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Politics, Satire, Points of view

Random thoughts from abroad in the 1990's
by TheEtruscan at 12:21 March 25, 1999



A few months ago out of a lark, I tried to renew my Italian passport last valid in 1974.

The Italian Consulate in Houston, Texas told me that since I didn't register with any Italian Consulates by some fateful date in the past, I was no longer Italian.

That's OK since I have a Canadian passport which is much cheaper anyway and an Alien Registration card (green card) for the USA but this precipitated these random thoughts from abroad (but not homebound).

The illegitimate Italian government (remember the June 2, 1946 referendum) can pass all the idiotic laws that they want. That is fine with me because I have no intention of returning to Italy any time soon unless the Grand Duchy of Tuscany is reestablished. Better yet since nobody gets along with those obnoxious Florentines I would prefer the principality of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla of which I believe Carrara was part under Marie Louise.

Unfortunately (for them) all my relatives are in Italy including my 88 years old mother. My maternal grandfather could very well be the "unknown soldier". His mortal remains were never found after one of those pointless battles for the Isonzo in World War I. My paternal uncle was a prisoner of war of the British in Kenya in World War II and came out, how ironic, an anglophobe. My father was in the Republican Guards and a "camicia nera" nonetheless (a youthful indiscretion I am sure).

Seen in the perspective of my 30 years plus in the Anglo-Saxon speaking world: Toronto, Canada 10 years, Cape Town, South Africa less than a year, San Jose, California 3 years, San Diego, California 12 years, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas 5 years, Houston, Texas over a year and counting. I can say that there is nothing that would make wanting to be an Italian worthwhile. Italians simply don't command any respect. Just recently the Wall Street Journal printed that Signor Massimo D'Alema was president of the Italian Republic and nobody stood up to correct the error. Had the Jews been involved, all shades of anti-Semitic defamation would have been raised.

Many times I wished that instead of the useless Italian taking up space and cluttering my brain, I knew Spanish. Then Mexico and all of Latin America would open up. For the daylight of me, I don't know why France, Italy and Portugal give up their respective national languages in favor of Castilian Spanish. For a "Latin" language to survive the English onslaught, this is the only way.

I didn't endear myself to the faculty of Italian at Dallas SMU when I asked their best student of Italian what would she be doing with it ("Signorina ma con l'italiano che ci fa? La birra?)

I will never really belong in the Anglo-Saxon world because in spite of my ample and profound knowledge of the English language I have an accent. English is a piece of cake and as easy as pie but its phonemes and idioms are murder!

So I guess now that I am forever banished from my Tuscan roots, I will probably ride in the sunset somewhere in Mexico drunk on Perrier dreaming about what the world might have been had my Etruscan ancestors never encountered the Romans. Garibaldi, Mazzini, Cavour and all the Carbonari liberated Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina instead of unifying Italy and Christianity with the wasted intervening millennia had not happened.

To paraphrase Gen. MacArthur, old expatriates don't die, they just fade away.