Back from long hiatus

Dear followers,

I am so sorry to have you abandoned ūüė¶ Unfortunately Brexit, studies & dissertation research took a toll on me and I needed a break and therapy. It was also necessary to take a break from any media, social media and anything else. Shut off from the world.

I will come back soon with several pictures from Tuscany (renewing my promise to deliver more Merlin’s Travels series articles), an article about current EU citizens situation and an attempt to build a category only relating to archaeology/history with pictures included.

I have started to go to the gym too, so that I could shrug off some of the anger, anxiety and depression I was feeling of late. I will do everything shortly (I need to hand two assignments in September) so stay tuned!!

Merlin is back!

xx

P.S. I started cross-stitching again ūüôā

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Archaeology and Brexit

Today, the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, signed a letter officially notifying the European Council‚Äôs president of the UK‚Äôs intention to withdraw from the union as required under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This ‚Äėhistorical moment‚Äô is what the press love, but it is part of a long and complex, ugly and acrimonious process¬†[‚Ķ]

via Brexit and Archaeodeath ‚ÄĒ Archaeodeath

The defeatist attitude of an (ex) artist

This will be a melancholic post with a dressing of reminiscence of the past. Usually, I adhere to the philosophy that whatever lies in the past cannot have any effect on the future whatsoever and I generally refrain from¬†indulging in ‘good ole days’thoughts. However, now more than ever the past is coming back on a worldwide scale. Reasons behind Trump’s election and Brexit referendum success are witness to this. Why is that?

Historically speaking, the past often offers a glimpse into a ‘golden age’. At¬†any¬†time in the last 3 millennia, lots of authors have looked back and thought “well it was awesome back then, wasn’t it”, with many scholars even re-elaborating whole periods of history to fit their contemporary thinking and¬†their bias. In some cases, some golden ages have included mass genocides, famine, Black Death, never mind¬†that a few centuries later we found a way to justify or gloss over these little, inconvenient details.

It’s the same with us, in our little inconsequential lives… we look back and romanticise some events. And here I’ve fallen victim to the same trend.
There is a part of me I never fully accepted and that is why the past often came back to haunt me or to be seen as ‘golden’ in some regards. First of all, I was born in a Tuscan village in 1972; local mentality only allowed us girls a couple of things: 1) getting married and breed (I use this verb fully knowing the connotations!); 2) until (or if) number 1 was available, it was necessary to find a job, no matter if it was something¬†we liked, any will do if it provided ‘cash’ (nobody was ever bothered about pay slips and such bureaucracy in those days, we kept count of our worked hours on a paper sheet hung in the factory).

‘Little me’ started working in such capacity at 12. Perfect (right?), I was on schedule! Apart from being illegal, never mind again… But then, everybody knows that teenage years wreck havoc in our lives and that is what exactly happened to me too. Around the age of 16, I fancied to get a higher education, I wanted to learn languages because travelling for¬†work was my dream. Heresy! ‘Girls don’t need an education!!!‘, my father yelled. He yelled so loudly I can still remember it. It was not just ‘heretic’ to get an education though; the worst part was that instead of using my savings to prepare for my wedding, *gasp* I was using them to put myself in the condition of finding a job that required me to stay out of the house! In the end, I did get married but I was 40 already, needless to say my savings would have not lasted that long!

At 17, a far worse event happened, total total heresy! I wanted to use more of my savings to attend a drama school. My mum was an ex opera singer, whose aspirations and ambition had been shattered by ‘real life’. Or so she recounts the whole thing nowadays. But not all lives need to end up the same way, right? Her father, still alive at the time, supported the idea. My father was yelling all the time as you can imagine, even threatening to kick me out of the house, which didn’t happen… although I wasn’t actually allowed to rent a piano until I was 18 (damn father!). I was enrolled in a proper music school, learnt to play piano/singing/read music; unfortunately, I did not attend any drama course but found a way to appear in a movie anyway (I hope it got burnt, it was a weird indie thing!).

As you can imagine, given that you have never heard of me, nothing came to fruition. Since I stopped studying in 1995, I did¬†many jobs until I definitely left Italy 8 years ago. I also found a way to migrate nearly everywhere since I was 24 but… the artistic thing never took off. As I am reminiscing about it these days, I wonder if my chronic defeatist attitude played a part in it and to what degree. I have the same attitude to my studies, “oh no, I’m not going to make it, I will get a fail, etc etc.”. As of today, I’ve only had a C in my degree course and it was in¬†Level 1, so it’s not going to count for my final mark.

So, would my artistic career have taken off if I wasn’t so down-beaten by my own attitude to it? Possibly. I even scored auditions I never went to, auditions I was ill-prepared to face but sabotaged them on purpose (God knows why!), and even offers for one of my scripts that I never bothered to pay attention to!!
At this point you would think I am an idiot…. Why would anyone be threatened by success to the point that once you get the chance you don’t go through with it? Well, here I am, call me idiot if you like, but I was overwhelmed by the idea. Every. Single. Time.

You would also think I regretted that. Actually, I do but surely my number 1 reason is not what you are thinking about. I never really cared about being famous, having fans or making a crapload of money. Many of these chances might have not led to any of the above anyway. However, it led to something I have regretted: I gave up on the opportunity¬†of doing a job I would have liked. The mindset of my upbringing “do any job because you need money”, drilled into me since a young age, has kept ruining my life over and over again, even when I didn’t actually need any money. It still does because I’m getting a degree in archaeology and history but if you asked me which job I will likely do after I graduate, I wouldn’t probably answer “archaeologist or historian”. I would fall on the old mindset ‘I need a job, whatever that is’.

And this brings a lot of dissatisfaction, a sense of ‘impossible achievement’ as regards anything I ever endeavoured to study or pursue. And given that in two days I will be 45, these thoughts heavily weigh on me. The ‘artist-that-will-never-be’ sounds now ominous and leaves a bitter taste in my mouth any time my mind wanders there.

Merlin, The Big Loser

P.S.: Silver lining: Considering the entertainment field’s obsession with youth and artists who are required to botox themselves to death, at least I’m not paraded around in retarded selfies like the one below where I need to keep my mouth open all the time (“I’m too sexy for this selfie, too sexy for this selfie” ahahaha)

20170324_153939

Dear followers… alive and kicking here!

Dear all,

I haven’t forgotten about you. I haven’t stopped writing either. But this is my graduation year (only 5 months and it’ll be over) and all my energies and time have been spent in academic research, for one module or another and for my dissertation.

I have tried to keep up with the news though and I hope to write a new post as soon as I have submitted my mid-term work this Wednesday. So I’m asking you to be patient and please remember, I’m still here alive and kicking, not gone or deported from the UK (yet) and still fighting.

Merlin xx

Brexit per italiani… e ora?

Ciao a tutti,

Un brevissimo articolo giusto per riassumere gli ultimi eventi anche se… a sto punto io direi che possiamo archiviare la non-Brexit (perche’ Brexit sia femminile in italiano non si sa…). Il governo britannico, da fine 2015, aveva cominciato a ‘bollire’ in materia di immigrazione. Leggi su leggi, paletti su paletti per fare diventare la regolarizzazione dei cittadini europei un inferno, anche se mentre in Europa tale regolarizzazione non era obbligatoria. Strano che lo sia diventata con la Brexit. Questo secondo me √® il dettaglio piu’ importante… √® da m√≤ che non siamo i benvenuti.

Allora, riassuntino per chi si e’ distratto negli ultimi mesi:

  1. Smettetela di pensare che la Brexit non ci sar√†. La May sta cercando di andare alla velocit√† di un TGV per attivare l’art. 50. Se siete tra quelli che pensano che torner√† indietro, o avete vissuto in una grotta preistorica per gli ultimi 8 mesi, o vi siete fatti come pochi (per lo stesso lasso di tempo!), o siete cos√¨ illusi che credere agli unicorni √® normale per voi.
    *
  2. Al 52% dei residenti britannici gli stiamo sul CULO. Inutile che ci giriate intorno. Inutile che troviate scuse che il vostro amico di banco o collega di scrivania vi adora e quindi quello che dicono i giornali non √® vero, √® Fake News o scaremongering. Macch√© scaremongering della beata m**chia, gli stiamo sul culo come se avessimo la peste, punto. ¬†E se poi cambiate scuola, cambiate lavoro, trovate uno di quel 52% che vi odier√† per l’eternit√† e siete fottuti. Smettetela di mettere la testa sotto la sabbia come gli struzzi adducendo che noi italiani siamo benvoluti perch√© il vostro vicino di casa britannico compra la pizza una volta la settimana al locale pizza kebab turco.
    *
  3. Smettetela di pensare che italiano non significhi europeo. Ho sentito lo stesso discorso da olandesi, tedeschi, francesi “odiamo gli immigrati e i cittadini europei ma non tu”, se credete alla suddetta frase fate solo la figura dei creduloni imbecilli. Al momento siete nella massa dei cittadini europei, sia che abbiate inventato una navicella spaziale, sia che stiate facendo il cameriere a Londra.
    *
  4. Londra √® ‘ancora’ in Inghilterra e nel Regno Unito. Al di l√† del fatto che il Regno potrebbe essere o non ancora Unito al momento della Brexit (Scozia, work under construction LOL), Londra √® e rimarr√† sempre in Inghilterra. Non la spostano e non fa caso a s√© per Brexit. Se l’Inghilterra fa¬†la Brexit, Londra gli va dietro. Quindi togliete la vostra testaccia dal di dietro e ogni tanto guardatevi le news che valgono per tutto il Regno Unito. Dopo Brexit, seguirete il fato di tutto il resto. Il fatto che viviate con britannici o pakistani o altri italiani non fa differenza, la xenofobia del governo ve la ciucciate come tutti gli altri europei.
    *
  5. FATEVI l’assicurazione sanitaria. Perch√® ricordatevi che l’accesso al NHS sar√† la prima cosa che perdete. Io l’ho fatta gi√†. Se non ve la potete permettere 1) state alla sorte, cazzi vostri ma poi non vi lamentate 2) ritornate in Italia o emigrate altrove 3) riportate la residenza in Italia (anche da mamm√† e pap√†) e ri-usufruite della Asl.
    *
  6. Se siete interessati a rimanere nel paese, potete farvi la permanent card se lavorate da 5 anni. La EEA QP è praticamente inutile e poi non è comunque indicazione di residenza permanente perché è un documento per professionisti qualificati che non hanno intenzione di restare nel Regno Unito. Anche se al momento non si sa se la Permanent Card verrà accettata come Indefinite Leave to Remain, è meglio averla. Pensateci appena possibile, specie se avete pure i requisiti per la cittadinanza britannica.
    *
  7. Se non siete interessati a rimanere in ¬†UK, non aspettate fino all’ultimo minuto per guardarvi intorno e cercare lavoro all’estero (questo sempre se non siete in un’azienda che sta pensando di trasferirsi altrove). Perch√© ci sar√† panico totale di europei che se ne vogliono andare se alcuni paesi non soddisfano ci√≤ che la May vuole da loro. Stiamo parlando di 3.2 milioni di persone, se anche il 30% leva le tende, √® un milione di gente che si muove, non proprio un numero piccolino!
    *
  8. Ricordatevi che una volta che l’inflazione sar√† alle stelle, chi guadagna tra le 14mila sterline e le 20mila sterline annue sar√† come stare in Italia con stipendio da fame. Con l’addizionale che qui magari non avete i genitori che vi riprendono in casa o vi aiutano…. Chi sta a Londra con stipendio che ora gli basta appena, potete guardarvi attorno subito… Tra tagli e aumenti, √® previsto un incremento annuo di spesa di 4,300 sterline all’anno (questo detto da Arron Banks, che √® un fascistone dell’ukip ma √® anche miliardario, quindi i conti gli sa fare!). Fate voi…
    *
  9. Il governo britannico dal 1 Aprile va ai negoziati. Gli italiani in UK che non hanno doppia cittadinanza, come tutti gli altri cittadini europei saranno inseriti nei negoziati. In poche parole, siamo ostaggi, sia che abbiamo tanto, poco, o nulla.¬†Nessuno √® esente, incluso cittadini europei sposati con britannici o con figli britannici.¬†L’eccezionalit√† in questo caso non esiste, nemmeno avere il cugino del cugino, amico dell’amico. Se lo prendiamo in culo, lo prendiamo collettivamente. Meritocrazia britannica ūüėÄ
    *
  10. Se avete avuto pazienza di arrivare a sto punto, vi d√≤ un consiglio spassionato… pensate al domani senza curarvi del Brexit, fate il vostro, dando giusto un’occhiata agli updates ogni tanto tramite stampa o tv. Il Regno Unito, per almeno dieci anni, andr√† ¬†in recessione. Se siete giovani… mandate a fanculo tutti, UK e inglesi, non perdete tempo a star qui. Se siete vicini alla pensione, fatevi due conti, magari vi conviene prendere la pensione qui e andare poi a San Paolo in Brasile per il resto che vi rimane da vivere. Se avete una famiglia con figli piccoli, pensate al loro futuro che qui saranno sempre trattati da cittadini di seconda classe e che la situazione migliorer√† tra vent’anni… Sempre se Trump e Putin non trasformano l’Europa in un deserto nel frattempo.

 

In quanto a me… me son rotta di pensare al Brexit e far√≤ il mio. Se non mi vogliono, grande pernacchia. Dove la trovano un’altra Merlin? Da nessuna parte. Fanculo Inghilterra, Regno Unito e Brexit ūüėÄ ūüėÄ

P.S. dimenticavo, buon San Valentino!! ūüėä‚̧

Merry Christmas and Happy 2017

Dear Followers,

Unfortunately, for many people this has not been the year we were expecting at the end of 2015.

In many regards, many events have made 2016 become the annus horribilis. It is not over yet and here I am, reading online media news and feeling lost. The world around me has changed and a new direction is needed, actually many new directions and plans are needed.

I wish life was not so complicated sometimes, but… I’m a historian and I know that in the past everything was much more complicated. Should I really complain about anything? Maybe not.

Maybe it is time to take action and to take risks. Whether it will pan out or not, nobody can know.¬†For many years I adopted a strategy of ‘I’ve nothing to lose and I throw myself in the new adventures with no regrets‘. However, now¬†I have many things to lose and decisions¬†have seemed impossible to make. But time has come for a overhaul.

Best Christmas wishes to all of you. I will update you in 2017.

Merlin x

Dividi et impera

Dear followers,

I am really sad I have abandoned you in the last few weeks. I still follow the global events but given the huge amount of study I am supposed to do until the end of 2017, I am sure I won’t be able to post as often as before. I apologise if I am getting so boring, I wish I had more time to dedicate to my blog, given that I had committed to, at least, 2 posts a month.

Furthermore, I have started to research for my dissertation, which will have to be handed in during the summer of 2017. Please, be patient…. after that study committment, I am sure I will keep updating the blog. The funny part…I am not sure FROM where I will do that. Heck, considering the actual political climate, I am not sure I will be ALLOWED to do that either!

I think many of you share my feelings that the world was never filled with such uncertainty for everybody before, not at least in the last two decades. I have followed the end of the cold war…. seen the Berlin’s wall finally crumbling down more than 25 years ago… in 2013 I have even seen the pieces of it standing in a Berlin’s street, stark remnants of a past that it was never supposed to come back… I have visited a nazi concentration camp twice… I have never forgotten the butcheries and the ‘showers’ (the gas chambers)…. why are people so eager to resuscitate a past filled with hate?

I have listened to countless explanations about controlling immigration. Controlling immigration is a task for a state, it should not be on top of priorities for anyone in daily life, regardless of country. Instead, many of us have bought into the governments’ propaganda that use immigration as a scapegoat for their own failings. Even my mother is one of many people who reason like that, when super-offended she yelled at me on the phone “but, bbbuttt… you are not an immigrant like the others, you’re Italian!” which basically meant ‘you’re white, cultured and well-educated, so you don’t deserve that’.

This shows that not only some politicians have managed to manipulate society’s thoughts towards a concern that shouldn’t be theirs in the first place (and in doing so, they also divided whole countries in groups on one side or another), they have even managed to divide the ‘other’ in many, many subcategories, in some sort of list decreasing from the ‘most deserving of hate and disgust’ to the ‘least deserving one’. I don’t want to paint Trump voters, or LePen voters, or Brexiteers, with the same brush, because except the ones who are really racists, fascists, white supremacists and KKK card-carrying members, the others have something in common with the rest. We all have been CONNED. We are all deluded into thinking that a better future awaits us, somehow. The governments and the rulers fear the ‘mob’ when it is united, not when it is divided into millions of pieces. The ‘will of the people’ counts shit when the powers have been passed out of people’s hands. We are only instrumental in producing an outcome (an election or a referendum result), after that…. it’s like we’re on a boat at the mercy of captain and his officers… and if they are all a bunch of nutcases and go all random, they can sink us all (and now the world has boarded a huge Titanic…). We are allowed to live in denial that we can preserve and protect what we have and who we love for the moment, and maybe we can take action later on. That is only an illusion. This time, unless some of you are so stinking rich to have a space station to board at will, we are all in this together, none excluded… regardless of nationality, race, creed, age or gender.

Unfortunately the famous Roman rule for good government ‘divide and rule’ (dividi et impera) has been a successful propaganda for 2 millennia. Well, it was even before, it’s just the Romans who have transformed it in sort of ancient slogan. It is so sad though that mankind keeps falling for it, one way or another.

Sad Merlin xx