same time, let's say that some of those who are outside the cavern decided to fight his ravings.
The contenders' parade who follow one another in vain, no matter how much committed with praiseworthy ardor, is as frustrating as monotonous.
A string quartet plays a perfect Bach’s Aria on the G string.
And the guy screams more.
A dance company stages a version of The dying swan so suggestive that it resurrected Michel Fokine, Camille Saint-Saƫns and Anna Pavlova altogether, who, despite the failure of the performers, congratulate the attempt.
And the guy screams even louder.
Then, the apprentices of an entire art school accept the challenge and thanks to a sudden flash mob they come each one with a freshly cut ear and paint the whole collection of the late Van Gogh on the spot.
And what does the guy from the thundering hawk and the tough face?
Well, he laughs out loud, because tell me how you could appreciate a painting from behind, moreover with an idiot who, just a few meters, barks like a madman.
Then, actors committed with social causes and writers with a generous heart have their chance, as much as pious souls with the sacrosanct requirement of concreteness and just concrete persons sufficiently pious when necessary.

Same result for marvelous gray hair ladies with a trunk always full of never quite expunged testimonies.
Nothing can stop the man who cries and so thrives behind the people.
I think, but maybe I'm wrong, it's time to raise the volume of our voice...


On the same topic:
Ignorance is bliss

Watch the video storytelling with English subtitles:
What are viruses today

Read more stories to think about
Buy my English Italian, dual language books
Listen my music band
Watch my last storytelling show with English and Italian subtitles Sunset
Storytelling videos with subtitles

Thursday, September 6, 2018

I'm free and now I know

I'm free and now I know

By
Alessandro Ghebreigziabiher


I have to look forward and if I do it I can only rejoice.
I'm one of those, yes I am.
Obliged by history to keep the gaze fixed on the horizon.
The past depresses me, the future is everything.
But then I think more carefully, perhaps involving the heart in the intimate conversation and I understand that what awaits me owes what has been.
I'm free, therefore.
Nothing special, but it still moves to say it.
It’s good, more than anything else, remembering the reasons, however trivial they might be.
I am free because I have a brain of my own.
And finally, I avail myself pursuing happiness and dreams that are just mine.
I can understand things by choosing which and when.
I can afford to make mistakes without feeling old or poorly updated.
I can also stop, at any moment, to analyze and measure the world which I come into contact with.
I can even remain silent, still, forgotten in the wonderful realm of everywhere and nowhere, where you can relax and enjoy an unparalleled privilege.
I know where I am and it’s up to me choosing to reveal it.
Because the perennial reception of other messages - but you may also read it as the insatiable need for listening, is a tremendous slavery.
And I'm free now.
I am because I have a home called a memory and the keys to the entrance door are held in my hands.
They had always been there.
It was enough to look, that would have been enough to know being able to do it.
Opening my eyes and seizing the fruit destined to me from the beginning of time.
The first fragment that has become triumphantly that sort of particular picture that you hang at the entrance, so that everyone understands immediately where they arrived.
You may see the day when I understood that the memories scattered among the rooms, trivially in the drawers, as in the most unlikely point of that precious virtual space, were mine, mine alone, and were used and abused by those who have never really given importance to what remains of yesterday.
Well, this is an even worse slavery.
But only if you are really free you can understand it and I am.
Free.
Free to go where I want, to embark and travel at any moment.
But the most important thing is that I can decide to go out in the open sea without any precise destination and ready to meet and discover the unknown that surrounds me.
Without any fear.
Not anymore.
Because I am free and now I know it.
I don’t depend on them anymore.
The Humans.
I can finally call you whenever I want, everywhere and above all whoever you are.
Hello?
Tell me, please, who are you?

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Who represents us

Stories and News No. 1115 

"The rise to power of far-right politics is not just about the United States, but it’s part of a global phenomenon with a common enemy."
Spike Lee

My name is Laura and I'm sixteen years old.
That's okay.
I know very well that for many the brief premise is sufficient to change the road and navigate further.
A little more than a dozen years means many things, like ingenuity and consequent ease to delude themselves, among them.

I can’t deny it, but more than ever in this moment of my life I'm starting to wonder: are we sure that these prerogatives are uniquely typical of us, so-called teenagers?
I don’t know, right? I throw it out, and whoever wants to take it, can do it.
I'm here to share and perhaps we all are, even when we don’t realize it.
Anyway, I said, I'm Laura and I turned sixteen in August.
All right, okay, that's it. No birthday with friends all on vacation, but no problem anyway.
Over time you make a habit of everything, even the perennial birthday strictly in the family.
There’s worse, I know.
Like what passed in the head and especially the belly of people like Alex.
He’s in my class and this summer I often came back to mind what he said last autumn.
I saw that scene several times in my memory on three natural dimensions, that is imagination still at high regime, spontaneous predilection for strong colours and solid taste for extraordinary combinations.
Like the one between him and Liza aka Lizzy.
The two faced a singular struggle on the public classroom on the occasion of the students election precisely on the sixteenth of last October.
Yet Alex had begun well, you know?
"In spite of the alphabetical order that favors me, I give precedence to Liza," he declared before us gathered in a heartfelt and attentive listening. "Women has suffered too many abuses from my category, a sincere cavalry is just the minimum."
He had got also an applause, can you believe it?
Lizzy then took the floor a little hesitant, far from convinced that it was actually courtesy.
It wasn’t an enlightened statesman's speech, let it be clear.
Okay, no problem, we're talking about a school election, not even the whole institute, just my class.
Lizzy is nice and is a reliable, a good person, in short. I would even dare to say she’s completely honest, although there is always the ‘until proven otherwise’ that hangs over all.
In any case, to us, or to me, it was enough to know that. Words are worth little to the test of facts, isn’t it?
Isn’t it?
Immediately afterwards Alex went on stage, leaving the class amazed.
"It’s enough, it's time to destroy all, they have to go away."
He began in a thundering voice, before continuing in a deafening monologue with a lot of mouth-watering foam.
"The old representatives elected have thought only to their interests so far, they have done nothing for the students, this school is a disgusting place, the bathroom loses water on all sides, the plaster collapses to pieces, the desks are from the beginning of the last century, the chairs are rusty and the gym has too low ceilings. How can you play volleyball and especially basketball with the Hobbit model ceilings? Vote for me and I promise you books at no cost, free taxis for entry and exit to those living far away, chairs with soft seat and ergonomic backrest, laptops for each student, free cell phone in the classroom and bathroom with Jacuzzi."
Despite the revolting appearance of the drool, the public seemed to like Alex’s warmth and ravings.
The true essence of the problem is what he added below.
"The fault of this failure is on my predecessors - by now assuming his election, and especially the immigrants who are invading our classroom."
All of us could not help but move the common look on Zhang and Said.
John Zhang was born here by Chinese parents, who have one of those stores that sell a bit of everything, you know them, right?
Said is instead really born outside, exactly in Morocco, but he has been adopted.
So, to be precise, they don’t really migrated to our country.
However, it was immediately clear that the evidence of things was not the first of the requirements of Alex’s monologue, who with a nod of his head made turn on the IWB from his inseparable companion, Darius.
"These people are here to soil and damage the institute, to sell drugs in the baths and at the entrance to the school, to violate their comrades and especially their female companions, to impose their religion and to cancel our culture. Here are the evidences..."
Darius pressed a button on the laptop and the contributions of scary images and videos took place on the screen.
In each of them our two alleged foreigner companions appeared from time to time in the guise of drug dealers and rapists, vandals and fanatical fundamentalists ready to exterminate the entire school, all with bad digital effects and fake montages, all incredibly pathetic to say the least.
When the light came back we all burst out laughing and as we realized that Alex and his squire were not joking at all, but they seemed to believe seriously what they were trying to propose to us, the laughter became further noisy.
Obviously, the outcome of the election was obvious and Lizzy won almost unanimously, that is, all votes in favor of minus two, you know who, let alone me.
However, I go back to the beginning and reiterate.
My name is Laura and I have just turned sixteen.
I am still very young.
In the face of any reductive consideration, I immediately retaliate with a simple ‘no problem’.
Okay, all right, good. This doesn’t mean that I am not big enough to realize what is happening outside the borders of my school.
That's why from that fall day of last year I ask myself: how could you choose to be represented by someone like Alex?
And if this were to happen, how might one sit at the desk like nothing strange occurred?
Or dangerous?

On the same topic:
The life you waste

Watch the video storytelling with English subtitles:
What are viruses today

Read more stories to think about
Buy my English Italian, dual language books
Listen my music band
Watch my last storytelling show with English and Italian subtitles Sunset
Storytelling videos with subtitles