Sunday, April 20, 2008

Come muore un italiano

I've been ever so weary this week. Very busy with some projects, and trying to find a balance with my various little athletic endeavors. So FP hasn't had the attention it so often insists upon. Our little baby will just have to grow up a bit, eh? But yesterday when I went searching for that Beslan photo essay, I noticed, in that same September archive, this little something from so long ago. And as it is a lazy Sunday afternoon, with no urgency imposing itself on my time, I thought I'd stir the tranquil waters with this small pebble. Because we should never be too relaxed.


Fabrizio Quattrocchi. I hope I spelled it right. Kind of exotic. Italian, of course. When spoken well, Italian is the most beautifully musical of languages. When spoken well. I'm told English sounds pretty guttural. As a native speaker, I wouldn't know.

Odd, isn't it, how understanding changes one's perceptions. It shouldn't come as a surprise -- but sometimes it does.

Take, for example, Fabrizio Quattrocchi. A baker. Thought he'd pick up some extra money working as a security guard. Long story short, 14 April, 2004, he was kidnapped by thugs and murdered. They forced him to dig his own grave, then put a hood over his head and shot him in the back of his neck. Videoed. Well. We hardly need have any emotion about this. What is the world, after all, but a boundless killing field.

If we're lucky we make it to old age, and die peacefully -- our thin white hair smoothed by tender fingers -- surrounded by our loved ones, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. Our last breath leaves us with a fluttering sigh, and we are still. Silence clutches the moment and there is some sadness, but we led such a blessed life, and our passing was so peaceful. All this, if we are lucky. On the other hand, perhaps it's a bullet into the base of the brain. Context is everything.

Oh. Context. Well, the thugs were islamists, of course. In Iraq. So that makes a lot more sense. Normal thugs don't bother with the video part. Just sexual perverts. Oh, and moslim jihadists. Al-Jazeera refused to air the snuff film, pretending it was "too gruesome." A lie, of course, since they show any number of similar islamist religious documentaries. What was it that made this particular video offensive to the moslims at Al-Jazeera? Hmm. It's on the tip of my tongue. Maybe it'll come to me.

Speaking of tongues, though, like I was before, one of the beautiful things about Italian is the way it savors the vowels. No wonder opera is best in Italian. German opera? Please. And the rhythm of it. The way it rolls. When spoken well, I mean. Take the sentence, Vi faccio vedere come muore un italiano. It's not poetry. It doesn't have any identifiable formal structure. Just something someone might say, in Italian. But isn't it beautiful? Doesn't it make a chill run down your spine? Doesn't it make you want to weep for some unknown and unspeakable reason? It grips the soul, and stirs up such a love of virtues almost lost, like a longing that every beautiful thing would last forever.

Anyway. Last year Fabrizio Quattrocchi was awarded a posthumous medaglia d'oro al valor civile. The Gold Medal for Civil Valor. A high honor. The Italian Left does not approve of his receiving the Medal. After all, wasn't he little more than a mercenary? And other similarly murdered Italians have not been so honored. (The "murdered" is my editorial interjection.) Well, different strokes, eh? Everyone's entitled to his or her opinion. These decisions are so often just politics anyway. No need for us to have any emotions about it. After all, we're not Italians. What would the awarding of a civil honor in Italy to an Italian have to do with us, in far off America? It hardly seems likely that there could be any lesson or relevance for us.

The Italian Left doesn't get it, of course. If they did, they wouldn't be on the Left. Signore Quattrocchi was not honored for being a victim.

Vi faccio vedere come muore un italiano. Fabrizio Quattrocchi's last words. He uttered them as he tore off the hood the islamists had put over his head, spoiling their money shot. "Vi faccio vedere come muore un italiano!" he cried out as he ripped off the hood, just before they murdered him.

I'll show you how an Italian dies!



Anonymous said...


Your work is outstanding! We've linked to a number of your posts and you will be getting some hits from us as soon as I can figure out a way to get more people to our site. :Sigh:

How I found Forgotten Prophets? I was looking for an article on Marin Morrison and after many several attempts to find anything recent written about her making the Olympic team (I've been following her plight for three years now), I gave up and plugged in my usual blog search words, Barack Obama Bad Person (or similar) and your post "The Negro Project" came up. I read it, loved it, and read about two hours more of your postings. God's gift to you is quite obvious.

And someone did write about Marin ... today. If you get the chance, the link is on our site. Let me know if she reminds you of anyone in particular.


Jack H said...

So what are you getting me for our anniversary? -- you know, our one week anniversary? I'm secretly hoping for a watch fob, for my pocket watch, which is my pride and joy. Oh, by the way, I was thinking you could use some lovely turtleshell combs for your long flowing luxurious hair. If only I could find some way to afford them. Ah well, something will come up.

I've got a guy with a sandwich board strolling the boardwalk: "Go to Forgotten Prophets! Itz turifiq!!!" Haven't gotten any traffic from it yet, but it's only been two and a half years.

There's a song that keeps buzzing through my head, and I just can't stop it:

We love Oba-a-ma,
Oh yes we do-oo.
We love Oba-a-ma,
Oh yes it's true-oo.
We love Oba-a-ma,
We do,
O-ba-a-ma we love you.

I'm trying to figure out how to put it on YouTube. I'll be famous, just like Chris Crocker!

Thanks for the kind words.


Anonymous said...

You are welcome.

If we had two nickels to rub together, Jack, I'd surely send you one in appreciation of the beautiful piece you wrote on Marin Morrison.

And I like your B.O. song, but it frightens me to think he could be our next leader. I know what some of his fans are thinking, but I don't know why they don't think more long term. We'll probably be voting for McCain (gasp! we liked Huckabee), so while we don't have to think so much about long-term regarding McCain, we do have to hope he picks the right V.P. And we are heavily hoping it is not Romney. (Does McCain even stand a chance at winning this election?)

Thanks again ... (and what is a fob?) ...


Jack H said...

I'd settle for a bottle cap and a piece of string. Any appreciation will do. I'm very needy.

McCain has such a good chance that he can actually win. Interesting times.