I’ve been up in Leeds covering the film festival for the last couple of weeks (shameless plug) so I’ve been fairly out of the loop when it comes to the news. When I got back I was surprised to hear that Berlusconi had stepped down as Italy’s Prime Minister. I was more surprised that he’d released an album of love songs called Il Vero Amore, or to us who don’t speak the italiano, True love.
When I first read the news I thought “This is great, now I can make a satirical funny about this weirdness.” But then I hit a problem. See, it’s very difficult to write something funny about what is already absurdly ironic and inherently humorous. To try and force humour into this would in some way detract from the piece. So instead, here are the facts, make of them what you will.
Three-time Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi stepped down as leader of Italy on the 12th November. He’d driven his country’s economy into the ground and done little to stimulate growth, he leaves behind him a government in charge of one of the weakest economies in Europe, second only to Greece, and which threatens to crumble the entire Euro currency.
Resignation will allow him to focus on his ongoing court case in which the 72 year-old is charged with paying for sex with an under-age prostitute. This isn’t the first time the politician has been drawn into sex scandals: his alleged “Bunga Bunga” sex parties are often the subject of international news, as were his two divorces.
So on the 22nd November when Berlusconi announced the release of his fourth album (before entering politics and making billions as a ‘businessman’ Berlusconi was a singer on a cruise ship). It’s been released just in time for Christmas and, as I said before, is entitled True Love.
So here we have a man under whom the country’s economy has been destroyed plugging his new album as a Christmas release a week after leaving office. An album called True Love written by a man who is reputed for his affairs, sex parties, and alleged use of under-age prostitutes. Now, I’m not saying that sex with an under-age prostitute isn’t true love, I can’t speak on a matter I have no experience of. Who knows, maybe it is a revelatory experience, but what I am saying is “Really?” Actually, even then, I find it difficult to properly articulate how utterly astoundingly bizarre this situation is. It would be like Tony Blair becoming a peace envoy to the Middle East after starting an illegal war in Iraq…wait, dammit he did that. Is there something in a world leader’s contract to say post-office they must perform an action that makes a subtle nod to everything they did in power?
So on that note I’ll leave you with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denying the holocaust to the sound of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’.