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Monday, April 03, 2006

Liveblogging the Big Italian Debate II

Today is the big night, the second of two TV debates between the two main candidates for prime minister of Italy. I decided to attempt to apply a brilliant insight of Elisabetta Addis who noted in 2000 while watching the US debate with the sound off, Bush looked like a human being while Gore looked like a robot. Actually she managed to see this with the sound on. Silly me, I listen to the words.

So I decided to watch a bit of the debate with the sound off. A secondary reason is that I can not stand to listen to Berlusconi. Given my limited ability to write Italian, I should stress that I understand the words all too well to understand the reaction of the voters who have managed to remain undecided.

I saw a reporter named, I think, Napolitano from Il Messeggero asking a question with an aggressive manner. Then I saw Prodi

Man that Mortadella has some faccia umana. Prodi was very animated and smiling broadly. In fact, I coulnd't help thinking that he had just consumed laughing gas. He was smiling and laughing as he talked. I think of Prodi as a very serious policy intellectual type, but, with the sound off, I saw that at least one Italian gestures constantly as he talks. His face said happy happy happy, let's be serious for a moment, come on you have to be kidding, calm, serious, happy.

I may have mistranslated as I really need one of those new hand held gizmos.

Then the camera switched to Berlusconi. It appears that post plastic surgery his face is rigid. He looked bored and irritated. He gestured with his right hand but gripped the desk with his left hand and kept his body rigid. I kept noticing the clock running in the lower right as in "oh no he's only talked for one minute, I have to watch this for two more minutes ..." I don't understand how the Italians could have elected someone so antipatico (unlikable). Not Richard Nixon but definitely up there with Kerry and Gore.

camera switched back to Prodi who seems to have had an impression similar to mine because he was ecstatic. I mean like the atmosphere was 10% nitrous oxide ecstatic.
In fact, I think Prodi risks seeming unserious, still looks pretty good so far.

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