"Silvio Berlusconi’s private disco featured women dressed not just as sexy nuns and nurses but also as President Barack Obama and a prominent Milan prosecutor the former Italian premier has accused of persecuting him."
How messed up is Italy after its most recent election? How about, "The results have created the remarkable possibility that Italy could find itself next week without a government or a pope." Or, "Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani and resurgent ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi may be seeking to avoid a ballot that would favor populist Beppe Grillo, whose movement was the top vote-getter in its first national contest…. Recession- scarred voters repudiated budget rigor and made Grillo, a former comedian, a political force. In the four-way race, Bersani, the pre-election favorite, won the lower house by less than a half a point. Berlusconi, [...]
As a Catholic, I'm not buying this. Popes don't just quit because they're tired. What's going on here??
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 11, 2013
When the most trusted man in America says something like "What's going on here?", then something is most certainly going on here. Popes, after all, do not "quit" like some deluded star of a network situation comedy. Popes "quit" in the way the mythological first pope, Saint Peter, gave up the duties of his office: by upside-down crucifixion. Or, more generally, death. As Joseph Ratzinger is not technically dead, he is the pope until death, unless he believes he is mightier than God [...]
Can Italy change? Tim Parks addresses the question here. Meanwhile, guess who this passage is describing: "When he is perorating about the inadequacies of the Italian constitution, he leans back in his yellow silk sofa, right ankle on his left knee, and runs his hand through his hair, like an emperor surveying his slaves. But when he has a meatier point to make, a defense of his sex life, for example, he leans forward and thrusts his hands up and down between his legs as if potting a large plant."
Is this the end for Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi? Having already asked that question approximately 7000 times in the last two-and-a-half years, I am not prepared to say anything definitive, but it's not looking good. For Silvio, I mean.
"WITH his ratings at record lows, scandal-hit Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi today quipped his party should change its name to 'Go Pussy!' in the latest gaffe likely to incense swathes of voters."
What's shakin', Italy? "Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister, has been sentenced to a year in prison over the publication of leaked transcripts from a police wiretap in a newspaper he owns." And? "The verdict carries no impact on Mr Berlusconi's eligibility to participate in a new government." Also? "Italian sentencing guidelines indicate that people aged over 75 and with sentences of less than two years do not have to actually go to prison. Mr Berlusconi is 76." Okay, carry on.
Is it too early to write Silvio Berlusconi's political obituary? I am not a superstitious person, but suggesting that "his final gamble has failed" seems like a bad idea, in a "man plans, God laughs" kind of way. In any event, there'll be plenty of opportunity to figure it all out after Italy votes this weekend. If you've got time, read this New Yorker article from 2008 about Beppe Grillo, whose 5-Star movement may both deny Berlusconi the ability to screw the country while also screwing the country in its own right.
"The coming election campaign will be, above all, a test of the maturity and realism of Italian voters. One could feel more confident if they had not on three occasions chosen Mr Berlusconi as their leader."
Mario Monti, the Prime Minister of Italy, spent New Years Eve at home with "his wife, their son, daughter and respective partners, Mrs Monti's sister with her husband and four children aged between one and six." His wife served dinner. God, Italy, it's like I don't even know you anymore.
It's Silvio Berlusconi's greatest comedy hits. The article omits a lot of his "ladies from the opposition are so ugly" bits, but there's enough here to give you a general sense of his material.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's latest album was supposed to drop in September, but has been delayed "out of deference to the political and economic crisis engulfing Italy." There"s no word on when the record, titled Silvio Berlusconi Does Sex To Your Ears, will see a release. Unlike Silvio, who is probably seeing one right now. (Kidding! The record is really called Ho lasciato i soldi sul comò, or True Love.)
Guy Whose Job Is Putting On Face Paint And Frightening Children Resents Being Compared To Scary Old Man
"The head of Germany's most prominent circus has criticised Social Democratic candidate Peer Steinbrueck for comparing the clown profession to former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi…. 'Being a clown is an honorable, very difficult, sensitive and artistic occupation,' he said. 'How can you compare that with bunga-bunga?'"
"An Italian woman has demanded an apology from Silvio Berlusconi after he crudely joked with her about sex, days before a national election. The former Prime Minister asked the woman at a corporate event how many times she enjoyed sex and if he could look at her bottom…. 'Do you come?…only once?…how many times do you come?…with what sort of time intervals?,' he asked her with a smirk on his face." —Will Silvio Berlusconi make one final comeback? Probably not. For now, at least. But if he does, remember that George W. Bush was president of the United [...]
Silvio Berlusconi's ongoing quest to discover just how far Italians will take a joke proceeds apace.
"Berlusconi's political agenda is very clear: he has been reported as saying that his party will 'unplug Monti's government life support whenever necessary'. And this is likely to happen as soon as his name rises in the polls again. There couldn't be a clearer indication of Berlusconi's plans: in the expectation that Italians will quickly forget the incompetence he displayed while in power, Berlusconi hopes to lead his party to success at the next general election in 2013. Those who had hoped that Berlusconi would finally withdraw from politics to write his biography will be sorely disappointed."
"Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said he will step down after the next budget is approved by Parliament, a statement from the president's office said Tuesday, marking a painful end to his long dominance of Italian politics." OR IS IT?
"When one of my guests said 'Are we going to have some bunga bunga after dinner?' they were just talking about dancing. I never took part because I have vowed never to dance. I have not smoked since I managed to save my first business adventure from an inglorious ending and I don't gamble since I risked making a fool of myself with a professional card player and I don't dance since I promised a friend who was dying, that if they lived I would not dance again." —Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who insists that he would never allow sacrilegious behovior in his home, explains that "bunga bunga" [...]