No country for young men

Achille Lauro at the annual SongFest


The country lost another chance to keep quiet. Or perhaps to try to listen, to consider what their young inhabitants had to say. If, on the one hand, it seemed to reverse this trend for once, with the overcoming of certain boring prejudices that condemned it to one of the oldest places in the world, on the other, it ran badly to cover, through the judgments of right-thinking people screeching, outraged, towards the song that praised drugs and bad living. Then, there were those who said that the topic was over, that someone had already sung it about thirty years ago, in turn lagging behind icons such as James Dean or Steve McQueen. But if today the public opinion was still outraged by someone like Achille Lauro, maybe the artist was not the only one to be repetitive.

The aunt on the stage peered at his tattooed face, agreeing that those writings were all in all pretty, but the ambiguity of that comment was now known in the country. Everyone knew by heart the thought laying behind her words: “Face tattoos, how stupid, and how do you expect to find a job?” It goes without saying that no one tried, not even for one single moment, to assess that if among those who chose to tattoo things, in an attempt to communicate their identity, someone even signed their face, who knows what could be the ability to listen of the community in which that person had grown up.

Accused of transmitting non-educational models, especially following his participation at the annual SongFest — as if they were not the same models carried out by the infernal system from which those accusations came — Lauro was certainly not one of those sons who Mum and Dad like. A guy armed with a microphone threw up to his face about his pusher background, about how the title of his song was a clear reference to drugs, and therefore a bad example to give to young people. His show had ordered him to push that singer back into the sewers where he had come from, as if each individual were given the opportunity to choose the way they live. On balance, the game was the same: to shake off any responsibility, yapping about the latent responsibility in today’s youth. Young people left to understand life from an early age, by unnecessary rules and trash TV. Left alone, in a jungle where, more than anywhere else, it’s just about where you were born and what you thought. Where the best that you can look forward, once hit the deepest bottom, was your quarter of an hour of pity. A special occasion that demanded low faces of a sad doggy that, once bitten the bone, had only to get back to the bunk.

Lauro was one of those who didn’t lower they head, with all that goes with it in a place devastated by bigotry and hypocrisy. One of those madmen who still found a lifeline in things like music and poetry. A slum Rimbaud, with the writing “Pour l’amour” on his face. One of those condemned to annoy, whether he fails or pull it off. Because going on with your head held high, here, was more than in any other place an act of defiance that you had to be able to afford, perhaps by being born “classy”. A country that in those days was struggling for an income for citizens, leaving aside once again one of the key problems: the generational change. That is, that the young people were finally given a real opportunity to take their responsibilities, to grasp their self and see once and for all “what about us.”


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