Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Rome Journal: The Russians Are Coming

In October l922, the Fascist party began its March from Naples to Rome. The culmination was the passing of power to Mussolini. Rome is experiencing a precocious spring at a time that’s usually cold and wet. Now in the aftermath of the pandemic, life is assuming a surface normalcy. One can't help but thinking of a post pandemic version of Prague Spring in which lowering infection rates have led to freedom. Life in Odessa and Kyiv was experiencing a countervailing resumption of everyday life--before the invasion. News reports showed bustling streets and cafes. The l996 comedy The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming used the grounding of an enemy submarine off a New England island and subsequent amphibious landing as the substance of a joke. If Russian tourists had been a presence in Trastevere since the advent of Glasnost, the unmistakable Cyrillic sounds normally heard in the crowds of visitors are a notable absence in this "post- Covid Risorgimento.” Nowhere is the dystonic nature of modern life more evident than in a historical mecca like Rome. Here the one time pillaging of the. City in 410 AD by Alaric and the Visigoths literally is part of the charm, but will the devastation wrought by invaders in Ukraine ever be turned into such a sublime beauty?

read "The Final Solution: Collective Trauma" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and listen to "Pussy Riot Founder to Russian Protestors, 'use your voice while you still can,'" MSNBC

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