Friday, January 19, 2018

Rome Journal: The Fast Lane

The collective unconscious of Italy possesses a massive superego known as the Catholic Church. Placing the Vatican City in the middle of Rome is like having power brakes on a high powered car. There's no secret to the fact that the degree of liberalization in a society is inversely proportional to degree to which the so-called pleasure principle may be compromised. Steven Marcus demonstrated this years in ago in his iconic tome, The Other Victorians. Could the profanity, apostasy and lustfulness of Italian society that Americans so covet be the result of having a strong papa or Pope. You can only waiver and test when you're reassured the parent is safely ensconced in home. It’s not surprising that one of the most sacrilegious films of all time, Pasolini’s Salo, a brilliantly lurid take on Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom was made in Italy. And let’s not forget the same director's The Decameron, Bertolucci’s Last Tango or Bellocchio’s Devil in the Flesh. Tourists from more permissive societies should look not only at the hedonism of antiquity in trying to understand the sensuality of Italian society. It’s precisely the oppressive manners and mores of a powerful religion that allows the populace to go nuts.

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