Monday, 20 February 2017

Giant Pineapples

Some years ago my parents did the supreme act of self-sacrifice, unconditioned love and this-is-probably-karma grandparents can do: they took the grandchildren on holiday for some weeks in August.
They loaded the car with the whole house, managed to fit Sara and Davide into the car as well and they drove down to Abruzzo.
They arrived in Pineto safe and sound and there's where legend started.
Well, it's not a legend, because we got witnesses and photographic proof of the existence of such trees. So not fake news here, maybe irrelevant, but not fake.

What happened is that Davide (remember: Davide is a boy, at the time he was really small, plus have I mentioned that being a boy he’s got XY chromosome? He lives in his own world made of Star Wars characters and dinosaurs, and yeah, he’s a boy) pointed at something and exclaimed, all excited: “Look, look! A giant pineapple!”
The giant pineapple turned out to be a small palm tree that was in the garden: small, larger than tall, all those leaves on top of it, to Davide the palm tree turned into a giant pineapple. His grandparents dutifully laughed at it and recounted the story immediately to the lucky ones left at home (aka Davide’s parents).

Because of this small family story, every time I see a palm tree, I immediately feel a bit more cheerful and think about my nephew’s limited botanical knowledge.
It’s a bit silly, yet not as silly as nor blatantly stupid with what has happened recently with some other palm trees in Italy.

To cut a long, and honestly quite boring, story short, a big coffee chain multinational is opening its first store in Milan city centre.
It’s a big thing, and I guess the cafe will be packed with people once it’s open: it will make lots of money, because it’ll be the place chavs and hipsters alike will go to take a selfie of themselves sipping overpriced, burnt and quite diluted coffee.
To celebrate the opening of their store, they’re paying to have a small garden with palm trees built in Piazza del Duomo. My level of engagement to this news was somewhere shifting between “I don’t really care” and “Should I have frittata or pasta for dinner tonight?”

But things can’t be so easy and so it happened that some idiots thought of using this whole thing as a way to advertise their political agenda: a political agenda based on populism, fascism, racism, bigotry and plain ignorance.

And the rants and interviews started, with poor excuse of politicians stating it was an attack to the traditional values of the city and obviously every single racist twat of the city and the nation had to chime in and start the usual choir about migrants, migrants coming over to steal our jobs, etc.

Nowadays they don’t even bother with the “I’m not racist but…” bullshit.

No, no: they immediately go for the racist core, talking about Italy becoming Africa. One could argue that is global warming that is turning Italy into Africa, not migration, but hey! once you got a scapegoat in the migrants from Africa, why bothering trying to use the brain?

I still don’t give a damn about the coffee. But I feel sad for that poor thin giant pineapple that some idiot set on fire in the main square of Milan over Saturday night. Heine said that “where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.”
He was right and we know it.

Wonder where we’ll end this time around.


As a small token of faith in humanity, i still got some photos around of my nephew next to his giant pineapple friend. he’s a boy, he lives in his own world made of Star Wars characters and dinosaurs and yet he knows better than a lot of hate-spitting people around.