by Nabeelah Shabbir
I’m surprised that Berlusconi’s media corporation didn’t bring a 20-million-euro lawsuit on dictionaries worldwide to try and get the meaning of the word ‘satire’ erased, re-evaluated and enforced.
Warning - Delayed Reaction post.
On the same day as Berlusconi’s 'ousting' (don't hold your breath), I finally got the chance to see some of Sabina Guzzanti’s ‘gratuitous vulgarity’ in BBC4’s ‘Viva Zapatero: Storyville - Berlusconi Rules, OK?’ last night.
Her defiant documentary gave more than just a revealing insight into her personal view of neo-fascist-Berlusconi tricks, as we followed the comedienne on the warpath. Her satirical show was banned after just one episode on the (state owned) RAI channel.
Amusing moments - when the suited and booted network director tried to smack Guzzanti on the wrist by hinting at what an embarrassment she must be to her important Senator father. In their eyes, she was just a naughty little child who indulged in too big a bite of satire-cake. What was left? To berate her for flouting daddy Paolo’s position in Berlusconi’s ex-government, as a sidestep around justifying the show’s ban.
The documentary was powerful in places, such as where it practically canonised other censored Italian artists. Their names rolled off commentator’s tongues – ‘Biagi-Santoro-Luttazi-Tagliafico-Rossi etcetera etcetera etcetera’ – as if the two times table were being recited. I wonder if Italy’s position in the Freedom House country ratings will finally stop multiplying up the charts anytime soon.