Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Some intense days

"And may you live in boring times" was, and is still by many, considered a kind of good wish and while I generally would disagree with the statement, sometimes, like now, I'm tempted to accept that.

Sure the last few days have been full of things. Monday I did raise, unintentionally I must say, a stir over the VCN community by posting an ad about a pro-Israel rally to take place in Rome, near the synagogue, later that evening. A wake to be more precise. Not that I didn't know the general leftish, anti-USA and pro-arab feeling generally reigning in the community, I suppose it's unavoidable in a place where a sizable minority works in the UN or similar organizations, but in my being an idealistic naive (at times) I didn't think posting a simple rally notice without even adding a personal comment would had caused such a reaction.

Fact is, that started a quite lively river of posts, some actually accusing me of hypocrisy as I had indeed expressed my view in the past that general political discussions shouldn't had taken place on the list (and in fact I took no part in the discussion that followed), but someone forgot I had made an express exception for the advertising of real social events taking place in Rome. Most of the posts anyway were simply to throw in opinions, for the most part scarcely supported by facts or references, about the situation at hand in middle east. The discussion has not been closed even now, 2 days later, despite the first signs of life of the silent majority who'd rather not be spammed by such things. To try to make things better, I went on and created a separates list which hopefully will be the place for VCNers to let go of their polemical energies.

In the evening I did indeed go to the wake I advertised and found it an interesting event. Not too many people sadly, just about a thousand of very quite, ordered people (while a bit earlier another rally - pic on the right - that had been taking place organized by "pacifists" and left groups in which the most tender words for Israel was "Murderers! Murderers" had seen quite a bit more), but with quite some speakers, with representatives from both the present government and the opposition (on the left, the secretary of the largest left party in Italy and the president of the major right one - click to enlarge). So I went, and despite a given nervousness for the concrete possibility of something bad happening (which is the main reason the whole gathering was organized and advertised at the very last minute), I'm proud of having been there. I even met a friend of mine, Sara, who I hadn't seen or heard about in a couple of years.

As a side note is to be said, tho, that the apparent idyllic moment between government and opposition was somewhat marred by the fact that our Prime Minister earlier that day had came out with the total idiocy of proposing Iran as a mediator in the crisis (yes, the same Iran that funds both Hezbollah and Hamas and pledges to wipe off Israel from the face of Earth), another side of the government coalition was asking for the withdrawal of our Ambassador from Jerusalem and the foreign minister expressed a position of "equivicinanza" (a neologism meaning same closeness to the two parties) at the same time said Israel's reaction had been disproportionated and unreasonable.

Tuesday could had been a peaceful day (except for the ongoing quarrel on the VCN list), if at some point my chief at work hadn't just decided to go absolutely mad out of a misunderstanding and, to the shock and disbelief of everyone present (but me, considering I know the temper of the person), started to violently attack me verbally, proceeded to almost knocking down a bewildered female colleague and stormed out of the room to return a few minutes later to continue the tirade.

To my own shock and disbelief, instead, I managed not only to take the whole thing with an Olympic calm (maybe I'm getting old), which probably enraged the guy even more, but even accept gracefully without smart remarks the sort of apologize (the most close thing to it I can reasonably expect to get) I received this morning from both my chief and his superior. Yet, that's one more thing to be added on the scale in deciding what I do want to do coming this autumn. Taking a sabbatical year for a master sounds more and more a better idea these days, I must say.

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