crucified frogs, disabling church bells and two contests!

Yes, I know there’s a little something political happening in the US right now. I haven’t written about it yet, probably will soon, but in the meantime, if you’re interested in my opinions on the subject, make me a friend on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. I haven’t been shy elsewhere on the Interwebs about my political leanings.

Oh and remember to check out my Guarda! column at Italy Mag this week: The Feast of the Madonna of the Sick in Misterbianco, Sicily.

Now, speaking of Italy, here’s a bit of what’s been happening in the Bel Paese:

(1) Pope Benedict XVI declared blasphemous the artwork (pictured at left) by late German artist Martin Kippenberger called Zuerst die Füsse (Feet First).

And so, the governing board of the Museion Museum in the northern Italian city Bolzano met to discuss the fate of said amphibian art.

In short, the board told il Papa to go frog himself.

I’m paraphrasing.

(2) Ding dong, my hearing’s dead (again with the paraphrasing), said a woman in Lavagna, near Genoa, who blamed the bells of the church next to her house for causing her “moral and physical harm” for 23 years.

An Italian court agreed, awarded her €59,000 ($85,000), restricted the bells’ ringing to Christmas and Easter services (only for twenty seconds at a time!), and also ordered that bells of a nearby church be lowered in volume.

Tough times for the Catholic Church in Italy, I tell you.

But now I’m thinking…our church bells (two houses over from me) ring every fifteen minutes to mark the time and several times a day for Mass, noon, etc. Hmm….

(3) And finally, we have two contests from Italy-based bloggers.

Check out Cherrye’s Southern Italian nickname contest here and Alex’s La Cucina Italiana contest here. I’ll be talking more about the latter soon as I’m also participating as one of the taste-testers!

So, what’s going on in your neck of the woods?

Buon weekend!

23 Beans of Wisdom to “crucified frogs, disabling church bells and two contests!”
  1. 09.05.2008

    Nice contests… I was reading your nickname over at Cherrye’s blog, and upon hearing the dialect I couldn’t help but think, you had *double* the language-learning task!

    Roam2Rome’s last blog post..Starting is Fun. Ending is Not.

    Well, yes. Especially since so many people around here speak dialect all the time!

  2. So why not compromise? If the church bells were above the legal noise limit just lower them? Why ban them except for the two holidays?

    I’m assuming the church wasn’t built in the last 23 years. Then why the “frog” did this women buy/live in a house next to a church? They have bells, they ring. Sorry this lawsuit (that money could be better used for charity) is like the woman suing McDonalds for making coffee too hot.

    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..Flashback Friday – Dolce with Maria Sharapova

    Completely agree. It’s a ridiculous lawsuit with an equally ridiculous conclusion. People live next to church bells in every town in Italy!

  3. 09.05.2008

    As for what’s happening in “my” neck of the woods . . . French Justice Minister Rachida Dati, a very glamorous figure who has attracted a lot of (negative) attention for her Dior and caviar tastes (but who is also a bit historic in being of Maghrebin origin and with brothers who are in and out of the French judicial system for drugs, etc.) has turned up pregnant! Ooo la la! Not only is she not married, she doesn’t have (to anyone’s knowledge) a public boyfriend, so there is all sorts of speculation as to who the father is (I literally saw an article in one French paper where former Spanish PM Aznar denied being the father?!). One of the newsweeklies’ cover this week carries a large photo of her with the caption “The Mystery.” Her only response has been to say “I have a very complicated private life and that’s as far as I’m going to go.”

    Of course there’s no condemnation here of her being a single woman who’s pregnant, but it’s more the celebrity question of when in the heck did she have time to do this and how long will she remain minister, etc. (She’s 42 by the way).

    Kim B.’s last blog post..Today Might Be an Important Day

    Ooh la la is right…that is some interesting gossip. Wonder how it’ll all shake out. Love the “very complicated private life” comment. Sounds like there may have to be DNA testing…yikes!

  4. Gil

    “Tough times for the Catholic Church in Italy, I tell you.”

    What do you expect with the fascists back in power. The US has the “born agins” and you have the fascists. God Bless our poor countries!

    I’ll second that emotion, Gil.

  5. 09.05.2008

    I entered the Calabrese nickname contest too. Dialect is so funny.

    I wonder if you can sue against roosters crowing day and night ?

    I’m a Luxembourger again today !!!

    Scintilla’s last blog post..Love Breakfast at Positano

    Hah! Hope you enjoyed your little trip *out* of Luxumbourg while it lasted 😉

  6. 09.05.2008

    46,000 for “injury to the right to a social life”? If anything, you would think the big payout would be for the actual hearing loss which I tend to doubt really occurred.

    I checked our 2 online newspapers and nothing good is happening in my neck of the woods today – a murder/suicide, another murder at a beach park, a coastguard helicopter that just crashed with not a good ending, and lots of news on our idiot Governor, Linda Lingle who spoke last night at the RNC and raved about Sarah Palin – with the ridiculous statement – “Being a mayor, whether in Hawaii or Alaska or anywhere else, is outstanding preparation for higher office. And the people of Alaska and Hawaii will tell you Sarah and I are doing just fine.” Well I can tell you, we are NOT doing just fine! And neither do many others here in Hawaii. On top of that, today she tells C-SPAN that McCain has chance of winning Hawaii. She is delusional! Obama will win by a landslide. She also spouts on and on about how wonderful Bush and Cheney are.

    Sorry, I just couldn’t stop once I got started! Let’s hope there is better news tomorrow in my neck of the woods.

    Yeah I’m not suer that the woman even alleged hearing loss at all–that was just my extrapolation from what was written.

    No apologies necessary on the politicking…it all has me quite fired up as well. The funniest part about everything to me is imagining how the Reps would be acting if the Dems had put up someone exactly like Palin….

  7. 09.05.2008

    I love the expression on the frog’s face! How could anyone hate him?

    I moved to a small town a year ago and I actually like hearing the peal of the church bells. In some strange way, it makes me feel like I’m really living that picturesque Italian life. Not that I ever go inside said church (shhh, don’t tell my mom!)

    Milanese Masala’s last blog post..The Omnivore’s Hundred

    I find the frog rather endearing as well…but then again, I’m not one to be offended by art very often.

    And I also enjoy the church bells here, and *have* been inside the church. On occasion 😉

  8. Ahhh, poor Papa … I feel sorry for the poor papa. 🙂 Seriously, though I had to look at that pic twice before I saw what he could be upset about.

    Some of your commenters cracked me up. Happy Friday!

    Cherrye at My Bella Vita’s last blog post..So You Think You Can Cook? La Cucina Italiana and Blog from Italy Recipe Contest Coming Soon

    Great comments here as always, I agree 🙂

  9. 09.05.2008

    The frog didn’t upset me for any religious reasons, but it did upset me for being just plain awful! He’s the most horrible critter I ever did see. And I love frogs.

    I also love church bells… let them ring.

    casalba’s last blog post..Lemon Air Miles

    There’s a cute little frog that has been hopping across my path on the nightly dog walk…good thing he’s in the well-lit part!

  10. 09.05.2008

    I live three blocks away from my Catholic church and love to hear the bells chime on the hour.

    running42k’s last blog post..Politics and post game summaries

    Every fifteen minutes here…you might never want to leave 😉

  11. 09.05.2008

    I’ve been loving your political links on Twitter. Thank you.

    nova’s last blog post..Unagented and Why

    Oh I’m so happy to know this Nova! Thanks 🙂

  12. 09.05.2008

    Your links on Twitter slay me, too. As for the artwork, it doesn’t offend me because it’s blasphemous…it’s just ugly. And, the church bells? Ridiculous lawsuit (but I won’t make any cracks about lawyers…tee hee). We used to live next to a Catholic Church in Texas that had recorded church bells (that played off key and dragged). Our bird dog was evidently offended by them and howled every time they went off. I wish I had thought of having a lawsuit…

    This Eclectic Life’s last blog post..Think “Negatively”

    Glad you’re enjoying the tweets 🙂 And yeah, some lawyers…well….

  13. 09.05.2008

    Yes, the US Election is everywhere here on tv, papers etc. I’m trying to ignore it.

    The most exciting thing goin on in my work neck of the woods is the Toronto International Film Festival. I hear George Clooney and Brad Pitt have already checked inn but alas I will not be able to stalk them as I am at work…I could go down at lunch but the humidity is unbearable and my head hurts right now. And at home in my living quarters neck of the woods, my darling daughter is in the Pickering Softball Championships again (7-12 age group) Saturday. Last year her team LAPG won the championships and we are hoping for a REPEAT.
    We will be at the diamond tomorrow at 11 a.m. 5 p.m. your time. Her game starts at noon. Then there will be your typical North American bbq, hamburgers and hotdogs. Marina finally ate a hot dog yesterday her first one since she was 18 months. We will wait for the other games to finish and then the awards will be handed out. Wish us luck! I think the parents are more stressed then the kids. Have a wonderful weekend!

    lucy’s last blog post..Day 3 of Back to School

    In bocca al lupo to the girls! Sounds like a fun weekend 🙂

  14. Vita

    I’m so sad that all these lovely blogs I read are turning political. I’m in the US right now and you can’t escape it. A guy in the bank was ranting yesterday. People are worked up. But as someone who considers herself nonpartisan, or just really not wanting to engage, and just live. . .

    I don’t know. I’m just bummed that all the bloggers I look forward to have suddenly turned into political reporters. I don’t come on these blogs to read about political opinions … 🙁

    There’s the news and political blogs for that.

    Sorry, Michelle, no offense, and you can certainly do whatever you want on your blog. But I’d be really sad to see it turn into a political discussion. We do need some escape after all.

    No offense taken at all! I certainly understand your concerns, and like you, I don’t necessarily want to read about politics on the personal blogs I read.

    That said, I *have* posted about Italian elections, so it’s not something that’s completely without precedent here. I don’t plan on posting more than once or twice about the US election, and I will do so not just because I need an idea for a post; I will write because that’s what I do when I’m thinking constantly about something and because this is the only platform I have to express my support for the candidates of my choice, to feel like I’m taking a stand and fighting for something I believe in.

    I know that some readers will be turned off by it, and I’m prepared for that, but it’s just something that I feel I need to do as an American citizen–especially one living abroad who can’t participate in rallies, pass out buttons, etc. I feel far too strongly about this election to sit silently by and simply watch, and if my post or posts make even one reader think a little harder about his or her vote, then I’ll be happy.

    But beyond that, this blog is also intended to be, at least on some level, a journal of my life–what I’m interested in, thinking about, passionate about, living, loving, at the moment…and I’d be remiss to not mention something that has so invaded my world.

  15. 09.05.2008

    Gracious and sensible response to Vita. You hit the nail on the head (as usual!).

    Kim B.’s last blog post..Today Might Be an Important Day

    Thanks Kim 🙂 I have no intentions of turning this into a political blog, but I do certainly enjoy discussion–will be interesting to see what happens, that’s for sure!

  16. Vita

    Thanks, Michelle! I’m a HUGE fan here, so again, I didn’t mean that badly, but I see so many people losing readers (not that you’d lose me) . . . and it just seems, I don’t know, not entirely appropriate . . . but this is your personal blog and you make a lot of sense in what you said.


    Oh I didn’t take it badly at all Vita; your concern is well-taken. If I wanted to really vent about my politics, I’d start a new blog, but that’s certainly not in the works either. I’m happy with spouting off in bursts on Twitter and those who want to read them can’t, and those who aren’t interested don’t have to. And don’t worry–I’ll give you a free pass the day I post about the election 😉

  17. Vita

    Rock on, Sognatrice!! 🙂

    I’m a-tryin 😉

  18. 09.06.2008

    Tough times & you can never tell which way they’re headed. As usual, one man’s meat is another man’s poison…& life goes on. Yes, bad times for the Church…& o ya, the little frog is quite sweet!

    Deeba’s last blog post..TURKISH PIZZA ANYONE..Serving Pides with Pride!

    Glad you enjoyed Deeba 🙂

  19. 09.06.2008

    just added you to my facebook friends…. hope catch up with you there…. off to bed now

    corn stove’s last blog post..Bixby Energy Systems Corn Stove

    See you there!

  20. 09.08.2008

    I just added you as a friend on Facebook…I’m awaiting your approval 🙂

    I love that the Pope was in essence told “to frog himself”…that made me smile.

    and I think since that partially deaf woman was awarded such a crazy amount of money that you should be awarded some as well!

    Geez….I cannot believe that!

    Eryn Chandler’s last blog post..Phoenix Phlog.

    Crazy stuff, I know. Nice to see you on Facebook 🙂

  21. this was funny! nice story on the frog and the Papa… over here in HOTlanta, absolutely NOTHING is happening. DC is where it’s at these days. I’m going to have to see you on facebook and twitter. Im actually flying to DC to vote on our election day! I’m so geeked!! 🙂‘s last blog post..Spanish Style Plantain Omelette & Call for Cookbook Testers!

    Sounds like a great plan to me Bren 🙂

  22. 09.11.2008

    Those are darned interesting issues… I find Italian culture, politics, etc., fascinating.

    In my neck of the woods? Ugh… highest unemployment rate in the country, dozens of houses for sale, kids starting school under new, draconian (and idiotic) high school requirements. Really, you don’t want to know.

    jen of a2eatwrite’s last blog post..What’s Cooking Wednesday: Fran’s Chicken

    Well I think McCain will fix all that…ugh.

  1. [...] P.S. No, I’m not turning this into a political blog, and if you’re interested in why I felt like...
Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time. 

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