Friday, 9 November 2007

Mafia Morals - not so Tarantino after all...

Warning: Troubled teenagers with an overactive imagination awakened by the Godfather or Pulp Fiction will be as saddened as I was to read the ten commandments of Mafia morality, discovered after big-boss Lo Piccolo's recent arrest. If you ever needed a definitive let-down to dispel any illusions of glamour about organised crime, here it is:

1 - "You must not get in touch with one of our friends unless you're introduced by a third party."

2 - "Do not cast your eyes on the wives of our friends"

3 - "Do not make friends with cops"

4 - "Do not frequent bars or night clubs"

5 - "You have the duty always to be ready to render a service to the Cosa Nostra. Even if your wife is just about to give birth"

6 - "Categorical respect for appointments must be maintained"

7 - "You must respect your wife"

8 - "When you are called upon to give an information, you must say the truth"

9 - "You must not appropriate funds of others, nor of other families"

10 - "No one can belong to us if they have close relatives in the police, if there have been cases of infidelity in his family, or who behaves badly and does not respect moral values"

Poor, poor Hollywood...


Italian version:

1 - «Non ci si può presentare da soli a un altro amico nostro, se non è un terzo a farlo»

2 - «Non si guardano mogli di amici nostri»

3 - «Non si fanno comparati (amicizia ndr) con gli sbirri»

4 - «Non si frequentano né taverne né circoli»

5 - «Si ha il dovere in qualsiasi momento di essere disponibile a Cosa nostra. Anche se c'è la moglie che sta per partorire»

6 - «Si rispettano in maniera categorica gli appuntamenti»

7 - «Si ci deve portare rispetto alla moglie»

8 - «Quando si è chiamati a sapere qualcosa si dovrà dire la verità»

9 - «Non ci si può appropriare di soldi che sono di altri e di altre famiglie»

10 - «Niente affiliazione per chi ha un parente stretto nelle varie forze dell'ordine, oppure chi ha tradimenti sentimentali in famiglia, o chi ha un comportamento pessimo e che non tiene ai valori morali»

Thursday, 8 November 2007

A not so ironic Joseph Beuys sings for "Sonne statt Reagan"

One of Germany's most tragicomic TV moments, this 1983 campaign spot for the Green Party not only features artist Joseph Beuys in a sadly serious attempt at rock-stardom. It also, to use a Germanic expression, is the ideal-type of German humour's talent for mixing well-meaning earnestness with particularly bad puns.

The refrain - "Wir wollen Sonne statt Reagan / Ohne Rüstung leben" - exploits the similarity of the German word for rain and Reagan's name, to merge the strangely unpolitical wish for good weather with the baffling demand that Reagan simply turn into the sun. The lyrics, in short, are not inspired.

But Beuys' performance is worse. His temporary job description, for want of a better word, is that of a lead singer. It doesn't help, of course, that he has been parked behind both a band - Germans will recognise them as BAP - which looks like it doesn't know how to play its instruments and a bunch of women with no apparent reason for being on stage (the Green party, of course, was big on feminism, so I suppose it preferred having women on stage doing nothing to having no women at all in the spot...)

P.S. By the end of the spot, self-conscious Beuys seems so relieved it's nearly over, that he engages in some overly optimistic microphone-action - be sure to look out for the Beuys-Helicopter!