Mental Paella

Living in Italy, before, during and after Covid


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The “Covid-infection-sales” business…..

Several programs on TV showed, over the last weeks (maybe before that, but I saw them only over the last weeks,) how some people “sell their Covid” for a price to those who want to get infected….

WHY ON EARTH WOULD ANYONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WANT TO DO THAT????????

Because those infected and recovered get the “green pass” automatically, and hence, the suffocation they’ve been suffering hitherto (being shut out of most places, including post offices and banks) are then lifted, for six months….

They showed covid-infected people (faces blurred) who “sell their covid” for a price…

I don’t remember how they do that exactly, do they spit in their faces? Kiss them?….?

At any rate, it’s a lucrative business… for those who can profit from their infection, and the “no-vax” people who can, thus, bypass the restrictions without having to take the vaccine…

HOW SMART IS THAT???

While I DETEST the way the government has been handling covid lately and find it completely unjustified, I cannot, EVER, condone people infecting themselves on purpose….

Too STUPID, and extremely DANGEROUS and self-destructive…

Some such people have come to my attention lately….

They are of that category of “no-vaxxers” who would never take the vaccine, NOT because they’re too afraid of putting something “uncertain” in their bodies (a concern I can understand), but because they firmly believe “that entire covid thing is a hoax”, designed solely to control people, that the severity of the disease is inflated, that “it is nothing but a common cold”, that all this is made up, and that the numbers dying are either “made up/hospitals are empty”, or some other reply of denial or the other….

Useless to ask them where those people who died of Covid (of which I, personally, know at least four) are, if the figures are lies? Have they been whisked off to some hidden destination?

Once people start on the path of denial, they will become very, VERY creative in supplying answers to any probing….you can bet that logic won’t count…. matter of fact, if you probe further, using logic as a measuring rod, they’ll either see you as a “sucker” who believes anything (the irony!), or part of the “conspiracy”….

One thing is certain: NO AMOUNT OF LOGIC would hit a mental nerve,

they will continue defending their point of view AGAINST ANY AND ALL proof or reasoning…..

That’s when I give up… if people won’t even consider basic logic, what’s the point of talking ?!?

So, there you are, people who are getting themselves infected with covid ON PURPOSE to be able to bypass the suffocating regulations, and SO AS NOT TO LOSE THEIR JOBS, because the government has decreed that people over 50 MUST GET VACCINATED BY THE 15th OF FEBRUARY , OR THEY WON’T BE ALLOWED TO WORK NOR WILL THEY GET PAID…………………

(And you thought fascism was over….)

As I wrote in my earlier blog post (two blog posts ago), the unvaccinated are MORE MONITORED than us, the vaccinated, as they have to get two covid tests a week to go to work. Everybody MUST WEAR A MASK AT WORK, so why prohibit them from working and rob them of their livelihood?

It’s NOTHING BUT A VINDICTIVE FASCIST DECREE….

And so, desperate times call for desperate measures,

and the “business” of “buying a covid infection” is now BOOMING……..

The “Covid-denial” crowd, insisting it is “nothing but a cold”, go for it, some of them survive unscathed, and some fall apart… they convince their partners to do the same, and, tragically, while they might not suffer much, their partners, gullible and believing the word of the former is gospel, end up with their health seriously in tatters, with unknown long-term damages….

Just HOW SMART is that?

And, now that they have experienced it in their own skin, is their phenomenal denial still going to get the better of them and they’ll go on saying “it’s just a cold”???

There is no Schadenfreude on my part…. what upsets me are the “followers” of the deniers, those who, for reasons of relationship (familial) gulp anything they say and just follow, and end up being the ones most damaged by that “experiment”, while those who had the idea in the first place come out of it unscathed…

All of which seems to be just the consequence of very bad decisions at the level of authorities and very stupid decisions at the level of such people…….

It is all too sad, and, completely unnecessary………….

Stupidity reigns supreme in the end,

At ALL levels………..


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The witches of Ghana, and elsewhere

A few months ago I listened to a podcast about the witch villages/camps of Ghana, where women were interned because they were believed to be witches. The podcast went on to say that many women had been killed for that accusation, and the witch villages are to keep them at bay, keep them from being killed, and, of course, keep them ostracized.

The question that begs itself to the people who believe those women are witches and those who take it one step further and proceed to kill them:

if they were, indeed, witches, capable of bringing about disease and even death to others, wouldn’t those very powers be used to protect themselves from getting killed???

If they had SUCH TREMENDOUS POWER OVER THE FORCES OF LIFE AND DEATH,

wouldn’t they apply it to themselves???

Wouldn’t they also use such powers to keep themselves well-fed and covered when thrown out to the four winds in those camps, instead of living in extreme poverty???

Amazing how the human brain blocks basic logic when it contradicts its own personal mythology. ..

That “faculty”, by the way, does not apply only to peasants or the illiterate…………


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Covid waste

“The unvaccinated are the ones responsible for spreading Covid”,

say many a vaccinated.

“The vaccinated are the ones filling the hospitals with Covid”,

say many an unvaccinated.

………………………………………………………………

In the beginning, being vaccinated (“boostered”) myself, I had been wary of the “no-vax” people, however, not for a minute did I believe they should be forced to get vaccinated. In the end, it has to be their choice to allow things in their bodies or not. I just didn’t see why they couldn’t understand how important it was. It didn’t help that many of them hosted these over-the-top-in-silliness conspiracy theories, claiming that this was a way of governments “to controll them” by “putting stuff in their bodies” for the sole reason of monitoring them/owning them/what have you…

I would just raise the mobile phones in their faces and say, “THIS, here, has been the BEST WAY at controlling you, THIS, among other things, that is, and it’s already been doing a PERFECT JOB of it”

That they choose to ignore the “internet-spying-control” and imagine that injecting them with the vaccine is the way “they are controlling us” is, to me, the epitome of SILLINESS….

Nevertheless, I understood the concern of some, those who do not want to get injected with something which was, in the end, partially experimental and with frequent side effects (I know because I had them). I respect that, even though I do not share it, for the simple reason: Covid is there already (regardless of how or why) and I could either put others at risk by not getting vaccinated (along with myself, obviously) or get vaccinated and take the risk of side effects. It was down to: shall I take the risk of harming others, or the risk of harming myself?

I’d rather take the latter, not because I “have low self-esteem”, but because I cannot be the cause of getting other people sick, especially friends and family….

To make a long story short, we have been divided into two factions:

the vaccinated who, more often than not, vilify the non-vaccinated,

the non-vaccinated who, pretty much all the time, vilify the government and society and call the vaccinated suckers who have “given in” to being “controlled”….

As said, I was wary of the logic of the no-vax, but did not think they should ever be forced or socially imprisoned the way they’ve come to be, at least here in Italy.

Then, Omicron showed up….

And, lo and behold, hundreds of thousands a day got it,

even the “boostered”….

It became clear that the vaccine, while reducing the intensity of the disease, did NOT protect from catching it, nor spreading it, and so, the question that begged itself became:

WHY then insist on the extremely restrictive and suffocating measures for the non-vaccinated, when the vaccinated are just as susceptible to getting and spreading Covid’s latest variant?

Here in Italy, the non-vaccinated MUST GET PCR TESTS at an average of twice a week to be allowed to go to work. Come to think of it, they are, relatively speaking, MORE MONITORED than us the vaccinated, as we are lulled into feeling safe while we might still have undetected Omicron, disguised as a common cold, or, without any symptoms at all…

Inevitably, one asks oneself:

if the vaccinated get it just as the unvaccinated,

if the unvaccinated are checked twice a week for their infection status,

WHY THEN tighten the vise around them to make their lives almost impossible????

Scientifically speaking, on what grounds does that stand?

My reasons to rethink everything is, as said, the new facts that Omicron revealed, plus the fact that, while most of my friends and family are vaccinated, I know a handful of people who aren’t, and who are friends, and whom I would never want to write off simply because of their choice. Yet, they told me they have been isolated with people calling them all kinds of names.

Is this the “brave new world” that is created for us???

Not that the unvaccinated are exempt from MYTHS such as, claiming that “hospitals are filled with vaccinated covid patients, they are the ones spreading it!!” which is as false as it is delusional..

Maybe if people took a look at how governments handled Covid, they’d find a bone to pick rather than opting for the easy way of ostracizing others…

For example, what I, personally, noticed here, is that whenever there’s a rise in cases, the government rushes to extreme over-the-top-measures that are too severe for the rate of that rise….

Why?

Just to say “look, we did this/that, nobody can blame us”… kind of like a disclaimer so as not to be given responsibility for events later….

However, taking concrete measures at the right time, doesn’t seem to be part of the government’s concerns, for example, in the last two autumn’s, when schools re-opened (sometimes temporarily) to actual attendance, voices had been raised REPEATEDLY to make more transportation available so that students won’t be crowded in buses, some suggested, quite reasonably, using all those tourist buses that are not in use because tourism (at least group tourism) was no longer happening.

What did the government do?

ZILCH….

Kids went back to school in overcrowded buses, cases spiked, and BAM,

the government shut everything down….

ISN’T THAT SOMETHING TO LOOK INTO?

ISN’T THAT ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS FOR THE SPREAD OF COVID?

Or, do people have this mental habit of taking the easy way out when it comes to blame, kind of like them blaming immigrants for all their problems instead of their governments…. ?

(but that’s another story..)

At any rate, Covid brought up to the surface a lot of waste …..

not just in people, but also in governments,

it revealed WHO really gives a damn about their people and who doesn’t, and who is lost and doesn’t know what to do exactly, which governments are CRIMINAL, and whose “leaders” are personally responsible for thousands of deaths due to their mismanagement/first starting with denial, then with the worst decisions regarding the pandemic, and yet, albeit in “democracies” they were (and still are) allowed to continue taking similar disastrous decisions single-handedly with no “mechanism of democracy” objecting or stopping them…………..

Italy is not part of the latter category, though….. what I have against Italy is this exaggerated and severe course of action that is NOT JUSTIFIED by facts on the ground, and which seems to be the easy way out, rather than MAKING AN EFFORT to take more CONCRETE helpful steps (like increasing transportation, for one), plus, not exactly learning much from two years of the pandemic, because, while faltering at first was excusable because no one knew what Covid was about, continuing to falter after two years is, most definitely, not excusable…

The situation now is actually quite simple:

If Omicron is caught and spread by the vaccinated JUST AS MUCH AS by the unvaccinated,

and if the unvaccinated MUST get two PCRs a week to check their infection-status,

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE JUSTIFICATION FOR MAKING LIFE ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE LATTER???


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Message to “edwardlorilla2234towerbloggercom “

This person/creature/entity IS A HACKER!

I TRACED HIM/HER/WHATEVER AND THERE IS NO ACCOUNT,

Rather, just a page in its name that does NOT lead to any other page, but A PRETEND ACCOUNT.

MESSAGE:

STOP “FOLLOWING ME” NOW!

I WILL OTHERWISE REPORT YOU AND BELIEVE ME, I WILL FIND A WAY TO GET YOU OUT OF MY ORBIT, UNLESS YOU HAVE A CRUMB OF DECENCY AND DIGNITY AND WILL STOP RE-FOLLOWING ME AND THROWING YOUR DODGY PRESENCE ON MY WEBSITE!

IF YOU KEEP ON RE-FOLLOWING ME EVERY TIME I REMOVE YOU, I’D LIKE TO INFORM YOU:

IN A GAME OF PATIENCE, NOBODY CAN BEAT ME!

GO DO SOMETHING BETTER WITH YOUR MISERABLE LIFE!!!


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Good books and osteoarthritis

Have you ever felt a pain akin to heartbreak when you finish a book in which you have fallen in love with its characters?

You want them to continue to be in your life, you want their company, you want to listen to them and follow them around, but, after the story is over, they are gone..

and though their presence lingers in your memory, they are out of your life,

for good…..

This happened to me today….

Matter of fact, I started feeling the fear of losing them early on in the story,

I knew what would happen when the story ends.

I just didn’t imagine the grief would be that big…..

Is the grief bigger when we are passing through a rough patch in our own lives?

When those characters we get attached to are a lifeline from all that we’ve lost?

Call it emotional osteoarthritis……

When the human relations that cushion our soul from the abrasiveness of the world

are mostly gone …………………..

then, along comes a character from a book,

and saves the day……………………

How do you deal with that loss?

Read the book again?

Look for another book, in the hope of getting friends back?

WHAT TO DO?

I’ll let you know when (if ever) I find the answer……


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The memoir and the vultures

Some days ago, a publisher announced that Harry is writing his memoir, and it will come out next year…

ALL hell broke loose…

And, JUST AS HAPPENED WITH THE OPRAH INTERVIEW,

People started talking about it/criticizing it/condemning it/ANALYSING IT

BEFORE IT EVER APPEARED…

Now, in any SANE context, one would ask:

how can you criticize and trash something you haven’t even seen/read????

Apparently criterion of SANITY and VERY BASIC LOGIC

DO NOT APPLY WHEN IT COMES TO ROYALS-WHO-DARE-LEAVE-THE-FOLD…

I could go on FOREVER about this, as it is such an affront to

common sense

logic

and, by the way, to ALL THE PRINCIPLES OF FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY THAT THE UK CLAIMS TO SUBSCRIBE TO.

What it means is that such media pundits, royal-defenders, henchmen, and online trolls believe that:

Harry is NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE A VOICE OF HIS OWN………

All this VULTURE-LIKE frenzy to trash him, EVEN BEFORE A WORD OF THAT MEMOIR IS SEEN,

Is sign of one thing:

HOW DARE HE OWN HIS VOICE AND EXPRESS IT?

Remind me please, what was all that shebang about human rights and freedom of expression and all that stuff that your country SUPPOSEDLY fought for and SUPPOSEDLY “gained” after decades of struggles in the OLDEN days???

If this happened in some FOURTH WORLD oppressed DICTATORSHIP STEEPED IN FANATICISM,

such reactions would be consistent, but

in the UK???

ALLEGEDLY A BEACON OF FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY?????

Unless, all the principles of civil society (you know, freedom and democracy and all that) do NOT apply to royals, who live in an INSULATED BUBBLE GOVERNED BY MEDIEVAL DICTATES,

And yet, they move in that “other society” that is governed by modern-day principles AS IF they are part of it, but they are not, it’s like a world inside a world, pretending to be part of it, yet completely separate from it in every way…all the while expecting the members of the INSULATED BUBBLE to act as if they do not feel any conflict or suffer from any mental side effects of that format IMPOSED UPON THEM….

Let’s say, if their conditioning were foul-proof, they might not suffer or experience a conflict…

If not, whether due to their character, or due to a different influence in their lives,

They will suffer from that schizoid (or should I say schizophrenic?) existence forced upon them…

But that’s another point altogether that I might write about later (or not)….

ALL over social media, youtube, and TV, you have the “royal experts” talking about the memoir

Analyzing, criticizing, picking it and the man behind it to pieces

WHEN THEY HAVE NOT SEEN A WORD OF IT……………………………………?!?

They are doing that in two ways:

The VENOMOUS/VERBALLY ABUSIVE/HOOLIGAN-LIKE way,

And the PATRONIZING/PEDANTIC/SUGAR-COATING-INTIMIDATION way,

ALONG WITH AN ARMY OF ONLINE HENCHMEN/WOMEN

who sling mud at Harry for “what he is saying”,

EVEN THOUGH

NO ONE SAW IT

WHY????

Because he dared leave the fold, which, in their opinion, is level with a “national felony” of sorts,

But, they’d have eventually stopped barking had he

remained silent and led his life in the shadows, so they’d forget the “hurt in their national pride”

But he’s not shutting up,

He believes HE HAS A RIGHT TO HAVE A VOICE

He believes HE HAS A RIGHT TO TALK ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCE

And that seems to drive royal loyalists (along with the hooligan-minded) up the wall….

Because, in their minds, the royals ARE

OWNED…

they should have NO voice of their own,

THEY SHOULD ACT LIKE CIRCUS ANIMALS,

TO PERFORM A PRESCRIBED SHOW

THEIR ENTIRE LIVES…

under the guise of

“service” and “tradition”…………………………………………

If anyone DARES BREAK FREE

THEY MUST BE

AND WILL BE

HOUNDED…

WHAT KIND OF PROFOUNDLY

DISTURBED SOCIETY

IS ONE THAT PRODUCES SUCH

TWISTED, OPPRESSIVE, FANATIC TO THE BONE MARROW MINDSET AND BEHAVIOUR?

“REACTIONARY” WOULD BE AN UNDERSTATEMENT………………………………………..

Among the many trite displays of wrath are those who belittle Harry as a “nobody” claiming “no one” will read his book BECAUSE they themselves won’t….

thus expressing an INFANTILE level of self-centredness along with pathetic a sense of grandiosity,

while, ironically, accusing Harry of precisely that (talk about projection)…

their “logic ” being “what I will do is what THE WORLD will do…”

Then, there are the smarter ones,

the ones with more self-control,

maybe with a better education than the mud-slingers,

who know that vulture-like attacks may be counter-productive,

so they sugar coat their intimidation tactics with “concerns”…..

graduates of the “for-your-own-good” school,

who know a few tricks to package GASLIGHTING so it doesn’t look like what it really is…

They come out on TV and say how “worried they are about Harry”,

But, within 10 minutes or less, they throw in a few jarring statements:

“Harry is just seeking to be the centre of attention, he wants to be constantly in the limelight” ,

Soon after, same people, “Harry is seeking revenge for how the house of Windsor treated his mother”,

Soon after, the same people “I am so very concerned about Harry, he is living such an existential crisis”

Then, soon after that, still the same people: “this is not fair to others whom he’ll talk about, how can he do that to them?”

Excuse you me,

Last time I checked, “Memoir” was a LEGITIMATE RECOGNIZED GENRE OF WRITING that has been around for a VERY LONG TIME…

Suddenly now, when it’s a Royal who’s writing, the very idea of a memoir has become unethical??????

Appeal to “morality” aside, another reason is to try and

INTIMIDATE HARRY

by accusing him of harming others SHOULD HE DARE speak about his experience..

Again, the question keeps begging itself for any person who BELIEVES IN LOGIC:

HOW CAN YOU ATTACK/DISCREDIT SOMETHING YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT???

How can you CLAIM HE’S HARMING OTHERS when you haven’t even read it?

UNLESS

YOU ALREADY KNOW

that there are others who must have given him reason to suffer?

But, YOU DON’T WANT THAT TRUTH TO COME OUT IN THE OPEN….

In your “tradition above all else” world, he should remain silent because he’s a royal,

because, in your world,

a royal is not a human being,

subject to the same feelings as other fellow humans…..

NOTHING ABOUT A ROYAL SHOULD BE

UNSCRIPTED….

The circus animal cannot be allowed to rebel against the show he was trained/forced to perform in…

He cannot escape,

and if you can’t stop him from escaping,

You try to stop him from SPEAKING UP ABOUT WHAT HE WENT THROUGH

IN HIS LIFE-TRAINING TO PERFORM ON CUE…..

How much of that zeal-to-condemn is because such people are “at the service of the firm”,

and how much of it is because they seem to have TIED THEIR NATIONAL IDENTITY TO THE ROYAL SHOW, with anything that might rattle that show being conceived as a “threat to their very own national identity”….?

One thing is certain:

WE SHALL WITNESS A WHOLE YEAR OF PATHETIC DISPLAYS OF

VENOM, MUD-SLINGING, TRASHING OF HARRY (PLUS MEGHAN, OF COURSE), , VERBAL ABUSE, ALL KINDS OF INTIMIDATION TACTICS, GASLIGHTING, ALL SHADES OF MENTALLY TWISTED ATTACKS (PLUS SOME)….

LO AND BEHOLD, OVER SOMETHING THE PERPETRATORS KNOW NOTHING ABOUT…

AND, BEST OF ALL,

SUCH RELENTLESS ATTACKS PROVIDE THE PERFECT PROOF

AS TO WHY HARRY HAD TO GET OUT OF THAT SICK PLACE

TO SAVE HIS FAMILY AND HIMSELF…

SO, we, onlookers,

who still have a crumb of

LOGIC in their system,

THANK YOU

mud-slingers and educated gaslighters alike,

for confirming

-beyond any shade of doubt-

what Harry has been saying all along ……………


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Soprano offers screaming services

If I wanted to be totally honest, I should have written “ex-soprano”, however,

a man once told me “you’re too honest to be in sales”…….

given that my life has proven him right, I decided to

“tell it with a slant”

as a wise woman once put it…..

besides, methinks,

“once a soprano, always a soprano”, right?

I mean, the machinations are all there, just rusty, needing a bit of sanding here, oiling there, and gradual buildup of stamina…

Unless the job at hand is screaming…

everything required for a screaming job is already in place….

I realized that last night when I stood in the balcony and screamed at the top of my voice on the phone (after warning my friend on the other end to put his phone at a distance from his ear) to cover the voice of donkey-voiced-man who was in his balcony above me, BRAYING AT THE TOP OF HIS VOICE ON THE PHONE, as usual….

I could keep asking “why does he take all his calls in the balcony?” till I’m blue in the face…

It’s been going on for two years

After a couple of times telling him (in vain), I decided for the option of SHOWING NOT TELLING…

Guess that applies in life as much as in writing…

One of my favourite tactics when he brays so loud in the balcony is:

to drown his voice with mine, ramping up my soprano-engine to full capacity…

If you think that’s mean, you need to come and stand two blocks away from our building,

you will still hear his every word…

and here’s the thing, it’s not just obscenely loud, it’s also

obscenely UGLY…

Calling it ACOUSTIC TORTURE is not an exaggeration….

Other times it’s the TV, which I put on maximum volume,

Sometimes it’s music, with the PC hooked to speakers, all at maximum volume, always classical music, not anything relaxing (he doesn’t deserve it) but that modern classical music which sounds like “angry animals” (as a clarinettist friend of mine told me in the past, or rather, what his professor asked him to feel to interpret a modern atonal piece: “imagine you are an angry animal”….)

Yesterday, though, it was my voice…

you could say that, too, was the sound of “an angry animal”….

Donkey-voice’s typical reaction:

to go inside, but only for a minute or less, and when I’d stop, thinking he got the message, he’d return to the balcony and do it again…

and so do I….

This happened at least 4 times last night…

Sometimes he doesn’t budge, and stays in the balcony, raising his voice on the phone even louder..

Big BIG MISTAKE…

No voice can cover that of a (well-trained) soprano

Especially if she’s (very) angry…

This has been going on on a regular basis for 2 years now…

Even Pavlov’s dog learnt the pattern after just a few repetitions…

Bless Pavlov’s dog…

he was so much brighter than many a specimen of the wrongfully-named “intelligent species”…

Instead, donkey-voice reminds me of flies in summer,

no matter how many times you shoo them away, they keep coming back to the same spot…

Imagine a creature with the voice of a donkey and the brain of a fly…….

Now imagine that creature to be your neighbour….

Yesterday, after my call ended, needing to find something to use to yell at the top of my voice in the balcony like he was doing, I googled the first thing that came to mind and started reading it out as loud as my diaphragm would carry me…..

It was about the Chinese vaccine… (in English, just so he wouldn’t understand, call it icing on top of the revenge cake…)

A side-effect of this show was that I realized:

My “vocal power” was still there!

HAAAALLLEEEELLLLLUUUUUJAH!

He can be heard two blocks away, but,

so can I….

Hell, maybe even three blocks away!

After all, high pitches travel farther….

The old adage for classical singers: “you MUST sing in a way that the last row in the hall can hear you” came to my rescue (despite all the years of silence….no microphones were used in the opera world, at least not back then….)

And so, donkey-man inspired me to reclaim my voice…

not just for scream-covering

but for singing… again….

wouldn’t it be a sweet SWEEEEEET revenge to sing opera every day under his head?

According to the law, I could sing from 9 am to 10 pm….

Of course no voice could do that, but,

methinks that just one or two hours of opera, or singing exercises,

you know, those obnoxious “vocalises” that are repeated over and over and over again…

Could do the job of

bouncing back

acoustic torture

in his ears……

Then, maybe, just maybe,

he’d head for the hills..

DEFINITIVELY

In the meantime,

what with Covid closing down performance chances for singers,

Let alone the years of silence, and the age factor,

Given I was told I was “too old to have a singing career” at 22 (by men who were in their 50s and 60s),

this is not about a “career” comeback, and my best (only) chances at performance might be

BUSKING

(which I also did before, but that’s another -long- story…)

I could just put up that ad,

to make some use of all the past years of training and experience,

& earn a thing or two from my voice anyway…

albeit in a different format….

call it recycling skills/ creative crisis-management/ finding a niche…….

And so it shall come to pass:

SOPRANO OFFERS SCREAMING SERVICES…


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Not even a pandemic….

Not even a pandemic, a YEAR AND A HALF of social isolation, of lockdown after lockdown and the inability to see friends, the impossibility of going out with them or sitting and chatting with them FOR A YEAR AND A HALF….. NOT EVEN THAT GOT PEOPLE OFF THE BLOODY SCREEN OF THEIR “SMART”PHONES/ IPHONES/OR WHATEVER GADGETS THEY, QUITE LITERALLY, WORSHIP…………

NOT EVEN A YEAR AND A HALF OF HAVING LOST THE BASICS OF SOCIAL INTERACTION, AND OF LOSING THE CERTAINTY THAT LIFE WOULD EVER GO BACK TO WHAT IT WAS,

NOT EVEN THAT WAS ENOUGH TO MAKE PEOPLE APPRECIATE THE COMPANY OF PEOPLE, SO THAT, NOW, WHEN THEY CAN FINALLY MEET (A THING WHICH CANNOT BE TAKEN FOR GRANTED EVEN WEEKS AHEAD), ARE THEY ABLE TO

SIT AND LOOK AT EACH OTHER,

TALK TO EACH OTHER,

DEDICATE THEIR ATTENTION TO EACH OTHER,

INSTEAD OF TO THEIR BLOODY SCREENS

You’d think that, for ALL OF US, AROUND THE WORLD, after going through this pandemic experience, which is not over yet (and may not be for a while to come), that we, the human race, would have learnt a thing or two….

After all, WHAT MORE than such a prolonged world emergency, the isolation, the lockdowns, and the losses in human life, to make us SEE what matters in life, especially that, for a long time, none of us knew how safe we really were, and lived with the looming dread that the next body count could be us, or our loved ones?

What more than a year and a half of no socializing at all, to the absolute minimal socializing to learn to VALUE your friends and TO WANT TO SIT AND TAKE IN THEIR PRESENCE??

Apparently the pandemic was NOT enough…

A year and a half of isolation MADE NO DINT…

ZERO

ZILCH

Tonight I saw these scenes over dinner at a restaurant…

Mind you, eateries have reopened only a couple of weeks ago,

after the umpteenth lockdown….

People were sitting at tables with their “friends”, each FULLY IMMERSED IN THE SCREEN of their worshipped gadget…. when they “talked” to each other, they talked about what they were watching, showing each other their respective screens and “talking” about what’s on them, then going back to direct their full attention to their screens…

WHAT MORE DO PEOPLE NEED TO VALUE THE ACTUAL WORLD OF FLESH AND BLOOD PEOPLE

OVER THE VIRTUAL WORLD ON MOBILE SCREENS

AT LEAST FOR THAT ONE HOUR OR TWO WHEN THEY MEET THEIR “FRIENDS” OVER A MEAL??

WHAT LEVEL OF LOSS

must human beings experience to appreciate the gift of friends,

ALIVE, healthy, right there in front of them to share a moment in time together

A moment for which there is NO guarantee in the future….???

If a year and a half of loss, isolation and watching the world-as-they-always-knew-it crumble

was NOT ENOUGH…

WHAT EXACTLY would it take???

THREE YEARS OF A PANDEMIC?

FOUR?

FIVE??

TEN???

IS THERE, ACTUALLY, ANY DEGREE OF LOSS CAPABLE OF BRINGING BACK THE VALUE

OF PEOPLE’S COMPANY

MAKING IT MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT OF GADGETS,

FOR JUST THAT

ONE OR TWO HOURS A WEEK????????????????????

OR,

is the formerly human, now mobile-fixated race at THE POINT OF NO RETURN, and

NO AMOUNT OF LOSS

IS CAPABLE OF

EVER

SHOWING THEM

THAT REAL HUMAN FRIENDS ARE

MORE IMPORTANT THAN SCREEN FADS,

NOT EVEN FOR A MEAGRE

TWO BLOODY HOURS A WEEK

?????????????????????


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The best gaslighticide

The best gaslighticide is

a gaslighting-FREE experience,

whether in the past, or the present..

SOMETHING TO COMPARE TO…

Without that, you’re up for grabs to gaslighting from the professionals and amateurs alike…

Not all gaslighting is created equal…

There are the professionals, who calculate their words and carry out their gaslighting in a deliberate and very pre-meditated way,

And there are “the rest”….

Who could be people who just have a high dose of “stuff” that results in their interactions often working like gaslighting,…. stuff that is not necessarily deliberate or calculated, and which has to do with many things that I don’t profess to know, but could only guess:

character

mental filters

prejudices

feelings/thoughts about “the other”

There is one CONSTANT though:

INSENSITIVITY

Whether it’s an insensitivity towards others in general, or a SELECTIVE INSENSITIVITY towards that one person they don’t like or think poorly of…

No one can indulge in gaslightling, even when inadvertently, unless they are INSENSITIVE to the point of being OPAQUE towards the other…

And, when dealing with the non-pros, they are often not aware that they are gaslighting, they are simply expressing what they think/feel about the other, which, when totally off-the mark, UNJUST or TOXIC, is equal to

GASLIGHTING…

Back to the anti-dote:

The ONLY WAY to see gaslighting for what it is and protect yourself from it is having an experience (even in the past) with humans who do not-EVER- indulge in such hitting-under-the-mental-belt tactics….

That’s all it takes……

If such others are not available in the present, but existed in your life in the past, all you need to do is to

REMEMBER

hold up a MIRROR,

COMPARE

That is a strong enough shield…

If such others (even just one person) are in your life in the present, then,

so much the better..

I can’t emphasize it enough:

REMEMBER, COMPARE…

Those who make you feel like sh**, those who always see what you do as negative,

those who don’t even see what you actually do but have this urge to constantly accuse you of something or the other, whether that’s because they have a fixed negative image of you that won’t allow any contrary information to seep through, or, whether they are just full of prejudices and you fall on the wrong side of their mental screen, or for

WHATEVER dodgy reasons

that you’d be doing yourself a big favour to stop trying to understand….

YOU NEED TO COMPARE HOW THEY MAKE YOU FEEL WITH OTHERS

WHO DO NOT OPERATE FROM A FOUNDATION OF

MISTRUST

ACCUSATIONS

TOXINS OF ANY SHAPE OR COLOUR….

That’s ALL IT TAKES….

COMPARE…..

REMEMBER….

COMPARE……

REMEMBER……


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Why can’t (most) Italian women trust me?!?

“YOU’RE THE ONLY WOMAN I TRUST TO MARRY MY HUSBAND”

Said a South American friend to me once (when living in NY).

They were illegal immigrants (like countless others, especially from South America), I was their friend, and her “plan” for me was: “marry my husband for a few years (a pretend marriage on paper), he’ll get the green card, divorce him, I’ll marry him back and get the green card too, and we’ll all live happily ever after”.

Back then, I refused, and tried to explain to her how outrageous such a request was (a thing which she didn’t understand at the moment).

At any rate, we basically stopped talking to each other for years, until they eventually won the green card lottery and we met once or twice on an amicable basis…. I forgave, but I did not forget…

All those years, the memory of that request remained a sore spot for me, always remembered in a negative light..

Until some time recently, when, seeing how difficult it is for most Italian women to trust me, I remembered those words and saw them in a positive light for the first time ever…..

Not for the request itself, but for the fact that, knowing me well back then, she knew that, had I agreed to such a plan, I would never have presented a danger for her marriage, nor would I have “stolen her husband”….

And, while I thought she was bonkers to ask me such a thing back then, I’VE COME TO APPRECIATE HER WORDS FOR THEIR LEVEL OF TRUST, despite that bonkers nature and context..

For, while that woman-friend trusted me to the point of asking me to “marry her husband”, some Italian women act as if they see me as a “threat” to any males in their extended family, not even someone as close as a husband… even if the issue at hand is contacting them to ask for information over something or the other……. ???!???

I realize this, too, sounds 360 degrees bonkers, given my age, but it happened so many times in the distant and recent past and keeps repeating, even now……

Maybe I should be very “flattered” that such women see some “femme fatale” in me!?!?

An idea which is, in truth, SO FAR REMOVED FROM REALITY to be, again, 360 degrees BONKERS…

But……

I can’t feel flattered,

What I felt, time and time again, was

HURT

at such a level of mistrust…..

While the chapter of “women friendships” in my life has been mostly very bright, here in Italy, it has suffered from repeated blows, and was never stain-free.

Safe to say, in over 90% of the cases, that chapter has, more often than not, been

contaminated……to the point of being radioactive….

WHY ON EARTH????

Is it my status as a foreigner?

Whereby,

in some deep recesses of their psyche,

and despite an outward sheen of openness,

there is an in-built mistrust towards a foreigner, even when she is considered “a friend”?

A mechanism that may be hidden even from the person who acts upon it….?

Is it a Medieval mindset that views a single free-spirit as a threat to the “traditional social order” a.k.a. families, which it is their duty to “protect”????

whereby, again, in some deep Medieval recesses of their psyche,

a free spirit “follows no rules” hence, she can have an ingrained “immorality gene”, and is, hence,

a THREAT?

It certainly sounds ridiculously ANTIQUATED,

especially that nowadays, unlike 50+ years ago, single women are as common in Italy as they are anywhere in the world…….

So WHAT’S THE DEAL with them acting AS IF I were some threat to the males of their pack????!?

Again, NOBODY IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would look at me and think

“SHE’S a real threat!!”

And, nobody who actually knows me as a person would EVER think that either….

So why ON EARTH do such women act like I were not to be trusted around their men????????

I can’t profess to know where that’s coming from exactly…

But, I have seen it over and over again,

even from some women who are “friends”….

Like a curse….

it rears its head at the most unexpected moments and in the most unwarranted contexts….

Showing just how fragile that “friendship” really is (to them) and how poor their opinion of my character is…

And it is at those moments that I miss my women friendships in Egypt, Germany, and New York,

Of all my friendships with women in Egypt, only once did I have this problem, the rest are women who are STRONG ENOUGH and clear-headed enough to see others outside the “threat-to-males” filter…

women who CAN SEE the existence of a world that does NOT revolve solely around relationships to men and mechanisms to “protect” those relationships (or WHATEVER is going on inside the heads of such women here when they make their calculations about me…)

In Germany, I never had such problems, EVER…

And, in New York as well,

I miss my women friends in NY,

Never, EVER, did I experience such mistrust from them…

Even from women friends whose lives seemed to revolve around “Saturday-night-crusades” to find their life’s partner, and who considered every failed date an ominous defeat.. even women FIXATED on finding a man knew better than to see me as a “threat”…

Besides, there, any differences were accepted, respected, even admired

and NEVER seen as a serious flaw nor treated with covert/overt TOXICITY…..

And, after YEARS of being on the receiving end of hurt after hurt here,

I remember the woman who told me

“YOU’RE THE ONLY WOMAN I TRUST TO MARRY MY HUSBAND”

with gratitude..

because,

here, I’ve seen cases when women did not “trust me” to even talk directly to family members over the phone for something completely objective (like asking for information or a work related issue that only they knew about).

Matter of fact, such a request would be ignored, usually followed by a “communications freeze” on yours truly…

till I “learned my lesson”, that

THE BUCK STOPS HERE…

Talking directly to males in their orbit is

OFF LIMITS…..

Someone might say that this has nothing to do with “protecting their males” from yours truly, and simply that yours truly is a “nuisance” that they did not want to expose their pack to…. HOWEVER, such women did not have a problem granting me direct contact to someone else when that someone else was a woman…..

It felt ALL of these plus some:

INSULTING

DEMEANING

and

PROFOUNDLY MISTRUSTFUL.

Let alone the FACT that, even in my prime, I was NEVER a “femme fatale”, nor was that a part of my character…EVER…..

ANYONE WITH A CRUMB OF INSIGHT into human nature would SEE THAT LOUD AND CLEAR……..

UNLESS

their own deep-rooted PREJUDICES OVERRIDE what is right in front of their eyes…

Of course, this could be about something else altogether:

This could be about those women not TRUSTING THEIR MEN,

And the SWIPES they take at me are just

COLLATERAL…

And if that can happen from some “friends”,

IMAGINE

what can happen from the women who can’t stand my guts……..

An easy way out would be to tell myself it’s all about some closed “small-town-mentality”…..

however,

bearers of that free-range loathing have often had their share of wandering outside the small town long enough NOT TO BE prisoners of the proverbial “frog in the well” mindset..

UNLESS,

it’s a case of

“you can get the girl out of the village but you can’t get the village out of the girl”,

Or,

They project their own insecurities on me,

Or

in some deep recesses of a PRIMAL memory, the world is that of some National Geographic documentary,

where there is an ongoing territorial competition…….

although saying they see me as a “competitor” would be giving myself a certain worth that does not exist for them…

maybe they believe I “see myself as a competitor”, which would be, again, EPIC projection….

or,

it could just be a primal, “lizard brain” kind of thing…..

I don’t know how to explain their

gratuitous,

unwarranted

loathing,

other than that it points to some National Geographic moment, whereby when another animal shows up in their territory, it has to be thrown out…

Metaphorically,

at best, with the “I-wish-I-could-turn-you-into-a-frog” glare-you-downs,

at worst, with verbal jabs akin to the sting of a wasp,

both in its painfulness, and in the POISON it stabs you with…

What I did notice, however, is that such stings often come about when I DARE mention anything about another country I had lived in, because, through their National-Geographic-territorial lens, such reference on my part is nothing but a deliberate stunt to “show off”, presumably, to qualify for

the CROWN of the “QUEEN BEE” …..

the FACT that I actually lived in six countries and that my memory is a mosaic of that history is

COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT….

This is not about facts.

When someone’s TRUTH is regarded as a “offensive”,

When their ACTUAL HISTORY is considered a “fabrication”,

there is something PROFOUNDLY TWISTED at play…..

And I MISS:

The women who do NOT see me as a “threat” to something or the other……

The women who do NOT see my free spirit as a sign of irresponsibility, frivolity, recklessness, untrustworthiness…..

The women who do NOT see any reference to my life and history as a “show” to “steal the limelight” from them..

The women who do NOT MISTRUST EVERY SINGLE THING I SAY AND DO….

I EVEN MISS

that woman who told me, over 20 years ago in NY:

“YOU’RE THE ONLY WOMAN I TRUST TO MARRY MY HUSBAND”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….