East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Guilty (or so they say)

After fifteen years, my Italian language blog, strategie evolutive, has been anonymously reported to the Facebook authorities for unspecified “abusive contents”, so that I can no longer share my posts on the platform.
This begs a number of obvious questions – such as Why? and Why now? – but does very little to my online existence. I can still post and share on other platforms, and in general, who cares.

And as I seriously anybody could find my Italian posts so triggering they need to be reported and silenced, this in the end feels like that guy that scratches the paintwork of your car because you’ve parked where they would have parked had you not been parked there.
Petty and stupid, in other words.

The irritating thing is that filing a complaint with Facebook does not work – because as an automated message informs me, they have more urgent problems to deal with (to wit, checking the fake news about the pandemic and the American political situation), and therefore they will not review my complaint.

So here we are – and really, nothing has changed, except my perception of the number of dicks out there reading my blogs.

And as I am at it, I can close this post with a song by Alice Cooper, from an Alice Cooper record my late mother liked a lot (weird girl that she was, sometimes)

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Fire it up!

We never used fire-crackers and fireworks in our house, and this year the mayor’s office has issued a moratorium on loud bangs for New Year’s Eve, but at least metaphorically and ideally, it really feels good to light up a few rockets and wish 2020 on its way to oblivion.

Happy New Year!

Be good, stay safe, and I’ll see you on the other side.

We’re gonna party like it was 1921.

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Into the third decade

Something that struck me a few moments ago, while I was trying to put some order on my hard disk in preparation for a system update and some other administratrivia, is that in little more than ten days we’ll be in 2021 – the beginning of a whole new decade.
The third decade of the twenty-first century.

It probably comes from all those c heap movies I watched as a kid (and I still watch – sue me), those adventures set in the far future of 1997, 2001, 2018, but the idea of being going into the third decade of the century gave me a sort of shiver.
The future, so far, has failed to deliver much on the old promises – unless of course you were counting on the promises of cyberpunk. Those have been fulfilled with chilling earnestness.

In the 3rd decade of the 21st century, I will enter my 6th decade – at the same age, my father retired, my grandfather too. They were old men.
And now not only I do not feel like an old man, but of course I cannot retire.
My parents would have never imagined such a state of affairs. Still in the early years of the 21st century, they were the “regular 9-to-5 job” sort of people; the “why can’t you settle down and buy a house” people; they had been born when the nation was at war, had gone through the 1968 youth revolts, they had seen the TV been born, go from black and white to color, from 1 channel to 20, from 5pm-10pm to 24/7. They had witnessed terrorism and political scandal and more wars. Men had walked on the moon, computers had become commonplace in the workplace and in homes.
And yet they still expected the system would work the way it had worked for their fathers.
Finish school, find a job as a clerk, copying by hand old bills for thirty years while you build your retirement.
“Why do you waste your time playing with that computer instead of doing something real?”
I was not convinced, but of course I was the kid who read science fiction instead of “realistic stories”, and when I tried to explain that things would be different I caused great concerns in my family.
Why couldn’t I be normal?
Why had I to be such a disappointment?

And they had a long list of friends’ children that were “OK”.
Good office work, steady girlfriends, then a family, children, a dog…
In the last twenty years I’ve seen those OK kids be ground into fine powder and blown away – families exploded, jobs lost, lots of money spent on counselling and psychological assistance, their children leaving without a word, their dogs suing them for alimony.
For me and my brother’s been equally hard, but who knows, maybe because we did not have anything “normal”, we could not lose that.

And now here I am, going into the third decade of the 21st century – my parents, and their parents before them, had a solid body of unshakable certainties, while I do not know what will happen next.
But they were wrong.
Let’s see what hand is dealt to us next.