Monday, July 21, 2008

Actually, fuck Italy

The scene: Torregaveta, west of Naples.

The event: two Roma girls aged 12 and 13 drown in the sea.

Their bodies are laid out on the beach and covered with towels, waiting for the authorities to pick up their bodies.


Meanwhile: just feet away Italians soak up the sun. Have lunch. Chit chat among themselves. Make relaxed phone calls.

The bodies of those children so much beach trash.

Elsewhere: the police carry out dawn raids, mobs of civilians throw petrol bombs into a Roma encampment.


Sorry, today I'm lost for words.

15 comments:

Seán said...

Jesus! Indeed, what can you say.

harpymarx said...

I agree. It is utterly appalling and words indeed fail me.

Aaron said...

The state of things at the moment is disgusting..

BenSix said...

Vile, but at least there's been outrage this time.

weggis said...

Photographs do not always capture feelings. And a sense of helplessness and resignation can express itself in "odd" ways.

Marian said...

I am against the Roma attacks but what can be done here other then go about normal activities? The police were on their way to collect the bodies. What would you have done? Moving away could be interpreted as acting as if the bodies were filthy or something. People express grief in different ways. In the news reports no one on the beach was interviewed so how do we know what they were feeling? The recent events against the Roma (despicable as they are) were extraploted here.

Marian said...

I am against the Roma attacks but what can be done here other then go about normal activities? The police were on their way to collect the bodies. What would you have done? Moving away could be interpreted as acting as if the bodies were filthy or something. People express grief in different ways. In the news reports no one on the beach was interviewed so how do we know what they were feeling? The recent events against the Roma (despicable as they are) were extraploted here.

Aaron said...

Those people didn't look grief-stricken to me sorry.. the least you could do is not carry on with your normal activities as it clearly isn't normal that there are dead bodies laid out on a beach beside you.

Tim said...

Well said, Marian. Jim has over-reacted here, probably on the basis of an ignorant report in an English-language newspaper.
I have just checked La Repubblica (mainstream progressive daily, similar to the Guardian in UK)
It says several bathers tried to save the two girls, and were then joined by firefighters, coastguard and carabinieri. An eyewitness writes that he and others stayed near the corpses but they were not laughing or playing, they were discussing the tragic nature of life.
Sure, Italian attitudes to Roma people are abominable, but lets not over-egg it.

Jim Jay said...

Remind me about the Italian press again... oh yeah...

That aside, I didn't say no one fished out the bodies or the authorities didn't come - I said that people *ate*, *made casual phone calls* and *sun bathed* next to the bodies - and you can see that in the photos.

You don't think moving up the beach might be more respectful of the dead?

Incidentally the news reports I've read (all in English) have been reporting on the concern that other Italians felt at this behaviour.

Tim said...

OK Jim, they could have moved out of sight of the photographer, but the photos had already been taken. I don't agree that moving away would have been more respectful.
How do you know the phone calls were "casual"? If they had put their clothes back on, would that have brought the girls back to life? You might be horrified to be in the presence of corpses, but any Italian adult has been close to several corpses, for whenever someone dies the body lies in state at their home for up to 48 hours, during which time all family and friends, including children, will go and pay their respects to the dead person. Therefore they would not want to flee from the presence of the dead girls.
You are right, Italian newspapers have reported concern at the reported behaviour, but principally because people feel Italians have been unfairly pilloried. They will get over that.

Georgina said...

You got this from the Daily Mail. What a trustworthy source!!

Jim Jay said...

No I didn't Georgina. Nor do I do single source on stories like this.

I first saw it at cnn (which is why I link to it) and then took a look round the net to confirm the story, including an Italian news website in English (ansa).

It was actually on the front page of the Independent the next day, although I'd already written this by then.

Did the Daily Mail cover it? It's not on my regualr reads list I'm afraid. Good for them.

scott redding said...

Actually, the Daily Mail article is pretty complete.

It's more revealing to read the comments after the article, Mail readers criticising the writing in the Mail about immigration.

Jim Jay said...

Thanks for posting the link Scott - I'm rather impressed by the article as it goes.

The comments are rather different of course many of which tend to be like this one;

"Unlike the victims, they had probably worked long and hard to be able to afford their brief holiday."

How long and hard are 12 and 13 year old girls meant to have worked before their dead bodies are accorded some respect I wonder?

There are some much more humane postings too thank God.