Viva Silvio?

I feel a certain ambiguity about embattled billionaire Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Clearly he’s a raving megalomaniac who controls the Italian media and its government, a self-important ass who crushes all who opposes him, a corrupt seventy-three-year-old man-ho who sleeps with teen-age actresses.

Here’s a recent quote from him, found in the British Guardian’s web site:

“I am, and not only in my own opinion, the best prime minister who could be found today,” he told a press conference. “I believe there is no one in history to whom I should feel inferior. Quite the opposite.”

The problem, he explained, was that “In absolute terms, I am the most legally persecuted man of all times, in the whole history of mankind, worldwide, because I have been subjected to more than 2,500 court hearings and I have the good luck – having worked well in the past and having accumulated an important wealth – to have been able to spend more than €200m in consultants and judges … I mean in consultants and lawyers.”


And we all remember with horrified disbelief Mr. Berlusconi’s congratulating America on electing Barak Obama, who, he pointed out, was “young, handsome and tanned.” Later on he explained that it was “a great compliment,” accusing those who called him a racist idiot of lacking a sense of humor. And he recently said the same thing again about Michelle Obama after meeting her at the G20.

Michelle Obama declines the opportunity to give Silvio Berlusconi a big ol' hug.

Michelle Obama declines the opportunity to give Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi a big ol' hug.

In June of this year a Spanish newspaper published pictures of naked men and women mingling at Berlusconi’s villa. It turns out that one of the naked men was (now former) Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, who admitted he was there but claimed that the photographs were doctored by European Socialists. I wish I had made that up, but it is the truth.

And of course Mr. Berlusconi was seen cavorting at the same villa with 18-year-old actress Noemi Letizia. And when his wife announced that she was seeking a divorce because her husband was openly boinking everything in a skirt, he said, “Veronica [his wife] will have to publically apologize to me, and I don’t know if that will be enough.”

What an idiot. What a bully. What an obnoxious jerkface.

Now here’s where the ambiguity comes in. On one level the man is a total ass, and as an enlightened 21ist century male I despise everything he is and everything he stands for.

On the other hand I totally admire him and everything he stands for.

That’s because I’m a guy. I possess a guy’s brain.

“Gosh,” my guy brain says, “he’s dating an actress who’s fifty years younger than he is? And he openly frolics with naked starlets and Czech Prime Ministers? That’s frickin’ cool!

“What would it be like if the guy who gave me my job review knew I could have him arrested if I didn’t like the outcome? I mean of course I would never actually throw him in the slammer for giving me a ‘needs improvement’ on my people skills, but both he and I would know that I could. Heh heh heh.”

That is, I’m afraid, how guys’ brains work. A part of us longs for the good old days before Women’s Suffrage, Dr. Phil and Public Radio, when a man could be as obnoxiously arrogant as he wanted. No matter how we pretend otherwise there’s a certain part of us that purely admires a man with the courage to be as big an ass as Mr. Berlusconi.

Recently the Italian courts have stripped the Prime Minister of his self-declared immunity from prosecution, so perhaps at last he’s going to get what’s coming to him. On one hand I think that the world will be better if one of the great countries of Europe isn’t run by a horny old billionaire Froot Loop, but on the other hand my primitive guy brain is going to have to find a new role model, and that won’t be easy.

Say. What’s Bill Clinton up to these days?

Hammer Update

Former House Whip Tom “The Hammer” Delay has at last exited from Dancing With the Stars, citing stress fractures in both feet as the reason for his withdrawal. Readers of this column know the real truth, of course: it was my withering criticism of his creepy booty-shaking that drove him out of the competition.

You’re welcome, America.


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3 Responses to “Viva Silvio?”

  1. Prize Committee Says:

    I am delighted to inform you that your blog has been awarded a Pulitzer Lifetime Achievement Award (Feature/Column Writing). Although it has only been in existence for a month, the Committee strongly feels that the blog is NOT written by George Bush, and we have every hope that it will improve to become a major piece of American journalism.

    Congratulations, and we hope that you will take encouragment from this award, possibly to write about something other than poop.

  2. Paul Murphy Says:

    I am humbled by this great award, while acknowledging that I totally deserve it. As for the length my blog has been in existence, all I can do is quote the words from Ice Nine Kills’ song, “A Lifetime in a Week:”

    And these days pass
    but I still haven’t slept at all
    And I’m terrified to call
    You can’t forget me.
    We promised not to change but then we grew up
    but not too fast.
    We lived a lifetime in a week before you left
    but I’m still stuck here
    and all I have left
    are those nights in your bed
    with my hand slipping further up your dress
    then you stopped me
    but it’s cute because you do it so smooth

    I think that says it all.

    • Prize Committee Says:

      It is with great sadness that I must report that the Pulitzer Lifetime Achievement award can only be awarded to a given person once, because after reading this post, you like totally deserve another one. Like TOTALLY!

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