The Corner

Friend or Fo?

As Italy contemplates its situation the day after the election, there are some signs that the Grillini may be prepared to work with the center-left on an ad hoc basis. We’ll have to see.

Meanwhile as the world tries to understand the nature of Grillo’s left/right populism (as John O’Sullivan has dubbed it), it’s interesting to see that Grillo appears to think that the playwright Dario Fo ought to be the country’s next president. In some respects, such a pick be a useful symbol of a country turning over a new leaf. After all, Fo is a grand old man of Italian letters, and a winner of the Nobel prize for literature to boot. He is not, however, someone who would represent a break from politics, and nor is Fo—a lifelong provocateur of the hardish leftt–a Vaclav Havel redux.

And then there is Fo’s  participation in the truther movie Zero: An Investigation into 9/11.  Writing in the Guardian, Peter Bradshaw had this to say about that:

To recap: this movie, like an earlier essay called Loose Change, promotes the belief not merely that 9/11 was a bogus pretext for war, but that it was a bogus event itself, faked, stage-managed and orchestrated by the powers that be. The twin towers were not brought down by kamikaze terrorists, but demolished by covert military-grade explosives, smuggled into the building, of which molten metal in the ashy ruins is the residual evidence. The crashing planes were a diversionary stunt. The so-called terrorists were CIA-mujahideen stooges, who may or may not have been on board, but in any case were ordered to establish their existence on dozens of security cameras to establish an alibi. The plane that crashed into the Pentagon must have been a missile, because the hole isn’t big enough for anything else.

And so on. These theories are rehearsed by Dario Fo, with an insufferably smug grin inappropriate for discussing an event whose casualties he presumably does not dispute, and who is pointedly described as a “Nobel prizewinner” – though his prize is for literature, not engineering…

Italy’s president, a largely (but not solely) symbolic figure,  is chosen by parliament, and I doubt this would be a nomination that Grillo could really swing (even if he were to prove to be serious about it), but Italy could certainly do better than Fo.

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