last moon

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

London for ever - 35


Chapter IX

A very nice snack bar

In my work place, on Monday, after the Sunday rest, there was always a big mess. Even that Monday, I had a great deal on putting  everything back in order, as it liked me and  was my duty to be done. When I finished it was   almost midday. 

I had  usually lunch  with a  sandwich and a cappuccino. 

In London to find a snack bar where you can have a quick meal at noon is almost easier than  find a pub where to drink  a pint of beer. Provided that one does not want to join meal and beer in a Public House. 

My digestive system, to be honest, has  always recommend me to  frequent pubs only in the evenings, avoiding strictly to have there any kind of meal, especially if in the form of hot dish. 

Certain  Anglo-Saxon names, albeit seemingly to have an edible, bombastic euphony,  may conceal seriously unpleasant  surprises, such as some kind of animal innards, which in normal pastafoglia casings are located vaguely with  colorful vegetables,  cooked and mixed with approximately and squishy sauces, and have a really  indefinable taste and almost  unsustainable smell. 

These snacks, I say, are typically owned by Italian immigrants, not necessarily  men from the south of Italy.
Many of them  left the Italy at the time of the Great War,to escape conscription first and then misery; others in the following  two decades, because of fascism and clumsy arrogance of the royal Italian bureaucracy, which had ended up succumbing to the reasons of the Fascist State. As a matter of fact these nationalist reasons had no connection to men and transcended their  individual needs and rights,  ending for  sacrificeing, paradoxically, even that of the free private initiative, the true soul of the entrepreneurs who had savagely opposed the occupation of factories and the unrest in the streets, which was indeed the   prelude to the takeover of power by the fascist ideology. 

And the more that stood out in comparison with the efficient, impartial and careful administration of British society, always willingly glad  to welcome into it smanufacturing background  those managerial  Italians traders, so keenly skillful  in the restaurant business in a particular way. 

And of  Italy they kept that idea a bit unreal and mythical in their remembrances ,  more due  to  their distant and nostalgic fantasy than the  now unknown reality. And if now, the financial viability of their assets in pounds sterling, suddenly get the memory of past miseries,the veil of nostalgic left however only filter those idealistic visions that the passage of time makes the most idyllic and remote. 

Such memories of first generation immigrants sometimes pull them  to attempt a risky and most frequently, traumatic return, while their children and grandchildren, British born or raised there, misguided by the stereotypes of British press about the mafia, on corruption and the disasters of Italian Finance (all partial true rather than absolute of a reality far more complex and multifaceted), preferred to think of Italy as a place of special holidays, to be  decanted with exotic tones coming back to their new Country, together and apart from the inevitable comments on dysfunction of public and private services, small and large cheating of a people still convinced to be  still under the yoke of Spanish Bourbon Royals or even Austro-Hungarian, culinary delights, the artistic and natural beauties (perhaps abandoned to themselves), led by the iconoclastic Napolitanean  of sun, pizza and sea. 

I mean in this snack-bar down the road I could grab a quickbite and a tea in a short time, in order to be quickly back at work, with roads that soon  would be filled with people around the lunch-time and multiple other purposes. 

In my way to the snack I met Mickle, a funny man already in his seventies, a native of Kent who, pulling  his umbrellas ‘ cart, had started  his  slow praising chant,  among the general indifference of passers-bies. 

I don't know how or why, but whenever I met him in the street with his cart, it always happened that the sky was obscured following a  copious rain, within an hour or  maybe two. So much so,  that someone, perhaps a colleague in the Company, whose interests and profits were evident in inverse proportion to rain and bad weather,  had once  suggested that I would dash through touching  wood . His fame as a jinx, real or alleged it might be, was increased by the fact that he used to  wore black suits; furthermore  he was  always dark on his face, black were his eyes and, despite his age, even his  hair were black. 


35. to be continued...

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Memorie di scuola - Volume Secondo



Io credo che ogni generazione subisca le influenze del suo tempo e dell’ambiente in cui cresce e matura le sue esperienze. Queste influenze, a metà con i caratteri biologici iscritti nel nostro DNA, determinano gli eventi della nostra vita; o ciò che noi chiamiamo destino.
Io  appartengo a una generazione che ha vissuto su un piano strettamente spirituale, filosofico e culturale, la grande stagione della rivoluzione del 1968,  mentre sul piano materiale ha subito, sempre negli anni sessanta, l’influenza del boom economico.
Ma al contrario di ciò che è successo in altri paesi europei e negli Stati Uniti, in Italia il ’68 non è durato soltanto  una stagione. 
In Francia, ad esempio, il  movimento ‘ 68 si spense con la caduta politica di De Gaulle; in Gran Bretagna le classi politiche dirigenti, con i Lords in testa, memori di quanto successo ai nobili  nel 1798 e nel 1848, preferirono cedere alcuni privilegi e fare delle concessioni, al fine di perpetuare le loro rendite parassitarie; e così accadde anche in altri paesi europei di più antico lignaggio. 
L’ Italia, che aveva compiuto da poco i suoi 100 anni di unità politica, reagì diversamente e le cose presero un’altra piega. Non saprei dire il perché e questa, in fondo, non è neppure la sede adatta per fare un’analisi di quei motivi.
Posso e debbo dire però che il movimento rivoluzionario italiano del '68 si trascinò per almeno un altro decennio.
In questo lasso di tempo non tutti quelli che avevano conosciuto il ’68 proseguirono a fare i rivoluzionari. Anzi, una buona parte dei giovani rampanti ribelli, finita la frenesia che elettrizzava l’aria in quel magico anno, finirono per cedere alle sirene del boom economico e del consumismo che ne era derivato.
Gli altri, quelli che la ribellione ce l’avevano nel sangue, proseguirono ancora per qualche anno, senza mollare di un solo centimetro nei confronti del potere formalista e borghese al quale avevano dichiarato guerra . Ma una parte di loro si accorse presto che si trattava di una battaglia persa in partenza e, a un certo punto, abbandonarono il campo cercando di dimenticare la delusione della cocente sconfitta,  chi alla ricerca di una carriera alternativa, chi nei tortuosi sentieri della droga, chi fuggendo lontano.
Soltanto gli irriducibili restarono sul campo e imbracciando le armi vere combatterono  la loro rivoluzione fatta di illusioni e di teorie astratte, elaborate da filosofi sognatori,  frutto di pensieri malati, fondate sul nulla. Tanto ciò è vero che il loro assunto di base, la dittatura del proletariato, mancò proprio di quello che doveva essere l’autore principale e l’interprete della vittoriosa e gloriosa rivoluzione: il proletariato.
In  nome di queste teorie astruse, questi intellettuali malati di megalomania e di protagonismo storico (compagni che sbagliano, li chiamò troppo benevolmente qualcuno),  disseminarono il terrore per tutta l’Italia, proclamando in deliranti comunicati l’avvento di improbabili vittorie e chiamando alla rivolta un popolo inesistente e comunque indisponibile a seguirli in quella strada insanguinata di autentica violenza intrisa di vani sogni e deliquio.
E finirono per divenire gli zimbelli di quei capitalisti e imperialisti tanto odiati, come avvenne nella triste vicenda di Aldo Moro, ucciso dalle Brigate Rosse che conclusero la loro ingloriosa carriera dando  compimento a un disegno criminale,  che proprio i servizi segreti deviati italoamericani,  avevano ordito in odio al presidente della Democrazia Cristiana, reo soltanto di essere un politico intelligente e coraggioso, che aveva compreso che l’Italia poteva salvarsi spezzando l’accerchiamento in cui i  sovietici e gli americani avevano intrappolato la sua amata patria.
Ma per rendere onore all’altra America, quella dei poeti della beat generation e dei figli dei fiori, vorrei  evidenziare come le   radici della grande rivoluzione del 1968 affondino anche in quel grande paese e in quegli intellettuali,  poeti e sognatori che, anziché perseguire la violenza, propugnarono una rivoluzione pacifica che alla violenza del potere di Washington oppose il profumo e la bellezza dei fiori di San Francisco.
Siamo debitori di  quei  pensatori americani che con le loro immaginifiche visioni hanno inneggiato a un mondo di pace e fratellanza, a una società che ripudiasse la guerra, a un consorzio umano universale che congiungesse la saggezza  millenaria  dell’oriente con l’organizzazione tecnologica dell’occidente, in un progetto di condivisione delle risorse umane e delle ricchezze della terra che ripudiasse ogni egoismo, ogni prevaricazione nazionalitaria e populista, oggi, purtroppo tornate di moda. 
E in questo mio inno di grazie non posso e non voglio tralasciare neanche gli intellettuali europei come Jean Paul Sartre, Herbert Marcuse, Bertrand Russell, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley e tanti altri che qui mi scuso di dimenticare.
continua...

Leggi il  testo integrale del primo volume di "Memorie di scuola" di Ignazio Salvatore Basile,  acquistando on line(c/o Mondadori store, Feltrinelli, IBS, Libreria Universitaria, Amazon ecc.) oppure in libreria il volume edito da Youcanprint ISBN 9788827845486. Il romanzo è disponibile anche in formato e-book nel sito della casa tramite il link sottostante.

 
 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

London for ever - 34



 I try to totally concentrate on the discussion.

I say that I no longer I’m expecting  anything good from Italian politicians, after just over a century of mismanagement, since  political unity, which has not followed any social unity. Touching obviously dear themes to Giampiero.
“Italy is a bad mosaic of peoples with too many problems to be treated with the same medicine” – he replies to me – “ Only  the worker’s movement can succeed uniting  these different people, giving them a strong  identity to  join together like the fingers of a hand!! "- he concludes closing his right hand in a tight fist.

I tell him that I do not  longer believe in the workers' movement;  neither I  longer believe in the model of state organization inherited by the French Revolution, with tired rites of indirect representative democracy ...

- "You're wrong to take the French Revolution as a point of reference. The real, unique revolution from which the talk is, is the revolution ......... "

-" Revolution? On Saturday night all the serious speeches are banned, "- Michelle says cheerfully -" “Look at what Marcus gave me! "- she says  showing  us a black ball she holds between her  index and the thumb. "" Do you want to roll it? "She turns to me.
- "No, I think I’ll do it" - offers Giampiero promptly. - By the way, who was that guy? "He continues with indifferent air, while already manages  with some cigarette’s  papers  beneath the table in order to arm a joint for the Michelle’s smoke.
- "He's a good customer of mines," replies Michelle, with a strange  air. "He comes from Rotterdam, but he is living from  many years here in London. I met him at Camden Lock where he handles an "stall" of second hand clothing with some of his English members. He’s a bit crazy or at least an original one: he's always stoned as hell, morning to night, because, he says, he believes in smoking, as a flag of peace and brotherhood among young people! "
- "Bullshit," said Giampiero in a caustic tone, "I've met smokers who were total assholes, and I'm not even okay with all the big business that's made of smoke ..."
- "Well, as long as it remains illegal, trade is lucrative; Especially for big dealers who do not even pay taxes on it; It would be enough to legalize it. It almost seems that politicians are afraid of the spread of smoke ...... "- I say to dampen the tone of the discussion between the two.
- "But they do not seem to have the same approach to heroine," Giampiero says, remembering perhaps the lost friends on that street. - " Do you know Michelle what Pino writes from Italy? When the social tension grows, in Italy smoke disappears from the streets and only heroin is found, do you know? But nobody seems to get  to point out that with the heroine they just want to destroy us? Do you light it up? "He asks me in a more relaxed tone, asking me to light the  joint up.
- "It's up to Michelle, really," I say, passing by, after burning its  tip with the lighter.
Martine in the meantime asks Michelle if she understands the topic of the discussion and, after explaining it, says that many rock motion representatives have been mysteriously torn from heroin and thrown down the names of Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison.
she also adds that she is concerned about the apparently very close relationship between rock movement, music, artists, fans and drugs, all the drugs, from the lightest to the heaviest and most dangerous ones.
Meanwhile the "joint" goes turning around. The dense buzz in the room is interrupted by laughs and laughter, while a thick smoke hood comes from the floor below to the ceiling, becoming more and more condensed.
While the concert had resumed its rhythm, with some skillful voice variation of the solo voice, I  suddenly realized that my throat is dry and my mouth mingled to the point that almost I cannot speak, while at the same time I notice that our beers were still intact on the table in front of us.
I drink directly from the bottle a long haul of Carlsberg Special Brew. I feel that cool liquid in my mouth, coming down my throat, I mentally follow its way  to the stomach and from there spreading with heat; I think of small rivers when they enter the streams and lakes; from  the great rivers that are slow but inesorable in the seas and seas all connected to the oceans, as a single large stream of energy, wrapped in impenetrable cosmic synergies;  even the conductors of our blood, from the smallest vessels to the largest arteries, converge into a single center; and if our bodies have been pulsating in the air for millennia, interacting through immaterial life-force contacts, sometimes conflicting and opposed but always guided in one direction; if our brain contains our present together with the past, and who knows, perhaps even in the future, then where is the center of the universe? The pulsating heart of humanity? The center of Everything Buddha was looking for in the tortuous paths of the mind?
Was this what my brothers were looking for, fleeing the materialties of the West, on the uncertain paths of the East? But why look for it with the deception of acids, with the illusion of opium? Why with the heroine? And if the East, for millennia has absorbed the devastating blow of opium, the most inexperienced and weak civilization of the West, will survive the shots of its most hallucinating and deadly essences?
Take me away, friends, but guide me, do not miss me, love me, as a father loves his prodding son, because I want a dream of sweet awakening, a hope that leads to truth, a journey that has its return to the origin of life .

34...to be continued...

Sunday, November 4, 2018

London for ever - 33



Between a song  and another there is a storm: applauses, whistlings, screamings, pounding noises, cans beaten on the table: a triumph of approval and happiness. From time to time, after about an hour of good rock-blues music, while the hippie from the headband and the pink t-shirt continues to split the air increasingly denser with smokes and smell, a reddish basset with a messy beard approaches Giampiero. They talk for a while, whispering in a low voice.


"What did he want?" Martine inquires.
- "He asked me if I wanted mushrooms ..." - replies Giampiero
- "Mushrooms ??? How could you want  mushrooms! "- interviews Martine -" What makes one with them in here, at this time? "
- "The sauce, of course!" - Michelle intervenes, who knows well what those mushrooms are for. And at this same moment, her gaze sets on a guy sitting in the middle of a separet, not far from us. I have already noticed the man from my point of view: on his table there is an indefinite number of blue cans and a continuous go-go characterizes the "entourage". He is a red-headed guy, full of fine lines, light-skinned, freckled complexion.

- "Marcus! Hey, Marcus! "Michelle exclaims at his address, drawing for his attention with her right raised arm.

The guy turns slowly, hiding his badness, in fact, pretending, just as badly, his indifference; but when he recognizes Michelle's face he lights up suddenly.
He gets up and comes to us. It's high and  athletic! He greets everyone with a jovial "hello", smiling on the little yellow teeth, though small and regular. He is now in touch with Michelle, after kissing affectionately, like two old friends, in great confidence.
There is a subtle and mysterious feeling between the two, and also Giampiero realizes that, as he speaks with me about the political situation in Italy, I do not know which government, presided by who knows what prime minister, once again fallen, ingloriously, in Parliament, he looks at each other, never losing sight of them, trying to grasp what they are saying. His looks of jealousy remind me of rumors about their crisis.

33. to be continued...


Thursday, November 1, 2018

To Brexit or not to Brexit - 2


I want to spend a few words in favour of British people, whatever might be the decision on Brexit (it seems yes, since now, but you never know).
That's a decision who is up on British governement and I'll respect it, whatever it might be.
British people are good people. I know English people more than Irish and more than Scottish, even more than Welsh people. And I'm sure that English people are good people.
If some of them have thought to go out of European Union they might have good reasons.
British people are not selfish people; but they are not silly nor stupid.
May be they are simply fed up with this kind of European Union. And so am I.
Of course I would be glad if Great Britain would stay with us to fight against European burocracy in order to change EU.
I still remain a believer in European Union, I mean in the Union of all European people to be happier and whealthier together. I feel all the European people are brothers and they must increase this brotherhood creating a common market, a common governement and sharing a unique flag without renouncing to their peculiarity and their identity.
I dream of the United State of Europe with the United Kingdom, that means with English, Welsh, Scottish and irish people.
I have this dream and I'm not going to give it up.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

London for ever - 32



- "This is really hell! But where have  you brought us? "Jokes Giampiero, trying to slip the crowd.
- "You're an arthropod elephant!" I cut him in the same joking tone.

Michelle nods provocatively, ironizing, as she has done for some time, on his ever massive mole. It's a bit of time I know these arrows between the two, so much that I seemed to be the symptom of an embryo crisis. But that must not be so. You do not schedule a return together if the couple  does not work anymore. Or maybe you do it? As a matter of fact it could be  just an "escamotage" to overcome the problems, to postpone them, not to see them, trying to solve them by the passage of time; a psychological alibi like to blame the environmental problems in London, the lack of children, the precariousness of work, or who knows what else.

- "Did you succeeded on let her talking  to her for a bit?" - Michelle asks me looking at Martine and settling on the wide-lined sofa.
- "She has not been silent for a moment since you left us alone!"

We sneeze for a long time. Adding our laughter to the innumerable and indistinct of the various rooms in the room. Suddenly, like magically, the auditory circuits detach themselves and suddenly silence is gone. There are only a few guitar chords, and without any notice, everyone is silent. The "clou" of the evening begins. The audience keeps a religious, collected, mystical silence. Everyone follows the concert in his own way. Who dreams, who beats the rhythm with one foot in an improvised and unlikely solfeggio; Who tapping his fingers somewhere and who shaking his head; But everyone is lost in music and in total recollection. The concert begins  with a solo music track: the rhythmic base of bass and drums blends with the "riffs" of the solo guitar, while the accompaniment blends everything up. Then the singer enters with his loud, humorous voice telling the classic blues themes, but in the form of rock, creating a good mix of music.

The singer now alternates singing with the accordion, while the other musicians show that they can also play the saxophone and the violin: I travel with the mind along endless freeways, from one side to the other of the American coast; I see the sun rise and I see it setting down; I cry for time, women and friends who will never return. Sax, violin and solo guitar speak with charm; the harmonica, laughing, daring and sublime, touches the most striking strings of the soul.

32. to be continued...