Sunday, March 29, 2009

Italy Makes the International News

First, the Pope has to be mentioned. His insensitive and politically incorrect comments about condoms have been daily fare for the last ten days. The latest is the Facebook Condom Campaign. Pretty funny stuff, if it weren't so sad and serious.

Next we have Foxy Knoxy. She too has been big news lately. Here in Italy the Perugia murder case has often been the number one story on the TV news since the grisly events took place in 2007. Amanda Knox is back in court these days and therefore back in the news.

But, the one that made me really notice, is on CNN today. They're calling him the "Italian Fritzl."
Police in Italy say they have arrested a grandfather and his son for allegedly sexually abusing the elder man's daughter for more than a 25 years, in a case likened to Austria's Josef Fritzl.

The 41-year-old son, identified by police only by the pseudonym Giovanni, was arrested February 16; his 64-year-old father was arrested March 16, Turin Police Inspector Iolanda Seri told CNN Saturday.

Both men were imprisoned, and were charged with sexual abuse of their daughter and sister, who is now 34 and has been identified by the pseudonym Laura. Both men have denied wrongdoing.

Giovanni is also charged with sexually abusing the eldest of his own four daughters, who are aged 21, 20, 11 and 6, Seri said.

What do you make of the Pope's comments? Couldn't it be said that the Catholic Church has always been perfectly consistent in its teachings on birth control and the indissolubility of marriage? Could his recent comments be nothing more than a continuation of that? Isn't there something to be said for being consistent in one's position? Doesn't that in itself engender respect? What's your opinion?

What do you think about Amanda Knox? Is it conceivable that such an innocent looking young girl could have been involved in those deadly sex-games that supposedly went on in Perugia? Do you think this is just another case of a study abroad student who got hooked up with the wrong crowd? Or do you think the Italian commentators might be right that it was she who corrupted the innocent but older Italian boy?

And finally, what do you make of the fact that there's another case like Josef Fritzl? Does that mean there are many of these happening all over the place and finally they're coming to light? I personally cannot understand incest. A lot of the other things we discuss, the criminal and moral deviations, I can understand, but incest leaves me at a loss. Are there any incest apologists out there who might anonymously enlighten us?

But, these Fritzl-type characters are more than incest guys, aren't they? There's sadism and big-time control going on there too, don't you think?

Please leave a comment.


  1. I agree with your assessment of the Pope ( he has every right to defend the traditions of the Church, and secular people need not listen to his reprimands). Same with the incest being a matter of control and autocracy in a small niche of life. As for Amanda, I think she was a troubled girl, without supervision, and with much bottled up anger. Young girls often identify with males, and male sexuality, as a way of feeling strong. It seems to have gone terribly wrong, and as dreadful as the crime was, I feel sorry for Knox. Nice posting!

  2. Regarding the Giovanni case:
    The Fritzl case was pretty outrageous with the basement bunker and the generation of kids sired by this jackasss...the ones who survived...
    But, lets look at reality. Yes, stuff like the Giovanni case happens all the time and it is only under the scrutiny of media of the enforcement of the law that we see this stuff. It makes the news now because there is shock driven media news now and it probably occurs at an incrementally lesser rate that it did in the past in peasant or "lower class" society.
    I live in a very rural area and I hear stories of incest recounted as legends by the old folks who I have befriended all the time.
    The family who sold the house I live in is a case history of incest at the end of a road in the middle of nowhere.
    I'm sure if you did an anthropological study of life in rural America, you would come up with anthologies of case histories of stories like the Giovanni case.

    The Mormons in America tried to institutionalize child/adult sex under the guise of polygamy.
    Yes this is unacceptable behavior, but the perpetrators have developed entire codes of rationalization to deal with it.

    I think we could easily take this argument and apply the logic to libertarian thinking.
    My house, my daughter, my get the hell out of face or I'll shoot yer ass with my big gun..........