Italian standoff 2018 – the story of a Senator

There is a peculiar story to be told about our latest general elections, a good way to show how it works in Italy today when it comes to sensitive issues.

There was a young man, born in Nigeria back in 1955. He got his first degree in the USA (Computer information science), then moved to Italy in 1976. In my country, he got a second degree in the same specialization, got married to an Italian girl and became an Italian citizen after 11 years. Not bad at all, it’s a successful integration story.

This guy became involved in politics. In 1993 he enrolled in a political party, then he has been elected from 1994 to 2014 in the city council of Spirano (a small town near Bergamo, Italy). A few days ago he has become the first Italian Senator of African descent.
So far, so good. This is one of the most inspirational integration stories in my country. The long road of a man who found a new home and personal success in a foreign land.

What’s the problem? It’s up to you to decide. This man, Mr. Toni Iwobi, has been elected for the League (former Northern League), a center-right political party whose leader has made many inflammatory remarks about non-Italians and Muslims in the last few years. It’s also the party that caused outrage during the campaign by saying that immigration to Italy threatened our civilization.

You see, the immigration theme has been front and center in the political scene in the last two years or so. Center-left parties were calling for a more easy way to become Italian citizens, not to mention a great number of proposals to accommodate the newcomers in our country (I will not talk about the Italian mainstream media, there are limits that even I don’t want to trespass). Center-left parties and far left parties have been quite vocal about the election of Mr. Iwobi, portraying him as a puppet of the League.

Well, I’m gonna lose a few friends right now.
In my humble opinion, Mr. Iwobi is not a puppet. I think is racist to depict him as a false flag or like some kind of traitor of the integration cause. When similar remarks come in the public view I see somebody wave the multi-colored banner of integration, as if it were the exclusive property of the left.
It seems to me racist to make it clear that only the left can do the interests of immigrants as if anyone else could not be anything other than fascist.
I don’t know what Mr. Iwobi will do in his new role, but I can wish him well and make a note of what will happen.

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The Fandom, the Awards and the Business

lego-horror-astronauts

It looks like that 2016 will be remembered as a turning point for a lot of matters about modern-day fandom and for all the turmoil connected to the awards. I wrote about it a few months ago (here) and sadly I’ve to say that things have not improved so far.

The online debate after the last WorldCon reached a new level of bitterness and the echo in the mainstream media has been, if possible, even worse than at the start of the Sad Puppies / Rabid Puppies campaign. The public image of the sci-fi fandom could be compared to a downsized version of a noisy political debate, with very few attention to what really matters: the business of acquiring and selling good stories, no matter who write it and why.

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The new Captain America – Hail what?

Captain-America-Returns-Cover

I have to say that I was amazed by the last marketing move from Marvel. With a single comic, the new “Steve Rogers Captain America” by Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz, they got the attention of the whole internet. Try to imagine this. One story, a “new” idea, the equivalent of a multi-million dollar campaign in a matter of a few days. Wow.

I write “new” because it’s not the first time that Captain America gets on the wrong side of the fence. He’s been brainwashed or mind-controlled more than a few times, sometimes with dire results. So why all the rage right now? Could he really be bad to the bone? I mean, we’re talking about an iconic character, that’s right, but it’s the same character that has been killed at least twice.

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