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MASS CONSUMPTION

Published April 6, 2013 by Tony

POOR’S CONSUMERISM

Walking down the street an old woman sees a piece of twine on the ground, bends down, picks it up and puts it in his pocket to preserve it.
Scene of other times, times when even a rope could be useful, how to tie an old cardboard suitcase for example.
Today, anyone who needs a piece of rope buy a whole roll, then forgetting it somewhere, as cardboard suitcases do not exist anymore. Today you buy a trolley or the newest Samsonite seen on TV, even if it is for only one trip.

Adaptation? Consumerism? Progress?

Perhaps the European single currency (euro) has made things worse here, then the international crisis, but if we go further back in time, economic difficulty begins with the advertising and worse with the loss of values, in a broad sense, which over the years hit our society.
For values I also mean anything concerning the little things, like that piece of twine collected from the lady. Meantime, commercials push people to wish what they do not have, to replace, to keep up with the times.
Although because of this my relatives criticize me, I do not throw away things easily, and I like to preserve and collect useful things if I find them abandoned, even if it is just a nail or an used flowerpot.
My grandma said: “astipa che truove” (as to say preserve and you will have  at disposal), and we were a family that could not be considered poor or needy. It was our lifestyle to be different, and mainly the value you gave to things…. the shame, if there was, was not for dressing a worn cloth or for not owning a car.
Trouble shared is a trouble halved, some would say. Maybe!

Some time ago, on a sidewalk, next to the trash cans, I saw a large mirror thrown, abandoned because there was no longer useful, probably. It was a beautiful mirror-style eight-shaped and I not deny the instinctive urge to pick it up and take it away before some street urchin on duty had broken it, or that garbage collectors could take it away, but the shame prevailed together inability to carry such a burden alone.
I only can guess what that old woman or any other person lived forty years ago would say…. period when any item was not thrown with such ease, and there was a sort of family and domestic recycling. I guess if one of these people of old times had the opportunity to come back to life today, he even could live off with the use of everything (still good and usable) is thrown away and that we see down the street or in the rubbish bins.
And to think that nowadays someone is addressing a holding company in order to have a dishwasher or a plasma screen, at any cost.

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EASTER TRADITIONS

Published March 30, 2013 by Tony

MEMORIES OF A TIME
THE CASATIELLO

Easter time.
In addition to doing my best wishes to you all, I take this opportunity to tell you some memories that in these days come to my mind.
At that time I was a toddler and often on Friday our grandmother picked me up to let me spend a few days at her home.
The grandmother “mmaculatina“, as people called her (Immaculate, God rest her soul), in those days did not go to work, and aware I liked being with her, came to our house to take me, and sometimes took my sister too. She loved her grandchildren, and on that time I was the youngest grandson, and although she was living with our grandfather, between work and commitments she spent little time at home. It had been years that the granddad was already retired, having made the postman became sick with bronchitis and arthritis, and alone spent all his days at home. He had his own bed with a bedside table on which a glass of wine and his radio never had to be missing. A man of few words who spent his days walking slowly in the house, sitting on the bed, sipping wine, smoking and listening to 1920: My grandma when youngopera on the radio.

It was an old building where, on different floors, a long balcony gave access to homes, inside the building those balconies turned all around the perimeter of the apartment blocks. The houses were not very large, entering directly to the first room, usually the living room, where the granddad had created his personal corner. On the right there was a small kitchen with a small window that looked out on the perimetral balcony, and where there was a very small bathroom formed simply from toilet and a sink. Beyond the living room was my grandma’s bedroom, that had a small balcony overlooking the street below. We slept in the same double-bed with grandma and I still remember her laughter when she told relatives how I sometimes fell asleep touching her breast and resting my head on his chest. I loved my grandmother and it was only the need in maternal instincts of a kid who, like me, had evidently not received enough cuddles from his mum. The grandma “Immacolatina” was good, cheerful and friendly, as well as a holy woman and had dedicated her life to work in the factory where she had become the “teacher,” as called her there, to wit the supervisor. Her relationship with the granddad were not excellent, having been from long more a nurse than a wife, and she was glad to have us at home to chat and pass the time.

As usual, Friday is the day when all Neapolitans dedicated to the preparation of the “casatiello“, also called “tortano“, the typical Neapolitan rustic pie (Neapolitan Lard Bread). And the grandma prepared it Friday afternoon to let it rise all day and then in the night took it at the bakery for baking. In those years it was customary to let casatiello bake by bakers because not everyone had a powerful ovens as bakeries where the cooking was done in an optimal way. There was no area or neighborhood that did not have some baker nearby. Anyone who would have walked in the alleys of Naples, during Friday and Holy Saturday, felt the almost stagnant scent of “casatielli” which were cooked at homes or by bakers. How can we forget that smell?
Odor that became all one with those feast days Grandma & Iand represented them as well. For this in Naples, even today, Easter is to say casatiello and vice versa.

At that time, due to the enormous work to be done between Thursday and Saturday, bakers worked continuously day and night. For this you could go to one of them at any time of the day or night, and deliver your casatiello or withdraw it.
The baker from whom my grandma went, was a few blocks from the house, the huge old wooden front door was always open for the occasion, placed on the ground and stacked up one above the other, hundreds of aluminum “ruoto” (round baking pan). They were the casatielli waiting for bakery.
Truly spectacular!
At that time, not everybody had the pan with the hole in the middle, which gives casatiello the classic donut shape, and so, most of the containers had a wineglass or a cup (glass or metal) at the center, around which the pasta was then grown encasing it.

Crossed the entrance hall, people arrived at the courtyard where on both the sides were stacked firewood for the ovens, shovels, sacks, buckets and other objects. In addition to the smell of casatielli, so strong here to become pungent, you also felt the scent of flour that you found everywhere, on the ground, on walls, on objects, everything was whitewashed with a pinch of flour!
Entered in the furnaces room, the heat became almost unbearable. Everywhere there were shelves made by long wooden boards, one above the other, on which side by side the casatielli already cooked were placed.
Here, the casatiello was not more as white as those encountered at the entrance, but the color of the rind of bread in its various gold shades.  A variety of sizes and shapes, those with the eggs above visible under two small strips of pasta in the shape of X, those without eggs or those where the eggs were just popping out below the golden crust. You could not but be enchanted to see those scenes, and especially for a kid like me.

People came and went, with those who were giving their casatiello and those who were going to pick up it, and all workers each with its own task. On that occasion there were more people at work and one of them went to the grandma and after taking two plates of aluminum from a huge basket, gave one to her and attacked the other with thin wire to the container’s handle. The baker asked if the casatiello had already risen and then placed it onto the others waiting for cooking. Probably, somewhere else there were those which were in need of further rise before being baked.

On those aluminum plates was imprinted a number which from then on would have marked our “casatiello.” After cooking the casatielli were placed on those planks in a coarse numerical order, according to the number that had been tied close, so to trace it when the owner would come back for it. In fact, to take the casatiello you had to give back your plate, and the baker began to turn around the wooden shelves to look for it. Hundreds and hundreds casatielli. You paid, wrapped the container in a cloth, and went back home happy with your casatiello ready to be eaten.
Things of other times, when everything was simpler and folksy!

casatiello

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CELEBRITIES WHEN YOUNG

Published October 4, 2012 by Tony

Yesterday & Today
Celebrit
y Kid

It is said that curiosity is “female”, but I think in some cases it is only natural and spontaneous.
Who would not know how one of us looked like when young, for example?
And even more so if he/she is a VIP well-known worldwide.
Interestingly, in many cases, the “appearance” is fairly predictable, so if you cover the picture on the right, the character in question becomes easily identifiable, while for others there is no analogy.
To let you know the age of each subject, next to the name, you find the birth date.
Enjoy now this series of photos……………..

VLADIMIR PUTIN October 7, 1952
 

TOM HANKS July 9, 1956
 

ROBBIE WILLIAMS February 13, 1974
 

SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR April 14, 1977

 

SARAH JESSICA PARKER March 25, 1965
 

ROBERT DE NIRO August 17, 1943
 

TINA TURNER November 26 , 1939
 

PHIL COLLINS January 30, 1951
 

PAUL McCARTNEY June 18, 1942
 

RICKY MARTIN December 24, 1971
 

PATRICK SWAYZE August 18, 1952  September 143, 1969
 

MIKA HAKKINEN September 28, 1968
 

MICK JAGGER July 26, 1943
 

NATALIE IMBRUGLIA February 4, 1975
 

MICHAEL JORDAN February 17, 1963
 

PAMELA ANDERSON July 1, 1967
 

MICHAEL & RALPH SCHUMACHER January 3, 1969 & June 30, 1975
 

NICOLE KIDMAN June 20, 1967
 

MEG RYAN November 19, 1961
 

MARILYN MANSON January 5, 1969
 

 MICHAEL JACKSON August 29, 1958 -June 25, 2009
ì 

MADONNA August 16, 1958
 

KURT COBAIN February 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994)
 

MARIAH CAREY March 27, 1970
 

KIMI RAIKKONEN October 17, 1979
 

JENNIFER LOPEZ July 24, 1969
 

LEONARDO DI CAPRIO November 11, 1974
 

JIMI HENDRIX November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970)
 

JULIA ROBERTS October 28, 1967
 

JOHN LENNON October 9, 1940 – December 8,  1980
 

HELEN HUNT June 15, 1963
 

JENNIFER ANISTON February 11, 1969
 

FREDDY MERCURY September 5, 1946 – November 24, 1991
 

JEAN CLAUDE VAN DAMME October 18, 1960

…..
Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker in Star Wars) September 25, 1951
 

SANDRA BULLOCK July 26, 1964
 

FEARS OF TODAY

Published September 9, 2012 by Tony

HOW FEARS HAS CHANGED OVER TIME

If someone claimed to have had no fear in his life, I would advise him to go to a doctor and get treatment.
Fear is born with man, also if at the beginning he only was afraid of his God, omnipotent and capricious, then, as the story went on, fear has proliferated inevitably transforming over time. However, the fear often has been a good weapon to stimulate a positive and healthy reaction
The prehistoric man was afraid of wild animals and natural disasters, while other forms of fears, more vague and irrational, came a little later: the fear of the vacuum or of immensity, the fear of falling, for water, fire, etc..
The passage of time and the arrival of new and unforeseen events led to the emergence of new anxieties, such as the fear of diseases, epidemics (plague, leprosy, syphilis, etc.), and about contagion that continually threatened the life of entire neighborhoods.
The development of science and human knowledge has added new fears to the list, such as the fear of flying, of the lift, of the sea, of closed places, of animals, of “nothing” and of the “unexpected” even.
The eldest Italian persons remember well the “black man“, and the fear it represented when they were children.
The black man was an unreal and grim figure created by our ancestors just to frighten children and avoid their whims. Until a few decades ago, children have grown up with the fear that the black man could arrive suddenly and scare them to death. Without ever knowing who he was or what would have done.
If you do not stop crying I call the black man!”
Poor and innocent creatures!
Anyway, fear of the dark is everywhere the main one that has always accompanied children growth, as well as the fear of death is common to most of the elderly.
But my question now is: “What are the fears of modern man?”
Or how fear has changed over time?
If fear is proper to man, no doubt it is also son of the times and circumstances.
To the fear of epidemics of the past centuries, we may associate the fear of AIDS or of avian epidemic had a few years ago, for example. The fear of the black man, instead, may have been replaced by fear of terrorists or of different cultures.
To the ancient fear of God we can associate the fear of the “existential vacuum.”
Today, it is believed in everything and to the opposite of everything, while everything has lost its real value.
The pursuit of material goods and a life lived in comfort, has led to a lack of imagination and a cultural standardization. In today’s society, which changes fast, the roles no longer exist.
New fears, sometimes unjustified, arise and spread over, while those atavistic and irrational ones magnify at the level of widespread panic. There is the fear of crowds, of a different religion, of war and tyranny, as well as the fear of environmental catastrophes, of crime and poverty.
Then there is the fear that comes from fear itself, as the race for power.
“You build a bomb from 2 kilotons and I am forced to make one of four.”
“The society did not give me anything and so I take from others! ”
It’s lacking faith in man and in neighbor, thus trust and love.
Man who is afraid of his fellow creature.
The terror and the great disasters which we often have experienced as spectators so far, have marked our souls and feed our fears. Once, the fear of the dark  and of the black man helped growth and awareness, giving certainty and self-confidence.
The fears of today, instead, kill your confidence, sadden and make us weak and asocial.
I feel sorry for future generations, but in this chaos I do not think that there is still, in short, a way of escape.

DEFERRED MATURITY

Published August 31, 2012 by Tony

DELAYED  ADULTHOOD

It’s a matter of fact, thanks to scientific and technological innovations today we are living more and better.
But these changes have helped over the years also some genetic mutation, for example just think of the stature, with the new generations taller than their ancestors, or to the reduction of the fertility, because evolutionarily not the same need to reproduce ourselves as in the past.
But looking more closely to the evolution of the species, I have noticed, as many  experts also say, that with the longer expectation of life and from age to age, it also have been acquired  a lengthening of the time necessary for children to become “mature” or adults.
From long in many countries, the eighteen years of age represent the achievement of legal age, the coming of age linked with maturity, and this should suppose an eventual physic and mental maturity.
In the past, before age 18, a teenager was already considered an adult man, as evidently he  already showed a physical and mental adulthood. Once, for a young man twenty years old, it was normal to be married, having children and already with a professional activity, beyond the need to cut definitively the “umbilical cord”, which kept him still tied to the family.
Today, instead, it’s not unusual for men older than 20 years still act and look like teenagers!
I would venture to say that the 18-years-old of sixty years ago can be compared roughly with the 25-years-old of today, about the look or the manhood, at least.
An evolutionary gap of 6-7 years or the price to pay for a greater longevity?

Formal portrait of a 15 year old New York City boy in 1898 Portrait of a 15 year old boy in early 1900
0000271726-030 John Wayne at 30 years, with Marlene Dietrich
Handsome-Zac-Efron at 25 yo Zac Efron at 25 years
472px-Justin_Bieber_at_Easter_Egg_roll_-_crop Justin Bieber, 18 years old
early_years_0009!BoPO-Ug!2k~$(KGrHqMH-EUEuYESHe3RBLmtyp06 Q~~_3 George Clooney in his 20 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A very young couple with children in early sixties

CHILDREN OF A TIME AND CHILDREN OF TODAY

Published June 10, 2012 by Tony

GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES

YOUTH OF TODAY

YOUTH OF FOMER DAYS

contacts mom by cellular;

had their moms who called them from the window;

chats with friends by social network;

talked with friends in the court or club;

plays with Playstation or PC at home, often alone;

played marbles, stickers or football on the footpaths;

goes to the gym and does sport;

always was in movement spending hours in the street;

follows a diet or eat healthy;

ate everything;

is always under parents’ control;

was as much as possible away from parents;

is pampered and spoiled by relatives;

was more mature and independent;

often is mentally unstable;

was determined and with a strong personality;

is insecure and needs parents’ help;

had fewer fears and faced experiences of his/her own;

feels more the need to be alone;

always was along with friends;

spends much time indoors;

tried to stay outside as much as possible;

have so much but share few with other people;

had not much and shared everything with other people;

does well in school, parents are involved and there is a friendly relationship with teachers;

wasn’t going well in school, parents did not care and there was no relationship with teachers;

often is unsatisfied;

adaped and asked for nothing;

feels inferior if has no brand clothes and accessories and has a fully stocked wardrobe;

was just content to go not-naked in the street and happy when received a paltry new garment;

watches much television;

watched TV only at late evening or when couldn’t go away;

receives allowance from parents and often money from grandparents;

never had money and ifhad, not even knew how to spend it;

between Christmas and birthday receives more gifts per year;

barely received one toy at Christmas;

has more knowledge, but more theory than practical;

also if more ignorant was more ingenious;

is attached to parentsand mom in particular;

loved parents but wanted to be free;

leaves home in very old age;

left home as soon as possible;

thinks that everything is due, is demanding and picky;

was grateful for the mere fact to be fed, and his claims, if there were, were for necessary things;

spends vacation with parents and often visiting new places;

rarely went on vacation or on a trip  ‘cause parents couldn’t afford it;

hardly had permission to travel alone;

on some occasions could travel alone;

often talks about sex and his flirt withparents;

knew little about sex, but were private matters;

is turning to parents for any trouble or mischief;

felt it was important reserve, privacy and conspiracy of silence;

has little courage and resourcefulness;

has no ideals or dream to realize.

was daring and enterprising in all;

lived with ideals with some dreams to fulfill.

mmmm

Poor consumerism

Published September 6, 2011 by Tony

IN THE OLD DAYS


Walking down the street an old lady sees a thread of string on the ground, bows down, picks it up and puts it in his pocket taking it away.
Scene of the past, times when a simple string
even could be useful, to tie an old cardboard suitcase, for example.
Today, those who need a piece of string buy an entire roll then leaving it who knows where, while the cardboard suitcases exist anymore, we buy a Samsonite trolley or the last publicized on TV, even if for a single trip.

Adaptation? Consumerism? Progress?

It possibly has been the new euro currency making worse the things and then the international crisis, but if we go back in time, the situation about economic difficulty begins with the massive advertising (TV?) and worsens with the loss of some value which over the years hit our society.
For values I also mean also the one about the little things, like the piece of string collected from the woman.
Although my relatives criticisms, I do not throw things away so easily, keep them and gather some good object if abandoned, even if I find a simple nail or an used flowerpot in the street.
My old grandmother said: “chi trova astipa” that in Neapolitan means “who finds must store” and we were a family that couldn’t be defined poor or needy. It was the life style to be different and beyond the value given to any goods, the shame, if presents, was not for those having worn clothes or no car.
Well…. A trouble shared is a trouble halved.. .. somebody could say!
Time ago on a sidewalk, next to garbage cans, I saw a large mirror thrown away because of no use evidently. It was a beautiful mirror in a eight-shaped figure and I don’t deny the instinctive urge to take it before some urchin broke it or the garbage collector took it away, but the shame was over, together the impossibility to carry such a burden alone. I only can imagine what the old woman could have said or any other person just living forty years ago, when things were not thrown away so easily after the use, especially if still good and usable, and there was a sort of family recycle. I think that if such a people could be here today, he/she will have the opportunity to live on a private income coming by all the things thrown away.
And thinking of…………. the one that is asking for a loan just to have a dishwasher at any cost or a newer plasma screen to show at the friends.

Adaptation? Consumerism? Progress?

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