Interviewing Debora Villa

So folks, here our first interveiw with a VIP!  Hope you will enjoy the humour of Debora Villa, a very popular comedian that recently released the book “Women chasing wolves. Everything you didn’t want to know about women that I can’t help but telling you.” for Cairo Publishing.

Mircea.  So, a book. Is this because you still believe into the piece of writing or it’s just a good marketing management of your popularity? And by the way, why the dog Latin chapters’ titles (which are a brainwave if you ask me, graduated in Humane Letters)?

Debora Villa. The choice is totally driven by my desire of doing so as everything I do. After the amazing success of my standup, we decided to put into a piece of writing our frenzy, widening chapters and contents. The dog Latins chapters’ titles are written by Antonio Amurri, who previously wrote “How to kill the wife and why.”

Mircea. Throughout the pages of your book, it seems that women are still looking for the Prince Charming to get settled, forever. Is this, still so rooted in our culture? Is all Walt Disney’s fault? And how should we get rid of it once and for all?

Debora Villa. Well, that’s a good question. To be honest I believe this quest is still really part of the culture of Italian women. So chronic that is causing deep, painful and apparently unsolvable frictions between the two genders. We wouldn’t be in such of a crisis if we didn’t have to uproot from our depths those archetypes. But we are working on that and, by the way, men too are tired of being asked and expected to play the knight’s role.  Time for the change has finally come… Yes girls, we can!

Mircea.  I was really perplexed by your description of the “groper”‘s accident. That is a real sexual harassment why did you write to have acted in such of a bland way?  Isn’t that some kind of legitimation for man to “try”, leaving to women only the chamaleon’s strategy:  stay still and camouflaged hoping not to be spotted by the predator? why not a public dramatic humiliation of the felon such of a verbal exposure or, why not, an old good fashion slap on his face?  Don’t you think to pass a message of tolerance for this “bad habit”?

Debora Villa. Well, in my “real” life I’ve been unfortunate enough to meet a lot of “maniac” and I quote the word since some of them were really sick, and the other part were unpunished pigs believing to own the right to abuse. I reacted as you described and even more! Into the “book reality” I just closed those episodes with a funny line to be consistant with the book tone. I’m an activist, I’ve been supporting a non-profit organization focused on domestic violences and my social and civil engagement is costant.

Mircea. Here in US “How to be a woman” by Caitlin Moran is all the rages. Have you red it yet? and if so, what do you think?

Debora Villa. What a coincidence! I’m actually reading it now! To be honest I just red the first chapter about “Period” and “Pornography” and I found it reeeeeelly interesting! That Caitlin is a great woman. I believe she’s unhinging all the traditional values to set new ones. Can’t wait to read it all.

Mircea. How important is for you to be a comedian as a woman? What’s your goal apart from paying the rent and surviving among “veline” (cheap Berlusconi’s style starlets)?

Debora Villa. I’m from Milano’s suburbia (ghetto). “The Bronx” to be clear. I was lucky enough to have irony and self-deprecating humor otherwise I wouldn’t be alive. I’ve also been lucky enough to make a job out of it, which I love. As a matter of fact I tried many other jobs but I was always ill. I can’t do anything else but this. And it’s not easy, I swear, since I’m not a “daughter of” neither a “protegée.”  And I like make people laugh on serious things and on nonsenses. I will do this till I live. Well, I pay back the good luck I had doing a lot of charities so I do TV, radio & Co. but then I work for free contributing to the causes that are dear to me.

Mircea. Wardrobe seasonal changing… Why it’s supposed to be a woman’s thing and why men’s aren’t apparently unable to do it?

 Debora Villa. There are things that will never change…

Mircea. There’s this popolar joke on the web “People say that every women’s dream is to find Mr. Right. Bullocks! every woman’s dream is to stuff themselves without putting on a pound”.  What do you think?

Debora Villa. Well, I’d say that’s so true!

Mircea. On a recent interviview you said you’d like to travel. That means you’ll come and visit us, brain drain abroad?

Debora Villa. It would be wonderful to be able to travel and bringing with me “the performance”.  I’m working on a French translation and I’m considering an English version too… I’m finally open to give it a try and I’m definetly willing to travel around the world.

Mircea. Abroad our reputations as Italian has never been this low, thanks to our politicians that did a great job promoting themselves as womanizer, pharisee, tax dodger, devoted to nepotism and so on (ex. Bossi’s jr. false degree). What do you suggest us to not be ashamed while walking around?

Debora Villa.  We have to own it and take control of it! If we are still allowing those people to run the Country, well, we have to say “I’m Italian, I live in the Middle Age but I’m sure that at a certain point the Renaissance will be back. Not that this “Govern of Technicians” is better with its saving banks, politician caste and rich people…

Mircea. Turning the tide: do you have a question for us?

Debora Villa. Why don’t you invite me to visit you?  whatch out… I may come

 

OCA DEL RE

 

 

Nostalgia vs. Design

Nostalgia, according to the etymology, is the acute pain/desire to go back home (Antient Greek “nostos“: return home + “algos“: pain). Well, despite my living abroad I never felt this sentimental longing. For some reason I’m happier, more relaxed, even nicer to people. Not that UK, USA, or France are the Eden of my dreams but it’s where I feel that anything could happen if I want to and this feeling is priceless as fresh air to me, for everything else there’s Mastercard as they say. Drinking an iced skinny latte*** from the local coffe shop (run by indie guys all tatoo and eco-friendly goods) while strolling down at the weekly market (which, btw, is not full with chinese crap) browsing its hand-made bread, ice bream, cheese, ravioli or clothing is an experience almost too simple and fullfilling to describe.

But back to reality and killing snobbery I recently came across to another kind of bitchiness: the design bitch. She works for a middle weight design brand, she dresses only designer clothing (more likely bought at the sample sales where she is always able to squeeze in), she usually has long bleached hair and has this attitude that she’s right jumping the queue at the aperitivo table because she has business to do after having grabbed two glasses of prosecco–one for herself and the other for the very important person she’s with; so people, you are standing in her way, just move or she’s going literally and phisically to move YOU. Design bitch watch your back!  I don’t know how that happened! I never spilled my wine on other’s people cocktail dress!  Untill now. God I love design!

*** iced skinny latte: half mug full with ice + half cup of skim milk + 1 shot of espresso. Stir. Ready to drink.

 

Hello, Hell!

Hell yeah, the bloggers’ world give me its very first satisfaction: I probably have found my pen soulmate.  She’s got a sharp tongue, she’s vitriolic, sarcastic, scathing and dangerously hilarious.  Well, she’s me a decade ago.

So folks, I’m not alone anymore! For my entire life I always knew I was different: not baptized in a Catholic boarding school, tiny in a world of giants, studying lover in a society that promotes and supports just the clubbing philosophy*.  Basically a misfit.  So, of course I developed since an early age this, ehm, how can I call it?  bitching attitude?  The worst part is that If I dislike someone I can’t help if not showing it right to his face.  Have you dr. House in mind?  Well, something like that minus the sociopath aspect.  But voilà, suddenly here’s it comes “La Zitella Acida** to enlighten my gloomy days! Yes, that’s the name she picked as her nom de plume.

When I was reading one of her posts, I came across to the following caption under one of Kelly Osbourne’s post diet pictures “Drop dead minter!”, and it was love at first sight reading. Since then I religiously read all her posts, having lot of fun and comfort because someone is talking it loud and is not afraid to do so.  Just like me.

So drop dead Franca Sozzani and that hypocritical Harvard speech of yours!

* yes, I hate discos.

** could be translated as “crabby old maid”. Take a look of her blog www.matiseivista.com/

 

Picture courtesy of Sesame Street

Anger management – part 1

Tonight I shouldn’t write because I’m upset. Very upset.  But since I’ve grown up I don’t stuff myself anymore with Nutella  (the most über-powerful anti-depressive EVER, I’ve heard that ingredients had being studied by CIA). No, now I’ve just found another way to be a masochist: I share my feelings with the net, so with YOU unknown reader, who must think I’m some kind of last-chance-wannabe Anna dello Russo-the-Sartorialist admirer.  Well, first of all I hate Anna dello Russo.  We have Anna Piaggi – and trust me, it’s already enough –and nobody urge to have another old woman dressing with simply stupid mises. But since even the fashion system has some kind of self adjustment laws, for which you can’t have two exhibitionists on the same country, the system itself tried to push her (or, export as they say Italian style) in the USA, finding another way to help our export score. But poor Anna didn’t know that the USA were already taken by Daphne Guinness, the beer heiress that has nothing better to do but spending money on otherwise unwearable haute couture clothing, calling herself a muse and getting naked into Barney’s shop windows. Well, well, well, getting started on rich and weird (and useless) old ladies obsessed by fashion actually helped me forgetting for a little why I’m upset.  And now I’m afraid you want to know why I am upset.   Well, I’m upset simply because my boss it’s a jerk.  Voilà! What has he done?  You may wonder.  What has he done?! Who told you it’s a “he”?  I share with very few people around the world the very unique gift of having tree bosses (two man and a woman) and two mothers in laws.  Lucky me, uh?  I bet none of you has five people at their service with the only purpose of driving them crazy.  So, long story short, tonight two of my bosses in a very formal and courteous meeting informed me that, well, they are forced (I mean “forced”) to cut my hours since the present situation suggested so.  After that announcement every form of insult in every language I know crossed my mind but — and I’m very proud of myself — in a NON-Italian way I managed to stay calm, with a blank expression, and with all the remaining forces out of my Chthonic self, politely managing the situation trying to get the best out of it.  How very adult, you may consider.  How very adult my ****!  I could kill with my very own hands now!

ToBeContinued

 

P.S.  The writing on the picture is ancient Greek saying “know thyself” and it was written on the entrance at the temple of Apollo at Delphi.  And if you don’t Apollo nor Delphi, you should read more, darling!

The first one

So, this is the very first post in English.

To all my worldwide English-speaker friends, please, be kind with me for all the mistakes I’m going to do.  Despite my love for studiyng, reading, listening and so on there are still things that I’m unable to use correctly. But you all, out there, point out every single oversight, misunderstanding, incorrect pun I may make.  I have to confess that I learned English, well, American English (yes, there are big differences between UK and US English, let’s be honest) only when I moved to New York; till then I was an happy “just”-French-speaker.  It took me a little while before being able to actually speak, about six months, during that interregnum I’ve been blushing every single time a clerk was asking if needed something or a waiter if I wanted more coffee, stuttering every single word.  But at the end that moment, THAT moment arrived:  when the words came out of my mouth without thinking, automatically and it was magic. I was going up and down Manhattan trying to find fences – yes, fences – for my very wild and smashed backyard but apparently the so-called very helpful customer care desk at Home Depot were all trying to drive me crazy, sending me here and there by chance. So after my third stop at the Third Avenue store, when the clerk assured me that in that particular branch in Queens (!!!) there were actually fences available out of season (then I learned that fences are actually a seasonal product!) I suspiciously looked at the man and abruptly asked:”For sure or for maybe?”  I know, I know it’s not a very memorable scene but at the time it looked like I had achieved the top of the understanding-and-speaking-right-away slippery and tricky hill.  And that was my first achievement.  After a bit of time I was sure that my mastering a third language had improved when I was able to deal with customer care (of any kind) by phone.  But that’s another story.

Please, don’t go

 

Proprio nei giorni in cui tutto sembra che ti cada addosso, proprio quando hai perso il conto delle cose che devi fare-sbrigare-ricordare-ricordargli capita un evento fuori contesto, qualcosa che sbalestra il tuo rodato self absorbed bioritmo post-moderno. Un’amica che parte. Se ne va. O, meglio, torna a casa. Ma quando casa corrisponde con San Francisco, il fatto che ella scompaia dal tuo quotidiano ha qualcosa di inaccettabile. Come un lutto. Ancora non mi capacito di come such an American girl sia sopravvissuta a Milano per quasi tre lustri e di come sia inesorabilmente ancora innamorata dell’Italia. Oppure sì, forse perché capisco  – avendo vissuto molto all’estero – mi sono chiari i motivi che all’improvviso possano aver preso il sopravvento. Così, ex abrupto. Solo, ad un certo punto, il quadro nel quale sei in prestito, che adori, che ammiri, non è più sufficiente. Hai necessità di tornare nel quadro a cui appartieni. Sapere tuttavia di non avere più un pezzo della “mia” America qua vicino, mi fa sentire ancora più lost in translation di quanto già non mi senta. Recentemente Hilary – che è una Scrittrice Pubblicata (categoria di cui mi occuperò ad un certo punto) – ha scritto un simpatico post nel quale descrive le cose che le mancheranno di più, enumerando fra queste un dentifricio. Curioso. Un’altra amica, che vive in un lussuoso appartamento in Tribeca (NYC), mi ha spesso incaricato di spedirgliene di vagonate della stessa marca. Lei sa benissimo che potrebbe trovarlo da Bigelow*** ma preferisce riceverlo direttamente da casa mia. La capisco, io continuo a chiedere di ricevere peanut butter cups di una celebre marca di dolciumi industriali (Hershey’s) ad una povera amica costretta a spedizioni improbabili, è un po’ come se a noi chiedessero di spedire in Australia dei cioccolatini Kinder. Per capire il livello di profondo sconforto emozionale che un trasloco intercontinentale è in grado di provocare. Anche oggi, anche nell’epoca del 2.0, nei giorni in cui tutto sembra facile – se sei un turista – il trasferimento in un altro paese è ancora un’impresa. Sei in un altro paese. Non sei nel tuo paese. Tutto è diverso e non necessariamente friendly. È anche tutto nuovo ed esaltante e questo, per un po’, serve da anestetico contro i sicuri disagi ai quali andrai incontro; tuttavia, da che ti alzi al mattino a che ti corichi la sera, sei sola con te stessa in un altro universo, sotto un altro cielo. E questo, solo chi l’ha vissuto lo può capire. Così, ad un certo momento, out of the blue, ti coglie il sacro fuoco del rientro (no, a me non è capitato questo, NdR) e non gli puoi resistere, è come se ti mancasse l’aria, come se tutto ciò che ti circonda perdesse senso. Peccato che lei è parte di quel circondario che mi circonda(va) e saperla lontana mi rattrista.

So, HBW please, come back.

M*

*** lussuosa profumeria nel West Village di New York, celebre per la qualità dei prodotti in vendita e rinomata per l’offerta di prodotti, al punto da diventare modo di dire: “WHEN YOU CAN’T FIND IT ANYWHERE ELSE… CALL BIGELOW”

 

Incipit

 

Killing Snobbery. Che nome è mai questo? Vi chiederete. Noi due, le Autrici,

abbiamo deciso di intraprendere una battaglia personale contro tutto ciò che è di cattivo gusto, volgare, ipocrita, pacchiano: snob appunto, cioè sine nobilitate. No, non siamo nobili, se è questo che vi state chiedendo, come se solo i ranghi di sangue blu potessero occuparsi di tale argomento. Siamo due borghesi – sì, lo ammettiamo con una punta d’orgoglio –  folgorate dalla frase di Dostojewski: la bellezza salverà il mondo. In una novella società italica che non conosce il sentimento della vergogna, siamo convinte che i buoni modi, l’educazione, il rispetto e la nobiltà d’animo siano ingredienti fondamentali nella costruzione di una società più bella. La nostra è una rivolta reazionaria dunque, armate di bon ton vinceremo la guerra contro il modello imperante: il burino arrogante fieramente ignorante.

Siamo due anarchiche della mediocrità.