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Rocking the barca

There is a well known saying in English, which is often used as a retort. It goes ‘don’t rock the boat’ which means ‘don’t attempt to change things – or you may/will regret it’. In Italy there very few attempt to rock the Italian boat. Why is this? Well, there may be two reasons, firstly, nobody wants to end up in hot (possibly boiling) water – to coin another old adage, and secondly, they are so much a part of the boat that they fear losing the advantages of being connected to it.

The Italian boat is particularly complex. It contains many levels; from the captains’ (no the apostrophe is not in the wrong place) quarters, to those of the passengers and all the crew. The captains’ quarters is intrinsically connected to the engine room. The crew do not really follow the wishes of the captains, but they get things done just the same and seem to prefer the status quo: with the captains believing that they are leading, whereas the captains wish to retain the status quo because they know they are leading, although they know that they are not really totally in control, which means they have to play with the freedom of the public address system to keep the crew and the passengers guessing a little.

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Then there are the passengers, some of whom are just there for the ride, while others lust after the life of a captain. Some of the passengers would like to change a few of the captains, because the cruise they paid for is not exactly going in the direction they paid for.

Oh, and by the way, some of the crew have made a film entitled “Viva Zapatero“. It’s all about the manipulation of the public address system aboard the Italian ship. Got a standing ovation, for some reason. Don’t know if there will be international versions. Not sure the captains would like that too much.

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